We’re live blogging the 45th Annual CMA Awards, cohosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley! Also featuring performances by your cohosts, Scotty McCreery, and Blake Shelton among many others, and appearances by Lauren Alaina and Kellie Pickler! Oh, and Miss Piggy! Check out red carpet pictures, commentary, and video when available here!
So many questions tonight. Will there be more pop performances than country performances? How many awards will Blake Shelton win and will one of them be for this year’s LOLZiest nomination (Album Of The Year)? Does Taylor Swift have her SHOCKED face ready? Does Carrie have what it takes to keep up with Miss Piggy in their diva-off? Will there be more Carrie dress changes or Carrie Olay commercials tonight? What’s the over/under on the number of expletives I’ll use when Luke Bryan performs “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”?
But seriously, there is actually some suspense in some of the awards categories and more importantly, there will be 20+ performances by everybody from Jason Aldean to Lionel Richie to The Band Perry to Chris Young to Sugarland/Matt Nathanson. So come on in and join in the fun! And, while we’re waiting, check out Carrie Underwood’s Top 10 reasons to watch tonight’s CMA Awards.
DISCLAIMER: This will be a little snarky every now & then. It’s all in good fun but the views expressed are solely those of the author’s and not management. In other words, don’t blame MJ, blame me ;)
Associated Press has a live stream of the CMA red carpet tonight starting at 5 PM Eastern time.
UPDATE 41: That’s a wrap! To be honest I didn’t think there were really any moments tonight as far as performances other than the Glen Campbell tribute. IMO that’s the cost of turning the show into an arena rock concert for TV, you kind of lose the distinctiveness of what makes the country genre country. There wasn’t a lot that I thought was bad. But, I think back to how effortless Carrie sounded on her part of the Kardashian/Bieber “Forever & Ever Amen” parody and I miss that sense of history and roots. I’d have loved more of that tonight with less concert type staging. But, solid show and I did enjoy the hosts and the Idols.
UPDATE 40: Brad & Carrie close the show by plugging the CMA Christmas special on December 1st and say “We’ll see you at the Oscars!” LOL.
UPDATE 39: I can’t even describe Carrie’s last dress of the show. Kind of camouflage colored, kind of swimwear meets that JLo plunging neckline dress? Reba presents the CMA Award for ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR to Taylor Swift. True to form, she’s SHOCKED and does that whole routine. Again. She’s talking about all the guest performers at her concerts, most of whom were not country. That seems appropriate!
UPDATE 38: Dierks Bentley and Emily Van Camp present the CMA for FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR to Miranda Lambert. Oops, the announcer just called Miranda Lambert Martina McBride. Funny shoutout to her husband Blake Shelton while Taylor looks on unsmilingly. The announcer shouts out to Jason and Kelly for winning Musical Event Of The Year!
UPDATE 37: Brad acts like the Oscars might be interested in him & Carrie to cohost. Not gonna lie, I’d enjoy that. They introduce Faith Hill singing her big comeback single, One Republic’s “Come Home.” She starts off sounding pretty good but I’m a little afraid of what’s going to happen when the band picks up. Yeah, we’re starting to lose her in the band. I like her intensity on the stage though.
UPDATE 36: Glen Campbell tribute! Vince Gill sounds amazing obvs. Awwww, Keith is singing now, he actually sounds pretty good on “Wichita Lineman”. Now, Brad takes over for “Galveston”. Now they bring writer strong>Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell on stage for a standing ovation. They give him a guitar and go to commercial?!
UPDATE 35: Now in dress #7/8/9 (??) with an old school headpiece, Carrie introduces Martina McBride to sing “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”. She starts out a little weak too but doesn’t take long to get up to her usual vocal standards. Oh, a little bobbly at the end she sings it like she means it.
UPDATE 34: Reese Witherspoon presents the CMA for MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR to Blake Shelton. If he won it last year, there was no way he wasn’t winning it this year.
UPDATE 33: Jason Aldean performing “Tattoos On This Town”. He’s mumbling a little and straining for the chorus. But he’s having a deservedly big night.
UPDATE 32 a.k.a. Idol MANIA Brad and Carrie performing “Remind Me” now. Big hair, big dress for Carrie! I’ve lost track of the number of dresses. 6? 7? The sound mix is not the best here and Carrie’s mic is way too far down, she’s having to fight to be heard. Vocals are strong and passionate but overall impact could’ve been better. Lauren Alaina and Jake Owen give props to Brad & Carrie and then present the CMA Award for NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR to The Band Perry, their 3rd win of the night. The cameramen showed Steel Magnolia instead of Thompson Square when they were announcing the nominees. Oops. Right into Scotty McCreery singing “Walk In The Country,” sounding great! Scotty recognizes the radio stations that won CMA Awards including his hometown station WQDR.
