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Live-blog: 2009 CMT Music Awards

by Brandy McDonnell Published: June 16, 2009

Bill Engvall (Associated Press photo)

7 p.m.: Show is starting with Bill Engvall meeting Taylor Swift in the hallway and joking about how all her dreams seem to come true. She decides that she wants to be in the new “Star Trek” movie, so by the time she says “But that’s my dream,” she’s in a scene with Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg and she’s vaporizing Bill with a phaser. And if you’ve seen the photos of her and T-Pain, you know where this is going.

T-Pain and Taylor Swift (CMT.com photo)

7:03: So, after a brief “But it’s my dream” to be in the NFL sequence featuring her getting smashed by Tennessee Titans QB Kerry Collins, here she is, rapping along with T-Pain. Yes, Taylor’s all blinged out and joking about living with her parents, knitting sweaters and getting fake-bleeped while T-Pain Auto-Tunes along.

7:05: Now, Bill is sharing his dream to host the CMT Music Awards, and Taylor says that her dream, too. So, they’re racing to the door. Taylor’s BFF Kellie Pickler tries to tackle Bill, and instead tangles with Taylor. And Bill is busting through the door to take the stage.

Dierks Bentley

7:06: After declaring that age always wins over youthful dreams, Bill immediately kicks the show to one of my personal faves, Dierks Bentley, playing his raucous new hit “Sideways,” with some very athletic dancers adding some extra pizzazz to a great performance.

7:08: All in all, I have to give the beginning high marks. Taylor is a bright new star, very personable, and Bill showed he’s a good sport and a funny guy. And any time you start out with a high-energy honky-tonk performance by Dierks Bentley, I’m gonna get on board in speedy fashion.

7:10: Bill notes that “You know its going to be an exciting night when you have T-Pain and Bill O’Reilly on the same show.” He’s making cracking wise about Jessica Simpson, T-Pain, the stimulus package, Cracker Barrel, Montgomery Gentry, Big & Rich and “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” He’s promising big surprises and joking that he wants to see the Taylor Swift-Def Leppard performance: “A girl young enough to be my daughter with a band I was listening to when I conceived my daughter.” In the audience, Luke Wilson looks bored, and when it comes to that joke, I concur.

7:13: Kellie Pickler and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson are up to present the first award of the night. After some painful canned banter – I’ve forgotten how much I hate that part of awards shows - they’re revealing the nominees for USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year. Here they are:

USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year:
Julianne Hough – That Song In My Head
Jamey Johnson – In Color
Lady Antebellum – Lookin For A Good Time
Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried

Zac Brown Band (AP photo)

7:15: The first oversize belt buckle trophy of the night goes to Zac Brown Band for “Chicken Fried.” I’m surprised they upset “Dancing with the Stars” celeb/singer Julianne Hough. The band is thanking CMT and the fans.

7:16: Bill Engvall is revealing the five finalists for the top award, Video of the Year. The voting on the five finalists continues tonight until the final minutes of the show.

Here are the five finalists:

Carrie Underwood, “Just a Dream”
Sugarland, “All I Want to Do”
Taylor Swift, “Love Story”
Brad Paisley, “Waitin’ on a Woman”
Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This”

So, Checotah’sfavorite daughter is through to the final round, but Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts didn’t make it through. You can vote at www.CMT.com.

7:19: And duo Joey + Rory plays us to the first commercial break. I’m pleased to see that the show has brought back the Nationwide Insurance side stage featuring emerging artists that will play before the breaks. It’s a nice showcase.

Darius Rucker (AP photo)

7:24: Former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker is taking the stage to perform his latest country hit, the folksy, upbeat “Alright.” His third country single is sitting at No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart right now; I believe his first two country songs topped that chart. I enjoy the songs, but I admit I’m still having trouble overcoming my ’90s pop image of Rucker. And that cheesy fake-country Burger King commercial he did back in the day isn’t helping.

7:28: Apparently, it’s presenting by committee now as Rodney Atkins, Julianne Hough and Bill Currington step up to present the Duo Video of the Year. They’re using their numbers for a little joke, shifting their loyalties in an effort to form a duo. It’s kind of cute, not as painful as some of the awards show banter I’ve heard.

