ACM Live Blog 2010


Vocal Event of the Year – Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, “Hillbilly Bone”

Video of the Year – Miranda Lambert, “White Liar”

Song of the Year – Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”

Single of the Year – Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”

Top New Artist: Luke Bryan

Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert, Revolution

Top Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum

Top Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley

Top Vocal Duo of the Year: Brooks & Dunn

Top Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood

– – –

10:10 TS: Overall a solid show, with some colorful and sincere moments. And I had a blast doing my first live blog, y’all! Thanks so much.

10:07 DM: Anyway, it’s certainly been an interesting awards night. Thanks so much for your participation, everyone!

10:04 DM: I suspect the Carrie base was rattled by the CMAs and really buckled down this time. It’s hard to make numbers judgments, since Taylor has won other fan awards before (CMT Awards, for example).

10:03 KC: Maybe the Grammy performance did Swift in, though I suspect she was only hurt in the race for Female Vocalist because of that.  Carrie Underwood has a stronger fan base voting for her, I guess.

10:02 TS: I’ve been hard on him in the past, but I enjoyed Darius’ bluegrass-y performance.

10:01 DM: Also significant: After the major CMA sweep, a completely award-free night for Taylor Swift! Interesting.

10:00 KC: Carrie Underwood is the first woman in history to win ACM Entertainer of the Year more than once.

9:58 DM: Now Darius is up playing “Forever Road”, which has a pretty country arrangement here.

9:58 KC: No complaints from me on this one. I do love having this woman as a genre standard-bearer. She seems to actually give a darn about it as a cultural commodity, not just a radio format.

9:57 TS: Back to irrational fan mode. So insanely happy right now.

9:56 DM: Not terribly surprised, actually. I feel like fan-voting guaranteed it’d be her or Taylor.

9:56 TS: Speechless.

9:55 KC: SHOCKER! I’m actually speechless!

Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood

9:50 TS: This is trippy.

9:48 DM: So Keith is letting his fans film him or something. Whatever. Important thing is that he’s doing “I’m In”, the great Radney Foster song he covered on the latest album. Hope it’s the new single; even though it’s not my favorite version of the song, it does have the rare cool guitar solo.

9:44 TS: Miranda’s moment. Finally. (Not trying to stir anything up, but when she listed the people she couldn’t take this award from in a recent article, she left off Swift. Wonder if it was intentional or not considering she included her just now.)

9:44 KC: Not surprised, but happy to see Miranda win.  Surprisingly Swift-free evening so far, but I still expect her to win entertainer.

9:43 DM: That was a Kool-Aid Guy thing, incidentally. Just the first thing I thought.


Top Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

9:38 DM: Wow, and now Reba is performing “Keep on Loving You” right before the announcement of Female Vocalist. COULD IT HAPPEN?!?

9:31 DM: Third straight time tonight that an artist has performed right before the announcement of their win, if I’m counting correctly.

Top Vocal Duo: Brooks & Dunn

9:29 DM: Well, sound came back for the very end. Ronnie sounded great; bummed I missed most of it.

9:28 TS: Wow. Talk about anti-climatic. Come on.

9:25 DM: WHO IS F—ING UP THE SOUND ON THE FINAL BROOKS & DUNN PERFORMANCE? Someone’s getting fired tonight.

9:25 DM: The final Brooks & Dunn! “My Maria”!

9:18 DM: Brad Paisley makes a shirtless Matthew McConaughey joke.

Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley

9:15 DM: Well, he fell into a pool. Pretty close.

9:15 TS: I like everything about this song but the lyrics. Who thinks water’s going to come pouring down “Should’ve Said No” style?

9:11 DM: Brad Paisley shows up with “Water”. Most of his singles I either really like or really don’t. This is one of the few I feel pretty much nothing about.

9:03 DM: Another song I’m indifferent to on record, but which gains something from the added visual element of live performance. Tired of these guitar solos, though.

