ACM Winners and Live Blog



ENTERTAINER: Carrie Underwood

ALBUM: Taylor Swift, Fearless

SINGLE: “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins

FEMALE VOCALIST: Carrie Underwood


VOCAL DUO: Sugarland

TOP NEW ARTIST: Julianne Hough

VOCAL GROUP: Rascal Flatts

SONG: “In Color” – Jamey Johnson


11:00 Wonderful ending to a pretty good night!

10:59 ENTERTAINER: Carrie Underwood!!!

10:57 Matt and Jamie Foxx should co-host next year.

10:56 Matthew M. was the “Walkaway Joe” in Trisha’s video from 1992.

10:54 The show got better as it went on. I’ve really enjoyed most of the later performances.

10:49 This is the best I’ve heard Rascal Flatts in a very long time. I would buy this song arranged and performed like this.

10:47 Not much in the way of multiple winners tonight, at least in the marquee categories. Brad Paisley has 3 (Male, Video, Vocal Event), Julianne Hough has 2 (New Artist, New Female Artist.)

10:45 ALBUM: Taylor Swift, Fearless (Leeann has to be far ahead by now)

10:42 Blake got Brad Paisley’s slot, I think. Good to hear him. I like this song.

10:36 Who will win Female Vocalist? You need a better teaser than that. Who’s in charge of the clips here?

10:35 SINGLE: “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins  (His first industry award since winning ACM Top New Male Vocalist twelve years ago.)

10:34 Anybody else lose sound?

10:33 She’s getting a Crystal Milestone award for winning an award last year? Really?

10:30 I really need to see them live. If they’re this good on award shows, they must be amazing with their own audience.

10:29 Jennifer Nettles attended Keith Urban’s charisma workshop.

10:28 Reba just said “Any-hoo.”

10:22 The contrast in phrasing between Adkins and the choir is jarring. But Good Lord, this is the best song of the night.

10:19 Amazing how war songs are timeless, even when they describe wars from long ago.

10:15 FEMALE VOCALIST: Carrie Underwood

10:13 She’s getting lost in the mix, but from what I can hear, it’s like “For My Broken Heart” with a brighter morning.

10: 12 New Reba. Good so far.

10:07 Little Jimmy Dickens got served.

10:05 MALE VOCALIST: Brad Paisley

10:04 None of these guys are really at the top of their game.

10:02 She really does put everyone else to shame. This is better than the record.

10:01 Carrie saw it in the window and she just had to have it.

9:54 It’s been 34 minutes since the last award. Yeesh.

9:53 “Hell Yeah”, Part II. Among country recycled grooves, I dig MG’s the least.

9:51 Ladies and gentlemen, Anita Cochran on lead guitar!

9:50 Then again, I’m not sure she’s singing live. Anybody heard the record?

9:49 Alright, I’ll say it. She’s got better vocal chops than most of the people on tonight’s show. I’d like to swap teen idols with pop music right about now.

9:47 Perhaps one of the reasons it’s been such a wild ride for both you and Miley is that you won’t get off her horse.

9:45 Random aside: Is anyone else seeing the Gene Simmons commercial for Cherry Dr. Pepper? Why doesn’t Cherry Coke Zero get such a big promotional push???

9:42 Coming up…Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood. Why not?

9:41 This live blog brought to you from New York City. We’re not part of the real world, but thankfully the internet can beam us to those of you who live in it.

9:40 Good to know some tools are still made in America.

9:39 A rundown of working class anthems should’ve included Aaron Tippin.

9:37 I didn’t realize LeAnn Rimes did so much humanitarian work. I guess she has nothin’ better to do.

9:35 She dances like Natalie Maines. Heh.

9:34 I like the imagery. She’s quite the songwriter, assuming that she wrote this.

9:33 Am I the only one who can’t help but think about Mindy McCready’s “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now” with these lyrics?

9:32 New Miranda Lambert song. Can’t wait to hear it.

9:26 Urban reminds me just how much the new artists lack charisma. He should give workshops on charisma.

9:23 Of all the country superstar recycled grooves, Urban’s is my favorite.

9:21 If Nettles had turned quickly at an angle, this show would be on tape delay next year.

9:20 VOCAL DUO: Sugarland (Finally! First time B&D ever lost a pure Vocal Duo race at the ACM’s!)

9:19 I think we may have peaked for the evening. Sigh.

9:17 So far, this is the only performance of the night that I can say improves on the recorded performance.

9:15 Lee Ann Womack is doing “Solitary Thinkin’.” One of the better tracks from Call Me Crazy.

9:10 Lady Antebellum sounds very generic.

9:06 She gets a crystal milestone award for her incredible record sales? Her albums combined haven’t matched the sales of Underwood’s first album, the first three Dixie Chicks albums, three Shania Twain albums.  Why didn’t Rascal Flatts get this award? John Michael Montgomery? Toby Keith? Kenny Chesney? I’m just confused.

9:05 This reminds me of the Brooke White girl from Idol last year.

9:03 David Copperfield did not, in the end, pull an auto-tuner out of his hat.

8:54 Standing O? Wow, the value of those have plummeted. Must be the economy.

8:53 TOP NEW ARTIST: Julianne Hough

8:52 We like to blame the sound mix for less than par performances. But notice how George Strait still sounds great  – and mark my words, Carrie Underwood will, too.

8:51 I love this song. “Troubadour” couldn’t be a better fit for him.

8:50 I wonder how many of the new artists knew that was a George Strait song.

8:49 He could do a sketch as Wanda the Ugly Girl trying to out-dress Carrie Underwood.

8:48 Seriously, he’s killing. Please let him host next year.

8:47 Jamie Foxx. I’d love to see him host the show next year.

8:43 Poor Nashville viewers had to deal with storm warnings during the Johnson performance. How cool would it have been if those popped up last year during Taylor Swift’s performance of “Should’ve Said No”?

8:41 As for the actual performance, he sounds good. Still overwhelmed by the backing track, but that seems inevitable on these shows. I’m surprised they didn’t do a stripped-down performance a la “Stay.” Those are the only ones that ever sound good on these shows.

8:40 So I get the whole conceit here, but give me a break. There weren’t huge projection screens in the days of black-and-white photographs. Or TV for that matter. This is way too pretentious for my tastes.

