Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of Instagram/American Idol/FOX
Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of Instagram/American Idol/FOX

Remember When Carrie Underwood Was Crowned The Winner Of ‘American Idol’?

In 2005, the reality singing competition television show American Idol was in its fourth season, with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson as its all-star cast. The show was on the verge of launching another superstar into the stratosphere to join previous winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Fantasia.

Finalists Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice took the stage during the Season 4 finale to find out who would be the winner. They held hands as host Ryan Seacrest joined them on stage to make the life-changing announcement.

“Congratulations to the both of you for being here on this stage right now,” said Seacrest. “One of you is about to make television history. Here we go… The winner of American Idol 2005 is… Carrie Underwood!”

The “Cry Pretty” singer immediately began to tear up, bringing her hands to her face as the camera panned to Underwood’s family in the audience, who rose to their feet with applause. Underwood began hugging the other contestants on stage, including runner-up Bice, and said “Thank you so much” through her tears.

Seacrest approached the emotional winner, asking, “How are you, are you okay?” Underwood replied enthusiastically, “I’m awesome! Thank you!”

The host formally introduced her to viewers with her new title. “Carrie Underwood is your new American Idol!”

Her first performance after being crowned the winner was her first single, “Inside Your Heaven.” She tried to regain her composure before starting the song, saying “Oh gosh!’ as the band played the intro. She showcased her powerful vocals as pyrotechnics exploded behind her during the chorus. Toward the end of the song, Underwood’s emotions caught up to her. As she looked up to the sky and sang the word “heaven,” her voice slightly cracked. She immediately said “thank you so much” and jumped right back into the song without missing a beat.

Silver confetti fell from the ceiling and joined the giant disco ball in creating a dazzling scene for the future country music queen. Underwood finished her performance by expressing her gratitude to fans, saying “Thank you, America!”

“I’m forever grateful to American Idol for changing my life,” Underwood previously shared.

In the 17 years since being crowned the winner of American Idol, Underwood has gone on to sell more than 66 million records worldwide, have 28 number one singles, and have seven albums that are certified Platinum or Multi-Platinum by the RIAA.

She’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has won over 100 major awards including 8 GRAMMY® Awards, 16 ACM Awards including three for Entertainer of the Year, 23 CMT Music Awards, 7 CMA Awards, and 17 American Music Awards.

American Idol alum and eight-time GRAMMY winner Carrie Underwood will return to the Idol stage on Sunday, May 15 to offer advice to Season 20’s Top 5 contestants, including Fritz Hager, Huntergirl, Leah Marlene, Nicolina and Noah Thompson. 

American Idol airs on ABC Sundays and Mondays at 8/7c. 

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