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Thread: Robert Deaton: Inside The CMAs (New Insight From the Executive Producer)

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    Obsessed Chart Watcher cary78663's Avatar
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    Robert Deaton: Inside The CMAs (New Insight From the Executive Producer)

    This is from this week's Country Aircheck Weekly. This is not the full article. These are the parts that give insight into the opening monologue and Carrie's performance. Given the comments about the opening monologue, there is no way that they will be looking for anyone but Brad and Carrie to host for a long time to come.

    Robert Deaton: Inside The CMAs

    Last week in this space, Country radio pros gave the 46th Annual CMA Awards high marks across the board. This week, Executive Producer Robert Deaton offers his analysis and insight.

    I heard the opening monologue was never fully rehearsed. True?
    True. We were changing things all the way up until 20 minutes before we went on the air. It was utter chaos an hour before the show. Remember, we had nine days cut out of the schedule this year from last. Everything was tighter. I was still booking presenters three days before the show. It was nerve-racking. And here’s the thing – we had an entire other parody song we decided not to use and a lot of other jokes, too. There’s a certain threshold of time that, no matter how good the material, people are ready to move on. But you would never know from watching Brad [Paisley] and Carrie [Underwood] that they never rehearsed the opening monologue in its entirety. That just speaks to how incredible and professional they are.

    The tornado in Carrie’s performance didn’t seem to work as well as it did at her recent Nashville show. Was that because it was at the back of the arena?
    We figured out early on we could not do the tornado effect way she does in concert because her stage is higher. Ours is relatively low at four feet and we couldn’t fit the huge multigallon tanks she uses, so it was impossible. There was a lot of discussion about whether Carrie should perform in the back of the house. A lot of people think that stage is for new acts, but we had Keith Urban back there last year and Blake Shelton the year before that. We use that stage for two reasons – it gives us a visual relief from the main stage and it gives us an influx of energy from the fans. Ultimately, we decided the production is too good, let’s put her at the back of the house.

    You didn’t cut to Taylor Swift during the monologue jokes about her. Was that on purpose?
    I’m not in the truck, so I don’t see all the cameras. I’m backstage dealing with time, Brad, Carrie and anything that comes up we might need to add. Paul Miller, the director, said he couldn’t tell whether she thought it was funny or not, and we always want to be respectful if we’re not sure. We’re not trying to hurt anyone with the monologue, we’re just trying to be funny and entertaining. There are so many things that have me waking up wondering if we’re pushing things too far, like last year with the Tim and Faith dolls. You never know for sure how they’re going to take it. Most of the time, I think we hit it pretty well. In that case, Paul couldn’t tell, so he didn’t want to cut to her. It’s better to err on the side of being conservative.

    Any chance you want to tell us what the third parody was you cut?
    Sure. We just couldn’t wrap our heads around whether we should get involved in politics. Are people tired of it? So the third song was connected to where we were talking to Willie, and we were going to transition from him to having the great women of country music with us. That was going to take us to a parody of Willie’s “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” called “To All The Girls There’s Binders For.” It was funny, not mean at all, but we decided after dress rehearsal we were too long and it just wasn’t as funny as the other material we had.

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    Carrie Guru Jade_kt's Avatar
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    Kewl to know why Carrie's performance was at the back of the stadium. Now it explains it and I agree that having it in the back added to the performance by making the wind in the background more noticeable and having the crowd in the background added to the energy.

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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    I personally loved that Carrie was at the back stage by the fans. It added a lot of energy to the performance.

    So amazing that the monologue went off so flawlessly without a full rehearsal. Carrie and Brad are pros.

    And LOL at that cut parody song!

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Wow! They had never rehearsed the opening monologue!!! Professionals...I'll say!!!
    Pretty sure, if Paul couldn't tell if T was smiling..........she wasn't!!!

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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    I kind of wanted Carrie's performance on the big stage to be honest as we didn't get any interaction or feedback from her peers. She didn't get a standing O or anything.

    I liked the crowd interaction- but couldn't they have had a pit at the main stage for that like they do at other award shows?

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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teesharky View Post
    I kind of wanted Carrie's performance on the big stage to be honest as we didn't get any interaction or feedback from her peers. She didn't get a standing O or anything.

    I liked the crowd interaction- but couldn't they have had a pit at the main stage for that like they do at other award shows?
    I remember seeing a standing O for Carrie.

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    Ty
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Ty's Avatar
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    She definitely got a standing ovation, lol.

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    hjj
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    Yes the whole audience was seen to be starting to sit down when the cameras were cutting to next presentation.

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    Insane Carrie Fan liveasong's Avatar
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    Please, the crowd went WILD. And I really liked the fact that Carrie was performing RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER FANS.

    For the first time...

    FANS = FRONT ROWS
    MUSIC PEOPLE = BACK ROWS


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    sco
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jade_kt View Post
    Kewl to know why Carrie's performance was at the back of the stadium. Now it explains it and I agree that having it in the back added to the performance by making the wind in the background more noticeable and having the crowd in the background added to the energy.
    I don't analyze things to the nth degree like some around here. I assumed it was impractical to have the tornado set up on the mal stage with everything else going on. It sounds like that was part of the issue.

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    Thanks for posting this Cary. That was a great read and so encouraging for the years to come.
    DizzyDollyDee and pklongbeach like this.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan cyberzoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teesharky View Post
    I kind of wanted Carrie's performance on the big stage to be honest as we didn't get any interaction or feedback from her peers. She didn't get a standing O or anything.

    I liked the crowd interaction- but couldn't they have had a pit at the main stage for that like they do at other award shows?
    The back stage requires almost the entire audience in front of the back stage to stand and turnaround to see the performance. In actuality, nearly the entire audience was standing for the whole performance.

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    Carrie Fans Maniac robinannhunt's Avatar
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    She also had the confetti gun go off so the big stars were not in line with the confetti.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan
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    It's interesting that he mentions Blake as the first one to perform on the backstage -- as I recall he was a last minute substitute because Tim McGraw pulled out because he didn't like it that they were going to have him perform on that stage since he thought that was beneath his 'star' standing. I think Carrie's staging and production was the most ambitious and biggest they've tried to use on that back stage.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan HuiZ's Avatar
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    Dang, they didn't even rehearse fully! Amazing! Those two need to continue hosting foreverrrrrrrrr!

    CMAs should consider uploading rehearsal videos of them doing the monologue. I'd love to see those, and I'm sure many would too. haha!

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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    wow awesome insight...questions were answered!
    DizzyDollyDee likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Great article with immense insight into how things went down! Really enjoyed reading it and sounds like we'll be glued to our screens for several more years for sure! Bring it on!

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Cathie Wynkoop's Avatar
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    I cannot imagine how many people and how much stress is involved in putting on a production like those award shows!

    It's very impressive that Brad and Carrie are so at ease with one another that they can pull off something like that without a lot of rehearsal! Very impressive indeed.
    rainbow1 likes this.

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    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    Windmills also commented on the TS thing - pretty funny!
    rainbow1 likes this.

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    I saw that! LOL!!


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