8:39 Oh dear God. It’s in black and white. I didn’t see that coming.

8:38 Here comes Jamey Johnson. I suspect we’ll see it in color.

8:36 I wonder if McGraw’s production differences had something to do with those screens behind the artists?

8:35 Toby Keith’s best recent performance wasn’t on a country music award show. Check out his roast of Larry the Cable Guy.

8:29 I’m excited for Toby Keith, though he always seems to do rave-ups. Shame, since he’s such a great balladeer.

8:27 VOCAL GROUP: Rascal Flatts (There goes my lead)

8:26 I wonder if next year she’ll be back singing “Amy and Vince” or “Tim and Faith.”

8:23 I feel bad that Heidi Newfield has nearly no chance despite five nominations. A bit weird to see her dolled up. She was Gretchen Wilson before Gretchen Wilson was Gretchen Wilson.

8:22 Home Depot has been a big friend to this show. They supply the wooden performances.

8:17 Methinks that Jamey Johnson would look better out of color. Yikes.

8:16 SONG: “In Color” – Jamey Johnson  (I called this one, y’all – he’ll repeat at the CMA’s)

8:15 J Love is a huge fan of country music. I’m a huge fan of the Ghost Whisperer. Cool.

8:14 Random pics in the back of young college-age girls partying. Weird.

8:12 Anyone in the comments want to explain the appeal of Chesney playing live? What are his shows like? I’ve never been.

8:11 First time in a long time there’s been a woman in there. I think the Dixie Chicks were the last ones.

8:10 Who’s on the couch with Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens?

8:09 A gay joke? Really?

8:09 George Strait is indeed the man himself.

8:08 Please say Rascal Flatts from the behind of a cow.

8:07 That was interesting, but I wonder how much cooler it could’ve been if it was done later in the show, and was built around ballads with “Very Last Country Song” being the framework.

8:06 I do not want to hang with you and your gang.

8:05 I think they’ve run through all of country’s multi-platinum acts.

8:04 Love me some Carrie Underwood. Hope she has a big night.

8:03 Sugarland, I wouldn’t mind hearing the full song. At least Leeann got a bit of “It Happens.”

8:02 Wow, George Strait snarled at his reference until he noticed the camera was on.

8:01 Taylor Swift doing “Picture to Burn.” Is this a medley of annoying songs performed poorly?

8:00 We’re starting with some sort of jam beginning with Brooks & Dunn. “Play Something Country” still annoys me. The melody is ripped off from “Shut Up and Kiss Me.”

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Filed under ACM Awards, Live Blog

368 Responses to ACM Winners and Live Blog

  1. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Oh my gosh. Tim McGraw is a country diva, sorry Mindy McCready, you’ve got some competition.

    Taylor Swift will be singing “You’re Not Sory” and will be partnering up with a magician to create another magical performance like last year’s “Should’ve Said No” waterfall.

    Hmm…if Tim McGraw’s spot is blank…maybe Pickler can fill in for him? Awww…wishful thinking.

  2. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Hopefully the magician has an autotuner in his hat.

  3. DiamondNo Gravatar

    “Hopefully, the magician has an autotuner in his hat.”

    I can tell it’s going to be a classic live blog tonight!

  4. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Ha, Kevin!

    Sugarland keep performing all my least favorite songs from Love on the Inside at major award shows. “All I Want to Do”, “Love”, and now “What I’d Give”. The only one left I don’t care for is “Joey”, so I guess they’ll have to save that for the CMTs. :/

    I wonder if the Miranda Lambert song is a cover of the Stones’ “Dead Flowers” from Sticky Fingers? That’s a good country-rock tune, but I wouldn’t see it going over well at a show like this.

  5. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I cannot wait! There are actually some things that I’m anticipating now, particularly the Reba and Miranda performances and the Loretta tribute.

    Haha, Carson and Kevin.

    This will be fun!

    Poor Tim seems to be taking “Angry All The Time” and “The Cowboy In Me (“Sometimes I just wake up fightin’ mad”) to heart these days.:)

  6. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Is it just me, or are the ACMs totally outclassing the CMAs recently? They had the Eddy Arnold tribute last year, now they have a Loretta tribute (and a George Strait one, or did I make that up?), and they’ve got an all-around better set of nominees (and winners, based on last year). And I remember they gave Loretta a performance slot a few years back. I’m starting to give them a lot of credit.

  7. Dan, Miranda’s song is new and completely written by her! She said she’s only played it live 3 times.

    Also, I agree Sugarland is very bipolar on their award show performances- they jump around and sing random songs, such as when they sang “Stay” and then released “Everyday America” instead, ditto for “Love” and now “What I’d Give”. “What I’d Give” used to be my least favorite song, but it’s been growing on me recently.

    For Lee Ann Womack, it’ll either be “Last Call” or “Solitary Thinkin’ “, but probably the former since it’s been a “big” single for her and is probably why she is nominated anyway.

  8. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Yay, that pumps me up for the Miranda performance. And I’m really excited for the Womack, too. She can’t go wrong either way, although I’d personally rather hear “Solitary Thinkin'” on this particular occasion. Jamey Johnson and Reba are going to be great, too.

    Anyone else oddly excited to see what embarrassing thing John Rich says onstage during his performance?

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I just love “It Happens” (guilty, guilty pleasure) so much that I wish Sugarland was performing that one. It would be a lot of fun live.
    Dan, I agree with you. The Academy seems to show more respect to the better part of country music than the CMA has been doing, even if they falter at times in certain areas.

  10. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I hope that Sugarland will do “Very Last Country Song” at the CMA’s this year.

    I agree that the ACM’s are outclassing the CMA’s these days, though I think that’s as much a reflection of how far the CMA’s have sunk than anything else. Really, once they moved from the Opry house and stopped doing the Hall of Fame, it was all over.

  11. Leeann WardNo Gravatar


  12. So, all that voting for a new Miranda Lambert single was for nothing? I am confused.

  13. SheldonNo Gravatar

    Oh No – something’s wrong with the sound on my T.V….Oh wait, its just Taylor Swift!

  14. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    This is bizarre. I’m glad to hear Sugarland singing this song though.:)

  15. gabyNo Gravatar

    got your wish leanne!

  16. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Are they just previewing everyone who’ll be performing tonight instead of announcing them?

