Sunday night on CBS from 8 to 11 p.m. Country’s top artists performed and celebrated the great genre that seems to be picking up steam in mainstream success. With acts like teen-sensation Taylor Swift, the Country-pop trio of Lady Antebellum, and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, Country music seems to be receiving the most mainstream attention in a long time.
Reba McEntire hosted the night and her opening monologue consisted of jokes and cracks towards the eight nominees for Entertainer of the Year, plus a hilarious stab at cheating men as inspiration for the women’s songs, “Lots of songs about cowboy Casanovas, white liars and two-timing men – and I’d like to thank Jesse James and Tiger Woods for inspiring us all.”
The main thing that I love the most about these Country music awards are the live performances one after another all night long. In the beginning of the ceremony, I felt that Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins performing “Hillbilly Bone” was a highlight with Billy Currington and Kenny Chesney following.
The red-hot group of Lady Antebellum took home three awards: Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Best Vocal Group thanks to their hit album “Need You Now.” Their performance of their new single “American Honey” was sweet, though I would’ve preferred to hear the song that won all their awards.
The ceremony didn’t go flawlessly though. After Keith Urban was announced to perform in the first hour of the telecast, he mysteriously didn’t perform. Viewers bombarded Twitter with their concern for his disappearance. Eventually he performed “I’m In” towards the end of the show.
Also, this was also the ACM Awards show that marked the legendary duo of Brooks and Dunn‘s last ACM performance. With the fans voting “My Maria” the whole audience was up on their feet, dancing and singing along. But the beginning of the performance displayed some technical difficulties as the microphone levels were barely audible. That wasn’t the ideal way to send off Brooks and Dunn.
While the ACM Awards took a slower and depressing turn thanks to performances by Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood, my favorite performance of the night went to Brad Paisley for bringing the life back into the auditorium. He performed the humorous and fun track “Water” which concluded with him soloing through the crowd and then falling into a pool on stage. Oh, and he also had the funniest line during his acceptance speech when Matthew McConaughey handed him the award for Best Male Vocalist. Paisley made a reference to how his wife, Kimberly Williams, and McConaughey were in We Are Marshall together. Paisley relayed his wife’s message that he was a better kisser than McConaughey, only to admit he was confused since they didn’t have any kissing scenes during the movie. Hilarious.
Overall, the ACM Awards was a great celebration for Country music. Thankfully, Taylor Swift didn’t win any awards. Instead they went to the deserving artists such as Miranda Lambert for Album of the Year and Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year, which is her second in a row and makes her the first female artist to win two Entertainer of the Year awards.