Every awarding event, be it for actors or singers from different genres will always have a string of unforgettable moments that will either make the audience shed tears of joy or hide their faces and scream in embarrassment. Perhaps it is due to the failed chemistry among the artists involved, or maybe some are simply having a particularly bad day that they can’t seem to make their words and actions coordinated.
Without further ado, we give you 10 of the most embarrassing and awkward moments in the entire 50-year history of the CMA Awards:
1. George Jones’ wife covers for his acceptance speech
When artists’ loved ones share the stage to honor the works of our idols, it can be a heartwarming moment. But, in 1993, nobody expected George Jones’ wife to show up and turn what should have been an honorable moment for the country singer into something quite funny and embarrassing for everyone. Jones then was announced as the winner of the Vocal Event of the Year award for I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair. However, as his name was called, Jones wasn’t present in his seat. Thus, his wife had to run quickly to the stage, and uncomfortably explain his sudden disappearance. “He’s in the bathroom. I promise I’ll have him here in a minute. Somebody find him.”
2. Shania Twain’s over-the-top flirty moment
The 1995 CMA Awards left viewers sweating heavily and awkwardly avert their eyes from Shania Twain while she performed Any Man of Mine. Maybe it was due to the song’s lyrics, or the racy two-piece black ensemble she wore that evoked the seductive songstress within her, but she had no qualms boisterously bouncing from lap to lap and even embracing fellow renowned country artists such as Marty Stuart, Johnny Cash, and Travis Tritt.
3. Carrie Underwood wins Female Vocalist of the Year and Faith Hill loses it
During the 40th CMA Awards, Faith Hill was one of the nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year, along with Carrie Underwood. The nominees’ faces were flashed on the big screen prior to the big announcement. When Carrie Underwood was finally revealed as the winner, Faith Hill’s unamused reaction was clearly seen. Raising her shoulders and her hands, she mouthed the word, “What” and left the audience in twice as much disbelief as she had. Later on, Faith Hill and her management explained that her reaction was a fluke. It was meant to be a joke.
4. Duck Dynasty’s unnecessary twerking
When co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley opened the CMAs by performing a play on Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, the cast of A&E’s Duck Dynasty made a surprise appearance on stage. The performance was called Duck Lines, and it all went well until the cast began twerking onstage to the song, leaving the audience stunned, but in a very uncomfortable way. Really, they didn’t have to do that.
5. Jason Mraz goes blank during his performance
Artists from different genres who share the stage with our country favorites can be a hit or a miss. For Jason Mraz, it was, unfortunately, a miss. Halfway through his performance of Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me, alongside Hunter Hayes, he fumbled and forget the lyrics. Thankfully, Hayes helped him out and helped him recall the words through cues.
6. Hayden Panettiere tries to go country….but fails
In 2012, actress Hayden Panettiere snagged a role on CMT’s Nashville. But instead of showing high anticipation during her first CMA appearance, the viewers were left unimpressed and unamused by her faux Southern accent during a banter she shared with Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Connie Britton. Nice try, Hayden.
7. Brad Paisley’s racist (?) joke
Back when Brad Paisley co-hosted the CMAs in 2014, he dropped a controversial joke when he remarked, “If you’re expecting to see the show ‘Black-ish’, this ain’t it. I hope you’re enjoying ‘White-ish’.” Paisley joked while the audience awaited Darius Rucker and Tim Tebow to climb onstage to present. In the end, viewers took to social media to rant and debate whether Paisley simply meant no harm with his joke or if it was truly a racist remark.
8. Was Kenny Chesney uncomfortable with Beyoncé?
Beyoncé shared the stage with the Dixie Chicks during the 2016 CMAs, and it earned mixed reactions from the viewers. While they performed, the camera panned to the audience and spotted Kenny Chesney, who maintained a resigned facial expression throughout the entire show. The Queen B’s fans didn’t take this reaction lightly and felt insulted that Chesney was unhappy about the performance. However, Chesney was quick to explain and clear his side of the story, stating, “I love Beyoncé…the idea her fans were so quick to judge me or know what I was thinking doesn’t feel like the woman I’ve always imagined Beyoncé to be – and honestly, the people who love her music, either.”
9. Brad Paisley’s accidental revelation
While Brad Paisley co-hosted the 2014 CMAs with Carrie Underwood, the female country singer was pregnant with a bouncing baby boy. She whispered her baby’s gender to Paisley during their opening monologue. Although Paisley swore not to reveal the gender to anybody else, it seems like he forgot his promise when he exclaimed, “You could name him Garth!”. At that moment, the two were already discussing renowned country singer Garth Brooks. Just like that, the whole world knew that Underwood was having a baby boy. Hilariously, after Paisley exclaimed his happiness after knowing the baby’s gender, Carrie Underwood seems to have known it was a bad decision right off the bat when she said, “I regret this already.”
10. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Opening Act Performance
Mary Chapin Carpenter serenaded the viewers of the 1990 CMA Awards with her unreleased track, Opening Act. However, as the audience listened to the song’s lyrics, it immediately sparked controversy. The words that went, ‘I don’t have a hit in the Billboard charts/ I don’t have a limousine that stretches three blocks/ Ready to take me from door to door/ Just like that jackass I’m opening for/ He doesn’t know me; I’m his opening act, left the people wondering whether the song was all about Dwight Yoakam, Carpenter’s touring partner.