Kelsea Ballerini’s ready for her "CMA Fest" "big hang" with Thomas Rhett, for 2018 and beyond

ABC/Mark Levine

Wednesday night in prime time, Kelsea Ballerini returns to host ABC’s annual CMA Fest special with Thomas Rhett, for the second year in a row.

The “I Hate Love Songs” hitmaker isn’t too proud to admit she and TR learned a few things from their first year leading the show.

“It's funny. This year before we started filming, they sat me and Thomas down, and they were like, 'We want you to watch what you did last year, and just kinda critique yourselves,'” Kelsea explains. “And we watched it, and we were like, 'Oh, my goodness. We were super stiff.'”

“We were I think both new to hosting,” she continues, “and we promised each other that this year we would just have fun with it. And I think that we really did, and I hope that comes across that way.”

In addition to her hosting duties, Kelsea also performs on the three-hour show.

So are she and Thomas Rhett up to make it three years in a row? 

“Yeah, definitely!” Kelsea tells ABC Radio. “Yeah. I really enjoy it. And we're buddies in real life, so it's just like a big hang.”

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley return in November to host the CMA Awards for the 11th time. It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch, however, to imagine Kelsea someday stepping into that role.

“Uh, I would like the phone call. Yeah!” she laughs, when asked about the possibility.

The 2018 CMA Fest special premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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