With the CMA Awards coming up in a week and a half, it’s time to look back on some of the greatest moments, and most awkward moments, from years past.
We’ve showed you Alan Jackson’s 1999 protest performance of “Choices” in honor of the great George Jones, and earlier we took it back to 1975 for Waylon Jennings’ acceptance speech and Charlie Rich burning his note card.
And of course, who could forget Sturgill Simpson’s legendary busking performance outside of Bridgestone Arena? And finally, the time Mary Chapin Carpenter put put Dwight Yoakam on blast (allegedly) with her song “Opening Act.”
But today, we’re taking it back to 2012 and a Country Music Association Awards show moment that wasn’t televised, and thank God that it wasn’t.
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So the backstory goes, actor Tim Allen (Toy Story, Home Improvement) is sitting right behind Blake Shelton, who at the time was quite the superstar in country music and also a judge on this popular new singing show called The Voice.
So Tim and Blake get to yuckin’ it up during the ceremony and then this rockin’ blonde comes out on stage… Miranda Lambert.
And here’s the kicker, Tim Allen has no idea that Miranda Lambert (at the time) is married to Blake Shelton.
But apparently, Tim is more than comfortable chatting it up with Blake… and ummm, you could say he crossed the line.
Tim explained the awkward conversation that followed on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
“I’m watching right behind Blake Shelton, who wouldn’t move, and he’s the largest man on the planet, I can’t see anything. I’m actually irritated with the guy.
He turns around I happened to a fan of that show ‘The Voice,’ and I happen to be of his on that show so we started a conversation.”
Here’s where it gets uncomfortable:
Then a woman comes up, and you probably know this, and everybody else knows it, but I didn’t know this… Miranda Lambert. So she’s up there rocking out with the crazy one, some song about her being nuts and tattoos and booze.
I was like, ‘I love this woman’ and he turns around and says ‘Boy, I’d love to tap that’ and I said ‘Me too!’
And then I get that look. And he goes, ‘That’s my wife!’ And like a comic I said, ‘Let me finish…’
So yeah, we haven’t spoken since… but she’s really good.”
Blake went on to win Entertainer of the Year that night, the first of his career, so my guess is he probably forgot all about what Tim said. But either way, a pretty cringeworthy comment to make.
I mean, let’s be honest… you’re a guest at the CMA Awards, you’re not part of the country music world. You should probably just show up, smile, wave, say your lines and keep your mouth shut.
But I’m not gonna lie, I’d be more afraid of Miranda Lambert hearing that than I would Blake Shelton. We all saw what happened to the shitbag in “Gunpowder & Lead.”
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Blake Shelton Admits “It’s Embarrassing” That ‘The Voice’ Rejected Luke Combs
Back before Luke Combs turned out the turbo jets for what’s become a record-breaking career already, he actually auditioned for The Voice (I can’t stand that show, is that show still on?).
We talked to Luke about it years ago, and he said:
“I was on spring break a few years ago when ‘The Voice’ was having auditions in Atlanta, Georgia. In my audition round I was the only guy and you get about thirty seconds to sing. I made it to the next round that was at a studio, and then made it to the next cut.
They had four audition cities and narrowed it from about 10,000 to 200 people. Then you don’t know if you made it to the show for a few months.
I made it through those rounds with the producers, but I got a letter saying I wasn’t “interesting” enough for the show’s ratings so I didn’t get to the show. But it gave me a lot of confidence because I was good enough voice wise to make it through all those producer auditions.”
That’s too funny, but yeah, it happened…
Not “interesting” enough
It’s why I think these reality singing shows are such garbage these days.
Obviously, Blake Shelton is a judge on The Voice, and props to him for usually going after the country talent, and helping them after the show ends. However, he was recently asked in a radio interview about that Luke Combs rejection, and he didn’t mince words…
“He told me that story…there’s no way around it, it’s embarrassing. Let’s just face it.
Luke told me that he kept his rejection letter, his letter saying we’re not gonna put you on the show. He said he put that in his dorm room in college and he hung it on the wall to push him on, something to fight for.
I don’t know if he still has that letter or not, but if he does … I think he should frame it and put it next to his first triple-platinum album that he has.”
Here’s Luke talking about the rejection, and Blake.
A nice reminder to keep fighting, hustling, and grinding.
Way back in his college days, Luke Combs covered “Simple Man” at Town Tavern in Boone, North Carolina.
Good thing that Voice thing didn’t work out.
Luke Combs Recalls Being Told He Didn’t Look Like A Country Singer
We were talking with American Aquarium’s BJ Barham on the podcast recently about the ways the country music industry likes to manufacture artists to fit this image, and I was reminded of this story from Luke Combs.
A while back, Luke Combs joined Scott Van Pelt’s podcast SVPod, and while they got to talking about sports (Lamar Jackson taking a dump in the middle of the game), music, gambling and everything under the sun, one part that caught my eye (and cracked me up) was when Luke got to talking about signing a record deal.
Long story short, Luke had just moved to town and was writing with friends and folks he’d met around town, playing showcases and writer’s rounds… you know, the kind of thing you do when you get to Nashville.
But a lot of people (record execs and industry folks) told Luke that he was destined to only be a songwriter for these bigger artists because he didn’t “look the part.”
And here was Luke’s brilliantly honest (and hilarious) response:
“We’re talking about COUNTRY music here… if anybody looks the part, it’s me.
The OTHER guys don’t look the part, that’s the problem. I’m not the guy that’s the problem here.
Throw these other guys at the Jiffy Lube, they’re gonna look outta place. You put me at the Jiffy Lube and you’re gonna think I manage the son of a b-tch.”
Can I get an amen?
But by all means, keep pumping these copycat pretty boys out of the Nashville music machine….
Meanwhile, Luke Combs is busy racking up hit after hit after hit, and oh yeah… a nice little Entertainer of the Year award to go with it.