  17. gabyNo Gravatar

    nail that note carrie!

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah I did!

    Hey, welcome, Gaby!! We’ve missed you!

  19. Greg DowNo Gravatar

    Carrie looks PHENOMENAL!!!

  20. I’m not sure what’s going on with this medley of Brooks & Dunn and everybody else, but Taylor Swift made me realize how high my volume was.

    Jennifer Nettles sounds great.

  21. gabyNo Gravatar

    i’m not going to lie, i’m a little confused by this whole opening thing

  22. RussNo Gravatar

    Nobody wants some Rascal Flatt

  23. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Okay, is “Play Something Country” supposed to be the center piece of all of this country-ness?

  24. AndieNo Gravatar

    finally its starting

  25. RussNo Gravatar

    Nobody wants some Rascal Flatts

  26. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    “I’m not sure what’s going on with this medley of Brooks & Dunn and everybody else, but Taylor Swift made me realize how high my volume was.”

    Ha, J.R.

  27. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Love how no one in the audience is into this besides LeAnn Rimes.

  28. gabyNo Gravatar

    interesting opening idea, could have been executed a little better imho

  29. Leeann WardNo Gravatar


  30. Kix Brooks standing next to Kristian Bush – now there’s an ACM moment. But the whole thing did kinda come together at the end …

  31. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Reba is fun.

  32. gabyNo Gravatar

    matthew mccounghey looks like he is wearing dollar store sun glasses

  33. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I love Reba in this hosting role. She and Vince are naturals.

  34. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I missed the gay joke.

  35. Willie Nelson and Michael Phelps cover the Doobie Brothers. Great!

    Loved the Elton John joke.

  36. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    It’s odd that I don’t hate this song.

  37. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    At least this actually sounds like a country song. I’m alright with it.

  38. gabyNo Gravatar

    kevin i would tell you how kenny’s live shows are, but i can’t really remember

    i’ve never been sober

  39. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’ve gotten soft…liking “It Happens” and the Chesney song?

  40. Greg DowNo Gravatar

    Rebas opener was good. She sure gives high praise to all her fellow singers, and still manages to be funny.

    Kenny puts on a good show. He has high energy songs and really gets the crowd in party mode. Even if you dont really like him, you should go see him just to see the show that everyone talks about.

  41. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Gaby, that must be the appeal of Chesney’s shows then!

  42. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Standing O number 1.

  43. gabyNo Gravatar

    its ok Leeann, i hear during times of economic hard times tastes change…lol

    YAY Jamie!

  44. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Shoot! I love “In Color”, but that means Kevin is ahead!

  45. I’m glad to see Jamey Johnson winning something for this song.

  46. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Nice going, Jamey Johnson.

  47. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    …And James Otto too.

  48. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Oh no, another throw down with Kevin!

  49. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I’m less than enamored with Johnson, but I fully expect him to do well on the country award show circuit this year. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sweep the CMA’s, actually.

  50. I am happy for Jamey and James. As for a Chesney show, it’s pretty fun live (at least it was when I saw him years ago). That opening sequence was a cluster-you-know-what. LeeAnn Womack looked like “WTF?” they call this country music?

  51. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I gave this song a positive review. Ick. It’s worn off. I like Heidi’s voice though.

  52. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I don’t get the appeal of “Johnny and June” at all.

  53. I like Heidi Newfield but her ‘ballads’ are not her thing. She’s better running around the stage. She also sounds very crappy here and is much better than this live.

  54. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    This is like the most arena-rock thing ever. I don’t know how I never picked up on that.

  55. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Taylor, we need some water!

  56. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Maye it’s my mood, but I’m already enjoying this better than the CMAs.

  57. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Ha, Diamond!

    This is ROUGH.

  58. gabyNo Gravatar

    yeah this song…not so much

    maybe she is just really nervous?

  59. Here comes the group award from Darius

  60. A bit late here, but I agree with Matt about the opening medley: The reaction shots to Womack and Jamey Johnson really told the story on that one.

    Heidi Newfield sounds rough. But I like that her nominations show that the ACMs were really thinking for themselves this year.

  61. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Dude, how is Joe Don continually such a stripper?

  62. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    8:26 Funny!

    Dan, you were too hopeful about Group award, but I appreciate your adventuresome spirit.:)

  63. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Wait a minute, was it Kevin who thought RF would be dethroned?

  64. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Hey, at least I still predicted the Flatts! That puts us all at a tie, right?

  65. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Toby and Peter Cooper are at odds for some reason.

  66. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I’m inclined to side with Peter Cooper on whatever it is. Toby’s a great singer, but he’s never sent us a nice note. :)

  67. Toby hates that Peter didn’t ‘fact check’ a story Ethan Hawke reported in Rolling Stone about Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson is the authentic badass (not that T.K. isn’t an “outsider”).

  68. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Regarding Female Vocalist, Heidi told CNN: I hope the makeup’s rockin’. I hope I look good at that moment when they call out, “Carrie Underwood.”

  69. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I like horns.

  70. gabyNo Gravatar

    toby doesn’t look like he is having much fun up there

    a little pissed actually

  71. So I guess Kristofferson sent a message to Peter Cooper clearing up the mess as he agrees with T.K..

  72. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    For the first time in award show memory, the lead voice is way too prominent in the mix here. It’s not too flattering.

  73. I think the issue is that Cooper– a writer whose work I generally like quite a lot– decided to turn Ethan Hawke’s Rolling Stone piece about Kris Kristofferson into something of a “blind item” in The Tennesean, basically taking a third-hand account of an altercation between Keith and Kristofferson that may or may not have actually happened.

    It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. But I would tentatively say “Team Keith” in that contest based upon what’s been reported about it thus far.

  74. Wonder if Curb demanded that McGraw sing his upcoming single, single #8 from “Let It Go” because Curb won’t Let Tim Go.

  75. Kevin, Jamey does indeed look better in B&W…

    I hate that Nashville’s tornado warning sounds for the mid state region are beeping over the songs.

  76. gabyNo Gravatar

    LOVE this song!

  77. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Is it entirely necessary to have a hundred random pictures scattered around Johnson like in the video? Tacky.

  78. Great. One of the two performances I was really interested in seeing on the show gets pre-empted for a severe thunderstorm warning halfway through the first chorus…

  79. DiamondNo Gravatar

    That beard. Can’t get past it. Really.

