Underwood says "Idol" winners should play to fans

Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:11pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Since winning "American Idol" in 2005, country singer Carrie Underwood has become one of the show's highest selling graduates, but she warned the latest crop of "Idol" finalists to "stay true" to their fans if they want to find similar success.

Underwood, who on Monday spoke to reporters during a conference call, will star next month in a holiday special, and she just released her second consecutive chart-topping album, "Play On."

As it happens, three finalists from this past season of top-rated U.S. television show "American Idol," a reality singing competition, are about to release their own albums.

"I feel like any contestant that comes off 'Idol' that does well on 'Idol' has to stay true to what people voted for," Underwood said, in response to a question.

"I've seen it happen a few times where people are one thing on the show, and then they got off the show and try to do something else," she said.

Underwood, 26, said that she finds it "really strange" when "Idol" contestants change their musical style after leaving the show, because through their votes viewers tell contestants "what they want."

On Tuesday, "Idol" champion Kris Allen will release his first album since winning the title in May. Allen told Reuters this month that his self-titled disc will include elements from different musical styles, from pop to the blues.

Also, "Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert's album "For Your Entertainment" will hit stores on November 23, and fourth-place finisher Allison Iraheta will release her album "Just Like You" on December 1.   Continued...

<p>Singer Carrie Underwood poses for photographers at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 5, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus</p>