While working with the late, great Whitney Houston will always be one of Jordin Sparks' most cherished experiences, guest-starring on tonight's all-new episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been on her bucket list for ages. Since before she auditioned for, and won, American Idol. So it should come as no surprise to hear the double-threat was positively beaming when ETonline caught up with her to talk about her CSI role.
In addition to finding out what to expect from tonight's episode, Check In and Check Out, we got the scoop on her next album and why it's taken almost five years to get back in the studio.
ETonline: Were you a CSI fan before getting cast?
Jordin Sparks: I have to start by saying that I'm such a huge fan of CSI; I loved Miami, I loved New York, I love Las Vegas. Before Idol, I owned all the box sets and would watch as soon as my homework was done. Or in the car. Or on the computer. I love it so much. So to do this is a dream come true. My 14-year-old self is dying inside [laughs].
PHOTOS - The Complete List of Idol Winners
ETonline: How did the opportunity come about?
Sparks: I was auditioning for a few other things, and when I was in the room, I saw all these binders that said CSI on them and I freaked out. Even to be standing next to those binders was amazing. The [casting] woman said she was working on that show too and I asked her to put in a good word for me, just jokingly -- but then she did. And a couple of weeks later I got an audition and just tripped out because I'm such a big fan. My heart was racing, I was so scared. I needed to get this, and when they said I got the part, I just screamed.
ETonline: Given your level of love, how hard did you geek out on set?
Sparks: Shut up, how do you know!?! [laughs] But it was difficult because my character is in such an emotional and heart-breaking place, yet I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time we were in between takes and I was talking to the actors. Then I'd have to go back and be this depressed girl, so I really had to focus. I wanted to do a good job but couldn't hide how happy I was to be there. It was a big check on my bucket list. I hope I nailed it because it was such a blur of all the emotions.
VIDEO - Jordin Sparks Gushes Over Her Grandparents
ETonline: The press release says your character is named Allison and she wakes up "terrified and covered in blood." What else can you say?
Sparks: Yes, yes she does. And it was so gnarly to be covered in that stuff. I kept asking them to put more and more blood on me [laughs]. It was insane because, yes, she finds herself terrified and covered in blood and has no idea what's happening. When you first meet her, you'll think she's crazy, but there's more to the story. Things are not what they seem and this poor girl goes through so much, it's quite sad. But it was so fun -- I loved it. I had so much fun.
ETonline: Lastly, what's the status of your next album?
Sparks: I know what I want to do, I know the sound I want to do, it's just been a timing issue. I keep pushing for music, but on the other side, all these acting doors keep opening up and I can't not take those. If there was a race, acting would be a little bit further ahead than music at this point, but it will always be my lifeline and my passion for sure. It's not going away, that would never happen, but all these opportunities are so exciting and they've kept me so busy. It's incredible to dive into someone else's life and I've been having a blast doing that. But new music is definitely coming.
CSI airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS