46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Live Blog!

onstage at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3,  2011 in Las Vegas,  Nevada.

Here’s your live blog for tonight’s Academy Of Country Music Awards (ACMs) on CBS 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central, not to be confused with Country Music Association Awards (CMAs)! What’s the difference? Check out this Tennessean article to hear what the heads of the 2 organizations think.

There’s some Idol ties to tonight’s show. Three time Top Female Vocalist (and nominated again tonight in that category) Carrie Underwood is performing (she’s the 3rd performance of the night so tune in early!), Ryan Seacrest will present the last award of the night, for Entertainer Of The Year (no word yet if @BronxZoosCobra will be a co-presenter), and Steven Tyler is rumored to be joining Carrie for a duet performance. Casey James is playing the ACM Fan Jam, which the telecast will cut to for performances by Sugarland, a duet between Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and legendary country legend Rihanna, Eric Church, and The Band Perry. Also performing are Brad Paisley with Alabama, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Zac Brown Band with James Taylor, Ronnie Dunn, Jason Aldean, and many more.

Check out our live blog, with a link to a red carpet live stream (which starts at 6:30 PM Eastern), the order of performances, some preshow predictions, and pictures and video as they come in, after the jump!

The ACMs have an official live stream of the red carpet available here. The live stream starts at 6:30 PM Eastern/5:30 PM Central.

Here’s your performance order:

Carrie is wearing Jean Fares Couture on the ACM red carpet tonight, according to their twitter

Tonight’s ACM Awards show will be hosted by Reba and loose cannon Blake Shelton. It is widely expected to be a very good night for Blake and fiancee Miranda Lambert, country music’s power couple of the moment. Look for “The House That Built Me” to clean house while those two crazy kids are favored to be Top Male and Top Female Vocalist respectively. The fan-voted Entertainer Of The Year category meanwhile may come down to whose bribery campaign for fan votes did the most damage, with odds probably favoring the Sony camera and concert ticket offers from Taylor Swift.

