For its 10th year, the 2019 “CMA Country Christmas” brought forth a cavalcade of star performers from across Country Music and all of entertainment. The Yuletide favorite also brought one of the most celebrated female voices to mark its decade milestone broadcast on December 3. Trisha Yearwood took the helm this year, and she had big shoes to fill. For several years, Reba McEntire made the ABC special her own, apart from a few years here and there, with talents like Jennifer Nettles.

In 1991, Trisha Yearwood stormed the country world with “She's in Love with the Boy,” and soon proved that her range and talent could take on just about any challenger.

The Grammy-winning singer and Food Network star is sharing TV time this week with her husband, Garth Brooks. His autobiographical documentary, “The Road I’m On,” brought soaring ratings to A&E, so it's perfectly fitting that “Miss Yearwood,” as her husband calls her, would find the holiday revue a perfect fit with perfect timing.

Yearwood joked about being glad she didn't have to disassemble the gorgeous Christmas trees surrounding the stage at Belmont University, that she attended, after the show.

Almost every Christmas favorite was featured, but the standouts brought a distinct flair, from Broadway to beating drums. CeCe Winans and the host filled the night with faith.

More than an opening showstopper

The opening number was full of dancing elves, wrapped presents, and Trisha Yearwood in perfect form, but her best numbers and the most uniquely spirit-stirring songs would be later. Rascal Flatts was a little slow and flat on their solo performances. The energy level surged in their rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” steered by CeCe Winans. The number was enough to douse the most hardened heart with joy and more soulful than any Christmas sermon.

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Chris Janson brought his rockabilly best on “Run, Run Rudolph,” even serenading the audience with his raucous harmonica. Australian brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone, known as For King and Country, delivered a truly pounding and personal “Little Drummer Boy”. The percussive chorus became more and more entrancing through every beat of the performance, filled with perspiration and passion.

Lady Antebellum brought their harmonies in tow him for “White Christmas” and the medley of their song from their “Oceans” album with a lovely “Silent Night,” while the gospel spirit and groove returned with a full-force ladies’ showcase on “Born in Bethlehem” with Trisha Yearwood, Tori Kelly, Hillary Scott, and Kristin Chenoweth all following the lead of CeCe Winans on the call and return classic. Viewers couldn't help but feel blessed with spiritual revival.

Kudos to Kristin

Kristin Chenoweth has been a force on Broadway for decades through her career that spans stage, screen, and singing. Seeing the celebrated star on “CMA Country Christmas” reminds her audience that her roots are from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and she never hides her affinity for warm southern hospitality or her accent, never heard in her big production numbers. The range from her 4'11" body remains unbelievable. Her live stage affinity and spot-on vocals were delicious on “I'll Be Home for Christmas,” and her casual comic genius was marvelous in “The Christmas Waltz.

Chenoweth willingly became a ragdoll in the arms of one of the lanky dancers, making what was rehearsed precisely look like it was completely impromptu, her legs flailing wildly.

Down-home sensibility is still part of who the multitalented star is, and she wasn't bashful at all about saying that her belief in Christ makes Christmas meaningful to her. She adds that going to Target is another of her family traditions-- some things never change.

Trisha Yearwood offered a tender, heartfelt turn on “It Wasn't His Child” from her 1994 Christmas album, “The Sweetest Gift.” Her sincerity was palpable and punctuated the evening with meaning before the spirited choruses of “Feliz Navidad” to close the evening with all the performers, and of course, a visit from Santa Claus.

“CMA Country Christmas” remains in very capable voice for the future, certain to remain a true Christmas gift.

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