Nancy's Notes: Kellie's Southern Charm (May 19, 2006)

Boy, did our segment at the end of Thursday’s Access Hollywood with Kellie Pickler prompt a few angry e-mails from viewers.

For the record right off the top, I was NOT laughing AT Kellie Pickler, I was laughing WITH her. If I had been making fun of her, then I would have been making fun of myself. I grew up from birth through college in South Carolina in a modest upbringing… I may have tamed my major Southern accent I had through college to be able to do the job I do, but trust me, I am as country as they come and proud of it!

For those of you who don’t know how a show like ours work, let me explain. You, as viewers, see maybe an eighth of an actual interview. Every interview has to be cut up and edited to be able for us to do our jobs as an entertainment news show and deliver numerous stories to the viewers in a short amount of time. So a lot of what is said in an interview never makes air.

 As you all know, American Idol made a big deal out of Kellie’s cuteness in mispronouncing calamari.

This is how I started that Kellie Pickler segment of her trying to pronounce other foods: I told Kellie I had grown up Southern and had trouble pronouncing fancy foods myself when I first came to L.A. (because all I knew when I came was fried chicken and grits…and then couldn’t even find grits in Hollywood grocery stores). Then we both had fun laughing TOGETHER about these fancy food words I had encountered…words, which she may now hear, with her being new in the sometimes pretentious Hollywood arena.

That part, making fun of myself in the mispronunciation of foods, did not make it into the show. In hindsight, it SHOULD have been included. I literally did that interview with Kellie less than an hour before it made air. I was on set taping the show when the piece was put together….half the time Billy and I don’t get to see how our interviews are edited until the show goes out on satellite. I am certainly not blaming the producer who put the piece together because they were there for the interview and knew the asking was not mean-spirited, and therefore, probably assumed no one else would see it that way.

Things were so hectic that day, but I should have called the producer and said to make sure to include that part. I didn’t and for that I apologize.   Trust me, every day at Access Hollwood, I am asked to re-do a voiceover because I have mispronounced a word due to my Southern background. My voice-over fella (love you, Ryan) tells me he thinks it is cute. And honestly, I think those who wrote in are not giving KellIe credit for being as smart as she is.

I am not saying I think she “pretends” to be so na´ve. I really don’t think she knows how to pronounce those foods (and why should any of us, most fancy foods are as hard to eat as they are to pronounce). But I DO think Kellie knows that being real, being yourself, and not trying to put on an act of “I’m a big star now”, will take her a long way. She knows she is cute, she’s putting her realness out there on purpose, and it will motivate many to buy her CD when it comes out.

To Kellie Pickler, my fellow GRITS (girl raised in the South), I was glad to meet you, you are even more precious in person, and I think you are one smart cookie….and cookies are way better than escargot anyway.  Continued success to you.

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