“I told CBS, my advice for you is a 3-second delay because you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth, and you might not want that on live TV,” Lambert told PEOPLE during rehearsals Friday.
Shelton is nervous about co-hosting the event with Reba McEntire, but his real life leading lady is confident that he’ll shine. “He’s so quick and so great at adlibbing,” said Lambert, “probably too good at adlibbing.”
The night could potentially be huge for Lambert, who will performing her latest single, “Heart Like Mine,” and is nominated for seven ACM awards, including the coveted entertainer of the year award.
“Maybe I’m just being humble, and I don’t think I should take it home yet because you have someone like Brad Paisley who is doing stadiums now and I’m not there yet,” she said. “But it is up to the fans, so if I did win that would be awesome. But if not, I know I have tons of work under my belt, but I know I still have more to go.”
Fellow entertainer of the year nominee Jason Aldean, who is also up for male vocalist of the year, said he is hopeful about his chances, but he’s simply letting the chips fall where they may.
“I learned a long time ago that these things are kind of out of your hands. Am I hopeful, yeah. It would be great to win one, if not both, of those awards, but I also understand all you can do is do your thing,” he said. “If it’s my time for these things and it happens, it happens. If that time comes, I’ll be excited. I’m excited to finally get a few nominations. If we happen to pull one home I’ll be ecstatic.”
The ACM Awards will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
For more on Lambert and Aldean, and for free downloads from ACM new artist nominees, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Country, featuring country’s 50 hottest guys.