9:03 KC: KC: Four months into 2010, “Still” remains my favorite single of the year.

Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum

9:00 KC: Funny that a ridiculously fake award produced the most genuinely real acceptance speech of the night.

8:59 TS: Excuse me while I turn into an irrational fan. So proud of that girl!

8:59 DM: A heartfelt moment is weirdly followed by the presentation of a totally weird “Triple Crown” award to Carrie for winning a bunch of other stuff. The new Crystal Milestone, I guess.

8:57 TS: Here’s the thing: this is as honest a moment as Miranda’s, regardless of how much more flash or vocal bombast it includes. Carrie’s emotion in this song is so incredibly pure.  And I really wish people would see that.

8:57 KC: As always, I love Underwood’s sincerity and conviction. Her vocal isn’t up to her usual par, though.

8:54 DM: Carrie doing “Temporary Home”. Looking super pretty in pink-purple. Guitarist needs a tune-up, though, and I question the producer decision to have this performance directly after the other quiet, well-sung acoustic number of the evening.

8:50 TS: I feel like Seacrest should be giving out the EOTY voting numbers. There’s an amusing visual in my head of George Strait holding up four fingers and mouthing “Please!” OK, no more Idol references from me.  Promise.

8:49 DM: A very frat-tastic performance with Jack, Dierks Bentley and a bunch of random crowd girls.

8:46 DM: Love that the ACMs gave Jack Ingram a performance slot, and love that he’s doing his old fan favorite, “Barbie Doll.” Good song.

8:45 KC: Nice to see MG get some love though, as they’ve had to play Bellamy Brothers to Sugarland and Brooks & Dunn for so long.

8:44 KC: Country Universe is proud to present the CU Humanitarian Award to the viewers at home for enduring this evening so far.

8:42 TS: Such an honest moment. And I’ll say it again – Miranda does not get enough credit as a strong vocalist. Although I think she’s about to get some.

8:41 DM: There’s a projector image of what looks like the Ryman in the backdrop toward the end. Intriguing.

8:38 DM: Miranda doing “The House that Built Me”. Excuse me while I actually listen to a performance.

8:33 TS: Miranda’s wonderful, fabulous, etc., etc.  AOTY win made me immune to Jason Aldean’s performance. Thanks ACM!

8:31 DM: Jason Aldean’s terrible “Crazy Town” sounds exactly like Jason Aldean’s pretty bad “She’s Country”, miraculously making the latter sound good by comparison. Is that mean? Sorry.

8:31 KC: Lambert looking like a lock for Female Vocalist at this point. If she wins that, she gets to claim “big winner of the night” bragging rights that she’s currently sharing wtih Lady Antebelum.

8:28 KC: As for studio albums, only Dixie Chicks can claim two wins among those with XX chromosomes.

8:28 TS: Woah, not cool.

8:28 DM: Frank Liddell or Mike Wrucke (didn’t see which) gets cut off just as he’s starting to talk.

8:27 KC: Wow! First solo female artist in ACM history to win this award twice, unless you count Emmylou Harris for Trio and O Brother.

8:26 TS: YES!

8:26 DM: D@@#0wF%$*#*#W YES

Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert, Revolution

8:21 DM: As much as I still dislike a lot of mainstream country, I can’t tell you how much happier I am with the genre now that we’ve definitively cleared Rascal Flatts’ peak.

8:19 DM: Hey, butterfly reader! If you can’t get enough live-blog snark, might I shout out the good people at Entertainment Weekly and The 9513.

8:16 KC: Nobody’s owning the stage the way Bundy did.  Perhaps we’ll make a stint on Broadway a new requirement for country music stardom.

8:16 DM: The chorus has a pretty melody, I’ll say that.

8:16 TS: Loved the intro to “Ameri-kin Honey,” but not so much the vocals. The song still makes me teary every time I hear it. I’ve moved past feeling like I need to explain why (I think).

8:11 TS: That was an awkward way to present an award, with mini sing-offs.

