As Kellie Pickler gears up to begin filming her new CMT reality series (tentatively titled I Love Kellie Pickler) the bubbly singer, Dancing With the Stars champ and former American Idol contestant sat down with Rolling Stone Country to talk about the newest chapter of her life.
“It’s exciting to let people into that part of our world,” Pickler says about the project. “You have to have boundaries, of course. There has to be things you keep for yourself, but my life has pretty much been an open book since I was 19. People know a little of my story, but they don’t know all of it.”
Pickler was 19 when she first auditioned for Idol, and says Ryan Seacrest — Idol‘s longtime host and partner with Pickler on the new CMT series — always wanted to base a show around her. With a new single out called “Feeling Tonight” and a full studio album in the works, Pickler says she and her songwriter husband Kyle Jacobs felt like the time was right to give the idea a shot.
Not that they thought it would work.
“We shot a sizzle reel and we thought, ‘OK, we’re gonna go pitch this and maybe we’ll get picked up for a pilot, probably not,'” she recalls. “Well, we never shot a pilot or anything, we went straight from a sizzle reel to a 13-episode series. So we’re just kind of going, ‘What the hell are we going to do for 13 shows?'”
According to Pickler, the show will reveal just how normal a couple her and Jacobs are, as they balance two music industry careers with marriage and their natural inclination to be homebodies. And believe it or not, Pickler is the one who’s not sure she really wants to make her personal life public.
“It’s actually one of those things where I’m more apprehensive about it than he is,” she admits. “Kyle is totally cool with it. He’s a Minnesota boy, this songwriter who works behind the curtain and he’s like, ‘Yeah, if they wanna come watch me write a song, then they can come watch me write a song.’ He’s so much at ease with everything.
“I’m up at 2 a.m. going, ‘Oh my God, what are we gonna do? They’re gonna be in our home in two weeks!'” she continues. “I’m the one freaking out . . . ‘Are people going to like it? Are they gonna laugh? Are they gonna be mad?’ I overthink everything.”
Pickler and Jacobs will serve as executive producers along with Seacrest, which should allow them to cut anything they don’t want the world at large to see. They plan to film for about four months and the series is expected to premiere this year.
She says working with Seacrest again is a big deal, and his name will help the show. But there’s one other Seacrest production that Pickler keeps getting quizzed about: Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Asked if her show will be a country version of the infamous, genre-defining reality series, the singer is diplomatic in her answer.
“I wouldn’t say so simply for the fact that we’re not them,” she says. “We don’t live that lifestyle, we don’t have those amenities.
“People always say, ‘So is it going to be like the Kardashians?’ And when they say it, they say it with this negative energy, and its like, ‘I don’t understand,'” Pickler continues. “Maybe I need to watch the show and see what everybody’s so mad about. I just don’t understand why everyone is so angry toward them! It’s like, if you don’t like what people are doing then turn the channel.”