CMT Music Awards: 2007 Live Blog

Kris is here to keep me calm.

Good God, what an astonishingly tasteless evening. A nasty host with an insult for everybody, music that barely resembles country, and women spoken of with no respect, whether they’re cheerleaders, talk show hosts, country music superstars or songwriting legends.  Not to mention a pot-shot at Stonewall Jackson.  I’m going to go listen to some Kristofferson, Tillis, Cash and Loveless, and remind myself that this twisted trainwreck is not what country music is; it’s just a cable channel’s tawdry attempt to be the hillbilly MTV. You can read my running thoughts below for the evening. Know that they’ve been heavily censored. HBO wouldn’t broadcast my inner monologue from the past three hours.

Oh, and I will never, ever, ever, do this again. Not live blogging, mind you: I’m going to do that for Idol country night if I’m home for it. But the CMT Music Awards? Never again.

As it happened:

8:0o Are You Smarter than a 5th Grade Country Music Star, eh? Would’ve been cooler if they asked one of the aging pop/rock stars to name a Webb Pierce song.

8:03 This skit was longer than an SNL bomb.

8:04 Then again, I’d rather watch that than Rascal Flatts. I wonder if their cover of “Life Is A Highway” has Tom Cochrane thinking he could do country?

8:09 I’m glad Foxworthy has a hit to pimp again. Doesn’t have to drag out the redneck jokes.

8:10 Martina McBride doesn’t strike me as thinking Thomas Jefferson is related to George and Wheezy.

8:11 Now you’re mocking Dolly Parton? Lay off the chicks, dude.

8:13 Now we have a fat joke about Rosie O’ Donnell. And a joke about the Dixie Chicks not getting played on country radio and Grammys. Noticed they got some cheers and the applause was tepid for his “jokes.” Get over it.

8:14 Now bashing Faith. Where’s Vince? Please?

8:15 How do you insult people for five minutes then segue to a tribute to those who died today in the Virginia shootings? Couldn’t you at least put some distance from the vile before you go for the cheap applause?

8: 16 Heh, they played the pop remix version of The Wreckers video. And Taylor Swift won Breakthrough Video, like I predicted. Gotta be the first shout-out to MySpace I’ve ever heard.

8:17 Video Noms: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood. Carrie’s got my vote.

8:18 Sanjaya joke. Is he out of material already?

8:25 Why is Blake Shelton wearing an apron? And Ron White is still telling the same jokes about being a drunk.

8:26 Duo Video: Sugarland. I called that one too. Damn, Foxworthy’s still attacking lefties like it’s 2003, and the country fans don’t even vote for the troops-praising Big & Rich video. They’re the ones who deserved it.

8:27 Did Jennifer Nettles really just say the “Want To” video had “a lot of gut and a lot of heart”?? It had a lot of t and a lot of a, and that’s about it.

8:28 Kenny’s singing “Summertime.” Weird to hear that after a huge nor’easter.

8:31 Anyone notice his vocal was just as loud when he moved the microphone far away from his mouth? I guess if he can pretend it’s summertime, he can pretend to sing about it.

8:37 This is a tasteless song for Hank Jr. to sing, given the events of today which happened at a country school.

8:40 This whole show is leaving a bad taste in my mouth so far. What scares me is that it’s also an accurate portrayal of the genre right now. That comment Foxworthy made about not hearing the Chicks album “because country radio isn’t playing it” is an interesting one, since country radio isn’t playing most of the good country stuff out there but is playing aging rock stars. I wrote in the Pam Tillis album review I’m working on that her album is a reminder that country music is an art form, not a radio format. So far I’m seeing more artists tonight that use the genre instead of contributing to it.

8:47 Hard to Taylor to be too Swift in a dress with a train that long. Video Director goes to Roman White for Carrie’s “Before He Cheats.” I’m three for three. Carrie’s on fire.

8:51 What’s going on with this Keith Urban performance? Is it live as in going on right now, or pre-taped?

8:53 Damn, he’s good though. I think the rehab thing hurt him with the fan base – he won Video last year, but didn’t make the final four this year. He’s a talent with rallying behind. He’s just so damn good.

8:54 Followed by a scratching yourself joke. Foxworthy needs to go. This show had more dignity the year that Toby Keith & Pamela Anderson co-hosted.

