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Charles Esten Taps Big Country Stars for 2017 CMT Music Awards Opening Skit [WATCH]

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Since Nashville moved to CMT, it’s only fitting that one of its bigger stars host the 2017 CMT Music Awards, right?  Charles Esten, aka Nashville‘s Deacon Claybourne, took over for last year’s co-hosts Erin Andrews and JJ Watt. After the touching Gregg Allman tribute, Esten kicked off the evening with a laugh-out-loud opening skit.

The sketch begins with Esten and a couple of guys from the Nashville cast: They’re filming a video while crooning in perfect harmony — until Darius Rucker cuts them off. He claims to be the president of CMT, sporting a jacket with the words “The President” and “The Darius” on the front.

From there, the skit just gets funnier. Nashville fans will appreciate where most of it takes place (Hint: It’s a house on the show), and stars such as Kellie Pickler, Luke Bryan (wearing a robe) and Brett Eldredge make an appearance. Eldredge’s acting skills are on point; he is sobbing and stuffing his face with popcorn as he watches television — even his dog is crying.

Then, Esten accidentally spills the beans on Season 5’s big shocker; cue even more tears from Eldredge. You’ll also see Thomas RhettCole SwindellLittle Big Town and Billy Ray Cyrus deliver their lines like pros.

If you haven’t already seen it, take a break and watch the memorable video from the 2017 CMT Music Awards above.

See Photos From the 2017 CMT Music Awards

NEXT: More From the 2017 CMT Music Awards

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