May 7, 2007 "American Idol" viewers might recall that Kellie Pickler couldn't quite pronounce the word "salmon," didn't know what calamari was and didn't know what judge Simon Cowell meant when he called her a minx, but some said that Kellie was actually playing dumb.
"People thought I was just playing, and that really hurt my feelings," Kellie tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Why would I want people to think I'm dumb? Honestly, I was being myself. I'm from North Carolina, and I haven't traveled the world. I haven't had exquisite food. I never had calamari, and I didn't know what it was. Everyone back home said, 'Don't worry about it, Pickler; we didn't know what it was either.' Now I just laugh it all off. You can't take things too personally."
Currently on tour with Brad Paisley, Kellie says she's well aware of his reputation as prankster. "I'm watching my back," she says. "They warned that he'll ruin our set or do stuff to our bus. So we make sure the bus is locked. I've always been a big fan of Brad's. I'm from North Carolina, and everyone there has his records. His music is awesome, and his records are about his having a good time."
Kellie says she's enjoying this tour more than her last one. "I'm actually in my own format now, so it's easier," she says. "The 'Idol' tour was harder because you're singing to who knows who, you're selling out every show and people have high expectations. Now I'm in my element."