8:58 They just ran an ad for Foxworthy’s DVD collection, which apparently includes a skit of him riding a coffin in a funeral home like it’s a mechanical bull. I’m actually sick to my stomach. This has to get better, right?

9:00 I went to Belmont, which is the Southern Baptist university that’s hosting this event. They’ve gotta love the man in a dress.

9:01 Josh Turner just showed the right way to pay tribute to those who died today. First and foremost, not tacked on at the end. Good for him.

9:02 Female Video: Carrie Underwood. Well, I’m four for four. I’m going to say she wins the Video at the end also.

9:03 Speaking of classy, there’s Underwood again. She’s just so well-spoken and composed, all the time, no matter how tacky her surroundings are. Good of her to thank the fan club. Every time I write about Underwood on this site, her fan message boards are all over it, and they’re just as classy as the star they follow.

9:05 I love this Sugarland song. It could use a fiddle. She’s singing the hell out of it though. The second hour is already far better than the first.

9:09 ROSANNE CASH has been in the audience for this debacle? She must be as sick to her stomach as I am. And Matt C. from The 9513 as well, who’s spoke up in the comments. CMT should sell Pepto-Bismol ads next year.

9:14 Someone must have written that Cash intro for Foxworthy. It was too respectful for him to have written about a woman.

9:15 Cash is a poet. She has me near tears with her eloquence.

9:16 This whole segment feels like it should be on the CMA’s or the Grammy’s. It is so out of place on this trashy spectacle. The whole show should be like this. I remember the fan-voted shows that TNN used to do, with the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award always being the touching highlight. You can celebrate the fan’s favorites without pandering to the base instincts.

9:20 “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was my Dad’s favorite song of that time. A lot of memories coming back right now.

9:23 The reverence being shown to this man by those who are revered themselves (Willie, Scorcese, Rosanne Cash) speaks volumes about this man’s gifts.

9:25 Kris just spoke of the “spiritual communion” between Cash and his audience. What an illuminating description. He’s paying tribute to John instead of basking in his winning the award. There are artists with a mere shadow of his talent that trail him even further in grace.

9:32 Um, Bon Jovi? THIS IS NOT A F***ING COUNTRY SONG! You know why you think it is? Because of all the “country singers” tonight who sang songs that are just as lite rock as you guys are! Trust me, you’re not the ones I have contempt for.

9:36 Wide Open Award. First one I got wrong. Jack Ingram over Johnny Cash. Wow. Just. Wow.

9:43 You might be white trash with money. Recycled redneck jokes. Ugh.

9:44 Lance Smith still doesn’t seem very masculine, even next to Ross the intern.

9:46 Carrie’s the consummate pro. Her stage presence has improved dramatically.

9:49 Think Foxworthy can avoid saying something tacky about her outfit?

9:50 Ah, Gretchen. Yesterday’s tomorrow girl.

9:52 Nice for Kenny to bring the director up. He’s right, by the way. Shaun Silva is top-notch.

9:59 Group Video, Rascal Flatts “What Hurts The Most.” I think that’s the one I said they’d win for. Heh, they wish every show was fan-voted. Pander pander.

10:02 Love this Dierks Bentley song. He’s one of the real talents out there among the new ones.

10:04 Who snuck that fiddle on the stage? Aren’t those contraband these days?

10:14 If you’re going to put Rodney Carrington through the trouble of coming to the show, why not let him sing his latest single? May be a novelty record, but “Show Them To Me” would be more entertaining most of the bland crap we’ve seen tonight.

10:16 Oh for God’s sake. Barbara Mandrell?

10:17 Did Mandrell just say the genre she loves is in good hands???? I’ll let it go because her music sucks anyway.

10:18 Video of the Year is…..Carrie Underwood. This woman is just raking them in!

10:20 Okay, I’ll stick around for Martina to sing. But what a crapfest this has been.

10:25 Did Foxworthy just say country doesn’t take sides in a war? Where the hell has he been?

10:26 He’s giving a way too defensive celebration of country music, and he’s contradicting himself along the way. And he has real contempt for women. Martina deserved a better introduction than that. I guarantee you she’ll get one worthy of her tomorrow on American Idol by those Hollywood types that Foxworthy hates so much.

10:28 I like this song a lot, and even more so after tonight’s crapfest. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disgusted.


