A true Texas telecast. The 2023 CMT Awards were held in Austin, Texas for the first time, and the ceremony got a warm welcome from Matthew McConaughey, who made a surprise appearance on the Sunday, April 2 CBS show.
Early in the evening, cohost Kelsea Ballerini introduced the new trophy that nominees were vying for. “The first award is coming up, and since this our first show in Texas, we are proud to present our brand new, custom made, Texas CMT trophy,” the “Blindsided” songstress, 29, told the audience.
It didn’t look very different from the standard CMT Music Award. “I know what you’re thinking. That is the regular CMT trophy, but I assure you it’s as Texas as it gets. Are you ready? Check it out,” she said.
Bellerini pressed a red button at the base of the award, and McConaughey’s iconic line from the 1993 film Dazed and Confused played: “Alright, alright, alright.”
The “I Quit Drinking” singer continued, “Yeah, that’s right. It’s the CMMT award. The extra M stands for McConaughey. Let’s hand one of these babies out.”
On the giant screen behind her at the Moody Center, McConaughey, 53, suddenly popped up. “Yes, Kelsea. Thank you. I will take one of those,” the Texas native said.
However, Ballerini wasn’t letting him score an honor without putting in the work. “No, no, sorry, Matthew. You’ve gotta win them just like everyone else!” she said before introducing the next presenter.
His brief cameo with the “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)” performer came amid the news that his Yellowstone spinoff is moving forward, ViacomCBS president Chris McCarthy confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, March 31. Further details about the new series, including its title, have yet to be revealed.
McConaughey was one of several members of the Yellowstone family who took part in Sunday’s awards show. Lainey Wilson (who plays Abby) took the stage to perform with Alanis Morissette while Ian Bohen (who portrays Ryan) and Jennifer Landon (who plays Teeter) presented.
The McConaughey-led spinoff is already getting interest from actors within the Yellowstone universe. During PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 2, Yellowstone star Dawn Olivieri (Sarah Atwood) revealed she’d want to join the spinoff. “The one with Matthew McConaughey! Well, alright. Alright. Alright. No, that’s the only one,” she exclusively told Us Weekly when asked which spinoff she’d want to appear on. “That’s the only one. No, no exceptions.”