Video Flashback: Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley opening the CMA Awards

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood
(Credit: Getty)

You can probably guess my favorite reason to watch the CMA Awards, but today I’d like to showcase other two. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are well known for being A-list country singers in their own right. It’s not a secret they are also an amazing duo when it comes to hosting the CMA Awards. They’ve done it three times already, and they keep improving every time.

Carrie Underwood is a highly successful and accomplished country star. Although she’s American Idol biggest success story, she really grew further on her own than because of the show. She majored in broadcasting, which might be part of the reason why she does such a good job.

Brad Paisley is the current Entertainer of the Year (well deserved if I may add) and a head (and hat) above the crowd as both artist and person. He’s known for pranking his opening acts. He spared Carrie, but he did pick on Taylor which backfired because she got him back. Like a lot. Yes, both Carrie and Taylor have opened for Brad.

So I’d like to showcase three clips showing Carrie and Brad at their best.

The 42nd CMA Awards Intro (2008). This was their first time hosting. Taylor was the winner of the Horizon Award the previous year (see Videos > Speeches). At the time of the awards, she had just released a little album called Fearless the day before the show. Things to look out for, Brad’s joke to Taylor. Yes, she did have a math test the next day!

A little trivia for you. After Brad’s joke, Carrie says “I’m going to get Kim on ya.” She’s referring to Brad’s wife, Kimberly Williams. Brad either misunderstands her or misses a beat when he answers: “I don’t see her yet. Oh, there she is.” since the camera pans then to Taylor’s mom, Andrea. It’s a bit off the script. Carrie actually brings them back on track: “We’re new on this job so they can kick us out any moment.”

The 43rd CMA Awards Intro (2009). I don’t think I could ever forget this award show. Taylor is the major force to look out for. Carrie and Brad start with the musical skits which are a great hit. Things to look out for here, watch the reaction when Brad makes the joke about wearing McGraw cologne. Faith Hill completely loses it!

Yes, I am aware Brad’s last name is misspelled but this is the best version out there. Taylor is not in the crowd because she has just done the opening performance. Rather than using a seat filler, it’s Andrea that walks up to the front to seat with Scott Swift this time. That’s why if you look at Taylor’s acceptance speech for the Entertainer of the Year Award (cough I do have it under Videos > Speeches cough), all of a sudden you see Andrea has shown up from nowhere to hug Scott.

The 44th CMA Awards Intro (2010). You can really see great comedy timing on both Brad and Carrie here. They are at their best. Notice that it’s Carrie who references Taylor’s accomplishments (there’s always people hinting at a rivalry between them, I disagree). Things to look out for, Brad’s hilarious tribute to Lady “Gaga” Antebellum and you can spot Caitlin Evanson sitting with Taylor.

As a little bit of a preview of what would happen later, Brad Paisley points out the front rows and says, “This is country music.” The phrase will become relevant later when he performs his single This Is Country Music on stage for the first time. I also had an extra laugh after Brad asks Lady Antebellum if they are going to wear their meat suits and they all nod yes.

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • December 6: The first ever American Country Awards show will air on the Fox Network. Taylor is up for Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Touring Artist of the Year. You can vote at Taylor is up for Artist of the Year: Female and Touring Artist of the Year. Vote vote vote!
  • December 13: Do I really need to tell you what happens on this date???

(Sources: ABC, CMA Awards)