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"The most fun (part about the ACAs) is to meet the people that I've been listening to on the radio that I admire," gushes the acclaimed actress and singer. "The second part is obviously working with Trace. He is a really good person. He has a very good sense of humor, and for some reason we have a fun chemistry. It's not two people that you would necessarily put together, but it works. I just flat out adore him. Honestly, that's what brought me back this year: him."
While Trace hosted the ACAs solo in its inaugural year, Kristen shared hosting duties with the country star in 2011 -- proving chemistry despite their 19-inch height difference. "The most challenging part for our producers is to get us in the same frame!" laughs the Tony award-winning star, who likens live television to her days on the Broadway stage.
Kristin's game plan for upping her hosting game this year includes rolling with the punches. She says the key to being a good host is to be a good listener -- and subsequently, a good ad-libber.
"Things happen that aren't supposed to happen when you're doing a live show," reasons the multi-talented beauty, "and for someone like me, you pray for it because it just makes it more fun! So my challenge will be to be a great listener and to make sure and give Trace Adkins a really hard time."
The American Country Awards air tonight (Dec. 10) at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.