We caught up with Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood of country trio Lady Antebellum backstage at ACM rehearsals today, but instead of talking about the band’s staggering 7 nominations, or current No. 1 single — “American Honey,” which they’ll be performing on the show Sunday — we took a second to chat about their experience taping an episode of American Idol this week.
All three were struck by how much smaller the set looks in person, of course, though Scott still loved the crowd’s larger-than-life enthusiasm. “When we were rehearsing and just the band was playing, we’d look out into the audience,” she said. “Without our voices, they were just singing along like they knew it.” Of the much-maligned swaybots in the pit, Haywood noted, “They’re funny. They’re all clapping to ‘Need You Now’ like it’s a party song.”
When asked if they’re watching the show, they admitted most times they’re on stage themselves when it airs. But Haywood caught an episode a couple weeks ago. “There’s a girl named Katie that I thought was really good,” he said. Informed that she’d just been voted off, he cracked up. “Did she really?” he said. (“Goes to show you Dave’s taste,” joked Kelley.) “I thought she was really good!” Haywood continued. “She had a thing. When I watched, I couldn’t stop watching her sing. I thought she had a great delivery, and I thought she was incredible. And I am sad to see her go.”
“Keep going, Katie!” chimed in Scott. “I tried out for American Idol twice, and didn’t get past the first round, if that gives anyone hope. Keep going!”
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