Here are the noms, and the smart money’s on Sugarland:

Duo Video of the Year:
Brooks & Dunn – Put A Girl In It
Montgomery Gentry – Roll With Me
Sugarland – All I Want To Do
Sugarland – Already Gone

Jennifer Nettles, left, and Kristian Bush, of Sugarland, perform "Adalida" at the ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert in honor of George Strait on Monday, April 6, 2009, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ORG XMIT: NVDC108
Jennifer Nettles, left, and Kristian Bush, of Sugarland, perform "Adalida" at the ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert in honor of George Strait on Monday, April 6, 2009, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ORG XMIT: NVDC108

Sugarland (AP photo)

7:30: Julianne says that this was the closest vote of the night. Winner: Sugarland’s “All I Want to Do.” Kristian Bush is thanking country fans for sticking with them through their musical shifts. Nice. I love Sugarland.

7:32: Bill is explaining how CMT One Country will donate some coin to every award winner’s chosen charity. The chosen charities can be found with the nominees list on CMT.com. I love this concept; it adds a little something extra to the usual awards show business.

7:36: Kerry Collins towers over Heidi Newfield as they take the stage together. They’re supposed to be introducing an artist, but before that, Newfield is getting the crowd cheering for Collins, who led the Tennessee Titans to the NFL playoffs this past season. It may be a music town, but there’s room in Nashville’s heart for football, too, apparently.

Lady Antebellum (AP photo)

7:38: Hot trio Lady Antebellum is taking over to perform their breakout hit “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” which has scored a couple of nominations tonight. I’ve seen this trio perform on a couple of awards shows, and I’d like to see them live sometime. They seem to be having such fun. I’ll bet they put on a high-energy live show.

7:40: Eric Church is performing his ballad “Love Your Love the Most” on the side stage. It’s currently No. 23 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. I might learn to love it; it’s growing on me.

7:44: Don’t forget you can vote for Video of the Year at www.CMT.com.

7:45: Bill Engvall’s out in the crowd joking about Brad Paisley naming his new son Jasper because his wife, Kim, dreamed that was what they dubbed him. Bill says when his wife was pregnant, he dreamed about Cindy Crawford, so they named their daughter Emily and he had to sleep on the couch for a week. Any name is better than Brad and Kim’s older son, who is William Huckleberry “Huck” Paisley. I think even Mark Twain would object.

Brad Paisley (AP photo)

Anyway, Engvall is turning the stage over to Brad to perform his 10th No. 1 hit, “Then.” Despite a mike glitch at the beginning, Brad is just nailing this beauty of a ballad, complete with a bit of ’80s-rock-style guitar. He’s got the crowd enthralled. The guy is so talented and just so darn likeable on top of it.

7:50: T-Pain and Toby Keith – that’s right, Toby’s on a boat – are together to present an award. T-Pain looks like he’s wearing one of Toby’s T.K. Steelman shirts, without that “Big A– Chain” the hip-hop star donned during his performance with Taylor. But that’s not stopping Toby from dropping a few bleep-worthy comments as he and ‘Pain riff about possible rap names for the Big Dawg Daddy. They look like they’re having good time, and it’s all mutual admiration between these two mismatched artists.

Appropriately enough, they’re here to present the Wide Open Country Video Award, which honors videos, artists and songs that fall on the fringes of the usual definition of country.

Here are the nominees:

Wide Open Country Video of the Year:
Def Leppard and Taylor Swift – Photograph
Kid Rock – All Summer Long
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Please Read The Letter
Rehab featuring Hank Williams, Jr. – Bartender Song

Kid Rock (AP photo)

7:53: Winner: Kid Rock. “I have two people to thank and I already forgot ‘em,” Kid says. “One of them was CMT. I think this award is based on creativity, because what’s more creative than a strip pole on a pontoon boat?”

Actually, it’s more a tribute to the songwriting skill of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Warren Zevon, since “All Summer Long” samples the ultra-catchy “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Werewolves of London.”

Still: Best. acceptance. speech. ever.

And I love that just before opening the envelope, T-Pain quipped, “Shout out to Bill O’Reilly, holler at me on Twitter.” That’s two Twitter references already tonight.

