Carrie Underwood reunited with “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson and shared the spotlight with an “Idol” hopeful Thursday night during her home-state performance at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“You all know how I got my start. I was but a college girl and didn't know what I was going to do with my life. So I decided to audition for 'American Idol,'” Underwood said, thanking the raucous Oklahoma City crowd for its support during her victorious 2005 run on the reality TV show.
The Checotah native then surprised the audience by introducing Jackson, who was welcomed to the stage with earsplitting screams. Although Underwood blithely declared he “happened to be passing through,” he was actually conducting an audition as part of the show's new “Nominate an Idol” option.
“Nominate an Idol” allows family and friends to secretly submit an online form and video of their candidate singing a cappella. Chosen candidates are surprised on location by a film crew and given the chance to advance to the next round of auditions.
When Jackson called Danielle Castleman,18, of Sellersburg, Ind., to the stage, she was floored.
“I was nominated by a friend to be on the show and 'American Idol' contacted my family to set up a surprise to get me flown out for the event,” Castleman said in an interview via Twitter after the concert.
“I was completely surprised and knew nothing about it until Randy Jackson called my name out.”
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