WATCH: Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning Endure Hilarious ‘CMA Bootcamp’ To Prepare For Co-Hosting Duties

Luke Bryan, Peyton Manning; Photos via Instagram
Luke Bryan, Peyton Manning; Photos via Instagram

Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning are “fired up” as they prepare to host this year’s CMA Awards

In order to make sure they “get in sync” before they step in front of the mic, the two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and former NFL quarterback underwent a grueling bootcamp, which is showcased in the promo video for the 56th Annual CMA Awards.

“Luke, are you ready to host the CMA Awards,” Manning asks his co-host at the start of the video to which Bryan responds, “Man, I’m fired up.”

Things start off a bit rocky when they go in for a high-five and miss each other. This prompts them to realize they need a “CMA Bootcamp” to get them into shape for the big night. 

After taking off their jackets, Bryan and Manning can be seen wearing slacks, dress shirts, and ties on set. Bryan starts off by quizzing Manning on his country star knowledge as he flips through photos that include Reba, Darius Rucker and an old photo of himself, which hilariously stumps the football star.

“I got nothing,” Manning says to Bryan who clarifies that it’s him from 10 years ago.

With Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” playing in the background, the “Country On” singer also shares his wisdom on eccentric vocal exercises and how to dress to fit in with the country music community. 

Then, they give their high-five another chance as Manning coaches Bryan on how to make sure they nail it every time. He also sits the singer down and draws out a play-by-play, similar to what he’s used to seeing inside the locker room, just in case someone “tries to tackle.”

“It’s not gonna happen — it’s an award show,” Bryan says, shutting down Manning’s plan.

For their final set of training, the co-hosts practice different “passes” for how they can hand off the prizes to the winners. Bryan decided he’s “going deep,” but apparently he went too deep because when Peyton tosses it to him, a crashing noise can be heard in the background.

“We got this,” says Bryan before Manning adds, “Let’s go baby, it’s gonna be a great show.”

The Country Music Association shocked fans on August 1 when Bryan and Manning were revealed as the CMA Awards co-hosts. The longtime friends said they are thrilled for the opportunity to be the face of the CMA Awards.

“Being a part of such a historical night that honors my peers and Country Music is such a privilege,” Bryan said. “When I was asked if Peyton Manning was someone I would consider co-hosting with I didn’t hesitate. We have become great friends through the years and what he brings to the table is gonna make it even more of a blast. I know he’s been to the CMA Awards before, but he’s never been with me. Hey Peyton, I hope you’re ready for the night of your life!”

“I cannot wait to head to Nashville and take the CMA Awards stage alongside my friend Luke Bryan,” Manning shared. “I am such a huge fan of Country Music, so to have the chance to stand among so many incredibly talented artists is an absolute honor.” 

This marks Luke Bryan’s second consecutive year hosting the CMA Awards, while Manning is a first-time host. 

“Country Music’s Biggest Night will without a doubt live up to its expectation this year,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer shared. “During an evening when we celebrate the best of the best in Country Music, we are thrilled to have two award-winning hosts at the helm! I cannot wait to see what Luke and Peyton have up their sleeves, which I’m sure will be hilariously unpredictable and playfully energetic, just like the two of them.” 

Final nominees for The 56th Annual CMA Awards were revealed on Wednesday, September 7 and the winners will be announced during The 56th Annual CMA Awards, which will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) on ABC.