Headlines about Trump-bashing at the 51st Country Music Association Awards that aired Wednesday night were significantly hyped up by Thursday morning.
While stars jumped right into a few political jabs at the start of the show, they kept it short and sweet and seemingly more tasteful – and balanced – poking at those on both sides of the political divide.
“Now, Brad, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but the CMA has given us some guidelines with specific topics to avoid,” Carrie Underwood told her co-host Brad Paisley. “So, we can’t be doing any silly little songs because this year’s show is a politics free zone.”
“That’s not fair, so hold on we can’t do..’ Well way down under on the Scarmucci,’” Paisley sang.
“No, no, no Scaramucci Brad. No,” Underwood said, from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, as the pair hosted the show together for the 10th consecutive year.
“Well what about like, Well she’s gone, gone gone. Gone, gone, gone…Oh, no she wrote a memoir, Hillary [Clinton’s] back,” Paisley went on, singing another tune.
“So, that means no more hold me closer Bernie Sanders,” he asked. “No, Harper Valley DNC? Not even Stand by your Manfort?”
“Definitely not,” Underwood replied. “I mean clearly we can’t say or play anything.
Paisley then turned to do a parody of Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” with the lyrics aimed at President Trump.
“Right now he’s probably in his PJs, watching cable news, reaching for his cell phone,” he sang with Underwood later chiming in. Right now he’s probably asking Siri how in the hell do you spell Pocahontas.”
“In the middle of the night from the privacy of a gold-plated White House toilet seat he writes little Bob Corker, NFL and cofeeee.. and it’s fun to watch it that’s for sure, until little rocket man starts a nuclear war and then maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets,” Paisley continued to the audience’s delight.
“Yeah, we can’t do that one,” Underwood said.
Some viewers were not happy about the jabs at the president, especially coming from country music stars.
At the CMA awards, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood mocked President Trump while he is overseas negotiating for the United States. pic.twitter.com/9grzZ82pmp
— Tom?? (@tom3146) November 9, 2017
Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley being making fun of our POTUS. Really Disappointing! ??
— Kitt❤️?????❤️ (@katsamaz) November 9, 2017
Country Music CMA Awards tonight: What set off Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley to make them go off on President Trump? They’re starting to sound like late night tv comedians insulting our POTUS.
— Doug Pierce (@DougPierce8) November 9, 2017
Paisley picked up on the theme again later in the show, noting other songs the “CMA nixed.”
“Some other titles that the CMA nixed tonight were, ‘I’m So Indicted,’ the Alan Jackson classic ‘Papadopoulos,’ and then we had an entire medley of Huey Lewis and the Fake News, unfortunately we can’t do that,” he said.
Underwood and Paisley began the show on a more somber note, noting recent tragedies like the Texas church shooting, devastating hurricanes and the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 country music fans dead at the Route 91 Harvest Festival last month.
“This has been a year marked by tragedy… including so many in our country music family,” Underwood said. “So tonight, we’re going to do what families do come together, pray together. Cry together and sing together too.”
“Look the way we see it, the best way to honor our fans is to play our music, loud and proud,” Paisley said, as he dedicated the show to those who lost their lives in tragedies this year. “We love you and we will never forget you.”
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