Top New Artist: Luke Bryan

8:08 KC: If the nineties were country music’s spin on seventies California rock, this decade must be country’s spin on eighties hair bands.

8:08 TS: I prefer Gloriana’s 25 seconds of cheese-tastic performance to Taylor’s pseudo-epic performance. So kill me.

8:07 KC: Hough apparently celebrated her Top New Artist win last year at the tanning salon.

8:07 DM: “Last year’s Top New Artist, Julianne Hough.” THIS IS WHY YOUR SYSTEM IS BROKEN, ACM.

8:05 KC: A big, loud choir should accompany every Taylor Swift glory note.

8:04 DM: Ah, here’s the outfit change. I was beginning to wonder.

8:01 DM: People keep describing Taylor Swift’s writing her own songs like it was a completely revolutionary idea.

7:59 DM: The Laura Bell Bundy haters are already coming out in droves on the social networking sites.

7:58 DM: Grumble, grumble.

7:58 TS: So predictable, but so deserved.

7:54 DM: I started typing that “Need You Now” was the winner before it was even announced.

Single of the Year: Lady Antbellum, “Need You Now”

7:46 DM: I don’t mean this cynically (especially since they were my choice), but I bet Zac Brown Band is currently receiving a good last-minute boost in the Entertainer race thanks to all the attention given to their USO stuff.

7:44 TS: TS: I think Toby is the only artist that elicits from me such polarizing feelings. That was lovely.

7:40 DM: “Cryin’ For Me (Wayman’s Song)”. Never been able to get into the recorded version personally, but it makes for a moving live performance.

7:35 TS: Ok, maybe a lot happy.

7:34 KC: Well, that was the best thing of the night so far. The most country, too. Things are weird.

7:34 TS: I’m having a similar reaction to Kara DioGuardi’s after Adam Lambert sang “Ring of Fire.” LBB left me “confused but sort of happy.”

7:31 DM: Laura Bell Bundy’s much-anticipated (by me, at least) performance going on now. She’s done well keeping up with the song so far. I think people are either going to hate this or kind of love it.

Song of the Year: “Need You Now”

7:28 TS: Faith looks younger. How is that even possible?

7:28 KC: Great. The first person I want to hear perform is presenting! Love Faith Hill.

7:27 DM: Reba wants to remind you to vote for the song Brooks & Dunn will perform tonight. “My Maria”, “Red Dirt Road”, or “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”. I love all of them, but I’d rather one of the two oldies.

7:24 TS: Touche.

7:23 KC: I thought they were all non-country performances, and I’m hardly a purist.

7:23 TS: Four performances so far, and I’ve only enjoyed the non-country one. I feel a little bad.

7:19 KC: I think Kenny Chesney is lip-syncing.

7:18 DM: Kenny Chesney performing his current single, “Boring Freewheeling Lifestyle Song #7”.

7:16 DM: Billy Currington performing his recent #1, “Stupid ‘Country Boy’ Mentality Song #14”.

7:13 KC: NYC people know about country music, and we’ve all been south of Queens. This entire song is built upon a ridiculous stereotype.

7:13 DM: Blake and Trace doing “Hillbilly Bone.”

7:12 DM: Miranda looked like she had NO IDEA who that person was. Love it.

7:12 TS: Is anyone else completely blind-sided by Cher? What…?

7:11 KC: Cher and Reba share a doctor.

7:08 KC: A Kirstie Alley fat joke? Really?

7:05 KC: KC: Couldn’t this have been done just as easily with a country song and a country legend?

7:05 TS: Um, I kind of ridiculously loved that. FIERCE vocals.

7:03 DM: Carrie, Miranda, Brad, Fogerty, and CHARIE FREAKIN’ DANIELS rocking out to “Travelin’ Band.” Pretty kickass, although it might have been nice if they’d done a slightly countrier CCR song like “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”

7:00 DM: Yes, Matthew McConaughey is back! His Carrie speech shout-out last year was classic.

