Just two weeks ago, GAC’s Suzanne Alexander was packing her bags to fly to Las Vegas for the 46th Annual ACM Awards. We asked her to share with you what it’s like to be in the thick of things out in Vegas — so here’s Part 2 of her ACM Awards Diary! Don’t forget to watch Suzanne, Nan Kelley, Storme Warren and all your favorite stars in our exclusive GACTV.com ACM backstage video interviews and browse our ACM Awards gallery, packed with hundreds of photos! Check back tomorrow for Part 3 of Suzanne’s diary.
Sunday April 3, 2011: ACM Awards Day!
The time difference really messes me up. It’s almost impossible for me to sleep late in Vegas. We are two hours behind Nashville time and I rise every morning about 6:30-7 a.m. – which is 8:30-9 a.m. Vegas time. Out of everyone I know, no one is up at that time but me. But with an 8:30 a.m. call time, it was good that I was wide awake.
Like the morning of every ACM red carpet show, I ordered my usual – Oatmeal. Coffee. Danish. Juice. My to-do list: Go over last-minute notes. Jump in shower. Do hair and then Michael McCall comes to my room to do my makeup and style my hair.
The big question this year was how to keep my hair off my face, but not have it too far back. Hmmm… Michael said he had an idea. And let me just say, having to be on the red carpet for rehearsal while trying to do something different with your hair can be a bit stressful – but he did it.
From there, we carried my dress and shoes and went to rehearsal at 10:30 a.m. The weather wasn’t bad. It can be very hot and the last thing you want to do is sweat with your hair and makeup already done and no chance of a shower…Yikes! But it was great. The fans were already out there lining the red roped-off area where the limos arrive.
My spot was right in front, on a platform with my fellow hosts, Nan Kelley, down mid-carpet and Storme Warren at the end. We were ready. Checking mics and our ear pieces to make sure we could hear our cues. Going live can be crazy, so making sure we had everything just right helped ease any stress.
Rehearsals for the show were going on too. Backstage I could see in the monitor Carrie Underwood onstage singing ‘Undo It.’ She hadn’t had her makeup done yet and was donning a pair of sunglasses. She still looked and sounded amazing. Just then, someone walked by and said, ‘Don’t you think she should save it for the show?’ because she was singing full on. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t think she knows how not to sing – ‘cause she’s that good.’
How weird that I saw Robin Leach backstage! You know, the guy from the TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? I yelled, ‘Hey, you’re great!’ He said, ….. well, he said nothing and gave me a look to keep on walking, so I did.
I was on a search to run into Robert Pattinson, but no such luck. I did get to see Darius Rucker rehearse with the group from the ACM Lifting Lives Camp. They were awesome, high fiving everyone backstage and telling us how they love watching GAC. They were so excited to be there – and I was excited to see them. I think everyone was.
Okay, lunch, change and get on the red carpet. Lunch? Nope, can’t eat. But I did change and make it out to the carpet. This is when things get a bit blurry. I can’t remember who I interviewed first. I remember Martina McBride looking beautiful and Sara Evans looking great…and then Miranda Lambert, who always looks awesome, came up. I was excited about talking to her because I had the honor of presenting her with her Video Of the Year award for “The House That Built Me.” She didn’t know she was winning that. It was a very cool moment! After that, we wrapped and then I was whisked away backstage to start interviewing the winners.
There are several rooms backstage – one for media, radio & press; one room for us TV peeps; and then photographers have another area. We all gather around a monitor to watch the show, just like if we were at home. News travels fast. It’s like that game Telephone, passed on down from room to room. You’ll hear, “Brad Paisley is walking back…he just won Male Vocalist…it’s his 5th straight year.” So you stand in your spot and wait. It goes like that throughout the night.
Taylor Swift was extra excited to take the Entertainer award. She said she couldn’t wait to get back on her plane and eat Chinese food on the way home – too cute! Zac Brown Band was pumped about their new tour and invited me out, saying, ‘Don’t even bring a camera. You can just come and hang.’ They are sweet guys and the real deal, sooo over-the-top talented. Getting to perform with James Taylor had them on cloud 9!
After the show, I wound up with a bunch of people at the Nob Hill, because Andre Agassi – the tennis pro who is a Vegas native – said he loved that place. While eating there, Dave Haywood from Lady Antebellum came in with a group of people and went to the back of restaurant. Unlike me – I sat right in the front so I could people watch. I even snapped a photo of a woman who fell asleep at the table next to us while waiting for her food! After that, it was good night, Vegas. Till tomorrow!