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Taylor, Blake, Miranda, and Lady A React to ACM Wins Backstage

Our Country

Blake Shelton is a hunter by nature, so while he made jokes at the expense of Taylor Swift while hosting the ACM Awards, don't think it was a matter of jealousy over the impossibility of him beating her for Entertainer of the Year. He just does that for the sport of it.

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Blake Shelton

"I think she deserves it," Shelton said in the press room after the telecast wrapped up. "Man, when those announcements came out of who was nominated, I remember saying right then…. I don't think I said I hoped Taylor wins, because I hoped I would win. But I remember saying 'Taylor deserves it.' She truly does. I don't think there's anybody with half a brain that would stand up here and say otherwise. I mean, she's done a lot for us in country music. Take that out of the mix, even, and she's one of those once in a lifetime stars that comes along and makes a difference. And we're lucky enough in country music to call her one of us, and that's pretty cool. But I'm always gonna make fun of her in my monologues, so she might as well get used to that."

Shelton did have some objections, though, to his wife not being put up in that top category alongside himself and Swift--even if it was a night to celebrate their other big wins, as a couple.

"As a fellow artist, it's refreshing to see Miranda win those awards… especially album of the year. That's your painting that you made and you just put it out there for everybody to judge… That's the third one of thoese things she's won. The industry, they're pretty critical. I've never even been nominated for album of the year. Especially with the last couple years I've had, you'd think they'd throw a sympathy one in there, but they don't! Country music, they're hard on songs and music. But I'm glad they're hard on 'em. And I'm glad they recognize how unique her records are and how she pushes the envelope and tries new sounds and new things all the time. But she's not just trying it, she's nailing it every time. I'm blown away by her, I really am. But the other side of me, as her husband, I want to see her win all that stuff. I was pissed she wasn't in the entertainer of the year category."

His comedy was a bit edgier this year, at the expense of not-so-easy targets from Swift to Randy Travis, which he acknowledged.

"When we sit in those meetings with the writers and we're throwing out ideas… I remember last year saying 'There's no way in hell I'm gonna say that' or 'Hell no, I'm not making fun of that person.' I felt like last year I probably left some things on the table, and I just wanted to do this year more of what people probably expected me to do last year. But I'm also trying to get fired. Because I'm longing for the days where I was just a guy in the audience drinking my face off. It's hard for me to have this type of responsibility and try to be professional, and I don't see how Reba does it year after year. Because at some point you've got to be a waistoid. That's what people expect of musicians and celebrities and stars, and I'm ready to step back into that role, of being wasted all the time."

But no major-league drinking was in store for him after the ACMs. "Boo-hoo if I don't get to party as much if I would like to tonight. It's very important show for The Voice tomorrow night" as the first live show of the season. "I'm so thrilled that I'm not hosting that tomorrow, that all I've really got to do is sit in the damn chair and watch these kids perform."

Shelton came into the ACMs as the cover boy of People magazine, sharing that valuable piece of real estate with Adam Levine. He admitted he wasn't thrilled with the "bromance" cover concept, but he overcame his initial objections..

"Yeah, we're out," he joked. "Adam and I are out now. I don't know. That People cover, Adam and I were both cracking up about it, because we're smart asses, and a part of us was like 'Oh, no no, that's kind of weird.' But then the other side of us was like 'That's pretty cool to get on the cover of People—let's go along with the bromance thing, and when we do the interview, we'll just talk about how it's not like that at all.' Even though I do think he's very sexy and attractive."

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Taylor Swift

If Shelton is having a big couple of days, between the ACMs and The Voice, the same could be said for Swift, who just last night was in L.A., receiving an award from Michelle Obama.

"This weekend has been amazing," said Swift. "Yesterday I was at the Kids' Choice Awards—I'd never been there before. And the First Lady gave me an award for charitable contributions and giving back. I'd never gotten to meet her before. I've always been really nervous about meeting her because I'm such a big fan and she's such a role model. She was so cool and so nice, and I met her daughters, and it was an amazing time getting to have that happen yesterday and then fly to Vegas and this happens and I'm up there accepting Entertainer of the Year. I'm just really happy right now!" she exclaimed, in a tone that suggested understatement.

She didn't perform on the telecast, having reached the end of the two-year cycle of promoting Speak Now. "I'm writing my next record right now—as I have been for the last two years, but intensely writing my next record right now. I hope it's good. Keep your fingers crossed. I would love it if it was good."

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Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum took the vocal group prize for the third year in a row, but their minds are more on matrimony than prize-gathering these days. Singer Hillary Scott wed in January, and Dave Haywood has his own nuptials coming up.

So Haywood doesn't lack for counsel. "She just went through it… and Charles has been married a couple years. I do get a female and male perspective on wedding planning. So it's all encompassing. I think I've got it knocked out."

No, Lady Antebellum will not be the wedding band at Haywood's ceremony. But "we're definitely gonna crash the band at some point," Scott promised. "It's in the rider: You have to let us play a couple songs," added Haywood.

A reporter asked if Scott was thinking about having kids. Rather than demur, she owned up to having those thoughts. "I can't wait—one day," she said, putting it in slightly oxymoronic terms. "We're on tour right now, and touring so heavily through the end of June, then going over to Europe in July. So we're really busy, so there's not much time for that yet. But definitely in the near future. I can't wait to be a mom."

Before anything like that occurs, they'll fulfill another item on Scott's "bucket list": opening a show for Bruce Springsteen. As Charles Kelley noted, "We actually covered 'I'm On Fire' a couple years ago every show for 50 shows in a row. But I don't think we'll be pulling out that cover that night."

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