  1. Given that he was trying to get jeers, he didn’t get very many, IMO. The fans did nominate them for an award, it just seems stupid at this point to take pot shots at them.

  2. I think CMT is claiming that the Urban performance was live, but no one would be the wiser if it wasn’t. No reason to shoot it live, really. It was the only enjoyable moment in what has been an absolutely nauseating show so far.

  3. I usually watch this show on fast forward, but I’m trying to champ it. It’s not even fun writing about it though. The bile it’s building up in me is overflowing onto my keyboard.

  4. The Kristofferson segment is worth downloading and archiving, definitely the highlight of the night.

    Following it up with a Bon Jovi performance goes to show that country music is suffering an identity crisis.

    Also, it’d be nice to see songwriters getting more recognition and thanks from the artists singing their songs (ie: Trent Summar and Jay Knowles for “Love You”). Summar’s version is worth checking out.





  6. That’s your mistake, “COUNTRY BLUE.” Country music doesn’t “come with a lifestyle.” It appeals to many people of different lifestyles. But I don’t know what country music has to do with any of what you’re saying, anyway. It’s not like there WAS any country music to speak of tonight, aside from a performance or two and the Kristofferson award segment.

    I’m not even sure what you’re criticizing. to be honest.

  7. I also didn’t insult the lifestyles of anybody. I simply noted my disgust at my lifestyle being attacked. Jeff Foxworthy did not celebrate country music; he used it as a bludgeon on a straw man of his own creation. You want to see country music celebrated? Watch the show again and listen to Rosanne Cash and others pay tribute to Kris Kristofferson, then him humbly turn the praise back to Johnny Cash during his acceptance speech. THAT is country music.
    It was a scandal back in 1992 when Travis Tritt bashed Billy Ray Cyrus because country stars just simply didn’t do that. There’s a geniality and mutual respect that used to permeate these award shows, and country music in general, that has just evaporated. It’s heartbreaking to watch. What should be a celebration of the music and the fans that support it instead becomes an “us” vs. “them” “We’re awesome, they suck” “We believe in God and have values, and they don’t” mud-slinging contest, where only one side gets to sling the mud and the other has no presence at all.

    This show was mean-spirited, trashy and vulgar. It was beneath the dignity of country music and an insult to the “we’re all in this together” legacy of the country greats that’s somehow been lost. I just can’t stand it anymore. There’s no decency left, just a sorry sideshow spectacle with a mustached clown in the center ring.

  8. But the show followed suit with CMT’s current target — all those things you described are exactly what the CMT audience wants, as a whole. In some ways, the CMT consumer is very narrowminded, and I would wager that many of them eat up te ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. And that’s what this CMT show is about — pleasing the audience. It has nothing to do with respect, or class, or honoring anything. Its a CMT program about making money, and they have ZERO responsibility to anything other than that. This is NOT the CMA.

  9. Country Blue, there are MANY lifestyles associated with MANY styles of country music. I am a left-wing, northern-born, Iraq-war hatin’ liberal, and I bleed country music.

  10. I enjoyed reading your live blog and have to say I agree with your opinions on JF. I didn’t see the show but I have read quotes and seen bits of it. I don’t know what he said about Dolly but the fact that he insulted her is terrible. She is a country legend and we will never see someone like her again. Also his comment on the chicks was totally uncalled for. Those ladies are amazing and CMT and JF should be ashamed of themselves. Why nominate them and then throw cheap shots at them? Disgraceful.
    Finally, I am one of those Carrie fans that you spoke of and would like to agree with everything you said about her (surprisingly!). Someone said that country music is/was/should be about respecting other artists…Carrie is one of those who respects and admires those who have gone before her and also those she is ‘in competition’ with. She truly is a wonderful person..

  11. OK…I guess I owe an apology.

    I was a little over reactive because of Kevin’s slamming Jeff. I respect him and his jokes were only to get the croud going and to add some fun and good feel to the show, not to offend anyone. Although I must admit his crack towards the Dixie Chicks was really out of line, but funny non the less (hah, more contradicting myself). Anyways I loved the show, I didn’t catch the crack towards Dolly, but I thought Jeff did a decent job.

