Carly Pearce appeared for not one but two performances on the CMA Fest special on Wednesday night (July 19), taking the stage solo for "What He Didn't Do" and bringing Jo Dee Messina to the stage for a sunny, surprise duet reinterpretation of Messina's 1998 hit, "I'm Alright."

Pearce might have been the star of the show when the performances were taped during the 2023 CMA Fest in Nashville in early June, but when the special aired, she was just another passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight.

That didn't stop her from catching the show: Pearce watched CMA Fest on her laptop during the flight, and in her excitement at seeing herself on the big stage, she tried to turn her plane into a viewing party, with underwhelming results.

As it turned out, Pearce might be a big country star, but that doesn't mean that everybody — or in this case, anybody — recognized her on her flight.

"Watching [CMA Fest] live on my flight & everyone at [Southwest Air] keeping me humble not knowing who I am," Pearce joked on social media, posting a video of the flight attendants and crew's less-than-starstruck reactions when she showed them footage of her CMA Fest performance.

That's not to say they weren't happy for her. Everyone was supportive, if a little bit confused about what exactly it was that they were looking at.

"This is me! On TV tonight! That's why I'm yelling!" Pearce excitedly tells one woman, who responds by holding up her hand for a high five.

"What? What?! Congratulations," the woman responds.

Another crew member stoically gives her two thumbs up, giving her his best "atta-girl" dad response: "That is awesome," he says. As she skips away, he asks her for her name.

A couple of other women simply don't know what to say when Pearce gushes her good news, one chuckling nervously and one responding a face that reads confusion — and maybe even a little concern.

"I know. It doesn't look like me," Pearce says as she gleefully deplanes.

"No one believes you," comments the person filming the moment, cracking up.

"No one. No one believed me when I told them," the singer responds.

Pearce's performances were among the highlights of CMA Fest included in the special, which aired Wednesday night (July 19) on ABC.

50 of CMA Fest's Most Unforgettable On-Stage Collaborations

For 50 years CMA Fest has been all about the fans. What started as Fan Fair has blossomed into a multi-day country music takeover of Nashville. And boy do the artists come to play! Over the years, there have been some major collaborations on stage that have both captivated and stunned audiences. From on-stage performances of studio collaborations to unexpected out of genre guests and everything in between, we've got it all.

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