OKLAHOMA CITY – "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood (search) was presented with a replica of highway signs posted outside her hometown of Checotah. The signs read: "Checotah, Home of Carrie Underwood, American Idol 2005."
"These signs reflect the great pride that we Oklahomans have for Carrie," Gov. Brad Henry said. "Carrie is talented, graceful, charming, hardworking and a testament to what can happen when people follow their dreams."
"It's so good to be home," said Underwood, who was to perform in Norman Wednesday night along with many of her former competitors on the Fox network's talent competition. "I know I don't deserve any of this."
The best thing about her experience as an "American Idol" (search) winner, she said, is that "I just get to do what I love every single day."
The 22-year-old Underwood, who won the "American Idol" contest in May, said she brags about her state everywhere she goes. "If we ever run into a problem anywhere, I say, 'This would not happen in Oklahoma.'"