Good cop, bad cop is a strategy we’ve seen employed many times by celebrity duos, but no two performers have perfected it quite like Country Music Awards co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, who reteamed to emcee the show for the sixth straight year on Wednesday.
While The Sound of Music star had her fair share of digs – at Blake Shelton and Obamacare, no less – the real low-blows were left up to Paisley, who left no stone unturned as he went after country music’s biggest stars. Check out our round-up of who got hit the hardest:
The Bangerz singer has been admonished by everyone from Sinéad O’Connor to Happy Days‘s Marion Ross, but Wednesday proved Paisley’s turn to comment on her still-scandalous VMAs performance. While addressing squeaky-clean Taylor Swift, Paisley quipped, “I want to thank you from a grateful industry, for never once humping a teddy bear or gyrating with Beetlejuice. I really appreciate it. I know that’s not easy.”
Midway through the show, Paisley provided viewers with an update on the ailing country songstress following her car accident – but he didn’t stop there. “Thankfully, Dolly did have airbags,” he said, “However, the ones in the car did not deploy.”
Giving the “That’s My Kind of Night” singer a hard time about his dancing, Paisley said, “I thought they were mini-seizures,” when Underwood cited Bryan as an example of someone who twerks.
Kicking off the show with a skit about feuds, Paisley and Underwood tried to initiate animosity among those seated in the audience by having Pickler pass out notecards to stars that named their new foe. But when the blonde bombshell failed to distribute the names as quickly as Paisley would’ve liked – perhaps due to the restrictive nature of her formfitting gown – he remarked, “Come on there, Baywatch, get going.”
When Paisley was paired with “enemy” Rogers for the feud bit, he went after the legendary country star with a silent tirade out of earshot of the mic, later apologizing to Underwood for the outburst. “I’m sorry Carrie, but Kenny Rogers is pure evil,” he said.