Amid star-studded performances and plenty of laughs, Brad and Carrie say we shouldn’t forget there are some awards to pass out, too

ABC/CMA When you tune in for the 52nd CMA Awards Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, you can expect three hours of unforgettable performances, plenty of comedy from hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood -- and there are some trophies to pass out, too.

Having won their share of CMAs themselves, Brad and Carrie know there'll be some nervous celebrities in the audience.

"I know I was, back in the day when I was really needing to win something," Brad reveals. "You feel it. It's a big night for people."

"That's why we have to be really respectful of them..." he adds." "You don't want to belittle somebody who's expecting a life-changing evening."

These days, Carrie -- who's up for Female Vocalist -- admits she's more focused on hosting than winning awards.

"If we're ever nominated, I know that kind of takes a backseat to the hosting, sometimes," she explains. "It'll be like, we have to be here for this thing, and then it's like, 'Oh yeah, now I have to go have my award up next.'"

"And then right after it's over," she continues, "no matter what happens, you're back to hosting. So then you don't really get to reflect on anything until after it's all said and done."

Carrie says it's worth remembering this is an evening that will go down in country music history.

"It's a big deal," the Oklahoma native reflects. "I mean this is country music's biggest night, and those awards do mean something."

"And everybody is a family and very supportive of each other," she points out, "but I think a lot of people in our genre are very competitive too. And of course you want to win."

"So, yeah, just best of luck!" she smiles. "May the odds ever be in your favor." 

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