Country News

Dierks Bentley and his Pickleball partner, Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, who played in Stephen Colbert’s Pickleball Tournament that aired on CBS this week, are the event’s champions.

Dierks and Phil appeared together on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss their victory. Bentley told Colbert, “Our plan was just to win; you know this is show business, but it’s not called ‘show friends,’ it’s called ‘show business.’ We were there to take care of business.”

Dierks’ partner Phil said that Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, whose partner was boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, was the most competitive and tried to intimidate them by having a coach. Bentley joked that he still has nightmares about Emma’s evil eye. He said, of Watson, “Emma Watson like method acted her way through the whole thing; I don’t think she played pickleball at all. She was scary.”

Dierks admitted that he has been playing on the road setting up courts backstage in venues where he has played this year, and both he and Keoghan admitted that they were nervous about the competition.

The two-hour special that aired on CBS on Thursday (11/17) featured 16 celebrities playing in a charity pickleball tournament. Proceeds will benefit Comic Relief U.S., which strives to end poverty in the U.S.

Bentley told us before the show that his band and crew started playing pickleball on the road to pass the time between soundcheck and the show. “We would just put some masking tape, duct tape, down on the parking lot behind the busses and start playing and got into it, a fun thing to do out there on the road. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me about starting a pickleball team or being part of pickleball specials, and one of the cool things is doing this Stephen Colbert TV special. It involved playing pickleball with a bunch of great people like Will Ferrell and Jimmie Allen.”

GALLERY: Dierks Bentley A Country Star With Wings

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