And the winners are…
Musician of the Year
Mac McAnally – Correct!
Music Video of the Year
Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”
That was followed by Rascal Flatts giving a mediocre performance of a great song (“Why Wait”), and Blake Shelton giving a great performance of a mediocre song (“All About Tonight”). Miranda Lambert, who led the pack of nominees with nine nominations, gave a loud and energetic performance of “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round.”
Little Jimmy Dickens also made his requisite appearance wearing swim goggles in preparation for another Nashville flood. Brad explained to the audience that Little Jimmy would yell when the water got up to his neck, and then the rest of us would have time to get to safety.
George Strait performed “The Breath You Take,” and then the Zac Brown Band was joined by Alan Jackson for a performance of their number-one collaborative hit, “As She’s Walking Away.” Kenny Chesney followed with his recent number one hit “The Boys of Fall.”
Taylor Swift accompanied herself on piano in a shower of snowflakes for a performance of her new song “Back to December.”
Sugarland turned the kooky fun factor up to ten with their wild performance of “Stuck Like Glue.”
Keith Urban set the stage on fire with “Put You In a Song.”
Reba gave a performance of the Beyonce pop hit “If I Were a Boy,” which she covers on her new album All the Women I Am.
Jeff Gordon made a comedic appearance as a Brad Paisley impersonator right before Carrie introduced Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, who sang their duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay” from Jason’s new album My Kinda Party.
The CMA’s obsession with Kid Rock continued this year, and he also received a coveted performance slot, despite having no award nominations, and having only a single country hit from two years ago under his belt. Time for a bathroom break.
Brad Paisley performed “This Is Country Music.”
Afterwards, Lady Antebellum performed their current hit “Hello World.” Then, in one of the show’s more surprising and memorable moments, Martina McBride presented the award for Male Vocalist of the Year to none other than Blake Shelton. Miranda and Reba wiped tears as Blake strode up to the platform to accept the first CMA Male Vocalist award of his career.
Subsequent performances included Carrie Underwood with “Mama’s Song” and Dierks Bentley with “Up On the Ridge.” Miranda and Lambert paid tribute to Loretta Lynn on her classic hit “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Then Loretta herself made a surprise appearance to sing the final verse of the song, and was received with a thunderous applause from the crowd. Loretta and Sissy Spacek then presented the Female Vocalist award to… Miranda Lambert!
Finally, Gwyneth Paltrow took the stage for her much-hyped CMA debut. Vince Gill joined her in singing “Country Strong.”
Finally, Tim McGraw presented the CMA’s top prize – Entertainer of the Year. Brad Paisley was announced the winner. He choked back tears as he thanked country’s loyal fanbase for its support. His speech was easily the best moment of the show, and it unfortunately was one of the only parts that I could not find on YouTube. There is no justice in this world! But if it shows up, I’ll add it.
That’s all for this year’s CMAs! We’ll see how things play out at the ACMs this spring.