Billboard Music Awards

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Trace Adkins admits to having been a bit nervous last year prior to hosting the inaugural American Country Awards. But once he got in the flow of the show, it began to feel a little more comfortable by the minute.

"Last year was the first time that I had ever done that," he said. "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."

This year's award show will air on FOX on Monday, Dec. 5, with Trace co-hosting the show with Broadway and TV actress Kristin Chenoweth. It should make for an interesting pairing, considering the amount of time they have known each other.

"I've never worked with her," he says slyly. "As far as I know, they're not making any special provisions," he says, referring to the height difference between the two (Adkins is believed to be around 6' 6" while Chenoweth is around 4' 11" in stature). "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."

Trace says he has taken more of a role in the pre-production of the telecast. "I've been fairly involved more in the script for this years show. There have been a lot of ideas going back and forth, and 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."

What does Adkins think makes a great host? "I want somebody that just seems to be comfortable, where it's not forced," he says, citing Vince Gill's run as host of the CMA Awards as an example. "You have to try to look like you are comfortable in that role, confident, and in charge. I think it makes everybody breathe easier if they see the host is confident in his or her abilities to keep everything on track. That's what I'm trying to do."

What sets the American Country Awards apart from the other telecasts is the fact that they are totally fan voted. Adkins believes that is a plus for the show. "I think it's great there's one that lets the fans have their say. 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, I think. Some that the industry might scratch their head a little bit, but that's what makes it fun."