UPDATE 31: Sugarland and Matt Nathanson singing “Run”. This is apparently going to be serviced to country radio. Um. Good song but this is about as country as “Footloose.” Oh. I get it now.
UPDATE 30: Leann Rimes and Billy Currington present the CMA Award for VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR to Lady Antebellum. Would’ve preferred Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town, or The Band Perry but Lady A are classy winners.
UPDATE 29: A couple of young women cover “If I Die Young” beautifully with an acoustic performance to promote the CMA-Chevrolet partnership to Keep The Music Playing to donate instruments and money to school arts programs in the Nashville area. Along with Brad they introduce The Band Perry performing “All Your Life”. I kind of feel like the guys are dressed up like Mumford & Sons and Kimberly Perry’s dressed up as a circus lady in ruby red. The best part of this song is the bridge.
UPDATE 28: So far, Carrie’s dress changes are way ahead of the number of Carrie Olay commercials: 5 (on the show) to 2. Carrie’s wearing a mini dress with what I can only describe as a black life jacket with a plunging neckline on top? They bring out Little Jimmy Dickens as Justin Bieber. It’s a cute gag but he flubs his punchline. But the man is almost 91 and still entertaining, so bless him. Then they introduce Lionel Richie with the incredible Little Big Town for a medley from his upcoming countrified duets album starting with “Deep River Woman”. Now Darius Rucker and Lionel Richie sing “On My Way”. I’m impressed by how well Lionel Richie’s voice has held up. Rascal Flatts joins him for “Dancing On The Ceiling”.
UPDATE 27: Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter singing the amazing “You & Tequila.” Kenny’s a little out of his league but Grace’s harmonies are gorgeous.
UPDATE 26: Erin Andrews and World Series MVP David Freese present the CMA Award for ALBUM OF THE YEAR to Jason Aldean Big night for Jason!! He thanks his wife and kids, his label, management, and producer Michael Knox who discovered him in a club 13 years ago. This means a lot to him, you can tell.
UPDATE 25: Brad runs out in a panic, Carrie is nowhere to be found. But MISS PIGGY comes to the rescue, singing “Remind Me”. Awkwardness ensues. Carrie runs out (dress count: 4 on the show), apparently SOMEBODY locked her in her dressing room. Miss Piggy tells Brad to get rid of her. Carrie flatters her into submission, then Brad tries to win Miss Piggy back. He accidentally touches her….there. LOLZ! He makes an eggs and bacon crack, earning himself a slap across the face by Miss Piggy, and her new BFF Carrie says she’s always wanted to do that. They introduce Lady Antebellum singing their current single “We Owned The Night.” Charles Kelley sounds awesome, but Hillary Scott is barely audible and kind of off pitch. Pretty classy performance though.
UPDATE 24: Carrie’s wearing a glittery black short dress with a fedora. She encourages more applause for Taylor then introduces the only performance I’m guaranteed to hate on worse than Taylor’s: Luke Bryan on “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”. He sounds pretty BLEEPIN strained starting out the song and he’s having BLEEPIN trouble keeping up with the BLEEPIN tempo. Oh, stop BLEEPIN grinding on stage there Luke. Now he’s doing BLEEPIN choreography, and still sounding BLEEPIN strained. The backwards BLEEPIN baseball cap he’s wearing says all you need to know about the appropriateness of this BLEEPIN song for the BLEEPIN CMAs. But Scotty is among those giving a standing ovation. Because he’s way nicer than I am. By the way, if he’s still in his seat, he’s probably not performing this half hour.
UPDATE 23: Taylor Swift is up performing now. And, she starts out flat. Getting a little better now. Acoustic guitar, and she’s singing on a sofa wearing what I assume is a comfy sweater. She’s singing a song called “Ours”. It’s a cutesy love song that her tweenage fans should eat up. Oh, and she’s kind of flat again and doesn’t really modulate her voice too well. And, what is she doing with her “r”s?? But simple acoustic Taylor is definitely the most tolerable form of Taylor.
UPDATE 22: Meanwhile Blake is getting bleeped like crazy on the extended coverage feed, but he’s only cursed once or twice? The tease mentions Scotty’s upcoming performance again!
UPDATE 21: 3 “New” Artist Of The Year nominees performing in a row, starting with Eric Church with his jam “Drink In My Hand”. Looks like they’re all singing shortened versions of their songs. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little relieved Eric isn’t singing this very flat. I was scared he would, for real. I’m grooving in my seat, but go ahead and imagine Keith Urban grooving in his seat instead. Now up is Thompson Square singing “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?” instead of their current single. They sound very good! Next up Chris Young, he of the buttery voice. And, he’s singing a single from his previous album instead of his current single or the lead single from his current single? I like “Voices” but come on now! At least Chris sounds great and he looks like he’s having a great time out there.
