ABC/Image Group LARascal Flatts are not attending the CMA Awards this year,since they’re not nominated and they’re not performing. But Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney have a unique explanation for why that is.

“We’ve actually aged out,” Jay tells ABC Radio, with mock regret. “They actually sent us a letter saying ‘You’ve aged out, you’re not eligible anymore.’”

“Which is hurtful,” Joe Don notes.

“It is hurtful,” Jay agrees.

But despite not attending the show this year, Rascal Flatts are still CMA voters.  They joke that they’re taking this opportunity to make sure their pretend rivals Little Big Town — who, like them, have won the Vocal Group of the Year six times — don’t pull ahead.

“We’ve started voting for everybody BUT Little Big Town, so they won’t break our record,” cracks Jay.

He continues, joking, “It’s heartbreaking what’s happened to them in the last couple of years with the drug abuse, and Kimberly in and out of rehab…I don’t wanna get into all that, that’s a private matter.”

“Yeah, she’s cooking up a little more than just food now,” Joe Don cracks.

“We’ll pray for them but we won’t vote for them!” Jay finishes.

You’ll just have to tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to see if Little Big Town can break Rascal Flatts’ record despite the guys’ best efforts.

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