Country music star Kellie Pickler made her grand debut on the national entertainment scene when she placed sixth during the 2006 cycle of the popular FOX reality competition “American Idol.” Since then, the talented and refreshingly humble performer has released four albums, taken part in multiple charitable efforts, tied the knot with songwriter Kyle Jacobs, and won season 16 ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” on the arm of mega popular pro Derek Hough.
Examiner caught up with Pickler for an exclusive Oct. 14 interview. The conversation touched on a variety of topics, including her involvement with the latest VeggieTales production, her upcoming fifth album, and whether or not she’d be willing to take part in a theoretical second “DWTS” all-star season.
All of my kids are VeggieTales fans. So tell me about “Beauty and the Beet” and how you got involved with the project.
Pickler: Well I’m glad that your kids love VeggieTales; I do too! I was very excited that they reached out to me to play Mirabelle, a new character on VeggieTales…. The thing that I love about VeggieTales is that there’s always a moral of the story, there’s always a beautiful message in their films. With this particular movie, “Beauty and the Beet,” the message is about unconditional love and showing kindness and having grace for people; even people who might not be so kind to you at first. You know, you love ’em anyway, and show ’em kindness, and hope it rubs off on ’em.
So how many tracks did you record for it?
Pickler: I recorded eight tracks for this film, which was a lot of fun. Each song has a special little meaning. It was really a lot of fun to make this character Mirabelle and these songs come to life.
Do you have a favorite song?
Pickler: Oh, let’s see. [Long pause] There’s one there called “Show You Love” and I love that one. But all of them are great.
Cool. We’ll have to look for “Beauty and the Beet.” Now you’ve dropped four really good albums since you appeared on “Idol.” What’s next for you in entertainment?
Pickler: Well, I’m actually in the very early stages of working on the fifth album, which is crazy to think — number five already! I’m writing and listening to songs and trying to put this together for a 2015 release.
Wow, so you’re going for rapid turnaround.
Okay. I have to switch the topic for just a second. I loved you and Derek on “Dancing with the Stars.” You were easily one of my top five couples and I’ve watched since the beginning. What’s one thing about Derek that I probably wouldn’t expect to hear?
Pickler: Well, I don’t know… from my personal relationship with Derek, he’s a great guy and he’s like a brother to me. We had a lot of fun and we worked hard and the hard work paid off.
You had a pretty amazing dance that you did with your husband singing…
Pickler: Oh, our rumba.
Your rumba, yeah. It was just stunning. What was your favorite performance during the season?
Pickler: Um, I think my favorite performance was maybe the Argentine tango. That was fun and sassy. I loved our jazz dance. We kind of did a modern contemporary jazz. And our freestyle.
Did you ever think you would win?
Picker: I never thought that I would be on the show [laughs]. I never thought I would ballroom dance because I’d never done it before so it was new to me, of course, and exciting and scary and all that wrapped up into one. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I loved it.
Again, Kellie, thank you so much for your time. Where can fans go to find more information on “Beauty and the Beet”?