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Trace Adkins Has Tall Orders for Kristin Chenoweth

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Trace Adkins only has a few more days to prepare for the reprise of his role as host of the American Country Awards. The 6’6″ singer, who hosted the show solo last year, will share emcee duties this year with Broadway & TV star-turned-country singer, Kristin Chenoweth, whose 4’11″ height he admits might pose a bit of a challenge.

“I’ve never worked with her,” the ‘Just Fishin” singer tells Billboard magazine. “As far as I know, they’re not making any special provisions … Maybe somebody will have to carry around an apple box for her. I’ve seen her on television, and I’m aware of who she is. She’s very funny, very pretty, and very petite, so it would be a huge contrast.”

The deep-voiced singer acknowledges he was filled with anxiety before hitting the stage to host the inaugural awards show last year, but feels much more at ease now that he has a little experience under his belt.

“Last year was the first time that I had ever [hosted],” Trace recalls. “I had done a couple of CMT things before, but they were very controlled and very structured. I was very anxious and apprehensive coming into it, but after an hour or so, I thought, ‘I can do this.’ I calmed down and settled into it. This year, it’s more of a sense of looking forward to doing it. I did have a lot of fun doing it.”

The 49-year-old has also had more input in his lines this year, which helps boost his confidence. “I’ve been fairly involved more in the script for this year’s show. It’s been fun being involved in the creative process. I don’t know how funny it will be or how it will come across, but I’m going to try to inject my own personality into it and have some fun with it … You have to try to look like you are comfortable in that role, confident, and in charge.”

The Grand Ole Opry member is a big supporter of the fan-voted awards show. “I think it’s great there’s one that lets the fans have their say,” he acknowledges. “It takes a lot of the politics out of it when it’s left up to the fans. You’re going to get some interesting outcomes — some that the industry might scratch their head a little bit, but that’s what makes it fun.”

Trace’s label boss, Toby Keith, will also take the ACA stage to perform his latest hit, ‘Red Solo Cup.’ He joins previously-announced performers Blake Shelton, Thompson Square, the Eli Young Band and Pistol Annies. Voting for Artist of the Year will be open through the end of the day today (December 2). See a list of nominees here, and cast your vote here.

The American Country Awards will air live from Las Vegas on December 5 at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.

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