Stars React to Flameworthy Nominations

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Every dog has its day, and Blake Shelton ’s “Ol’ Red” earned the Oklahoma singer a nomination for the breakthrough artist of the year at the CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards.

In the video, Shelton plays a prisoner who tricks a hound dog so that he can escape.

“We’ve been doing shows across the country, and out of my singles, the biggest response is always ’Ol’ Red,'” Shelton tells “That’s the one they’re shouting from the beginning to the end of the show. Even with ’The Baby’ and ’Austin’ being as big as they were, ’Ol’ Red’ is still the most popular song we do. And a large part of that is due to the video. The way that Peter [Zavidil] directed that video was just following the story line of that song, staying true to it and keeping it interesting. He did a great job, and it tore down a lot of walls for me as an artist. It was a step up for me, video-wise and image-wise.”

Zavadil also picked up a directing nomination for “Ol’ Red.”

Shelton, Deana Carter and Rascal Flatts announced the finalists for the CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards on Tuesday (March 11) in Nashville. The fan-voted awards will be handed out on April 7. The ceremony will be telecast live on CMT.

Rascal Flatts’ “These Days” earned two nominations, for group-duo of the year and hottest male video.

Asked why the video was such a hit with viewers, Gary LeVox tells, “I think it was the rain scene. Lyrically, the song and the video went hand-in-hand. A lot of times, the power of the lyric doesn’t have the same effect as a video on television, and I think this one did.”

“We took a few chances with it,” said Joe Don Rooney. “We wanted to do something different. [Directing team] Deaton Flanigen were the guys to use because they knew exactly what to do. Some of those shots we did — The Matrix shots and stuff — were something we’d never been involved with, and it was cool to be a part of it. It turned out cool.”

Deaton Flanigen captured a directing nomination for Martina McBride ’s “Concrete Angel.” That clip is also nominated for female video and concept video (for the most creative concept that broadens the scope of the song). In addition, it is among the 10 semifinalists for video of the year. The five finalists will be announced live on CMT at the beginning of the Flameworthy ceremony.

Keith Urban walked away with two nominations and a shot at a video of the year finalist.

“Somebody Like You” earned a fashion plate nod for the best-dressed/styled artist. Urban tells, “It’s funny, but I think the video is actually anti-fashion given the fact we’re all wearing jeans and T-shirts! I’d like to think the video has a certain realness and spirit and perhaps captures some of the joy that the band and I experience on stage. We have so much fun performing, and maybe the audience feels some of that when they see the video.”

Urban’s latest video, “Raining on Sunday,” was nominated for hottest male video. “I think the video director, Trey Fanjoy, did a great job capturing the passion and intensity of the song,” Urban continues. “Hopefully the viewers feel that when they watch the scenes with my girl as well as the performance section of the video. This song is about passion and not letting work get in the way of your relationship, and that is probably something that people can relate to.”

Fanjoy secured a directing nomination for “Somebody Like You” which is also in the running for best video.

Montgomery Gentry scored two nominations, for group/duo video and cocky video.

“Our fans know we’re all about attitude, so a cocky video nomination sounds good to me,” Eddie Montgomery tells

“’My Town’ seems to connect with people in a very basic way. There’s a sense of America coming together — especially since 9/11 and now that war is practically upon us — and ’My Town’ is a reminder that ignites hometown pride and hometown memories. It doesn’t matter if you’re from New York City or backwoods Kentucky. You still have pride in your hometown and have those special memories,” added Troy Gentry.

Joe Nichols snagged a nomination for breakthrough video, with the barroom lament, “Brokenheartsville.”

“I think ’Brokenheartsville’ is a song everybody can relate to,” Nichols tells “We all have past relationships that we can pay tribute to with this song. We had a great time filming this video, and I think that really comes through.

“I’m really proud of this Flameworthy video nomination,” Nichols adds, “especially since these awards are voted on by the fans. We had such a great time shooting the video, and it was my first with a performance. I get to go out and play for so many fans on the road, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to perform for everybody this way too.”

Steve Azar grabbed his first Flameworthy award nomination, with “Waitin’ on Joe” in the breakthrough artist category. He filmed in his home state of Mississippi, with narration from actor Morgan Freeman. Azar tells, “I think the audience really experiences the video rather than just watching it. It seems to have connected to a whole lot of people in their struggles to focus on what truly matters in their life, while they’re waitin’ on things to come.”

Emerson Drive ’s “Fall Into Me” and Jennifer Hanson’s “Beautiful Goodbye” are also nominated in the breakthrough video of the year. Emerson Drive lead vocalist Brad Mates notes, “When ’Fall Into Me’ went to No. 1 on the CMT Top Twenty Countdown, it marked our very first No. 1 on a national chart, and now we have our very first CMT Flameworthy nomination. [Director] Trey Fanjoy did a great job with the video. It has all of the elements that Steven Spielberg used in Jaws — water, sharks and underwater activity.”

Rebecca Lynn Howard earned a nod for female video with “Forgive.” Howard tells, “Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be nominated for a Flameworthy award. I think fans identify with the sentiment expressed in the video. The song may also inspire people to make changes in their own lives.”

Cledus T. Judd hooked a nod for concept video, with “It’s a Great Day to Be a Guy.” He tells tells, “I’m not going to be the type of artist that says ’I’m just happy to be nominated.’ If I don’t win, I’m gonna stick a boot up Toby Keith ’s ass.”

Keith, a contender in five categories, and actress Pamela Anderson will host the CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards. Performers include Shania Twain , Tim McGraw , Alan Jackson , Kenny Chesney , Keith, Faith Hill and Rascal Flatts. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow will perform their hit “Picture,” a former No. 1 on CMT Most Wanted Live’s Great Eight.

“I’m ready to go! That’s going to be fun. Kid Rock is great,” Crow tells CMT. “It’s like we’re family now because we’re from the same world of music. He’s a great performer, and he’s also a great entertainer, so it’s fun to perform with him.”

“I started off as a rapper and that’s what I’ll always be in my heart,” Kid Rock tells CMT, but “the [country] influence will always be in my music. I was born country.”

Diamond Rio ’s “Beautiful Mess” is nominated for group-duo video of the year. Drummer Brian Prout says, “Video provides us as artists with the opportunity to further explore and interpret our songs and share them with our fans. It’s a value that CMT has established an award show acknowledging the efforts of the video producers and directors and artists. There are so many extraordinary videos created … we are honored that ’Beautiful Mess’ is considered among them.”

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Complete List of Nominees