Carrie, you're not just the girl to beat, you're the person to beat. I'm going to make a prediction that not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.
— Simon Cowell
Simon was right.
Carrie Marie Underwood (1983-) is an American country singer and songwriter. At 22, Carrie, a country farm girl from Checotah, Oklahoma, auditioned for the fourth American Idol
with "I Can't Make You Love Me". Although the judges were impressed, it wasn't until Underwood sang Heart's "Alone" that her true potential appeared. She won the final over Bo Bice and immediately proved Simon right: Like Kelly Clarkson
before her, Underwood became a star in her own right (yet unlike Clarkson has completely escaped association with the Idol brand) and took the Country Music
world by storm. She has since won multiple Grammys and set a benchmark for Idol
success that has yet to be surpassed. None of her singles have peaked at lower than second, which by itself is an impressive streak, but the strong sales of her four albums and omnipresence in two genres are next-to-impossible to ignore.Albums
- Some Hearts (2005)
- Carnival Ride (2007)
- Play On (2009)
- Blown Away (2012)
- Accidental Marriage: "Last Name".
- Album Title Drop: Carnival Ride contains the song "Wheel of the World", which has the line "God put us here on this carnival ride".
- Breakup Song: "Before He Cheats".
- Buffy Speak: From "Undo It": "You stole my happy / You made me cry / You took the lonely / And took me for a ride"
- Daddy's Girl: "All-American Girl".
- Disproportionate Retribution: "Before He Cheats," in which she vandalizes her boyfriend's property because he's probably been cheating. Even though she constantly says "Right now he's probably…", she likely has reason to believe that he's doing so, because he's done it before. Others instead choose to interpret the song as her being Axe Crazy.
- It's heavily implied that a man's wife and mistress had him killed for lying about his infidelity in "Two Black Cadillacs".
- Domestic Abuse: "Blown Away" is about an abusive father who is killed by a tornado.
- Dual Meaning Chorus: "Jesus, Take the Wheel," from literally taking the wheel in a car crash, to "taking the wheel" of the singer's life.
- Also "Temporary Home". In the first two verses, a foster child and a mother in a halfway house see their respective dwelling as "temporary homes" in the physical sense; the dying old man in the third verse sees his life on Earth as a "temporary home" in the spiritual sense (i.e., he's about to go to Heaven).
- Genre Shift: Blown Away saw her move from the country part of the music store to the pop/rock part.
- Incredibly Long Note: Occurs at the end of "Just a Dream".
- Jesus, Take the Wheel
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "And I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it".
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Apparently "So Small" is actually about a car wreck... which then freezes and reverses. It was directed by Roman White, the go-to man for country music video Mind Screw.
- Murder Ballad: "Two Black Cadillacs" is about a wife planning to kill her husband with the assistance of his mistress.
- Ode To Sobriety: "Wasted" is a type 1.
- Older Than They Look
- The Power of Love: "When you figure out love is all that matters after all / It sure makes everything else seem so small".
- Recycled Premise: "Last Name" is basically a gender-flip of Alan Jackson's "I Don't Even Know Your Name".
- Southern Belle
- Toon Transformation: Inverted in the music video for "Ever Ever After", which sees an animated Carrie visit a live-action city. This parallels Enchanted in Broad Strokes, which feels appropriate because the song plays during that movie's epilogue.
- Unreliable Narrator: "Blown Away" paints the father as an abusive bastard who deserved to die in the tornado, but there's nothing in the song's music video to back this up. If anything, the music video makes the father more sympathetic than the daughter.
- Vehicular Sabotage: Done in "Before He Cheats"
- Vocal Evolution: She's gone from belting nearly everything to a more diverse vocal and dynamic range. "Good Girl" has her doing some impressive rock growls.
- Wartime Wedding: Implied at the beginning of "Just a Dream".
- What Did I Do Last Night?: "Last Name".
- Woman in Black: In "Just a Dream".
- Woman in White: Also in "Just a Dream".
- Woman Scorned: "Before He Cheats" is all about this.