Katherine Jenkins Talks New Christmas CD, Finishing Second on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

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Unless you were a fan of opera or classical musical, chances are you had no idea who Katherine Jenkins was when she was added to the cast of Dancing With the Stars season 12.

Yet, America fell in love with the gorgeous mezzo-soprano, anyway — so much so, she ended up placing second, just behind football player Donald Driver.

Now, Jenkins — who has long been a huge star in the U.K. and Europe, having sold over four million albums — looks to continue her success in the States this holiday season with the release of her new Christmas CD, This Is Christmas.

Celebuzz spoke to Jenkins, 32, about what inspired her to record the CD, how she’ll be spending the holidays this year and, yes, her experience on Dancing With the Stars.

Read the full interview, below.

Why did you decide to record a Christmas album?
I love Christmas. A lot of my Christmas memories are musical, because I was a chorister for 10 years and I spent most of the year preparing for Christmas. It was one of the most enjoyable and easiest albums to make, because its songs I’ve been singing for such a long time.

How do you spend Christmas?
I always go home for two weeks and have quality time with the family. On Christmas Eve, my sister and I will go to the local pub and have a few drinks with old school friends. Then, we go to midnight Mass. On Christmas Day, everyone comes round to our house and exchanges presents. Then, in the evening, we all go to my auntie’s and we have a Christmas tea with a ham and turkey. We play board games and watch the iconic Christmas TV shows. I would not miss it for the world. It’s my normality in my crazy year and I love it.

I can’t believe you placed second on Dancing With the Stars. No offense — I thought you’d be booted off first week. No one knew who you were.
That’s exactly what I thought! But I was so overwhelmed that America was so supportive and really got behind me. I felt so welcomed. It was really a humbling experience. Not in a million years did I think I would come second. It was one of the highlights of my life doing that show.

Does it upset you that people consider opera and classical music highbrow?
It does really bother me, because I feel that’s the wrong idea. I come from such a normal background. I found classical music because I love singing. It wasn’t because my parents were playing it all the time or taking me to the opera. I want to show people it’s for everyone. Nobody should ever feel excluded from it. It’s great music that survived all these years for a reason.

Why are there so many choirs and beautiful singers in Wales?
You see people get up at the rugby, or a party or in the pub and sing and they’re not embarrassed. When you see that at a young age it makes you not embarrassed to sing in public. From a technical point, when you sing, you want to elongate the vowel sound and the Welsh accent is very melodic. I feel it gives you a head start without even realizing it.

Would you ever date anyone that’s tone deaf?
[Laughs] Of course! I think I would find it quite amusing. Actually, I believe everybody can sing. Even tone deaf people can sing with a little bit of help.

– Written by Nicki Gostin

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