With a new album in the works — and auditions for the 15th (and final) season of American Idol already underway — Keith Urban couldn’t have picked a busier time to hit the road for a handful of summer dates. Even so, the “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” singer found enough time to swing by NBC’s Today show this morning, where he performed an outdoor, red-eye set for several hundred super-fans and early risers.
Before kicking his way into “Somewhere in my Car,” Urban talked with hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie about his work on American Idol, where he’s been a judge for three years. “It’s extraordinary,” he said of the show, adding that his favorite Idol hopefuls are singers who not only hit the right notes, but make strong connections too. “I know what makes that connection,” he explained, “and that’s what it’s all about.”
Lauer then directed Urban’s attention to a TV monitor, asking him to “judge” a short performance clip. “Is this you singing, Matt?” Urban asked as the clip began to roll. “[Is it] karaoke?” Instead, the camera cut to a snippet of Nicole Kidman’s recent interview with Vogue, showing the actress walking across the couple’s farm in Australia while singing some lyrics from Urban’s recent Number One, “Raise ‘Em Up.” Urban laughed, shouted, “Yeah baby, yeah!” as his wife nailed the song’s final verse, and told the Today hosts that he’d definitely send Kidman to Hollywood.
Urban then gave Today a Hollywood-worthy performance of his own, singing an amped-up “Somewhere in my Car” during a set that also included “Long Hot Summer,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and a Kidman-free “Raise ‘Em Up.”