Dierks Bentley Adopts a Devil-May-Care Attitude About Hosting the ACMs: “If It’s Great, I’d Love to Take the Credit…If It’s Not…I Blame Luke”

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Sure, he’s been “Drunk on a Plane” and lately he’s been “Somewhere on a Beach.” But this Sunday, devil-may-care Dierks Bentley expands his horizons even more, stepping into the empty spot recently vacated by a five-time ACM host.

You get nothing but respect when he thinks about taking over for the star of The Voice.

“You can’t follow Blake Shelton. He’s so good at what he does. He’s just made for TV,” Dierks says. “It’ll be a different vibe, but I’m excited to do it, you know. I’ve never really wanted to do it. I don’t have any desire to be on any of the reality TV shows or do acting or TV, but the opportunity came up, and I love Luke and I love the ACMs.”

As for whether he had any reservations at the beginning, Dierks says it was more a case of jumping in with both feet.

“A little bit of the who cares thing,” he confesses, describing his attitude. “Like who cares? Let’s do it. Why not? You know? What’s the worst thing that could happen? I bomb? Okay, I mean — who cares? Let’s go out there and have fun!”

He admits he tried to get some advice from his good friend and former tour mate Luke Bryan, to little avail.

“It’s a great opportunity. It should be just a lot of fun. My goal is just to go out there and have a great time. I know Luke well. I asked him about like, ‘What do you do?’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, it’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it! We’ll have a few drinks.’ I’m like, ‘It needs to be more than that.’ Like, the opening monologue is a big deal.”

In the end, Dierks figures it’s a win/win for him, since he’s the new kid on the block.

“It’s really an honor. You know, I grew up watching the ACMs and I’m from Arizona and that was a special awards show because it’s out west. And I think it’ll be fun. If it’s great, I’d love to take the credit. If it’s not, you know, I blame Luke. You know, he’s the veteran, so it’s his responsibility. We’ll see how it goes!”

You can critique Dierks and Luke’s hosting skills Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET as the 51st ACM Awards air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on CBS.

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