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CMT Awards Preview: President Obama, Mitt Romney and Other Surprises Announced for Tonight


The 11th annual CMT Music Awards are a few hours away, and before we head to the red carpet for tonight’s coverage, we thought we’d give viewers our top reasons for tuning in! From the star-studded list of performers and presenters to the designer dresses, not to mention some unpredictable categories, tonight’s show should be one we’ll all be talking about tomorrow.

Hosted by Kristen Bell and Toby Keith, the CMT Music Awards air live from Nashville at 8:00 PM ET tonight (June 6). Here’s a few of the things we’re looking forward to most during the broadcast:

President Obama & Mitt Romney’s Opening Segment: The Commander in Chief and the man he’ll most likely face in November’s election have taped a comical clip that will kick off tonight’s show. CMT President Brian Phillips say both politicians are “in on the joke.”

Outdoor Performances: Tickets for the awards show sold out quickly, but that doesn’t mean fans who didn’t score a coveted seat will miss out on all the fun. For those stuck waiting outside, hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite celebrity, they’ll be serenaded by three of country’s leading men. Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Hank Williams, Jr. will all perform on a special stage set up outside the Bridgestone Arena during the ceremony.

Hollywood Goes Country: Kristen Bell isn’t the only Hollywood celeb who is descending on Music City for the ceremony. Ashley Greene, Tom Arnold, Denise Richards, Hayden Panettiere and Dax Shepard are a few of the non-country stars who will take the stage to present awards, as well as recent “American Idol” contestants Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine and ‘Idol’ Season 6 champ, Jordin Sparks.

Who Will Win Video of the Year: Ten nominees are listed in this category, including Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley. But while each of the artists showed their theatrical prowess in their videos, we think Carrie Underwood‘s “Good Girl” will take home the prize. Those multiple wardrobe changes have to count for something, right?

Who Will Win CMT Performance of the Year: This is perhaps one of the toughest categories of the evening, because it shows our favorite artists doing what we love the most — singing live. With six nominees named in the category, including Jason’s “Tattoos On This Town” from 2011’s “CMT Artists of the Year” show and Blake Shelton‘s “Footloose” from “Invitation Only: Blake Shelton,” we already think each artist should be declared a winner. But since we can only pick one, our vote goes to Vince Gill performing “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” with Sting on “CMT Crossroads: Sting and Vince Gill.”

Fashion: Country music’s leading ladies — as well as a few leading men — often use red carpets to take fashion risks. We can’t wait to see who will show up on our Best Dressed List — and who needs a wardrobe intervention.

Hank Jr. Duet With Brad Paisley: Hank Williams, Jr. was only three years old when his legendary father, Hank Williams, passed away, but he still proudly carries the heritage of his famous dad. The rowdy singer will take the stage with Brad Paisley to perform “I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams,” from his upcoming CD, Old School, New Rules, which will hit shelves next month.

Willie Nelson Collaboration: The 79-year-old has always been outspoken about his love of smoking weed, and tonight he’ll sing about it — along with a few of his fellow artists. Joining Willie on stage to sing “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me” (from his Heroes album released in May), will be Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band, Darius Rucker and Jamey Johnson.

The CMT Music Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville at 8:00 PM ET on CMT.

Watch a Preview of the Show

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