6:58 TS: Let the shenanigans begin. I’m pretty stoked for this much-buzzed-about opener…ready to see Miranda and co. rock out!


6:50 DM: John Fogerty on the carpet now. He’ll be playing tonight with Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. Shaping up to be a super-cool night.

6:30 DM: I’m happy to see Sarah Buxton staying in the public eye on the orange carpet, but I’d be happier if she still had a record deal. Stupid Disney.

6:15 DM: Apparently CMT is going to be re-airing this past year’s CMA Awards at the same time as the ACMs. Doesn’t that seem kind of like a cheap attempt to grab confused viewers?

6:08 DM: All right folks, Kevin, Tara and I will be triple-teaming it tonight! And Blake Shelton is on the orange carpet doing some great fake-bragging about his Vocal Event win.


  1. Considering that the show is held in Vegas, I figured Laura Bell Bundy would go with the brothel set-piece from the “Giddy On Up” video for her performance. That seems like a missed opportunity to me.

  2. Well that was probably the most exciting performance of the night. I have to say I really like LBB, she’s an energetic breath of fresh air that I think country radio can really benefit from.

  3. So is Dave Koz, who’s playing sax on “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song),” the first out gay man to land a spot as a featured performer on either of the major country music awards shows? That could be an interesting piece of trivia from this year’s ACM show…

  4. First hour favorites: Toby’s song, Carrie’s mini-skirt, and Laura Bell Bundy’s high-kicking performance. And Cher’s ventriloquist.

  5. I am afraid Lady A is going to fall and break her neck in that hot pink dress. It should be a requirement to practice stairs before considering award ceremony attire.

  6. sorry Laura but the MTV music awards are a ways away….sorry, not impressed..i’d rather listen to taylor swift (who isn’t the best by the way)

  7. “Change” is the track on Fearless that Swift is least able to carry off live, which seems like an awfully stupid move considering how poorly received her Grammy performances were. Wonder if Scott “Doth Protest Too Much” Borchetta pushed to have her screech this…

  8. What is with Swift and her costume changes? I will admit that the levitating platform was pretty cool, but as usual the vocals are awful and I can’t stand her “dance” moves.

  9. this song makes more sense than most of the crappy songs in the “it’s about american weekends” genre

  10. Okay, I know Lady Antebellum is poised for a great night and all, but Hillary Scott sounds worse on “American Honey” than Taylor Swift sounded on “Change.”

  11. 8:21 DM: As much as I still dislike a lot of mainstream country, I can’t tell you how much happier I am with the genre now that we’ve definitively cleared Rascal Flatts’ peak.

    + Like.

  12. Awh, Frank’s speech got cutoff, if the ACM’s have done one thing right this year it was letting Miranda win Album of the Year for a second time, the CMA’s have got some catching up to do.

  13. Hey, Nicole Kidman almost looks human again.

    Montgomery Gentry wins the “Humanitarian” award. Because there’s no way they would win the “Bearitarian” award.

    Also, Miranda Lambert!

  14. Is the final award tonight the “big butt” award. Obviously, none of these woman are struggling with bulemia or anorexia but I guess that is a good example for our girls. Live healthy!

  15. I find it interesting that “Water” didn’t even make the set-list for a two-plus hour show when I saw Brad Paisley two months ago, but now it’s been tagged as a single…

  16. I still don’t understand how Brad rated People’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” a couple of years ago but I love his songs.

  17. But what a duo…B and D. It is incredible that they can still sound great even with the train wreck they were given with the audio. I am amazed.

  18. Well personally I liked B&D performance quite a bit, mostly because the audience seemed to genuinely into. I dont think they deserved Top Vocal Duo, though, but then again no one in that category had a lot activity lately.

  19. It’s good to see Miranda finally getting the full credit she deserves. Also, I love how during her acceptance speech she hesitated before saying Taylor Swift’s name while praising the other singers.

