Miranda Lambert, reality television star? It happened. In fact, the "It All Comes Out in the Wash" singer might be the O.G. reality TV gangster, if by "gangster" you mean third place finisher on a (relatively) little-known cable show.

Before Carrie Underwood, before Scotty McCreery, before whoever it was that won the last few seasons of The Voice, there was Lambert, standing proud as a Texas teen against competition nearly twice her age. Buddy Jewell would win Season 1 of Nashville Star on the USA Network, and he'd enjoy a few hits. But it was Lambert who'd most benefit, even if she wouldn't release a radio single until more than a year later and an album until a year after that.

In fact, Lambert would later say she was glad she didn't win, and her explanation makes total sense. Can you believe how level-headed this girl was before all the fame and success? This episode of The Secret History of Country Music explores the 35-year-old's early career, including the competition she entered before her TV stardom and what's possibly the worst of her albums — her words, not ours!

The Secret History of Country Music is a weekly series that goes deeper inside the stories of country music's biggest hits, moments and figures. Be sure to subscribe to Taste of Country's YouTube channel so you never miss a new episode.

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