Grammy-nominated country music artist Taylor Swift  poses for a photo at a hotel in the Universal City area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) ORG XMIT: NY493
Grammy-nominated country music artist Taylor Swift poses for a photo at a hotel in the Universal City area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) ORG XMIT: NY493

Taylor Swift (AP photo)

7:58: Hope you’re a Taylor Swift fan because the teen queen’s back. Now, she’s dressed in a bathrobe and geeky glasses to sing her latest hit, “You Belong With Me” while little pink heart lights fill the air. Now, the robe and glasses come off to reveal her in her usual hottie mode: Short blue dress, high heels, long blonde tresses flowing.

I admire her youthful talent and high-energy performances, but I’m ready to hear a song from Taylor that doesn’t sound like it was scribbled in the back of spiral notebook before senior English class. I’m ready for something that DOESN’T go with the cheerleaders now cartwheeling across the stage with her. In other words, let’s hear something that’s not a brokenhearted/angry teen breakup song.

8:02: And I’m really ready for the CMT Music Awards to resolve their microphone issues. We’re an hour in and that’s the third performance where a mike has cut out. Get it together, guys.

8:03: Bill Engvall is basically presenting the counter-argument to my Taylor Swift complaint: She’s only 19 years old and she’s already done Oprah, “CSI,” “Saturday Night Live” and has tons of hits. Bill’s big accomplishment at that age: learning to belch his own name.

8:04: Kid Rock is back onstage, this time with model Karolina Kurkova, who apparently plays a model-turned-swordswoman in the new movie “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” Her inability to even describe the movie convincingly isn’t relieving my misgivings about this film, nor is her statement that the biggest fight scene happens at a Waffle House. (Please say that’s a very unfunny, cliched country music awards show joke and not a real happening in this film. Please.)

Anyway, they’re here to present the award for Group Video of the Year, and Rascal Flatts (which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher) has a 50-50 shot of emerging victorious:

Group Video of the Year:
Lady Antebellum – Lookin’ For A Good Time
Rascal Flatts – Bob That Head
Rascal Flatts – Every Day
Zac Brown Band Chicken Fried

Rascal Flatts (AP photo)

8:06: Winner – Rascal Flatts with “Every Day,” which is probably my favorite song of theirs. Karolina said it was close, but the Okies snag one.

Jay DeMarcus declares that country music has the greatest fans, and Gary LeVox, after modeling the belt buckle – which looks quite awkward and not a little naughty with the stand of the award dangling in his crotch area – cheers for “the fans, the fans, the fans, the fans.” Rooney gets the shameless plug of the evening award, inviting everyone to come out and see them on tour this summer, but the guy is so darn personable, he probably really means it as a sincere invite, so we’ll let it slide.

8:10: The youthful Carter Twins are playing us to commercial break with their song “Heart Like Memphis.” Not bad, even if they make Taylor look old.

Country music star Keith Urban performs before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/John Raoux) ORG XMIT: DBR116
Country music star Keith Urban performs before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/John Raoux) ORG XMIT: DBR116

Keith Urban (AP photo)

8:12: Keith Urban is singing his playful hit “Sweet Thing,” which is such a cute song with its jaunty guitar riff and fast-talking verses. He’s pretty cute himself. No sign of wife Nicole Kidman on the red carpet, but he and Jennifer Nettles had a good time as she pretended to interview him about his current tour with Sugarland. He’s another great country guitarist, like Brad Paisley. And you’ve got to love the enthusiasm, as Keith runs into the stands, to the delight of his fans (especially the ladies).

8:15: Having survived the red carpet, CMT personalities Lance Smith and Katie Cook are on the awards show stage to chat up the second season of “Can You Duet.” And now they’re actually going to present an award: Trey Fanjoy waves from the crowd as the winner of director of the year. She did such a good job directing like 30 videos that we’re not even going to let her take the stage. Her name isn’t Taylor Swift, so she’ll just have to deal.

Anyway, Lance and Katie also are going to present the CMT Performance of the Year Award. Here are the possibles in what has to be the most self-referential category at any awards show:

Alan Jackson featuring Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and George Strait – Country Boy from CMT Giants: Alan Jackson
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) from CMT Crossroads: Robert Plant and Allison Krauss
Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen – Life In A Northern Town from the 2008 CMT MUSIC AWARDS
Def Leppard and Taylor Swift – Photograph from CMT Crossroads: Def Leppard and Taylor Swift

Alan Jackson (AP photo)

8:17: Winner: Alan Jackson with Dierks, Brad and George. George isn’t there, and Brad and Dierks are respectfully letting Alan take the lead here:

“I just have to say that I signed my record deal 20 years ago this week, and I’ve made about 45 videos in that time,” Jackson said, thanking CMT and the fans.

