'American Idol' winner Carrie Underwood's All-Star Holiday Special
First off, if I wasn't a HUGE Carrie Underwood fan, I would've turned this off after about 15 minutes. They saved the strongest stuff for the end but I would've been gone by then. In fact, the only reason I stuck with it was to see Carrie sing with Dolly Parton.
The opening was Carrie's current hit "Cowboy Casanova." That's fine because it's her big hit right now. But Carrie was wearing a Slutty-Sandy-from-Grease outfit (seriously, they probably had to sew her into it) and she was surrounded by all these creepy male back-up dancers. My boyfriend remarked, "Is this Christmas in Hell?"
After the opening performances of "Cowboy Casanova" and "Before He Cheats," Carrie did a skit where we heard the thoughts of her dog Ace. It sounds terrible, but that actually elicited the ONLY laugh from me and my boyfriend all night.
Following the dog sketch, we got to the girl group medley by Carrie, Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate. It was... my God. Simon Cowell would rip that performance to shreds. I love all those women but... it was bad. Just bad. Was Kristin Chenoweth drunk? And who told Christina Applegate that she can sing?
The show got better when Carrie sang "Louisana Woman, Mississippi Man" with Brad Paisley. It's a country classic by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty and was completely great. If Brad Paisley weren't married to a wonderful woman with whom he has two beautiful children, I would wish he and Carrie Underwood could get married and just sing duets all the time.
Carrie ended with the Dolly Parton moments that was fantastic. The jokes were actually funny when Carrie came out dressed like Dolly ("Did your mama used to be a drag queen?" and "Get somebody to hold those up, don't be a hero") and the singing was awesome. Carrie and Dolly do "I WilL Always Love You" and it's great.
Dolly by herself did "Here You Come Again" and it was great, though I do appreciate the irony of Dolly singing, "Looking better than a body has a right to," because... woman, please.-Pot kettle-black anyone? Seriously, how old is Dolly Parton? She looks like she hasn't aged a day since 1985. It's simultaneously awesome and terrifying. My boyfriend remarks, "They just pull her out of the cooler for appearances. She's got a spot next to Walt Disney."
Carrie finally go to the "holiday" portion of the night with "Jesus Take the Wheel" and Dolly sang "I'm Comin' Home for Christmas" and then Carrie did "O Holy Night," which is my very favorite Holiday song and it was just beautiful, absolutely gorgeous.
Finally, Carrie sang "Change," which is her be-socially-conscious song. It is intercut with footage of her trip to Africa. That's cool. I can't really get all cynical because it's nice to help others and encouraging that is great. Also, Carrie seems to get pretty emotional singing the song and it's nice to feel that a celebrity touting that sort of thing seems sincere.
But overall... I don't see FOX calling Carrie's name again anytime soon on this one. Maybe the ratings will prove me wrong but I don't know. Also, as much as this special was pretty rough, I give Carrie kudos for being such a good sport to do all this silly stuff and see if it works.
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Photo credit: FOX