  80. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ha, Matt.

  81. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “8:40 So I get the whole conceit here, but give me a break. There weren’t huge projection screens in the days of black-and-white photographs. Or TV for that matter. This is way too pretentious for my tastes.”

    Yeah, not a big fan of whoever came up with the production choices for this show.

  82. Dan,

    It’s the son of Dick Clark who came up with that stuff (as the producer).

  83. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Let me check the show credits.

    Art Direction: Taylor Swift.

    Oh dear…

  84. DiamondNo Gravatar

    At least we can count on an authentic, unadorned performance from Taylor Swift.

  85. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    You’re awful, Kevin. :D

  86. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Yeah, there’s a storm warning on right now. It’s a bummer.

  87. Jamie Foxx doing the Obama “Change” stuff? Must be announcing Reba’s “Change.”

  88. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Kevin corners the market for Swift jokes!

  89. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    They’re giving Fox a ton of screen time. Is he the comedy act?

  90. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Someone needs to remind the producers that this is a COUNTRY award show…we don’t need to see actors and rappers…we just want the country music.

    And I hope I didn’t just set Kevin up for another Taylor Swift crack. I actually can’t wait to see what she whips up.

  91. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Alright, “Troubador”! I approve.

  92. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    This song has really grown on me. I gave this one a bad review, but I’d change it now. I’ve got no credibility, folks.

  93. Strait sounds horrible. I know he’s better than this. ugh.

  94. CarsonNo Gravatar

    George Strait totally owns “Troubadour”. No one better cover it at the George Strait tribute.

  95. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m not loving the performance though.

  96. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Oh my gosh I bet Taylor will sing either “Check Yes or No” or “Troubadour”. Because she’s young, and she sings about love. Hahahaha.

  97. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I didn’t think it was too bad.

  98. And the top new artist is: Julianne Hough.

  99. BLLNo Gravatar

    Not a huge Strait fan, but he sounded good tonight and I do like the song.

  100. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I agree with Matt that something was off on Strait’s voice…pitch.

  101. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    Sounds like Linda Ronstadt was right when she said that country music had devolved into “mall crawler music.” I’ll be sure to miss this train wreck when it airs on its tape-delay basis at 8 PM here in L.A.

  102. I agree with LeeAnn: “Troubadour” has definitely grown on me, but Strait didn’t sound all that great.

    I find Julianne Hough endlessly charming in spite of myself, which only makes me wish that I actually liked her music at all.

  103. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    8:54 ha!

  104. DiamondNo Gravatar

    I’d give Jamie Foxx “Best Performance, Hour One.”

  105. Really, did anyone not expect the “New Artist” result? I mean, c’mon that was cemented once they announced fans would vote it. Which means Carrie Underwood is the EOTY.

  106. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, Hough is charming, I’ll have to admit.

  107. gabyNo Gravatar

    anyone hope that david copperfields illusion will make taylor sing in key??

  108. I just got home and turned on the TV to catch the tail end of Julianne Hough’s embarrassing acceptance speech, and to hear the announcer list a name of the acts that are coming up next, none of whom I like. I can remember a time when I actually used to enjoy watching these award shows.

  109. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Hough seems like a lovely person, and I much prefer her vibe to, say, Kellie Picklers’. But I haven’t been convinced that she’s going to be a viable country singer yet.

  110. BLLNo Gravatar

    LOL @ Gaby! He’s an illusionist, not a miracle maker.

  111. How many dresses for Reba tonight? any guesses?

  112. I guess I can’t complain about Jamey Johnson’s performance getting bumped for a weather advisory, since the same thing just happened for the beginning of Taylor Swift’s. Thank you, David Copperfield!

  113. Well Swift certainly sounds better doing stuff sitting down than running around on stage.

  114. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Fiddles? No, violins. Nevermind.

  115. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    It’s crazy how Avrilesque Taylor’s writing sounds on songs like this one.

  116. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I actually don’t think Swift’s vocals were too bad tonight, even if the song was light AC.

  117. gabyNo Gravatar

    everyone together now……dramatic hair flip

  118. … And the broadcast returned just in time for me to see the entirety of Taylor Swift’s trachea.


  119. BLLNo Gravatar

    Well, that was marginally better than last year’s ‘performance’. She managed to stay on key for a nano-second.

  120. And a surprise award announcement and genuine reaction from Taylor.

  121. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I knew the Academy would want to acknowledge her somehow. I wonder if this mean she won’t win album after all?

  122. DiamondNo Gravatar

    I’m guessing that means Taylor just got her last award of the evening.

  123. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “Crystal Milestone”? So we’re just making up awards now for anyone who can still sell records?

  124. Lady A is one of my favorite new acts and I love this song more than any on their record.

  125. 9:05 This reminds me of the Brooke White girl from Idol last year.

    Did Taylor stop, apologize, and then re-start her performance?

    And does the fact that the ACMs just made up a completely arbitrary award just for Swift mean that she’s not winning anything else?

  126. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Wow, Lady Antebellum already way more musically satisfying than anyone else tonight. These lyrics are so weak, though.

  127. The music is drowining out their vocals (Hillary Scott is a bit off, Charles Kelley isn’t). Dave Haywood looks like a young version of Kristian Bush.

  128. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    This Lady A song is catchy once it gets going.

  129. gabyNo Gravatar

    thats what i am wondering Leeann…does this mean she didn’t win album or female?

  130. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, Dan, the lyrics are weak.

  131. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Hopefully, Gaby.

  132. Would someone please explain to me again why Lady Antebellum is considered a country act?

  133. BLLNo Gravatar

    [quote]And does the fact that the ACMs just made up a completely arbitrary award just for Swift mean that she’s not winning anything else?[/quote]

    This is actually the same award they gave to Garth Brooks last year, for his achievements, over a career that’s a year older than Ms Swift.

    Gee Garth could have had it quicker with a MySpace page! (Yes, I’m being ironic.)

  134. @ Razor: Because Hilary’s Mom used to be a country singer.

    I really like Lady Antebellum though.

    That Crystal Milestone award for Taylor Swift surprised me though. What was that for again?

  135. Razor X.,

    That’s a tired arguement…

  136. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ah, I thought the award sounded kind of familiar.

