Jeff Foxworthy recently had a conversation with Ronnie Dunn about a topic most people know nothing about: the pressures of hosting the live telecast of an awards show.
Foxworthy, who’s hosting Monday night’s (April 10) 2006 CMT Music Awards live from Nashville, explains, “He said, ‘I’m never comfortable. I’m always scared something’s gonna go wrong.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s where ignorance is bliss — because I don’t even worry about it.'”
During a round of interviews for CMT Radio affiliates, Foxworthy elaborated, “Something always goes wrong. Which I think is why people use comedians because you can just shove them out there.”
Jason Aldean, Little Big Town and Van Zant kick off the awards night from downtown Nashville during the 90-minute CMT Music Awards Pre-Party at 6:30 p.m.
Airing at 8 p.m. ET, the awards show will feature performances by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Brooks & Dunn and Trace Adkins. In addition, Dwight Yoakam will pay tribute to the late Buck Owens, and Hank Williams Jr. will be presented CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award.
Noting that the CMT Music Awards is country music’s only fan-voted awards show, Foxworthy said, “Anything I’ve ever won that the fans voted on means so much more to you than the stuff that some old people check a box on a ballot for.”
Having hosted “10 or 12” awards shows through the years, Foxworthy says there’s a different energy in the room for the CMT Music Awards.
“That’s actually a fun show to do,” he said. “A lot of those awards shows have theater seating and are kinda stodgy. That one, man, they let people come right up to the front of the stage and everybody’s standing up. Last year, everybody that was performing came backstage and said, ‘Man, that’s like doing a concert.’ It was just fun.”
Moreover, Foxworthy has noticed that country artists don’t take themselves as seriously as celebrities from the worlds of TV, film and rock.
“It’s a little different at the country awards,” he says. “If you’re at the Golden Globes, at the end of the red carpet, people just say, ‘Where do I go.’ Whereas at the country awards, at the end of the red carpet, they’re like, ‘Hey, if y’all ain’t gonna do nothin’ with that rug, I’d like to have it.'”