Country superstar Carrie Underwood is embarking on the busiest fall of her career. As the autumn months begin to bud, the powerhouse is preparing to debut her re-imagined version of the Sunday Night Football theme on Sept. 8 -- officially kicking off the season with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys game. Not only that, but the singer-songwriter steps into the holy shoes of Maria Von Trapp in NBC's live broadcast of "The Sound of Music," an undertaking that will have Underwood a tad bit nervous.
"I have definitely been doing my part before we all get together," Underwood explains to the Associated Press. "I figure if I at least have the lines memorized by the time I get there we can slowly concentrate on delivering them. I definitely think I am going to be surrounded by some really amazing people, so I know they'll be able to help me with that. On the flip side, I will be surrounded by people who might not be used to singing as much. Maybe I can return the favor and help them. But it will be good."
She adds, "I feel like I am a hard worker and we're going to go in and we're going to do it so many times by THE night, it's going to feel like another rehearsal."
One particular song in the Broadway play that eases Underwood's mind is the charming "The Lonely Goatherd." She says, noting the yodeling aspect of the tune, "That's the one thing I don't have to practice. I actually have some yodeling experience. I can yodel. I don't think you can necessarily learn it. I can just do it. I didn't have to learn it. I am one of the blessed few."
Ahead of that role, however, is her stint as the new performer for the opening of Sunday Night Football. Taking over for Faith Hill, Underwood says she tried to make the song her own. "We all definitely wanted to make an intentional shift in the sound and the look and the feel of it," she told the Chicago Tribune. "Because Faith put such a stamp on it. She made it her own. We wanted people to know it was someone else; it was me — my music, my sound, my voice, my look."
Show producer Fred Gaudelli reveals a few tidbits about the new treatment, saying, "The general story is Carrie is performing in a concert stadium, and in the crowd are these living cubes. Inside these cubes are NFL stars. They're submerged in water, but then they rise out of the cubes and become themselves. It's kind of a real world combined with a surreal world."
"You knew you were getting a star," he praised of Underwood, "but her ability to nail things the first time is unlike anybody I've ever seen, other than maybe [play-by-play announcer] Al Michaels."
Of course, these two events aren't the only things on the singer's agenda. Paired with Brad Paisley, Underwood will co-host the upcoming CMA Awards for the sixth-year running. Despite their uncanny chemistry, they still need to extensively rehearse. "We have fun rehearsing," she admits. "All the people that work on it are friends. So we just go in there and do our thing and have fun and a few hours later we have some material. You never know what's going to happen. Last year, there was so much stuff that was going down right before the show and this part was being taken out and they had this big ad campaign in there they had to take out and we were like, do we fill that time? What's going to happen? Like an hour before the show, we are sitting in the production office going through everything. We didn't know if we were over or under or how much time we had for anything or how long our bits were going to be. It was kind of madness. That was a reality check last year. And I am glad it happened on Year 5, and not Year 1."