Checotah native Carrie Underwood tells the Associated Press that she tried to make the “Sunday Night Football” theme song “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” her own as she took over as the voice of primetime football this year.
As previously reported, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” is set to the original Joan Jett song, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and marks Underwood’s first production with NBC Sports. From 2007-12, the theme song was performed by country music superstar Faith Hill.
“We were definitely mindful — she had put her mark on it for so many years,” Underwood told the AP in a phone interview. “We definitely wanted to go in and make sure we switched gears a little bit and made it sound more like me. And changed up the look and the feel just so it wasn’t, you know, the same song with a different blondie up there singing it.”
In 2006, the inaugural season of “Sunday Night Football,” Pink performed the opening tune. But Underwood told the AP she didn’t go out of the way to make her version sound more country.
“I used my producer so there are going to be some elements that sound like me, of course, that’s what we wanted. But we weren’t like, “Hey, let’s use some fiddle,” or, “Hey, let’s use some steel guitar.” … We just wanted to make it me and make it fit the situation,” she told the AP.
Underwood’s first NBC’s first “Sunday Night Football” broadcast of the 2013 NFL season is set for this coming Sunday as the Dallas Cowboys host their NFC East rival New York Giants. Coverage begins with “Football Night in America” at 6 p.m., and the opening theme will continue to play each week of the season to kick off “Sunday Night Football.” Check out a preview clip of her version of “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” at the bottom of this post.
The 2005 “American Idol” winner also talked to the AP about her upcoming role as Maria (opposite “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer) in NBC’s live production of “The Sound of Music,” airing Dec. 5, and her upcoming sixth straight co-hosting gig with Brad Paisley on the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards, airing living Nov. 6 on ABC. Here’s what she had to say about those high-profile upcoming projects:
AP: Are you nervous about learning lines for “Sound Of Music”?
Underwood: I am. I have definitely been doing my part before we all get together. 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. 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.
AP: One of the songs, “The Lonely Goatherd,” involves yodeling. Do you have to practice at that?
Underwood: 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.
AP: You’re returning to host the CMAs with Brad Paisley for the sixth year. Do you even have to rehearse anymore?
Underwood: We definitely need to rehearse. We have fun rehearsing. … 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.
AP: Do you like that aspect of live television when things don’t go to script and you have to improvise?
Underwood: No, I don’t like it at all! I’m a planner. In the end, when you’re like, “Oh wow, you never would have known when you were watching.” It’s almost something you feel proud of and can look back and laugh, but I really like for things to go the way they are supposed to go.