Asked what fans responded to the most in the winning collaborative video, he deadpanned, “Her legs.”
OK, maybe the second most?
But seriously, folks.
“No, I have no illusions about my contributions to that video,” he told CMT.com backstage. “Somebody had to sing the male part — and walk toward her.”
After seeing the final product, Paisley said, “Oh, I loved it. I came in about halfway through the editing process and got to see it. I felt like it captured what we were going for, which was a metaphorical distance between people trying to reconnect.”
He continued, “And it’s an awesome location. It’s a horrible situation to try and actually film. It was last summer, right about now, and it was 103 degrees. She’s wearing high heels. The first thing my 4-year-old said when he saw it was, ’Ah, she should have worn better shoes than that!’ He literally did! He thought, ’What is she doing out in the desert in those shoes?'”
Scotty McCreery, who won the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video category with “The Trouble With Girls,” told CMT, “I hope people could tell it was real. We didn’t really have to make up a plot. We used my own high school and used my friends. That’s what made it special to me, so hopefully the fans caught onto that as well.”
McCreery also confirmed he’s filmed a video for his current single, “Water Tower Town.” Describing the clip, he said, “It’s going to be performance based … and shots of my hometown and different water tower towns. It’s a video that a lot of people to relate to, and that’s what I like my music to be. That’s my ’Scotty McCreery’ song on the album. That reminds me of where I came from and stuff I believe in. I love singing it every night.”
Thompson Square picked up the trophy in the duo category for the quirky “I Got You.” Shawna Thompson said, “I think it showed our personalities.” (Indeed, it showed multiple personalities as Shawna and husband Keifer Thompson played every role in the video.) “We’re just fun-loving people, and Keifer showed his craziness.”
Recalling the video shoot, Keifer said, “Every time Shawna would come out with another wig on, I’d be like, ’Damn, she’s hot!’ She always had a different look! It was a weird thing, but she was beautiful all day long.”
“Actually seeing myself in the dark wig made me want to go all dark,” Shawna added.
“I think fans could put themselves into the field party we were having that night,” Hillary Scott told CMT. “We had a ton of young, fun extras, and they all had drinks in their hand. We wanted everyone to watch the video and go recreate that for themselves.”
“We actually had a lot of fun that night,” added Charles Kelley. “I remember it being a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy. It made me feel like I was back in high school again at the field parties. It really captured that young innocence that we were going for.”
“When we write these songs, I think we envision them in these certain places,” noted Dave Haywood. “To actually see the video from a song we wrote is really cool. That’s the place we came from when we wrote it.”
“It told the story of a solid song,” he said. “I think the places we chose to film the video were really, really pretty scenes. … I think as all videos should do, it tells a really great story with a song.”
After seeing the finished product, Bryan said, “We were just really, really excited by how the video turned out. I thought it was a really pretty video. I look back on it, and I thought all the images in the video were really special.”
“He texted me,” Lambert told CMT Insider. “He’s in Nashville, but he’s recording right now, and he’s really, really working hard before he starts The Voice again. So he couldn’t come tonight, but he was texting me the whole night. So I’m ready to give him a big hug.”
Jason Aldean, who picked up the award in the CMT Performance of the Year category, said he couldn’t really explain why “Tattoos on This Town” translates so well in a live setting.
“That was a song to me that, for whatever reason, sounded great on the radio,” he said. “And when we played it live, you could see people react to that song. It’s hard to say what makes people react to songs when you play them live, but that is one of those songs.”
The winning version of his hit song came from the CMT Artists of the Year special in late 2011. Although it was intended as a duet with Hank Williams Jr. for the taping, the country legend didn’t feel happy with his performance. As a result, Williams walked off the stage mid-song and ceded the spotlight fully to Aldean, who apparently took it in stride and played a sturdy solo version.
“That was an interesting night, you know?” he said. “But, hey, obviously tonight was a big night. To win an award for that song and that performance, with all that happened that night, was really cool.”