Kelsea Ballerini Gives Kenny Chesney Hilarious Ultimatum After First Backstage Ice Bath

Did Chesney hold up to his end of the deal?


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 15, 2023


3:57 pm

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Kenny Chesney, Kelsea Ballerini; Photos via No Shoes Radio, Instagram

Kenny Chesney and Kelsea Ballerini recently made a stop in Lincoln, NE as part of Chesney’s I Go Back Tour, but before taking the stage that night, Ballerini proposed a less-than-favorable challenge for her tourmate.

During an appearance on Chesney’s SiriusXM channel, No Shoes Radio, the “Subject To Change” singer was tasked with taking her first-ever ice bath. As she prepared to step into the freezing cold tub, Ballerini made a last-minute deal with Chesney, saying that if she participated, he would have to agree to take a shot on stage with her. 

“I have an ultimatum,” Ballerini shared on air. “If I get in this ice bath, I’m gonna bring you a shot of tequila on stage for ‘You and Tequila’ tonight.”

At first, the “American Kids” singer joked that it would be an easy deal to make since they didn’t have that song in the setlist for that night. However, following the show on May 13, No Shoes Radio took to social media to share a clip of Ballerini explaining the challenge she had proposed to Chesney earlier in the day. Then, it was revealed that “You and Tequila” ended up making its way into the show, therefore leaving Chesney to hold up his end of the deal. 

The caption read, “@kelseaballerini said she’d do the ice tub if @kennychesney did a shot of tequila on stage during “You and Tequila”. This song got added to the set list last minute and we had the shots ready to go! 😂🏴‍☠️🧡”

Suddenly, the crowd erupted in cheers of excitement as two black solo cups were brought out on stage and handed to the country stars. 

“And now it’s your turn, Kenny Chesney,” Ballerini said before clinking their plastic cups. 

This marked just one of the many exciting moments that occurred throughout the show in Nebraska. Another was when Chesney chose a lucky fan out of the crowd in the sandbar to come up on stage with him. The magic continued as he presented the young girl with a hand-signed guitar as a sign of gratitude for her support. 

Chesney took to social media to share a photo of this heartwarming moment that featured the fan tightly holding onto her new guitar as she posed in between him and Ballerini. This was followed by an image of the singer next to Matt Rhule, head football coach for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

“Lincoln, Nebraska, thank you for one loud, energetic, passionate night. I loved this little girl. She was sobbing when Kelsea and I gave her that guitar,” he wrote in the caption. “And a special thanks to my friend Matt Rhule for coming to the show and for letting me workout at the facility. Nebraska, you’ve got a really good football coach. Thanks again, Lincoln, for a great night. #IGOBACKTOUR

After performing as the tour opener, Ballerini usually joins Chensey on stage to sing a few songs including their chart-topping, CMA-winning collaboration, “half of my hometown.” This song holds a special sentiment to both artists as it finds them reflecting on their East Tennesee roots.

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The remainder of Chesney’s setlist typically includes  “All The Pretty Girls,” “Living In Fast Forward,” “Young,” “Beer In Mexico,” “Here And Now,” as well as the recent return of the fan-favorite, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”

Presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum, the I Go Back Tour officially kicked off on March 23, at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. Throughout this run of shows, the eight-time Entertainer of the Year decided to return to his roots by visiting the cities and venues where he played in the earlier days of his career, instead of concurring the massive NFL stadiums like he did in the previous summer. 

With Kelsea Ballerini serving as direct support on all dates, Chesney will continue his run through May 27. 

Kenny Chesney with Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Allister Ann
Kenny Chesney with Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Allister Ann

Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back 2023 Tour:

May 18        Fort Wayne, IN                      Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

May 20            Evansville, IN                         Ford Center

May 25            Charleston, SC                       Credit One Stadium

May 27        Orange Beach, AL                  The Wharf

*festival / one-off show dates

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.