UPDATE 20: Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas present the CMA for VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR to Sugarland. Jennifer Nettles goes all fangirl for Gregg Allman. Jennifer and Kristian dedicate the award to their fans and to the people of Indiana.
UPDATE 19: Rascal Flatts and Natasha Bedingfield singing “Easy” now. Natasha is an interesting stylist and she brings something to these lyrics. Ouch, Gary Levox just hit something I wish he hadn’t.
UPDATE 18: The tease mentions Scotty’s performance!
UPDATE 17: Zac Brown Band performs “Georgia On My Mind” with Gregg Allman. OK?
UPDATE 15: Brad: “Carrie, read anything interesting lately?” Carrie [tosses Brad book aside] “Nope!” LOLZ. Now Miranda Lambert performs “Baggage Claim” wearing the most gigantic belt buckle I’ve ever seen. She rocks the performance though, sounds great. I’d be more impressed by the flames if they hadn’t already done that for her CMA performance of “Kerosene” a few years ago.
UPDATE 14: The tease says Kellan Lutz will present the CMA for Song Of The Year. Believe Kellie Pickler will be presenting with him!
UPDATE 13: Right into Sara Evans singing her #1 hit “Stronger” with an invisible band and aerial gymnasts (is that what they’re called?). Aerial acrobats! That’s what they are! Sounds a’ight, little pitchy here and there, not sure this staging is the best.
UPDATE 12: Carrie dress count: 2. After a kind of mean joke from Brad involving a taller ginger doll (Nicole Kidman) and a little midget guy doll, Keith Urban sings his current single “You Gonna Fly”. Everybody’ll understand if he sounds a little rough. But look at him groove! I could watch that all day. *dreamy sigh*
UPDATE 11: The CMA for SINGLE OF THE YEAR goes to The Band Perry for “If I Die Young.”
UPDATE 10: It’s time for Brad & Carrie’s intro! Carrie’s wearing a scalloped white dress. Look at me getting all fashionista-y! What do you mean I’m using the wrong words? I’m not listening! “Bradcephus” wants to do a Hank song, Carrie stops him. They remind people with a song that it’s not OK to drink/smoke before an interview and it’s not OK to call the President Hitler. It’s pretty funny. The audience cracks up and then goes wild when Hank Jr. appears behind Brad & Carrie. Standing O. Meh. Brad asks Hank Jr if there’s anything he’d like to say and Hank Jr. says “No” and Brad says that’s probably for the best. They sing him out. Then Brad & Carrie celebrate their 4th year hosting together by spontaneously giving each other gifts. “This is somehow totally believable” says Brad. LOL. Their gifts are Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Barbie/Ken dolls! They play with them. Then, they decide to figure out whether the dolls are “anatomically correct”. They feel very sorry for Faith Hill after what they see ;) They played it really well. Now they’re ready to introduce the 1st presenter of the night, the awesome Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family! Eric chides them for not talking about what is on everybody’s minds. The global economy? Nuclear Iran? No! Kim Kardashian’s short-lived marriage! But wait, they’ve got a song for that too! Sung to Randy Travis’s “Forever & Ever Amen”, this one includes lines like “I’m going to love you forever, for 72 days amen” and “As long as Bieber is not a conceiver” LOLZ.
By the way Brad stole my joke about “Footloose” being a country classic by writing it before I live-blogged it tonight but saying it after I did.
UPDATE 9: And we’re off! Blake Shelton performs the country classic “Footloose” with dancers. Kenny Loggins joins him about 2/3 of the way through. Blake tweeted:
For those you wondering.. Yes, “Footloose” was completely screwed up… Son of a bitch!!!!!!! Ha! Ha! Oh well..
UPDATE 8: The CMA for MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR goes to Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson for “Don’t You Wanna Stay”! This is the 1st CMA win for both!! Congrats!!
UPDATE 7: The CMA Award for MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR goes to Mac Macanally. The CMA Award for VIDEO OF THE YEAR goes to Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter for “You & Tequila”, directed by Shaun Silva.
UPDATE 6: Kellie Pickler has arrived at the CMAs red carpet!
UPDATE 5: Lauren Alaina on the red carpet now, gushing over Martina McBride who’s next to her, and looking elegant in a white dress with blinged out diagonal straps.
UPDATE 4: Brad Paisley getting started early, LOLZ.
Carrie Underwood is a natural beauty. No really.
UPDATE 2: Blake Shelton getting started early:
If y’all are watching the CMAs tonight I’ll be the loud drunk guy on the front row cheering for Carrie Underwoods legs..
UPDATE 1: The Tennessean tweets a pic of Scotty!
Scotty McCreery on the #CMAawards #RedCarpet says he’s looking forward to seeing Brad & Carrie, Jason Aldean.