As Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood prepare to host the CMA Awards for the fourth consecutive year, they’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
“You just keep it moving and you always have a job to do no matter what happens,” said Underwood.
The longtime friends, who scored a No. 1 hit this year with the duet “Remind Me” (written by Paisley, Chris DuBois and Kelley Lovelace), have learned to roll with the punches in juggling their hosting duties. They’ve also both become more acutely aware of the ticking of the clock.
“I had 40 seconds to change my entire outfit,” Underwood recalled of one particularly tight wardrobe change during the 2010 CMA Awards.
“She didn’t make it in rehearsal,” Paisley interjected. “She was a minute late.”
“My zipper busted in rehearsal,” Underwood explained. “I was like, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll make it work. I’ll make it.’”
And she did. She substituted another dress and the millions watching the ABC live telecast would never have known a stressful rehearsal had preceded the flawless live show.
As the three-hour broadcast neared its end, Underwood and Paisley experienced a new challenge, rarely heard of during an awards show. “We were two minutes under going into Entertainer of the Year,” Paisley said of the unexpected surplus on the clock.
“That part is scary,” admitted Underwood. “That never happens. You’re never under. You’re always over.”