Given their turns, Dierks and Brad both praise Alan Jackson as someone who inspired them to become country artists. Nice moment, very respectful.

8:20: Justin Moore karaokes us to break with “On the Road Again.” Apparently, he drew the short straw and gets to promote the “Rock Band” country track pack during his little emerging artists showcase snippet. Poor guy. Still, any publicity is good publicity, right?

8:24: Bill bombs with a joke about Oprah, Dr. Phil and bed-wetting. Yeesh, moving along to “Dancing with the Stars” winners Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, who are there to present Female Video of the Year. Surprisingly, no Carrie Underwood in this category; she was eliminated between the first and final nomination rounds.

Here are the possibilities. I’m rooting for Miranda Lambert, though I’d put money on Taylor.

Female Video of the Year:
Miranda Lambert – More Like Her
Martina McBride – Ride
Kellie Pickler – Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful
Taylor Swift – Love Story

Taylor Swift (AP photo)

8:27: Yep, the winner is Taylor. She’s thanking Trey Fanjoy – so at least the director’s got that going for her. And Taylor’s thanking the fans for “making my bad days good” by coming to her shows, writing her letters and MySpace comments and making scrapbooks for her. Gotta love her youthful joy.

Sugarland (AP photo)

8:28: All right! Sugarland is onstage, and Kristian Bush is delivering the deceptively low-key intro to “Love Shack.” I’ve seen them do this performance before at last fall’s Orange Peel at Oklahoma State University, and it’s awesome, a great tribute to the duo’s Atlanta roots.

B-52′s (AP photo)

8:29: OK, it’s not such a huge surprise, but it’s a fun, welcome one: Here are the actual B-52′s to perform their trademark hit with Sugarland. (At the live shows, tourmates Ashton Shepherd and Kellie Pickler joined Sugarland on the pop hit.)

I’m loving this glitzy, spirited performance, but I’m noticing that the show is looking less and less like a country show, Alan Jackson’s win notwithstanding. Still, love the lyrical switch to “Knock a little louder, Sugarland,” rather than “Knock a little louder, sugar.”

Bang, bang, baby, this is entertaining, even if it isn’t exactly for the boots-and-Stetsons set.

8:33: Jason Michael Carroll’s crooning on the side stage, looking good with his shorter but still longish blond locks. I’m always surprised that he has such a wonderfully deep voice.

8:37: Well, you knew when Dierks showed up on the red carpet with his dog Jake that Bill would try to make a joke about it. He’s cracking that you know it’s a country music awards show when Jake arrives late and gets a better seat than Jason Aldean. Now, he’s boring us all with a series of lame jokes about Kellie Pickler’s monkey and teasing that he has his own unhousebroken monkey, Larry the Cable Guy.

So, that was predictable, but this is … not. Bill O’Reilly and Naomi Judd are paired as presenters. They’re being very complimentary of each other, and Bill says Naomi’s been on his show. She’s trying to teach him how to properly “howdy,” and he can’t do it.

Trace Adkins (AP photo)

I hate these weird presenter combinations, so thankfully, they’re introducing Trace Adkins, who is crooning his huge hit, “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

Love this song. Gets me misty every time. And what an amazing voice he has.

8:44: Bill Engvall is talking about CMT One Country’s donation to Second Harvest Food Bank’s backpack program. Again, love this awards show’s charity bent.

And rising stars Gloriana just won the Nationwide Is on Your Side Award as we go to commercial. I have no idea what this means, but congratulations to this band, whom I’m supposed to interview later this week.

8:48: Ventriloquist Terry Fator of “America’s Got Talent Fame” and his puppet Vicky are here to present the Collaborative Video of the Year. She’s a cougar and is dropping another bleep-worthy quote. I’m guessing Taylor is the only one who has been fake-bleeped here.

Here are the noms, and as usual, I’m rooting for Reba:

Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire – Cowgirls Don’t Cry
Kenny Chesney featuring The Wailers – Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
Brad Paisley with Keith Urban – Start A Band
Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen – Life In A Northern Town

Brad Paisley and Keith Urban (AP photo)

8:50: Winner: Keith Urban and Brad Paisley, “Start a Band.” It’s a great, fun song and it’s hard to argument with that much talent or that much handsome.

