March 01, 2017 04:15 PM


Kellie Pickler will debut her “animated alter-ego” on Shimmer and Shine this week: a pirate genie named Zora, who is likely to earn her a few new fans in the preschool set.

“I loved being the voice for her,” the “Best Days of Your Life” singer, 30, tells PEOPLE. “She’s oh-so fearless and a bit of a spitfire.”

Pickler’s pirate Zora teams up with the show’s namesake genies-in-training and their pal Leah for a magical adventure on Zora’s flying pirate ship.

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Courtesy Nick Jr.; Inset: Monica Schipper/WireImage

Pickler’s character sings two new original songs, but the American Idol alum and Dancing with the Stars champ told PEOPLE her bond with Zora is more than musical.

“She’s a fun, free spirit and I love that. We’re both always seeking the next crazy adventure,” says Pickler, who is working on developing a daytime talk show with fellow country star Faith Hill.

“But she can be a little forgetful – a little absentminded at times – and we have that in common too,” she adds.

Courtesy Nick Jr.

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The singer says she’s looking forward to a Shimmer and Shine viewing party with her own 4-year-old niece.

“I’m excited to watch this with her,” Pickler says. “But it does confuse her when she sees the animation and hears my voice, but the character doesn’t look like me! It’s cute to watch.”

Pickler’s Shimmer and Shine episode airs on Nickelodeon Friday at 11 a.m. EST/10 a.m. CST.

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