Re-Live Carrie Underwood’s Iconic ‘American Idol’ Audition

Carrie Underwood was just 21 at the time of her audition.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 8, 2022


4:35 pm

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Carrie Underwood, American Idol Audition; Photo via YouTube

On August 8, 2004, Carrie Underwood took a leap of faith and auditioned for American Idol at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The Oklahoma native was a small-town girl who had never even stepped foot on an airplane when she auditioned for the show. 

Her mom, Carol admitted she was nervous prior to her audition. “I just think she’s beautiful and I think she’s got the voice, so I hope she’s going on, but I don’t know.” 

The future superstar could be seen pacing down the hallway before her audition. 

Taking a chance to showcase her talent in front of then-Idol judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, Underwood delivered a heartfelt rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” 

YouTube video

When asked if she was nervous, Underwood admitted she was and said that Simon Cowell was “a little scary.” 

She then recalled her days of being a quarterback for a flag football team and revealed a quirky little secret. 

“Carrie, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?” Cowell asked. “Did you have something you shouldn’t have had?”

“Yes, I did,” Underwood confessed, laughing. “It just looked like a mole. It was a third nipple.”

Cowell asked Underwood where it was located and she pointed to the top of her ribcage. 

“Why’d you get rid of it?” Cowell questioned. 

“‘Cause, um, it really just looked like a mole,” Underwood explained. “People, if I’d wear, like, a two-piece bathing suit, they’d ask me what it was. And I’d say it was a birthmark ‘cause it was. But I kind of got a little self-conscious of it, and I got it taken off.”

YouTube video

“I would’ve just moved it onto my hand or something,” Cowell laughed. 

Extra skin aside, Underwood completely wowed the judges with her stunning vocals. 

Cowell and Jackson both complimented Underwood before Cowell coerced her to cluck like a chicken. 

“I’m surprised we haven’t found a good country singer in this competition yet,” Cowell noted. 

YouTube video

Little did he know Carrie Underwood would go on to win the competition and become one of country music’s biggest stars.

Underwood has sold more than 66 million records worldwide, recorded 28 No.1 singles, and has seven albums that are certified Platinum or Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. She’s an eight-time GRAMMY winner and remains one of the most successful artists in the country music format. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.