Brad and Keith are praising each other and the fans, and I’m loving Keith’s Aussie accent and his advice:

Keith: “And learn the guitar, kids. Learn the real thing.”

Brad: “Remember, ‘Rock Band’ never got anyone a date.” (My older son’s in trouble, then. Just kidding, sweetie.)

Plus, Keith ends his acceptance by telling his baby girl good-night. Aw.

8:53: Bill is likening Rascal Flatts treatment of their fans to politicians campaigning. He even comments, “And Joe Don’s always kissing babies, or as the rest of us call ‘em, college girls.” Bet his wife and mom love that comment. I’ll bet Joe Don can take a joke, but I’m getting a bit tired of Engvall’s shtick. Maybe he should stick to his “Here’s Your Sign” bit.

Rascal Flatts

Regardless, Rascal Flatts is firing up their latest uptempo surefire hit, “Summer Nights.” As usual, it’s an energetic performance from the trio, and Joe Don’s offering further proof that country guitarists these days are seriously underpraised.

8:57: Here’s Gloriana performing their breakout song “Wild at Heart.” I just got this hot new group’s EP and I’m looking forward to giving it a listen. They’re playing June 30 at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in OKC.

9:01: OK, that’s an intriguing combo. According to the ad I just saw, the next “CMT Crossroads” will feature Jason Aldean and Bryan Adams. That’s an interesting matchup. I think it’s airing next Friday, so mark your calendars.

Kellie Pickler (AP photo)

9:02: Kellie Pickler has changed out of her black Badgley Mischka gown into a short silvery number to belt her kiss-off song “Best Days of Your Life.” She’s putting a lot of sultry, sassy attitude into her performance, but she’s still not my favorite. She just doesn’t have the powerhouse voice of Jennifer Nettles, Carrie Underwood or Ashton Shepherd. It just is.

9:05: Wow, another weird combo: Alison Krauss and Ted Nugent presenting together. The announcer: “She’s as quick with a fiddle as he is with a gun.” Ted’s saluting Alison as royalty, and making a random tribute to George Jones. Naturally, we have to have the canned banter ruin the wacky moment; suddenly Alison is asking what Ted would do if one of the winners in the Male Video of the Year category turned out to be a vegetarian. His predictable response: “Whack ‘em and stack ‘em. All I eat is vegetarians.” Remember back when the Nuge was more than a left-wing hunting nut? He used to play guitar and sing a bit, as I recall.

Here are the Male Video of the Year nominees, including Toby Keith:

Male Video of the Year:
Trace Adkins – You’re Gonna Miss This
Toby Keith – God Love Her
Brad Paisley – Waitin’ On A Woman
Keith Urban – Sweet Thing

Brad Paisley and Andy Griffith in “Waitin’ on a Woman”

9:08: Winner: Brad Paisley for the wonderful “Waitin’ on a Woman.”

After thanking his director, Brad is rightly lavishing praise and gratitude on Andy Griffith, who absolutely makes that video. He says Griffith is the perfect person to impart wisdom since he’s been doing it for everyone there all his life. He also thanked Griffith’s wife Cindy. Nice job.

And Brad’s getting in Twitter reference No. 3: At his management’s urging, he thanks the fans on Twitter, admitting that he’s only Tweeted like three times. “There, I hit send, thank you, now get off my back.” Ah, the lament of the reluctant Twitterer.

9:11: Just saw a second trailer for “G.I. Joe.” Still looks crap. Bad accents, action sequences that would make Michael Bay laugh at their outlandishness, plus a Wayans (I think it’s Shawn) in the mix. Even Joseph Gordon Levitt and Dennis Quaid may not be able to save this movie.

Jason Aldean

9:14: Jason Aldean struts onto the stage to perform the biggest hit of his career thus far, “She’s Country,” which despite the title rocks with a sexy Southern rock groove.

9:15: Here’s an interesting musical pairing: Keith Urban joins Aldean for the second verse of “She’s Country.” Their styles are quite different, but as I’ve said before, Urban is a terrific guitarist, and that song has a solo that just wails. All in all, this performance is getting the show back on track for me. It was kind of dragging there for a bit.