  137. LA W with her new single!

  138. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Alright, “Solitary Thinkin'”! Loving it.

  139. This song sounds killer live.

  140. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    But seriously, she needs to put down that guitar. She ain’t foolin’ nobody, and this is a lounge song.

  141. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    One of my sisters who isn’t into country music fan heard that Lady A song and asked me about it. She was like, “I like it, but why was it on a country station?”

  142. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I like this Womack song. Write this down.

  143. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Love the song, but she never gets her hair right, according to my wife. I dunno.

  144. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, this live performance is better than the recording.

  145. “Razor X.,

    That’s a tired arguement… ”

    But nonetheless a legitimate one.

    I’ve never seen Lee Ann Womack play guitar before. This is not one of her best songs.

  146. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Definitely my favorite performance so far.

  147. DiamondNo Gravatar

    It happened.

  148. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, “It Happens”!:)

  149. What did Big & Rich do to deserve a nomination this year?

    Jennifer Nettles should sue her hairdresser.

  150. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Hopefully, they prepped Bush not to talk much.

  151. Whoa — and she’s outdone Reba’s infamous red dress from ’93!!

  152. And Matt Stillwell got a second of national TV exposure…Hope he was able to “Shine” with some shine.

  153. I think I like this Keith Urban song a lot.

  154. Who are these people who get to stand right in front of the stage and wave their arms? Are they paid to do that?

  155. I’m with Razor about Jennifer Nettles. Great dress, bad hair.

  156. KU is doing well with the song, even if he’s slightly flat., most likely due to the damn mix.

  157. At first I thought Keith Urban was going to sing “Who Wouldn’t Want To Be Me”. The songs sound similar.

  158. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Keith Urban is a beast. Probably his worst single since his debut album, and he still rocked it.

  159. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Miranda! But this sounds like arena rock, nooooo

  160. It’s ‘Ran singing her new song and she started off sounding like Kellie Pickler? WTF?

  161. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    the guitar is drowning Miranda out a bit.

  162. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    This is not what I was hoping for from Miranda, I’ll have to say.

  163. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Man, I hope she’s not going to try to conform.

  164. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    She doesn’t even sound like herself here.

  165. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I didn’t really catch the lyrics, just the sound of the song.

  166. Miranda looked good. Not a great song, though, and she could use a good choreographer.

  167. I wondered why LeAnn Rimes was there tonight.

  168. Now would be a good time to re-visit those website poll results about a possible 5th single from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Ran…

    It’s a little premature to be worried about what this might mean, but that wasn’t up to her usual standards at all.

  169. Wow, LeAnn sure recovered from those Cheatin’ rumors quickly…

  170. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Yeah, that makes me wish she had just performed “Dry Town” or “Guilty in Here.”

    Also, what a nice speech by LeAnn Rimes. I couldn’t agree more.

  171. 9:37 I didn’t realize LeAnn Rimes did so much humanitarian work. I guess she has nothin’ better to do.

    Oh my God, Kevin. Really?

  172. Time to get a drink …

  173. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Shut up and sing, John.

  174. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    9:37 Groan, Kevin.:) Seriously though, I didn’t realize Rimes was such a humanitarian either.

  175. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    John Rich’s speech didn’t disappoint. Gonna go cry about country music now.

  176. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    C’mon. A little fun with song titles. I laughed.

  177. Dan, you should’ve seen the Orange Carpet interview…

  178. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m not into this song, but John sounds pretty decent with just a guitar.

  179. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Kevin, me too.:)

  180. At least John’s a break from the arena rock.

  181. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    :9:41 Funny, Kevin!

  182. They’re still taking votes for Entertainer of the Year? Shouldn’t that have been decided long before now??

  183. Coming up: Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood. Are they trying to get us to stay tuned or not?

  184. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Sad thing is, I bet “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” is going to explode even more at radio now.

  185. Nope Razor, they’re giving Carrie’s fans even more chance to make it a ‘runaway’ win.

  186. What are they going to do, slap a sticker with the winner’s name on the trophy two minutes before its presented?

  187. bobbyNo Gravatar

    I actually like the John Rich song. It’s at least it’s a real representation of what is happening in America, unlike “It’s America.”

  188. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I don’t think they engrave the awards until after the show.

  189. Does anyone else think “Big Bang Theory” is the best CBS comedy?

  190. “Random aside: Is anyone else seeing the Gene Simmons commercial for Cherry Dr. Pepper? ”

    Is there any other kind of Dr. Pepper besides cherry??

  191. So BRC will announce Miley? yikes…

  192. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Matt, I have a friend who loves that show. I haven’t seen it though.

  193. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    OMG Miley with my fave song!

  194. Miley can actually sing y’all. Even if she has a little too much timbre. She actually runs circles around Taylor vocally.

  195. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    9:47 Awesome, Kevin!

  196. Can we get a reaction shot from Jamey Johnson during this? Please? David Copperfield, can you make that happen?

  197. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Hillarious, Dan!

  198. RussNo Gravatar

    It’s Miley!

  199. BLLNo Gravatar

    Miley’s voice really bothers me; how the heck can a 16 year old sound like she drowns in bourban with a 2 pack a day habit?

  200. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m sad that Jessi Alexander co-wrote this little ditty.

  201. RussNo Gravatar

    Oh I get it. She’s climbing a staircase. Symbolism. Sweet.

  202. Kevin, she’s singing live. I’ve heard the record, it has less timbre than Miley.

  203. Can one truly claim to be climbing if one is riding on an escalator?

  204. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Hahahahaha Rus.

    Hmm…Taylor Swift is definitely better than Miley.

  205. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Wow, Troy’s not sounding too good tonight.

  206. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’ve always found Eddy’s voice to be more interesting than Troy’s, even though Troy’s may be technically better.

  207. T-roy must’ve hit the Beam early tonight.

  208. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I don’t care if she is a decent singer. Miley had no business singing that song on this show.

  209. Lord, is there still a full hour of this show left to go??

  210. True enough, Dan, true enough.

  211. “I’m sad that Jessi Alexander co-wrote this little ditty.”

    I’m sad that it was written at all.

  212. “Lord, is there still a full hour of this show left to go??”

    It seems longest in the 2 hour sretch. I’m still waiting to hear the new Reba song.

