Brad Paisley Reveals Donald Trump Was Cut from the CMA Awards Monologue

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Presidential contender Donald Trump was cut from the opening monologue of this year’s CMA Awards, Brad Paisley tells Billboard. It all started when Brad and co-host Carrie Underwood came up with the idea to change the lyrics to a classic country song to be about current events, and the billionaire agreed to participate.

The only hitch was that Trump was in New York City rehearsing for his guest-hosting spot on Saturday Night Live that week. So, Brad flew to New York to tape a skit set to the Judds “Love Can Build a Bridge,” starring the Republican candidate as the Wizard of Oz.  Part of the gag was for Carrie to eventually unplug the chord from a projector as the clip played back on the show.

Ultimately, the “Trump Can Build a Bridge” footage would never see the light of day, though. “I guess there were standards and practices and equal time laws,” Brad says. “24 hours before, the lawyers said we couldn’t do it. To have written the last two minutes of the monologue Tuesday at midnight… it was stressful,” he confesses, referencing the last-minute addition of William Shatner dressed as a storm trooper in Trump’s stead.  Brad teases that he does still have the video.

On Tuesday, the “Country Nation” hitmaker returns to The Voice to perform his latest single live. Earlier this season, Brad was an advisor to pal Blake Shelton’s team. You can see what the two perpetual jokesters have up their sleeves November 24 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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