  20. Gotta say, the pace of the show has been good, the performances haven’t been bad, with a few that were outstanding. The winners make more sense than usual.

  21. I prefer The Kinleys’ cover of “I’m In” to the studio version of Keith Urban’s by an almost impossible margin, but the live arrangement he’s doing here is a major improvement.

  22. Love this!!! Go Miranda! Finally given the recognition she so deserves with the top female vocalist and album of the year awards! And Carrie winning EOTY once again! And most of all, a Taylor award-free night! Woohoo!!!!

  23. Although I don’t agree with all the winners, I have to say that the award show voters managed to restore some of their lost credibilty tonight.

    Miranda’s album, video, and female vocalist awards, and her performance was one of the best of the night. It’s great to see her get the recognition she deserves, and it’s nice to see someone who’s geninue and grateful for winning an award.

    Carrie’s TH performance/Triple Crown Speech/ETOY win: I’ve got to admit, I think she deserved the female vocalist trophy, but it was refreshing to see her so thrilled for Miranda. I wasn’t a fan of the arrangment of “Temporary Home,” but the fact that she puts all her emotions and power into it every single time makes it for me. She looked stunning, as always.
    Although I would agree that the triple crowd award is pointless, her acceptance speech made it for me. Very geniune and heartfelt. She’s such a class act.
    I don’t think anyone was expecting that ETOY win, but I’m thrilled she won. It must be a huge honor for her to be able to make history for the ladies tonight.

    I liked the Flatts performace- Improvement from what I’ve seen over the last few years. I would’ve loved to see them win tonight, but I gotta hand it to Lady A.
    Darius had a good, if not particularly memorable, performace. I have a feeling that’s the kind of mark he will leave in country music if he continues to be successful.
    Keith had a great performance, and is the best male vocalist and performer in the genre in my opinion. It always surprises me he never gets the credit he deserves. Brad is an average vocalist, average performer, and entertaining guy- his success puzzles me.
    I was surprised Luke Bryan pulled off the new artist win, but was very happy for him. He’s had a great year, and is an excellent live performer.
    Not a Reba fan, but she’s a natural host, and she had an excellent, heartfelt performance. Didn’t get to see Toby, but I’m expecting something great, given the reviews here.
    The only letdowns for me were the Lady A performance (Charels is great- Hillary, not so much). I don’t know why, but I feel like “Need You Now” will be their only monster hit for a long time. “American Honey is enjoyable, but lackluster in terms of lyrical content.
    I know “Need You Now” was a huge hit, but I just don’t agree with it being song of the year material- “White Liar” deserved to take these, based on quality.
    Swift had a below-average performace- I understand her talent as a songwriter, but it’s almost embarrasing to have to watch her with her shakey and off-key vocals, and her hair-swinging is almost childlike. I’m glad these voters have wised up and stopped rewarding her- she’s got some serious growing up to do. It’s safe to say her (largely) undeserved awards show reign is over.
    Great show overall though, congrats to all the winners!

  24. Question: was the EOTY award partially or fully fan-voted? It was the former last year, right? Not sure about this year, though.

  25. The EOTY and the other ‘fan voted awards’ are “partially” fan voted. How much we don’t know. Like Idol, they don’t release these numbers so it could be as much as 60-70% or as little as 5-10%.

  26. All I can say is thank goodness the show was Taylor award free! I was so happy for Miranda! I cried when she sang her song. In fact all the noms for female vocalist performed great except for “gotta do some kinda spectacle Taylor” and it didn’t help! The others showed class. Best award show I’ve seen in a while. I’m with K….don’t understand Brad’s success and Keith is the better vocalist. Brad’s guitar solos looks like he’s working hard playing versus Keith’s looks so natural and flows. My vote for the best performance was Miranda. So glad she had a great night. About time this industry woke up to some real talent.

  27. I was surprised Luke Bryan pulled off the new artist win, but was very happy for him. He’s had a great year, and is an excellent live performer.

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