Carrie Underwood almost abandoned her “American Idol” dreams just as they were starting to take flight.

Underwood, 37, who won the fourth season of “Idol” in 2005, opened up about how fear almost prevented her from advancing in the singing competition in a new piece she penned for Guidepost Magazine’s December-January 2021 issue.

The singer-songwriter recalls how she first found out about the auditions for “Idol”, writing, “The summer before my senior year [at Northeastern State University], I was home one day, watching TV … and saw a news segment about people auditioning for the show ‘American Idol.’ I checked online. The closest auditions were being held in St. Louis.”

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Underwood’s mom drove her the approximately 7 hour drive from her hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma to St. Louis despite Underwood thinking such a request would be “out of the question.”

“It would be easy to say the rest is history, that it was meant to be,” she said. “But it didn’t feel like that at the time. Going through a slew of auditions in St. Louis, getting the ‘golden ticket’ to Hollywood, every contestant’s dream, I was terrified.”

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That terror took over as her family drove her to the airport to catch a flight to L.A. so she could continue in the competition. It was when Underwood realized she had forgotten her lipliner, reality — and the imminent pressure of competing on national TV — began to sink in. She explains, “We stopped at a grocery store, and Mom dashed inside to buy some [lipliner]. All at once, it was just too much. Going out to Los Angeles by myself, competing with all those other people who were so talented. I burst into tears.”

Her dad was there to comfort her, saying to her, “We can go home right now, and we don’t ever have to talk about it again.” But Underwood was determined.

“I took a deep breath. ‘No,’ I said at last. ‘I’ll go,'” she wrote.

Since winning “Idol”, Underwood has become one of the most successful winners in the show’s history.