Carrie Underwood’s Mom ‘Never Even Considered That She Could Win’ American Idol

Country star Carrie Underwood became a household name after winning American Idol in 2005. The Oklahoma native had performed in local talent shows and around the house with her family, but had yet to become a singing sensation. Underwood’s mom, Carole, recently revealed that no one in the family expected the Grammy winner to bring home the title in season 4 of the competition.

Carrie Underwood singing in a blue dress
Carrie Underwood | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Carrie Underwood’s family just hoped for ‘name recognition’ with ‘American Idol’

Underwood’s mom described how her daughter would be shy at times performing in talent shows when she knew her friends would be in the audience. Though Carole knew Underwood had a beautiful voice, no one in their family thought her winning the entire American Idol competition was even a possibility.

“We never even considered that she could win it at all, but at least maybe she could have some face and name recognition,” Carole told Sheinelle Jones on the Today Show. “She would get to be an anchor or something on one of our local TV shows in Tulsa.”

Carole recalled when she and her husband were sending their daughter off for her big shot at fame.

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“We were taking her to the airport, and she was just real nervous,” Underwood’s mom shared. “She told (her father) ‘I’m just so nervous.’ And he said ‘Well, you know what, if you don’t want to go, we can just turn around and go back home.’ And she said, ‘No, no, I want to go. I’ll never know if I don’t go ahead and go.’ … We saw that plane take off, and then it was like ‘My gosh, you know, she’s gone from us right now.’ “

Carrie Underwood didn’t like the middle of the week during ‘American Idol’

The reality show structure featured singers performing in the middle of the week, followed by the audience voting. Underwood apparently “always dreaded Tuesdays and hated Wednesdays,” according to her mom.

“Her song was going to go on Tuesday, and so I always had to pray that she would be able to hit that high note, and that she would carry the tune like it was supposed to be,” Carole explained. “It was just too harrowing for me. And I’m sure it was for her, too.”

Carole described her amazement when Underwood was announced as the American Idol winner, realizing that their family was being put on a new path.

“It didn’t really dawn on me at that particular moment what was possibly going to happen,” Underwood’s mother said. “Up to this time, it was just a competition. She won, and then my next thought (was) ‘Well, we’re do we go from here?’ You know? ‘I don’t know how to do anything about any of this.’ “

Carrie Underwood’s songs on her new album are gospel classics

Underwood’s new album, My Savior, features classic hymns and gospel music. Songs include “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Amazing Grace,” and “I Surrender All”. The country singer selected songs performed in her hometown church.

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“These were just songs I grew up singing,” Underwood told NPR. “I went to a very small Baptist church in my hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma. We would file in and sit in the pews and they’d say, ‘Open your hymnals to page…’ or whatever. And off we went.”

While Underwood always aims to please her massive fan base, she only had one main focus with My Savior.

“When I made this album, I’m performing for an audience of one,” she shared. “I’m gonna cry talking about it, but… The whole time I was in the studio, any time I get to sing these songs, I close my eyes and I’m the only person in the room. It’s my heart for God. And I love that. It is a different feeling. It’s happy and it’s deep.”

My Savior is now on sale.