Brad Paisley Learns to Expect the Unexpected as CMA Awards Host

The 44th CMA Awards are bound to be full of excitement, entertainment and laughter – especially with superstar hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who are sharing hosting duties for the third year in a row. Though the months of planning are sure to pay off on “Country Music’s Biggest Night,” aired live from Nashville, there is always something that will go slightly off track.
“One thing we’ve learned is that we gotta build in the possibility that a joke will work,” Paisley said in an interview with GAC. “Because that adds 10 seconds, and every time a joke works and adds 10 seconds, you could be a minute over.”
In 2009, a large portion of the jokes worked. Because of this, around the two-hour mark, the producers realized the show was running close to four minutes over schedule. This, in turn, affected not only the control booth, but the hosts and the Male Vocalist of the Year acceptance speech as well.
“They were freaking out,” Paisley said of last year’s show. “They have ways to cut two minutes out of it. But they cannot cut four minutes out of it. Anyway, they’re freaking out, they don’t know what to do, and I said, ‘I tell ya what, if I win Male Vocalist, I’ll get you back some time.’”
Lucky for them, Paisley took home the Male Vocalist of the Year Award that night. Being that he was already on stage as host, 20 seconds were saved, which are usually consumed by walking from the seats on the floor to the stage. To save more time, and keep to his word, his acceptance speech was short, sweet and to the point. And the show went on.
“I did a 20-second acceptance speech, came back, [and] they got back on time when I was done with it, ‘cause they had allotted several minutes for each win,” Paisley said. “I went back to the table, and [producer] Robert Deaton was there, and I went, ‘You’re welcome.’ And he did — he got the time back.”
One advantage that Paisley and Underwood have this year is experience, which prepares them to expect the unexpected. And while there is no preparation for what the night may have in store, Paisley is anticipating at least one thing to happen.
“I predict Miranda Lambert is going to win something,” Paisley said. “There’s no good odds in Vegas on that. I mean, she’s gonna win something.”
Iit’s easy to predict Lambert’s win, given that she’s nominated for a record-breaking nine awards. Others with nominations for Wednesday night are Lady Antebellum, with five nods, and Blake Shelton and Zac Brown Band, with four each. The CMA Awards are scheduled to air Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET, live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on the ABC Network.