  213. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, I’m sure there was a more deserving artist than Miley who could have performed tonight.

  214. Wow. What a dress. Does it come with matching bedspread?

  215. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    9:54 When so many awards are announced before the actual show…there’s more time for…uh…Miley to sing.

  216. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Dude. That dress = house.

  217. WTF is Carrie wearing??

  218. I wonder if Randy Travis will magically show up to sing with Carrie.

  219. BLLNo Gravatar

    CU seems to be wearing a household’s worth of duvet covers all sewn together. Not a good idea to take your Gran’s linens for a frock.

  220. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Forget the dress. She sounds great, as predicted. Okay, don’t forget the dress. Just don’t step on it.

  221. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Randy must’ve wanted to stay in Hawaii.

  222. I wonder if Randy Travis will magically show up to sing with Carrie.

    He’s hiding under her skirt.

  223. If Randy Travis is there, he’s somewhere in that dress.

  224. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Carrie’s vocals are spot on.

  225. J.R. — Great minds …

  226. RussNo Gravatar

    Its like a red Jabba the Hutt

  227. It’s Carrie underwood giving a masterclass in a Snuggie!

  228. JudyNo Gravatar

    There’s enough material in Carrie’s dress to clothe a third world country.

  229. And to think for over 20 years I never knew that “I Told You So” was meant to be a power ballad.

  230. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Ha, J.R.!

    I agree. Don’t like the song, but Carrie is smoking everyone.

  231. That dress will make headlines.

    @Razor: Scary isn’t it?

  232. Leave it to Reba to make a joke about the dress.

  233. It’s Carrie underwood giving a masterclass in a Snuggie!


    Now someone needs to give us a reason to reference a Sham-Wow.

  234. Martina McBride looks … awesome.

  235. And Sham-Wow, Brad Paisley wins the award!

  236. Thank You. And Good Night.

  237. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Brad is a class act. Nice speech, nice tone, nice humor.

  238. Brad Paisley. I almost guessed him for this award, but went with Urban at the last minute.

    @Razor: We agree again.

  239. Brad should’ve said “you still with me camera guy?”

  240. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, Martina deserved a spot more than Miley.

  241. Reba’s got herself a big hit here. Don’t know what it says about the song here. She’s also VERY good and looks really good.

  242. Matt, you are totally my hero right now.

  243. Oh yeah. I like this song a lot. Great performance too.

  244. So Kevin,

    Is this the Rodney Atkins-approved version of “For My Broken Heart?”

  245. Excellent performance by Reba.

  246. cue the cynics about Carrie Underwood being a part of Country Music.

  247. Do you really believe none of those guys are at the top of their game…Brad is at least, 10 or 11 #1 hits in a row a top touring act and topselling album….yea he’s way up there right now.

  248. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Carrie’s sis is not too hard on the eyes either. Just sayin.’

  249. Wounded Warrior project. Keni Thomas should be there.

  250. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I missed the Reba song because of my dog’s bad timing.

    I love this Adkins song.

  251. Now leeann, that’s just STRANGE!

  252. Make us proud, Trace Adkins.

  253. Trace’s performance is the highlight of the evening.

  254. Trace really shines on songs like this and the Choir sounds perfect here, not odd like on the record.

  255. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    He and Capitol are idiots if they don’t pull “Marry for Money” and put that out as the single instead.

  256. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Matt, what’s strange?

    I actually didn’t find the choir jarring on the record like everyone else did.

  257. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, that’s a wonderful song.

  258. BLLNo Gravatar

    Well done Mr Adkins

  259. Here is the iTunes link for that song:

  260. Leeann,

    I was joking about your dog making you miss the Reba performance, not the stellar Trace/Choir song.

  261. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Paisley’s doing well, but I think he reached his peak with the Time Well Wasted project.

    I think “top of their game” is a stupid phrase, and all five of this year’s nominees are neither at their commercial or creative peaks, IMO.

  262. Is it just me, or does Reba sound like she has a cold when she’s talking tonight?

  263. Wow, after a rocky lower register, Jennifer, totally worked out dawg!

  264. Jennifers is one of those rare performers who sound better live than on record. This is definitely the best performance of the night, IMO.

  265. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Jennifer Nettles gets an A+ in camera seduction.

  266. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, my dog needed to go outside and nature shouldn’t wait…even for Reba.

  267. That should’ve said…”wow Jennifer. After a rocky start with the lower register, once you got in the high notes, you totally worked it out dawg! That was Hot! I was like WHAT?

  268. I adore Jennifer Nettles. If you haven’t seen Sugarland live, you really need to. Their show is a lot of fun.

  269. BLLNo Gravatar

    I have a HUGE amount of problem with her accent. I know she’s from Georgia, but so is Trisha Yearwood and I can understand her. Maybe it’s me as I’m Irish, but I find her hard to understand

  270. Oh, another arbitrary Crystal Milestone award!

  271. Another Crystal Milestone Award. And this time for Jennifer Nettles. I couldn’t be happier for her.

  272. Kristian Bush’s guitar playing marred an otherwise good performance. Is this an example of what he meant about being versatile and knowing how to play multiple instruments? He should stick to the mandolin.

  273. Love the broken video!

  274. Well there’s the first one I got wrong.

  275. Single of the Year: You’re Gonna Miss This.

    Pay me, J.R.

  276. 10:34: Yeah, I lost sound too. I thought it was the storms.

  277. Best performance and quote in one night! go Trace!

  278. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Funny speech from Trace. He’s got my good will tonight anyway, for his performance.

  279. BLLNo Gravatar

    We lost sound as well.

  280. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I lost sound too, just static.

  281. @Razor: You’re definitely doing better with your predictions than I am. I think I have 2 right so far. Looks like you’re going to have the most right – I just hope your Entertainer prediction is wrong.

  282. The static is from the feed.

  283. “I just hope your Entertainer prediction is wrong.”

    So do I.

  284. I like this song WAY better acoustically.

  285. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Wow, Blake sounds terrific. I think I would be a huge fan of him if he put out good music more consistently.

  286. BLLNo Gravatar

    I would like it better if he hadn’t flatted out.

  287. I wonder if MG even got 1% of the vote for album (outside of Sony’s vote of course).

  288. And still only one wrong…

  289. Looks like my Album of the Year prediction was way off! Taylor Swift? WTF???

  290. BLLNo Gravatar

    UGH! Autotuning over talent wins again.