UPDATE 36: That’s your show! Actually a very good night for performances, just like you’d expect from a country awards show though that hasn’t always been the case lately. The 1st hour was about partying and rocking out, the 2nd hour was about who and what’s hot in country, and the 3rd hour was about country music’s older generation plus the awards. Good times ya’ll. Let’s do this again next week in November for the CMAs! Or June for the CMTs!
UPDATE 35: Ryan Seacrest announces more votes in the Entertainer Of The Year category than ever before. Ha, sound familiar? He presents Entertainer Of The Year to Taylor Swift She’s SHOCKED that the Sony camera contest and concert ticket rewards for voting for her worked!
UPDATE 34: Alan Jackson (why isn’t he performing??) introduces Zac Brown Band and James Taylor. This is just great music. You can really tell James Taylor’s influence on ZBB in how easily he fits into the melody even though he seems a little unsure. This is going to be the next #1 on country radio by the way and it’s one of those songs that puts me on the “love” side of my love/hate relationship with country radio. Ooooh! Mashup with “Sweet Baby James” now!
UPDATE 33: You might want to tune in for the next performance. Zac Brown Band with James Taylor on “Colder Weather.” It should be great.
UPDATE 32: Reese Witherspoon and Rob Pattinson. Oh accent banter! They present Top (Favorite?) Female Vocalist to Miranda Lambert.
UPDATE 31: It might just be me but they’re really deemphasizing the awards tonight for the performances. It started with them almost taking an hour to even give out the 1st award.
UPDATE 30: Reba performing her new single “When Love Gets A Hold Of You”. Gotta give this lady credit at how long she’s stayed relevant in an ageist business. Finally a good single choice from her album! This is the kind of country/pop Reba can sing well.
UPDATE 29: Chris Young (who should be performing) and Julianne Hough introduce a performance of kids who participated in an ACM Lifting Lives camp for kids with developmental disabilities with Darius Rucker cowritten by the kids, Chris Young, and Brett James. The song is called “Music From The Heart.” Carrie looks really moved by the performance.
UPDATE 28: CSI’s Marg Helgenberger presents Top Male Vocalist to Brad Paisley. Wow, I got one wrong! Congrats Brad! Haha, joking about bribes. He seems genuinely surprised.
UPDATE 27: Martina McBride sings her new single “Teenage Daughters”. She recently signed with Republic Nashville and now she is trying to reinvent herself as a snarky mom instead of just a singer of inspirational power ballads. It’s kind of calculated and the song’s missing something I can’t put my finger on. But not bad and better live than recorded.
UPDATE 26: Naomi and Wynonna Judd present Top Duo to Sugarland. Yes I did type that out before they announced it. Still right!
UPDATE 25: Reba and Blake introduce new “kid” making his solo debut at a major awards show Ronnie Dunn. Of course Ronnie was a member of the super successful duo Brooks & Dunn for 20 years! He’s singing his single the power ballad “Bleed Red”.
UPDATE 24: Kristian Bush (a.k.a. the Sugarland dude who’s been writing with Casey James) introduces Jennifer Nettles and Rihanna singing Rihanna’s “California King Bed.” Rihanna starts out shaky and nervous on the low notes. Now Jennifer Nettles’s mic is louder than hers so you can hear her low harmony better than Rihanna. But Jennifer Nettles also has one of the most powerful voices in music so it’s hard for anybody to keep up with her.
UPDATE 23: Miranda Lambert singing her current top 10 single “Heart Like Mine”. I love these lines “my brother got the brains of the family/so I thought I’d learn how to sing”.
UPDATE 22: Montgomery Gentry intros a recap of all the Vegas events related to the ACMS. Casey James sighting in a split screen!
UPDATE 21: Donny and Marie Osmond present Top Vocal Group to Lady Antebellum. Is it bad that I’ve been typing the winners before they’ve been announced and I’ve been right every time?
UPDATE 20: Sara Evans sings her comeback/top 10 single “A Little Bit Stronger”. If you saw the movie Country Strong then you might’ve heard Leighton Meester sing this tune. It’s cowritten by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, Hillary Lindsey, and Luke Laird. She’s a little flat.
UPDATE 19: Miranda Lambert presents Album Of The Year to ‘Need You Now’ by Lady Antebellum. They thank Miranda for winning this last year so she wasn’t in the category this year. Lolz. Whatever you think of their album, they’re likable people.
UPDATE 18: Cohost Blake Shelton sings a syrupy “Honey Bee.” Fun fact: this is the 2nd year in a row Blake Shelton’s had a lead single reference Conway Twitty (the other being “Hillbilly Bone”).
UPDATE 17: Nancy O’Dell presents Single Of The Year to “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert. Finally the songwriters get acknowledged. Award count: Miranda Lambert 3, Blake Shelton 0. We’re also up to 4 Carrie commercials since Olay’s stepped up to the plate.
UPDATE 16: We’re back to the MGM Grand and Jason Aldean plays his new single Not-Don’t-You-Wanna-Stay “Dirt Road Anthem”.
UPDATE 15: Back to Mandalay Bay where The Band Perry sings their breakthrough hit “If I Die Young”. It’s a sad song that Kimberly Perry sounds too happy to be singing but she must be nervous. She sounds good. Last year’s Top New Artist Luke Bryan presents Top New Artist to The Band Perry.
UPDATE 14: Taylor Swift sings “Mean”. OMG it’s actually a country song and she’s (mostly) in tune!
UPDATE 13: “The House That Built Me” wins Song Of The Year. Miranda Lambert accepts the award with producer Frank Liddell. Why didn’t they name the songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin?
UPDATE 12: At Mandalay Bay Eric Church singing his hit “Smoke A Little Smoke”. Is he going to sing about his “stash”? Yes he is!
UPDATE 11: Keith Urban is up performing his single “Without You”. It’s a sweet, sappy/sentimental ditty dedicated to his wife and his daughters. He’s oversinging a little but it’s still a nice performance.
UPDATE 10:: Count of commercials with Carrie or her music: 3 (The Wii Country Dance commercial featured “Cowboy Casanova”, the Narnia DVD commercial featured “There’s A Place For Us, ” and there was a Soul Surfer commercial). Cmon Olay and Vitaminwater, you’re slacking!
UPDATE 9: Back over to Mandalay Bay. Sugarland performs “Tonight”. Then back to the MGM Grand where Dierks Bentley performs his new single “Am I The Only One?” which features a reference to AI.
UPDATE 8: In the meantime, Bethany Hamilton and Anna Sophia Robb (who plays Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer) introduce Carrie Underwood who takes the stage to sing “Undo It”. Steven Tyler, dressed in white, takes the stage to join her! The crowd roars. Carrie and Steven sing “Walk This Way!” Farmbot done growed up!! Seriously, vocals on point and totally owning the stage!
UPDATE 7: Brad Garrett driving a limo, picks up Blake & Reba and they all head down to Mandalay Bay to see Sugarland!
UPDATE 6: Toby Keith sings his current single “Somewhere Else”.
UPDATE 5: Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire start with a skit that has Blake Shelton serenading his blonde lady love amidst candles with “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking”. Only in a completely unpredictable development (sure) it turns out to be Reba in a wig! They introduce Brad Paisley! Here comes Alabama to join him on stage singing Brad’s current single Not-Remind-Me “Old Alabama”. Celine Dion takes the stage to introduce Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton. They pick out country stars in the audience to mock. And Jake Gyllenhaal.
UPDATE 4: Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson won an off-camera ACM for Top Vocal Event for “As She’s Walking Away”.
UPDATE 3: Miranda Lambert has won an off-camera ACM for Video Of The Year for “The House That Built Me”. Blake Shelton was also nominated in that category. Score: Miranda 1, Blake 0.
UPDATE 2: Diana DeGarmo spotted on the ACM red carpet!
UPDATE 1: Casey James has been spotted on the ACM red carpet!

Video and Photos after the jump…

Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler – “Undo it/Walk This Way”

HD Video via LittleReefCritters and coloca no Idol

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About Deb B 432 Articles
Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.