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Interview with Kellie Pickler

Towards the end of this season of American Idol, Kellie was in the audience with Constantine Maroulis from season four a few times. I asked if there was any truth to the rumors that they were an item. Kellie told me there was absolutely no truth to the rumors at all. She had and still has a boyfriend, so it was kind of weird. When all that came out in the press, she felt it was amazing how people could cut and paste things and create rumors around something very innocent. It bothered her at first, because of how her boyfriend must have felt reading those things. That’s one of the hardest things she felt she has had to deal with so far. In reality she has only seen Constantine four or five times. She sees it as crazy how the press could literally create this huge thing around that. The same thing happened with Kenny Chesney. She met him one time in the studio, and it was just a “Welcome to Nashville. It’s good to be neighbors.” type of thing. Yet rumors came out of that, just like with Constantine. When people ask, she’s always just very honest about it.

Kellie went on to say it was even more strange, because Constantine isn’t even her type. So, of course, I had to ask what her type was. She replied she likes country boys, real guys. Guys that are into football, racing, and fishing, and not caught up in Hollywood. She prefers guys that are done to earth, like her boyfriend. The most important quality she sees in him is that he makes her laugh. He is also very supportive of her career. He’s from Albamarle as well, and they have known each other a long time. He has very good intentions and is acceptable to her schedule. I think it’s very appropro that the Small Town Girl is still in love with the guy back home.

While we were on the subject of other Idols, I asked if Kellie was still close to Katharine McPhee and if there was anyone else she was close to from this season of the show. She said she and Kat are still real close. She’s close with Mandisa, too, as Mandisa is also in Nashville right now. Kellie is also really close to Bucky Covington. The two got very close on the tour, and he and his wife are moving to Nashville very soon, too. As an aside, she says that Bucky is one of the funniest guys she has ever met in her life. She can’t wait until he he moves closer to her. Honestly, how can you not like this girl? She just seems so … real.

Knowing that Kellie competed in the Miss North Carolina pageant, I asked her who was harder on her, Simon Cowell or the judges on the pageant circuit? She wasn’t sure, saying that American idol was easier for her than doing the pageants. She hated the pageants. She could not stand the people, as they seemed very superficial. She corrected herself to say a lot of them were superficial, as she isn’t a person that stereotypes people like that. She just didn’t understand the whole swimsuit and evening wear part of the pageants, as it seemed weird to her. She only wanted to sing, and had no idea what she was doing. She was shocked whenever she won, and felt other people must have been as well.

Figuring that everyone asks what Simon, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson would think of Kellie’s new CD, I asked what vocal coach Debra Byrd and music director Ricky Minor would think. She thinks they would be really excited for for her, and that they’d be really happy for her. Kellie thinks Simon, Paula, and Randy would be as well. She believes everyone there is happy to see the contestants do well and pursue their singing careers that they start on the show.

I knew everyone would be wondering, so I went back to asking about her family. I mentioned how the first time we saw her on Idol she was crying about her mom not being around and her father being in prison. We know her father was released the week after she was eliminated, but I wanted to know how things stood with him now, and if she’s heard from her mother. As far as her mother goes, she hasn’t heard from her and has no idea of her whereabouts. She doesn’t know if her mother even knows she was part of the show. There’s just no relationship with her at all. That’s just so … sad. As far as her father, when he was released, they just tried to pick up where the left off, but it was hard, as she wasn’t the little girl he had left behind when he went to prison four years ago. Now she was a country singer and had been on American Idol. It seemed weird to ask her such personal questions, but it’s all of that background of hers that made us fall in love with her in the beginning.

Wanting to wrap this thing up on a good note (no pun intended), I asked if Kellie’s dog Comet has learned to fetch yet. There was one thing that was shot of Kellie back home and she was telling her dog to fetch, and he just sat there. She said no, not that she knows of. She doesn’t think he’s a trick dog. She doesn’t even know what kind he is, other than a little bit of everything. I replied that’s the best kind, though, having two mixed breed dogs myself. She says he’s odd as he won’t eat dog food, and if it’s sleeting or hailing outside, he nearly breaks the door down trying to get out. The obvious question here was, if he’s not eating dog food, what’s he eating? He eats rabbits and squirrels that he kills, and Kellie thinks it’s a little creepy. One time he came home with a pig’s head in his mouth, and he’s killed the neighbors’ chickens before as well. He chases the chickens and deer, and has even caught birds before, but she isn’t quite sure how. Kellie had me in hysterics with her dog stories. I’ve got some pretty good dog stories of my own, and was wishing she was a girlfriend I was sitting there yakking with, and I almost felt like she was.

At this point it was time to let the Pickler go. I thanked her, wished her luck, and again said I thought the CD was fantastic. She thanked me as well for the earlier Dolly Parton reference, saying it meant a lot to her. I hung up, completely in awe. I think this one is for real, folks. As much as we want to think she’s not, and that she’s a fake, I think it’s just hard to believe someone is really that down to earth, and so totally removed from the Hollywood scene. She’s just a Small Town Girl, moving on after a difficult childhood, and driving a U-Haul filled with shoes, clothes, and pictures.

Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com if you want to talk about Kellie, American Idol, the show, the music, or anything else that floats your boat.


Freelance entertainment and tech writer, editor