  291. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Naw, man. I’m doing awfully. I predicted Strait; only Leeann called Swift.

  292. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Was Blake Brad’s spot or Tim’s?

  293. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Damn, my dog should have asked to go out now. He sleeps instead.

  294. Rascal Flatts — where’s the mute button on my remote?

  295. And Gary’s close to pitch tonight. But the other 2 aren’t…

  296. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    The Voice will probably wake him though.

  297. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    This Rascal Flatts song pisses me off because it tricks you into thinking it might be good at the beginning. But then…

  298. RussNo Gravatar

    Nuts.I’d been watching on delay trying to catch up and I made it to live right as Rascal Flatts was starting. How depressing…

  299. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Gary’s been worse, but I know the worst is yet to come.

  300. My Album prediction was wrong too.

  301. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    OUch, here it is. How lame is that guitar solo?

  302. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    This is actually going alright, although he’s still flat a fair amount.

  303. BLLNo Gravatar

    Speaking of autotuning….. I saw them before they were ‘Rascal Flatts’ at In Cahoots in 1991; they were horrendous. LeVox was still using his real last name. Can’t be arsed to look it up, as that’s how unimpressed I was with them.

  304. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Did I miss the Loretta Lynn tribute?

  305. This version was better than the album’s.

  306. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Wow, I think the son’gs boring, but that performance wasn’t nearly as bad as the record.

  307. Dan,

    I’ll take him singing flat than singing sharp any day.

  308. TheVoice may be as close to on-pitch as he’s ever been, but he’s still making faces like he needs a good 30 mg of Miralax.

  309. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Maybe the Loretta Lynn (and Tim McGraw) thing all had to do with the George Strait tribute that they’re taping tomorrow?

    Loretta Lynn and Marty Robbins are both previous Artist of the Decades, I believe.

  310. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Anyone else think pretty much all of the songs that have been performed tonight “stripped” have sounded way better? The only one I thought was weak without the production was “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.”

  311. DiamondNo Gravatar

    I’d say you’re right about Loretta. They only have time for E of the Y.

  312. BLLNo Gravatar

    LOL @ Jonathan.

  313. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Oh, too good to be true for a Loretta tribute tonight?

  314. Kevin,

    They probably dropped Loretta for Miley, something Hollywood producers would do.

  315. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Wow, anyone else seeing this Kenny Chesney Corona commercial with the acoustic version of “Beer in Mexico”? I like that.

  316. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, the stripped down songs have been superior, even the Rich song.

  317. It’s the man with the shortest arms in Hollywood. He’s the world’s perpetual frat boy.

  318. It’s Matthew being Matthew…

  319. Wow, that was even more amazing than the time he was on The Daily Show and told a story about the van he has and his friend Gus used to have with a “pee hole” in the back floorboard…

  320. Wow, I think getting only one prediction wrong is a good batting average…

  321. Jonathan, you may be the only one who got my reference about his short arms…

  322. BLLNo Gravatar

    Well no surprise there, eh? And of course she’s going to snozz her way through it.

  323. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth commence…

  324. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m genuinely happy for Carrie, not just because I predicted her win. She’s so appreciative.

  325. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I thought that was a great speech.

  326. What a fricking joke this entire program has been. The only worthwhile moments were the Reba and Trace Adkins performances.

  327. Dan and Leeann,

    You’re right. It was great and appreciative. Damn. Snow showers in Nashville after mid 70s the day before? Should I blame Al Gore?

  328. Razor, if you hate mainstream country so much, why watch the award show?

  329. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    It was still pretty lame to me, but I don’t care for most of mainstream country right now, so what’s new? It was miles better than the CMAs.

  330. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    No, don’t blame Al; he’s trying to help.

  331. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Carrie is a great singer. Love the joke about the boots she made in the speech. Enjoyed it as usual, Country Universe.

  332. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar


    Don’t blame Al Gore. Blame the folks who didn’t listen to him. :)

    I enjoyed the back half of this show quite a bit. A lot of solid performers and no embarrassing wins in the major categories. Good show.

  333. I agree Carrie’s acceptance speech was genuinely appreciative.

    But seriously: Can we stop fan voting now?

  334. Matt, if I didn’t watch it you’d be telling me I had no right to gripe about something I didn’t see. Sorry that I can’t bring myself to be an apologist for mainstream mediocrity.

  335. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    The show was not perfect, but it was much better than the CMAs were.

  336. LOL…Now the news has some piece on some new drug called “Molly” that is some morphed version of “X”.

  337. “I agree Carrie’s acceptance speech was genuinely appreciative.”

    As it should be. I’d appreciate it too if I was handed an honor over four colleagues who were more deserving.

  338. I’ve heard about ‘Molly’. I hear she’s fun at parties.

    Good night everybody. It’s been real.

  339. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    How’d I do on the predictions? Pretty good I think.:)

  340. Razor,

    I’m no apologist. I like a lot of what comes out, all mutations of the genre.


    I hope you know I was being sarcastic w/the reference to my neighbor…

  341. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I personally thought Carrie Underwood was far more deserving than her four colleagues for the award this year, so I’m thrilled that she won.

  342. “I’m no apologist. ”

    I didn’t say you were.

    “I like a lot of what comes out, all mutations of the genre.”

    Mutations being the key word …

  343. “Matt, if I didn’t watch it you’d be telling me I had no right to gripe about something I didn’t see. Sorry that I can’t bring myself to be an apologist for mainstream mediocrity.” – Razor X.

    How is that not saying I was an apologist?

    As for the CU award, I can’t say that I don’t agree with it. Now if Sugarland had been in that category…

  344. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Final Tally for Predictions:

    Leeann: 8 out of 9
    Kevin: 7 out of 9
    Lynn: 6 out of 9
    Dan: 5 out of 9

    Leeann has officially dethroned me. Congratulations!

  345. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I think Urban and Paisley would have been deserving too. I’m okay with Kenny getting dethroned though.

  346. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Yep, I bombed.

  347. “How is that not saying I was an apologist?”

    How is saying that *I* can’t be an apologist saying that *YOU* are??

