All nine "American Idol" winners, from Kelly Clarkson to Lee DeWyze, traveled to their hometowns and reflected on what life has been like since being crowned America's favorite singer on "AI: Welcome Home," a special that aired on Fox affiliates over the weekend.
In the special, season four champ and country star Carrie Underwood visits an animal shelter with her mother and gushes about her home state of Oklahoma, saying that it "has the best people. They're wonderful and nice, and throughout my whole career you can still, at any given moment, walk down Main Street and see signs in store windows and things like that. They're very supportive."
"I love Texas," first-ever "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson gushes of her home state. "I always call it my Tara -- from 'Gone with the Wind,' you know, it's the place where Scarlett O'Hara finally went home and felt at peace. That's what Texas is for me."
Season three victor Fantasia says her goal is to "always make High Point, North Carolina, very, very proud. They support me during 'American Idol.' They support me during anything. I don't care what happens, they got my back," she laughs.
Reigning "Idol" champ Lee DeWyze, meanwhile, talks about what winning season nine meant for him. "I look at American Idol as a huge stepping stone for me," the Chicago native says. "It was a huge stepping stone and a great experience. But now it's onto the next goal."
For more info on "AI: Welcome Home," go to The Hollywood Reporter's new "Idol Worship" blog.