9:17: Engvall points out there’s just one buckle left to give out: Video of the Year. Voting is still going on for a few more minute at www.CMT.com. And we’ve still got the much-hyped duet by Def Leppard and Taylor Swift, plus Toby Keith’s performance coming up.

Eli Young Band

9:18: The excellent Eli Young Band adds a refreshing shot of red dirt to the show, performing their Top 10 hit “Always the Love Songs” on the side stage. This great band will be playing this weekend at the big Country Fever Music Festival in Pryor. You can read what Mike Eli has to say about the event in my preview story running Wednesday in The Oklahoman, at NewsOK and here at BAM’s Blog.

Melissa Peterman

9:22: Dierks is back onstage – never a bad thing – and he’s with actress Melissa Peterman, formerly of the sitcom “Reba” and hostess of the new CMT show “The Singing Bee,” debuting tonight after the awards show. He’s teasing that he’s slipped the ’prompter guy a few bucks to test her karaoke skills, and she’s attacking the task with comic ferocity.

“My dream to sing on the CMT Music Awards has come true. You’re right, Taylor, dreams really do come true, and speaking of dreams …” Peterman quips before laying a big smacker right on Dierks.

Looking shocked, he comments, “Wow, I thought that was supposed to be on the cheek.”

When Peterman jokes about being out of breath, Dierks replies “Well, I’m speechless so that makes two of us.” I’m not sure how planned that was, but it was sure cute.

Toby Keith

Dierks looks geniunely relieved as he introduces Oklahoman Toby Keith to sing his latest hit, “God Love Her.” I love this song, and I think Toby’s voice sounds great on it.

9:28: Voting for Video of the Year is now closed, but if we’re gonna present this award and fit in the promised performance by Taylor Swift and Def Leppard, we’re going over on time. Grr.

9:32: Martina McBride and actor Luke Wilson are here to declare the winner of the big award, Video of the Year. She’s describing the noms and he’s talking about what he’s going to do when he gets back to the hotel. I’m not sure he’s all here right now.

Here are the five finalists:

Brad Paisley, Waitin’ on a Woman
Carrie Underwood, Just a Dream
Sugarland, All I Want to Do
Taylor Swift, Love Story
Trace Adkins, You’re Gonna Miss This

Taylor Swift (AP photo)

9:34: And the biggest buckle goes to … Taylor Swift. And she’s hugging Brad Paisley and her younger brother Austin, her date for the night.

“Thank you so much!” she squeals. “I want to thank CMT for letting me live out so many of my dreams this year.” She’s noting that she got to perform with her musical heroes, Def Leppard, on “CMT Crossroads.”

She’s also thanking a couple of her other heroes: Shania Twain for always making such theatrical videos and Oklahoman Garth Brooks for always treating his fans so well. And she’s thanking her own fans.

9:37: Engvall is recapping the show with a few jokes, which is completely unnecessary if you’ve read my live-blog. All this is basically to give Taylor time to change clothes again so she can perform with Def Leppard. And here comes the unneeded setup for Taylor and the British rockers …

Def Leppard and Taylor Swift

9:38: Taylor’s in a short, black fringed dress and lead Leppard Joe Elliott also is all in black as they duet on “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” I’m loving the interaction between Taylor’s fiddle player and the rockers, but it’s a bit creepy to hear young Taylor exchange these sexy lyrics with Joe Elliott, who scored a hit with this song when I was a kid and before his current collaborator was even born.

It just feels a bit ewww, and for all her skipping and gyrating, Taylor’s cute little voice isn’t holding its own against Elliott’s gravelly crooning. Maybe I should take back what I said about her doing more adult songs; if this performance is any indication, I’m not sure she’s ready.

Still, they seemed happy with it, and Joe Elliott is giving her a big hug at the end. Maybe he’s just excited that he proved he can still rock. Or maybe he’s just thrilled at the prospect of all the teeny-boppers who will be downloading the performance on Rhapsody tomorrow. Who knows?

I just know that I hate to end an awards show on a negative note, and that wasn’t my favorite performance at all. Still, I’m willing to give the Taylor Swift-Def Leppard combo another chance, so I’m planning to view their “CMT Crossroads” special in the near future.

Anyway, that’s its for the 2009 CMT Music Awards. Look for a round-up and photo galleries from the show coming soon, along with added photos here.

Thanks for joining me, and good night!

-BAM

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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