November 14, 2008
Between the live blog and Blake’s excellent post-mortem, there isn’t much left to be said about Wednesday’s CMA Awards. But Whitney Pastorek from Entertainment Weekly made some points in her CMA Wrap-up that are worthy of discussion, particularly her two different takes on country music’s leading females.
On Carrie Underwood:
Yes, it was cheating to bring out the wife of a deceased soldier to introduce “Just a Dream” and get the waterworks going before she even sang a note. But this was a true showstopper, the emotional equivalent of Sugarland doing “Stay” last year, and official notice that we can now stop looking down on Ms. Underwood because of how she got here. The girl is learning how to use her voice for something other than blowing the doors off the joint every time she steps to the bedazzled mic — and then she went ahead and blew the doors off anyway. I didn’t breathe during this. (Bonus points for the classy way she alluded to Idol during her Best Female Vocalist acceptance speech, the cute shout-out to her mom, and admirably keeping up with Paisley during her hosting duties all night.)
On Taylor Swift:
I will go easy on Taylor Swift because if I went hard on the little dead-eyed darling and her ridiculous ballroom dancing fairy tale fiasco (your move, Twilight), I’d probably never get my rage back under control. So she can’t sing, has exactly zero stage presence, and has now used the same My-Costume-Change-Will-Blow-Your-Mind gag on two straight awards shows. That’s fine. She’s very pretty and sells a lot of records, and makes pre-teen girls happy. Carry on, my wayward waif.