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Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Hot Ones’ Debut Proves Why Her New Album Isn’t Called ‘Short n’ Spicy’

Sabrina Carpenter‘s tongue-in-cheek “Nonsense” outros are as spicy as she’s willing to get. The singer and songwriter powered through a row of increasingly hot chicken wings during her Hot Ones debut, only to come out on the other side knowing for certain that she’s far better suited for the sweet life — hence her next album, out Aug. 23, being called Short n’ Sweet.

“Do you do this to yourself willingly? Has anyone ever sued you?” Carpenter asked host Sean Evans, wide-eyed and chugging down a chocolate milkshake in hopes of shaking off the heat of her latest wing. When he reminded her that she signed an iron-clad waiver, another frenzied question tumbled out of the singer: “I signed a waiver?”

At the start of the episode, Carpenter noted that while she doesn’t often explicitly seek out spicy meals, it’s something that just sort of finds its way to her. “Appreciates is the wrong word; they always just kind of happen to me, and then I deal with it,” she explained. Being able to navigate unpredictable moments has served the pop star well. It has especially come in handy on the road when she zeros in on a fan to have a one-to-one chat with during her live shows.

During one concert, Carpenter recalled, a fan unexpectedly told her a personal tidbit about their father leaving their family. She caught herself laughing while re-telling the story, but only because of how bizarre the experience was. “This is not funny, by the way; this is how I felt at that moment,” she said. “You have people recording being like, ‘Oh, so she makes light of people’s dads leaving.’ And it’s like, no, oh my gosh. But it’s a show — are we supposed to entertain and banter? Usually, the person has a good sense of humor if they’re telling me that their dad left in front of a crowd of a couple thousand people. I just was taken aback.”

The back-to-back success of her singles “Espresso” and “Please Please Please” was another unpredictable moment for Carpenter. Her last album, 2022’s Emails I Can’t Send, included some songs that had the potential to be just as massive, if not even bigger, than the two singles — especially “Nonsense” and “Feather” — but for whatever reason, the stars aligned this year. The singer is learning to trust the process and go with the flow while trusting her own instincts.

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“It made me want to trust my personal favorites a little bit more,” Carpenter explained when asked about almost making the decision to leave “Nonsense” off of Emails I Can’t Send. “I think when you’re making a record, over time, you want to play it for your best friends, you want to play it for your family. And then you start to get in your head a little bit on everyone’s favorites.”

She added: “I think the lesson I learned with ‘Nonsense’ was that this song was so kindred with my personality, and I started to get in my head on what fits a record versus what fits Sabrina or myself as an artist. That taught me so many lessons moving forward, making the next record. I think now, whatever feels the most honest and connects to me the most I feel like will connect with other people.”

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