Although Brad Paisley might have been replaced by Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton for the CMA Awards this year, he will still get some time on-air with his good friend, Carrie Underwood. The "Drinking Alone" singer joins Paisley on his upcoming TV special, Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special, where Underwood goes off-roading in Paisley's truck, with even Paisley surprised by the outcome.
"I had no idea how that would go on paper," Paisley admitted to Billboard. "I had no clue there was this trailer park, screaming banshee, hillbilly, crazy woman inside. The funniest image to me is the stunt driver on hold on the sidelines, holding a blonde wig, ready to go if she's not comfortable – and boy we didn't need him.
"She was so fired up about doing this, and it was neat to watch her take the reins of something like this and really unleash that personality in a great way," he continued. "We’re dear old friends and at this point I would think it's hard to surprise people with what she is capable of. I think we did it on the show."
Underwood is one of several celebrities who appear on the hour-long special, including Kelsea Ballerini, the Jonas Brothers, Tim McGraw and Hootie & the Blowfish. For Paisley, the show became a celebration of some of his closest friends in the industry, which is what he hopes viewers see on Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special.
"[I hope they see] how much fun it is to be able to take some friends of mine, like the Jonas Brothers, and do a performance you'll never see anywhere else," said Paisley. We do 'Lovebug,' and then they mash-up and go into 'She's Everything,' one of my songs. I played a little bit of 'Ticks,' and it's a very organic and stripped down performance. To be able to offer that to the world in the middle of all this noise is really fun. We’re all trying to create, but it's fun to have this platform where we were able to do fun stuff and be able to see if people will latch on and grab it."
Paisley is also grateful that he is joined by so much talent on the show, talent that spans different genres.
"I play the rock guitar solo on 'Lovebug' with those [the Jonas Brothers]," said Paisley. "And then I play acoustic guitar bluegrass-y with Kelsea on her song, and then I jam out at Tootsies with Hootie & the Blowfish. This was a fantasy for me. One of the things I said to Kelsea was, 'I'm such a big fan. I just want to be your backup guitar player on this show for a minute,' and I got to do that. So it's fantasy camp for me."
Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special will air on ABC on Dec. 3.
Photo Credit: Getty / Mark Levine