    And Jim, you summerized my whole walks of life thing. I’m a northern country lover. I AM REDNECK!! I’m proud of it and I took Jeff’s speaach atht end of the show to heart because i am not the most respected person purelly because of my choise of music around my area. This music has people from all walks of life with different preferneces, so you may not like the newer artists but they deserve respect. I am probably a country expert if there is one in my area and I do believe that the CMT awards had the best of the best.

    I can see where I would have contradicted myself with my original comment. I’m screaming at you for speaking your mind and acting the country way by not caring what others would think when I support that myself. I guess I owe an apology to kevin again and I’ll just say I do not agree completely with your review. The excitement probably got to me last night and I refused to believe any more frigain critisism against the genre that has provided me with the basis of my entire life. Thats the way it is.

    Oh and Kevin, I called most of the awards too and I was psyched to see deserving artists like Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood dominate in their respective areas. Nice call.

  12. What’s the fuss? The argument about taste level at CMT was settled when they made “Dukes of Hazzard” reruns a regular part of the schedule. It ain’t irony if it is every day, no matter how they spin it.

    Today, this very hour, most of country music is programmed for aging idiots and former butt rockers. You can try, but I don’t think it’s worth arguing over anymore. This will turn around but not for a little while yet. Pick a sub-genre and hang in there. Many of us lived through the Urban Cowboy days and this too shall pass.

    You can start the reversal process by ignoring CMT completely. They will get the message.


  13. Lovely comment about Gretchen after all your talking about trashing women and such. Female country artists have it hard enough without it being a “mine is better then yours” attitude.

  14. Wow. All of you people critizing this show, sitting on your couch, looking for something to complain about, GET A LIFE! I seriously, CAN NOT believe you feel you have a right, or a justified reason to sit there and bash everything that has gone on to this show.

    Face the facts, chic, TIME’S CHANGE and music changes with it. I bet die-hard southern rockers think modern southern rock isn’t what it used to be and is an insult to the genre. Suck it up, or DO something about it yourself. You think you can play or sing real ‘country’ music? You want to start your own label and only sign those that are ‘real country? Go right ahead, but don’t sit on your soap box critizing this stuff unless you plan to get off your ass and do something about it. Gesh…who elected you queen of country?

  15. Who was that asshole who sang a song about “blasting out to Johnny Cash” and thereby connected himself to our Immortal Hero? That disrespectful egomaniacal dipshit has no right to blaze Cash’s name behind himself at the awards. Fuck That man.

  16. Underwood is an entertaining person…This interest having very little to do with her singing skill set. Sitting there with jaw dropped as the already “going awkward” acceptance speech started rolling into the “Oh my gosh, Ms Underwood!”Please try to save yourself by closing your mouth as quickly as possible! Yikes! “Just stop talking”. “It’s not going so well.” How ’bout just trying to sound gracious and genuine by offering a veclempt, “Thank You”. Thank your producer…Thank country music fans…Thank American Idol…Thank God, if you’re so inclined, Carrie. But for Pete’s sake, don’t finish with, “I’m so glad I’m in this format”. “Format”? Whoa! The look on the faces of the attendies that undeniably communicated, “Holy botched acceptance speech, Bat Man”! “Did she just say”, “I’m so glad I’m in this FORMAT”???…As camera panned the audience of her peers, this mass look of bewilderment was followed by something resembling applause, but the physical action of putting one’s hands together in honor of the award was encapsulated with an air of ,”I’m not convinced that I should be offering applause”. At that point they were all just trying to process if they actually heard her correctly. As their hands came together in half-hearted reaction, they were all reflecting on the odd “acceptance speech”. They thought to themselves, “She just referred to our wholesome, patriotic, Coke-float, apple pie lovin’ community of music makers as, “Format”? Why, yes. She did indeed. Her words, delightfully Freudian, “I’m so glad I’m in this format”, oozed the reality of her agenda with regard to her involvement. Aren’t we all just so fortunate that she has chosen the country music “format” for her creative endeavors? *snickeringalittle*… I’m bettin’ Ms. Underwood is wishin’ she had a “do-over” on that.

  17. Personally, I think the Chicks put themselves in the position to get kicked below the belt. Maguire’s comments on Reba before the 2006 ACM’s were pathetic, and now that I’ve thought about what happen, I seriously think Maines was pandering to the British audience. I no longer really take these comments seriously.

    That Johnny Cash was was sung by Jason Aldean, Dillon.

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