Carrie Underwood on Dolly Parton, Christmas and voting for 'American Idol'

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FOX is bringing back a classic TV format -- the holiday variety show special. Titled "Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special,"  the upcoming special features music, dancing, skits and showcases of stars like Parton, David Cook, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate.

"American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood says working with Dolly Parton on her holiday special was "a dream come true." And it turns out she votes for "American Idol" just like the rest of us.

What was your typical Christmas like growing up? Was music involved?
Growing up, I mean we don't have too many traditions but we would always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and of course Santa would come on Christmas morning. We had these old records that I would always play for Christmas. I have them now, thank God my mom didn't throw them away.

What was it like co-hosting the CMA awards? I understand Brad is going to be on the special.
Brad and I have a bit of a history together. I got to headline a tour with him not too long ago, so I'm lucky to have gotten to know him over the past few years. The more we're around each other, the more comfortable we get. He's a great guy. It was a lot of fun hosting the CMAs again. I thought we did a good job, I was really proud of us. It was a lot of fun. He's on the special, we perform a song together and he does one of his own, but he couldn't be in LA for the taping, so we did something kinda cool for the special, from two different locations.

Have you ever thought about cutting a Christmas record yourself?

I would love to, I love classic Christmas songs that have been around forever and everybody knows them. I love strings, I love keeping them very traditional and very classy.

What's your favorite Christmas song?
"O Holy Night," that's probably my favorite. "Little Drummer Boy," things like that. I have those on my records. Those are the things that really put you in the Christmas frame of mind.

Dolly Parton is joining you on the special, yes?

Yes, she was nice enough to come and be a part of the show. I've never met her before this so I was so excited to get to talk to her and obviously be able to sing with her. It was a special moment, a dream come true. When Dolly's there, you step out of the spotlight and let her do her thing.

What was the best present you ever got for Christmas?

I remember when I was little I wanted a TV so bad and there wasn't a box underneath the tree big enough for a TV, so I was getting disappointed but my mom had wrapped up the remote. It was the smallest TV you could possibly get, but it was my TV and I had that sucker... gosh, it's probably still at our house, it's probably 15, 20 years old.

What was it like working with Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate?

They both have great comedic timing, they know what they're doing. We ended up doing a medley of sorts, throwback songs, the 50s/60s vibe with matching dresses. It was lot of fun being around them. They were willing to do whatever we needed them to do. We had fun together.

You got to work with your fellow Idol David Cook again, right?
We rocked out. I think it was one of my favorite moments of the show, I just love him to death.

Can you tell us any specific songs? What did you sing with Dolly Parton?
Well, I don't want to spoil it. Dolly and I did a classic that many should recognize.

Do you still watch "American Idol?"
Yes ma'am, of course. I will always have just the biggest love for "American Idol" as a participant and a fan. I love the people, I love to go back and talk to the contestants. I vote too, just like everybody else! I sit out there and vote.

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