  348. Leeann WardNo Gravatar


  349. “10:49 This is the best I’ve heard Rascal Flatts in a very long time. ”

    I agree. Of course, I did have the TV muted the whole time they were on.

  350. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    People on the west coast can catch Country California’s live blog now.

  351. Leeann,

    Congrats. I hereby give you a meaningless Crystal Milestone award too for getting 8 right!

  352. Razor, it’s possible I misinterpreted what you typed… For that I’ll pull a peter cooper and apologize for not fact checking…

  353. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Hey, it’s been a good night all around. Crystal Milestone Awards for Everyone!

  354. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Wow, thank you. You don’t know what this means to me….!:)

    Nice Peter Cooper reference, Mat

  355. Kevin,

    It’s not youth league sports. Everyone can’t be a winner!

    G’night y’all.

  356. BlakeNo Gravatar

    Gentle thoughts, Twitter-style: (Broken internet connection…missed the liveblog. Well done, all. Also, Twitter is the devil.)

    B & D, “Play Something Country” medley: “We Are the World” country-style mash. Most (all?) involved do not heed Ronnie’s request. Womack’s shaking head says all.

    Heidi Newfield, “Johnny and June”: Glammed-up, tan Felicity Huffman look-alike sings square-peg song about Cash clan. Ring of fire prop not a shocker.

    Jamey Johnson, “In Color”: More badass than preceding Toby Keith romp. Groovalicious, Memphis soul version of a killer song. Hillbilly Springsteen.

    Taylor Swift, “You’re Not Sorry”: Princess made Music Row fat cats money in 2008. Reward: Album of the Year and cheap crystal hood ornament. ACM, commerce > art.

    Lady A, “I Run to You”: @davehaywood–You’ve supplanted Kristian B. as best silent partner in pop-country group. It’s always the quiet ones? Tell Hillary I like her hair without the primped waviness. You be you, bro.

    Lee Ann Womack, “Solitary Thinkin'”: The DJ’s daughter lays down some serious LAW. Drinking damsel in distress outsings whole room. Country to the bone. Love her. Love to hear what she thinks of the show.

    Keith Urban, “Kiss a Girl”: Sterilized Dired Straits knockoff. Not quite the addictive, fizzy rush of “Sweet Thing.” Simple, subtle romantic desires compared to Chesney. Buffett incarnate kisses a girl as mere appetizer to main course(s). And he always steals the Entertainer prize from our fave Aussie. Greedy, I tell you.

    Miranda Lambert, “Dead Flowers”: @mlambert: Tornado beep ruined listening experience. Assume you were riding Nirvana guitar lick into greatness. Texas twang matched with brainy prose gives me tingles. New album in Sept will be great b-day gift.

    Jon Rich, “Shuttin’ Detroit Down”: What do the Urbans think of this? “Lazy ass” does not equal “wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.”

    Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”: Shania Jr. without the chuptzah of Shania. Band is in astronaut wear. Song (and vocal) itself ain’t half bad. Def. in the outer space of country music.

    Carrie Underwood, “I Told You So”: Idol perf was a couple notchs better (hella good, go Youtube it). Still a highlight of show, if only for volcanic eruption of your red dress. Entertainer win is deserved, but fan-voting sucks. Wish there were room for more than 2 girl singers on radio. Shame on Nashvegas. Matraca Berg’s catalog is ripe for the picking. Trust you gut, CU.

    Trace Adkins, “‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired”: Radio only plays his novelty BS, but Adkins is true (red, white and) blue artiste. Cadet choir = chilling presence. Gay-unfriendly past and uptempo filler is uncool. Use that booming baritone for good, T. More awards may follow.

    Sugarland, “What I’d Give”: Enjoy them in their mid-’80s Bangles pocket instead of channeling Billie Holiday. I like my eggs scrambled, Jennifer. Modern-day “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Less sad, more sexy.

    Blake Shelton, “She Wouldn’t Be Gone”: @bshelton: Co-write with Miranda and do not devolve into whiny, bombastic crap that the Flatts are about to unload.

  357. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Awesome, Blake! Twitter style looks fun.:)
    I’m especially with you on the Blake Shelton thing. The best song on his album is the one he wrote and sang with Miranda.

  358. JessiNo Gravatar

    definitely about time someone besides kenny won n rascal could work on the live performance.. kinda thoguht the fashion was better than the singing this year. loved carrie’s look.. found a ton of coverage at for the orange carpet! xo jessi

  359. Tony CNo Gravatar

    Random thoughts:

    – Need that Miranda Lambert song in studio version asap! Sounds like a smash. Her performance was my favorite of the night.

    – Would say ditto on the new Reba song, but thanks to the tip above I just downloaded “Strange” on iTunes. I like my Reba with a little sass and this one has it to spare. Backed by the Scott Borchetta promo machine, you gotta believe this one will be big for her.

    – Carrie’s performance was good. Red dress actually distracted me. Her win is deserved, but wish the fan voting would end now so that no more of these awards have astericks next to them though.

    – Trace Adkins was impressive. Similar to Tim’s “If You’re Reading This” from a few years ago. I don’t consider myself a fan of Trace’s, but this was pretty awesome.

    – Taylor was what she always is. Next.

    – Miley is a better vocalist than most people give her credit for, but the production and her “stage presence” was not OK. Seriously, what was that?

    – Keith Urban was solid. Dig the song and his new album is growing on me. This would probably be in my Top 5 performances of the night.

    – Sugarland was ace as always. The song isn’t a knockout but Nettles always sells it.

    – Heidi Newfield was majorly disappointing for me. Thought this would be at least a coming out party for her to a national TV audience (eventhough J. Hough won the only award she had a real shot at), but her vocals were a mess. And she needs to lay off the bronzer.

    – Loved Jamey Johnson’s performance, but the production was just bizarre. In and out of color at the wrong times. The impact could have been greater if they’d used the effect at the right times.

    – Loved Lee Ann Womack’s sophisticated slowburn, bluesy performance. Felt it might have been a little lost on the audience (inside the venue and on TV). Not sure though.

    Everything else was safely middle ground for me.

  360. ZackNo Gravatar

    Lee Ann Womack’s face about 6 minutes in shows her opinion about country’s “multiplatinum artists.” Guess she, just like many of us, want to go back to the 90’s boom years, or at least the 80’s traditionalist era.