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The show must go on.
Producers of the 2022 CMT Music Awards are “scrambling” after co-host Kelsea Ballerini tested positive for COVID-19, a source tells Page Six exclusively.
“This obviously is not an ideal situation, but it is a sign of the times,” the source says. “The show is being rejiggered in real time so that everything can go as seamlessly as possible.”
Ballerini, 28, was due to host Monday night’s ceremony with “The Hurt Locker” actor Anthony Mackie, 43. Fellow country singer Kane Brown, also 28, will now take her place at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
Ballerini will still be a considered a host, though, as she is set to appear from her home.
“Kelsea has been great and wants to help in any way she can,” the source tells us. “The team still has a big, exciting night planned.”
Ballerini announced the news herself in a video posted to Instagram Monday morning.
“A couple days ago, I tested positive for COVID, and the CMT Awards are tonight. So unfortunately, I cannot be there in person anymore, and I am devastated. I’m gutted,” she said. “But the good news is that I’m feeling a lot better.”
The “Hole in the Bottle” singer thanked the network for setting up a stage at her house so that she can host and perform remotely.
“It is certainly not what we had expected or planned for, but we are doing our damn best,” she concluded the video.
A CMT spokesperson tells Page Six that Ballerini, who is vaccinated against the coronavirus, is “asymptomatic and remains excited to co-host the show (remotely).
“Kelsea’s good friend Kane Brown — who co-hosted with her last year — has graciously agreed to step in alongside Anthony Mackie,” the spokesperson adds. “The three of them have lots of surprises up their sleeves, and fans can look forward to an epic show!”
The 2022 CMT Music Awards air Monday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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