LATEST: Several country stars are rallying to the defence of singer Faith Hill, following her controversial on-camera antics during Monday night's (06NOV06) Country Music Awards. As fellow nominee Carrie Underwood was announced as the winner of the Female Vocalist Of The Year award, Hill looked at the camera and said, "What?" and turned away. Hill said in a statement on Tuesday (07NOV06) that she had been joking. Hill's close friend Martina McBride says, "She just didn't think it would come off the way that people are perceiving that it came off. "It didn't translate across the television in the way in which she meant it." SARA EVANS says, "I was in the dressing room with Faith after the category was announced... She was not upset that Carrie had won and in fact was very happy for her." Kenny Chesney adds, "To think Faith would be disrespectful in that way is a joke, which is what it was in the first place, a joke." Underwood's publicist JESSIE SCHMIDT said that she was not upset about the joke and that everything was cleared up in a congratulatory phone call.