So I was talking to Kellie Pickler on Friday ...
because she is on an the CMA Music Festival special airing on ABC on July 23 (and on "Good Morning America" the same day), and she's a name to a lot of people who pay no attention to country music because of her "American Idol" connection.
And we had things to talk about: her current tour, and her plans to get back in the studio (she's done some recording for a multiartist Christmas compilation, and figures get back for her own album later in the year), and a planned Fox sitcom (maybe later, she says, after she's established herself in country music). I'll have more about all this in the Beacon Journal, later this week or on the 23rd.
But as we're talking, there's an elephant on the line. Or, as a co-worker snarkily put it, two elephants.
Ever since she made an, uh, eye-popping guest appearance on "American Idol" last season, there's been talk about whether she had enhanced her bosom in some way. And, since I have never seen her confirm or deny, I believed I had to ask about it, if I could think of a tasteful way to ask it.
So, after we had talked enough business that I had column fodder if she hung up on me, I tried delicately to raise the issue of all the attention she had received after the "Idol" appearance. Of course, she had expected the question to be asked, and she wasn't going to make it easy for me.
"What do you mean?" she said.
I think you know what I mean, I replied.
"Are you asking about my boobs?"
"Yes, ma'am." (I'm dying during this conversation, but I'm still polite.)
Pickler acknowledged the talk, adding that "I've been speculated to have a butt job, too."
But she still declined to confirm or deny anything -- but explained why. "I've always enjoyed being the center of attention, and I was" she said, adding with a laugh that "Maybe I should say 'we' were the center of attention. And as soon as I say yes or no, then I wouldn't be."
Of course, that's something of an exaggeration. But she's right that it's something that gets people talking about her -- including, again, folks who have never heard "Red High Heels."