Kellie Pickler has been one of the few ‘American Idol’ contestants to successfully parlay her time on the show into a successful and steady music career. Finding her niche in country music, Pickler — now a star — headed out to Ohio to help Ty Pennington and the ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ (ABC Sunday at 8 PM ET) crew with the task of building a new home for Paralympics gold medalist James Terpenning.
She is no stranger to philanthropy. Pickler’s participated in benefit concerts and frequently visits the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. So it seems like a no-brainer that the country crooner would be more than happy to put down the microphone and pick up a hammer to help out a family in need. She talked to us on Thursday about performing a song after the big move that bus moment, her favorite part about helping out, and revealed she’s a bit of a bookworm.
How did you get involved with the show?
This is by far my favorite show. It’s so amazing and it’s wonderful that these people are able to tear down a house and build a home that’s functional for this family. I love the intentions and motives behind the show. I spoke to my managers about it and they were able to get me on a spot and I’m so blessed I got to be a part of it. It was beautiful.
I read in the press release that you’ll also be performing a song on the show. Is it a new song?
I’m actually singing a song that’s on my first record “Small Town Girl.” It was never a single, but it was one of my favorite tracks that I recorded for the album. I think the song worked out really well on the show.
What kind of handy work did you do on the show? Did you just help decorate rooms or did you really get in there and hammer some nails?
My favorite part about the show was demolition day [laughs]. I got to go in and smashed the windows and smashed the house down. That was my favorite part. I think I was the most active on that particular day.
What was it like to watch this family get their new home?
I don’t think there was a dry eye there. It was very emotional. The family –they go on a trip while we’re there tearing the house down and building the new one. So they don’t see any of that. When they get back, it’s just so overwhelming for the family and for us to be able to witness it and be able to see their faces light up. It’s so emotional. It’s so overwhelming. I guess I was crying like a baby.
So you mentioned that ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ is one of your favorite shows on television. Do you have any others?
Well, of course, ‘American Idol.’ I’m so glad to have been apart of that show. It’s really about making dreams come true. That’s definitely one of my top shows as well. Oh and I like ‘Family Guy.’ I know it’s really random, but I do. I’m not a big television person. I don’t watch a lot of TV. The only time I really watch television is when I’m in a hotel, traveling somewhere. I’m a big book reader.
Which books have your read lately that you’ve liked?
Right now I’m reading “The Lovely Bones.”
Did you know they’re making that into a movie?
Yeah, I heard that. I just started “The Glass Castle” and I got the “John Adams” book –his autobiography. One of my friends recommended it. I read about ten books at a time [laughs].
Are you excited about the Country Music Awards?
Yes, I like watching all the performances and it’ll be exciting to see who wins “Entertainer of the Year.” This is the first time a woman [Taylor Swift] has been nominated in years for that CMA category. It’ll be interesting to see if a woman will take it home.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m just now starting to plan for the next record so I’ve been writing a lot and I’m hoping to get in the studio before the end of the year.