By Jack Houston
It was eight years and six Grammys ago that Carrie Underwood became the darling of the fourth season of American Idol. But despite a multitude of awards, hit singles and magazine cover appearances, the Muskogee, Okla., native is still keeping tabs on the show that made her a star, now in its 12th season.
“Wow! Some of these guys on American Idol tonight are crazy good,” she tweeted during Hollywood Week. “There was a lot of unexpected, great talent on American Idol tonight! I still have my golden ticket,” read another tweet from mid-January.
The title of Underwood’s current release, Blown Away, could be taken any number of ways; we prefer to associate it with the distancing of Underwood from her country contemporaries. Since the release of her 2005 debut, Some Hearts, only one other female country artist (Taylor Swift) has as many No. 1 albums as Underwood.
On the first leg of her Blown Away Tour, Underwood had more than a few tricks up her sleeve, including a left-field cover of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” a virtual duet with Brad Paisley on “Remind Me” and actual duets with opener Hunter Hayes, who joins her for her Mandalay Bay date. That concert is sold out, but as is often the case, nothing’s ever truly out of reach in Las Vegas.