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Live blog: 2010 CMT Music Awards

by Brandy McDonnell Published: June 9, 2010
Kid Rock (Associated Press file photo)
Kid Rock (Associated Press file photo)

7:00 p.m.: Rapper/rocker Kid Rock, who has been known to dabble in country music, is hosting this year’s CMT Music Awards and opening the show with a performance of his signature song “Cowboy.” He’s already been bleeped once, so we’ll see if Kid as the ringleader can challenge Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards for censor-exhausting moments. If memory serves this is the second year for a rapper to help open the show, with T-Pain and Taylor Swift collaborating last year.

7:02: Kid is getting plenty of help country-ing up his opener, with Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Trace Adkins, Randy Houser and Zac Brown joining him so far. Now, Jamey Johnson has taken up mike and guitar to add a little “Dukes of Hazzard” theme song interlude. So far, it’s a very bombastic opening, but in my opinion, it can’ t compete with April’s ACM Awards blowout with Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley and rock legend John Fogerty.

7:06: Are you ready for some football? Hank Williams Jr. joins the opening number party in a truly impressive fringed buckskin coat and a Monday Night Football shirt.

7:07: “Does anybody realize how hard it is to get Bocephus out of the house?” Kid Rock asks, telling everybody that the party’s just getting started. And he’s already waving away the Promptr, saying he’s going to ad-lib this part. He’s telling the crowd if there’s any Kanye  West-style behavior here tonight, he and Hank Jr. and maybe even big Trace are going to punch them in the mouth. Sounds like a deal to me.

7:09: Faith Hill and Taylor Swift, wearing vastly different pink gowns, are here to present the first award, group video of the year. Taylor looks glam with her hair all straightened, though I prefer her curls. Anyway, here are the nominees:

*”Here Comes Goodbye” – Rascal Flatts

• “How Far Do You Wanna Go?” – Gloriana

• “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

• “Toes” – Zac Brown Band

Lady Antebellum (AP file photo)
Lady Antebellum (AP file photo)

7:10: The first belt buckle of the night goes to Lady A. They’ve already gotten the first standing O of the night. If recent awards show history plays out tonight, we’ll be seeing this trio hoisting multiple trophies. As Dave Haywood says, “It’s all about the fans tonight,” and since this is a fan-voted show, prepare to bask in lots of gratitude, country music followers.

7:12: Owasso country star and cookbook author Trisha Yearwood notes that Nashville is clearly back in business after weathering last month’s devastating floods. She praises everyone out there who proved why Tennessee is called the Volunteer State, particularly troops from Fort Campbell. On the “blue carpet,” Yearwood talked about how all the stars at tonight’s show decided to skip the usual swag bags in favor of CMT making a $40,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee’s BackPack Program, which will help children whose families’ have been affected by the floods. That’s a great deal.

7:17: Kid is carrying a cigar and noting “I know there’s no smoking, I got the memo.” He reveals that he was worried about fitting in until he saw that two stars from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” are here as presenters. “I thought, I’m all right!” he exclaims. It’s hard to argue with that logic.

He’s also revealing the final five nominees for the top award, video of the year. People can vote by text or online up to end of the show. It looks like all three Oklahoma hopefuls are through to the very final round.

* “American Ride” – Toby Keith

* “Cowboy Casanova” – Carrie Underwood

• “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

* “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert

• “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

7:20: After warning Blake about the wedding drama in Miranda’s video and calling Lady A the “hillbilly Fleetwood Mac,” Kid passes it to an oddball presenter pairing: Kellie Pickler and NFL star Terrell Owen. The currently teamless T.O. says he’s been spending his free time working out and going to karaoke bars. It’s an obvious setup for the former Dallas Cowboy receiver to badly croon “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”It’s obvious, but it’s still funny.

They’re there to present the duo video of the year award. Will Brooks & Dunn win one last belt buckle as a pair?

Brooks & Dunn (AP file photo)
Brooks & Dunn (AP file photo)

7:23: Why, yes they will. Kix Brooks is accepting on his own, joking that the win was so unexpected that former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn has gone to the bathroom – in New Mexico. “If you think I’m going to bring you this, you’re crazy,” Brooks declares. “It’s just this kind of behavior that makes people think we’re going to break up the duo.” So far, Kix’s speech is more fun than all Kid Rock’s shtick put together.

7:25: Last year’s Nationwide on Your Side award for emerging artists winner Gloriana is introducing the hopefuls for this year’s prize, starting with Chris Young, playing a snippet of his hit “Getting You Home.”

7:27: “Singing Bee” and “Reba” star Melissa Peterman just did a brief backstage interview with Toby Keith, who admitted he was in the bar during the big opening number and therefore missed it. “Any performance you’re looking forward to tonight?” she asked. “Mine,” he answered. She didn’t seem to know what to say to that, but she’s seems a bit flustered tonight.

Miranda Lambert (AP file photo)
Miranda Lambert (AP file photo)

7:30: “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere is putting on a bit of a country twang to introduce Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert performing her hit “White Liar.” The video is up for two awards. Miranda has changed out of her flashy silver red carpet dress, which matched so nicely with the big ol’ engagement ring Blake gave her last month, into a sparkly black dress with intricate beading. Still goes well with that gorgeous rock, because, honestly, what wouldn’t?

And cue the obligatory cut to Blake. Awards show cameramen and producers are so predictable.

7:34: Kid Rock is out in the crowd and introducing the “real deal” and “everything country music should be” Zac Brown Band. They’re going to give out the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year, which they won last year. It comes with rights and responsibilities: The right to show it off and the responsibility to keep make videos that can “whoop a– with a belt.” Alrighty. Here are the noms:

• “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin

• “Do I” – Luke Bryan

• “Giddy On Up” – Laura Bell Bundy

• “Keep On Lovin’ You” – Steel Magnolia

Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan

7:36: Winner: Luke Bryan continues the hot streak he started in April at the ACMs. “Thank you so much fans for changing my life. You’re doing it every day,” he says after a few celebratory whoos! He thanks his wife for letting him act like he was married to another woman in the video. He’s so enthusiastic and has such a killer smile you just have to be happy for him.

7:43: Carrie Underwood, who looks radiant in her hot pink frock, is introducing country music star and “Blind Side” actor Tim McGraw. Whether hot or pastel, pink definitely seems to be a favorite color among the ladies at the show. And Carrie just made one of Kid Rock’s wishes come true; the host said in interviews before the show that he was looking forward to seeing the Checotah native’s legs tonight. Hey, he’s just saying what all the guys are thinking.

Tim McGraw (AP file photo)
Tim McGraw (AP file photo)

Tim, who will play Sunday at OKC’s Zoo Amp with special guests Lady A and Love & Theft, is belting his latest hit, “Southern Voice.” It’s been growing on me since I first heard it over the credits of the aforementioned “Blind Side.” Plus, Tim is quite handsome to look at when he’s working the black hat.

7:47: And cue the cut to Faith Hill, who is sitting next to Keith Urban’s wife, Nicole Kidman, whom we’ll see when Keith takes the stage. See how predictable these shows can be?

7:48: Trailer Choir is performing “Shakin’ That Tailgate” on the side stage. The group is one of the artists on Toby Keith’s Show Dog-Universal label.

7:50: Melissa Peterman is backstage again, now with Keith Urban and John Mayer, who will be performing together later in the show. Sorry, Nicole, John says Keith is his date. And Melissa is back to tittering nervously. I love her, but she needs to take a pill or something ’cause she’s making me nervous all the way here in OKC.

"SNL" players Kenan Thompson, dressed as Reba McEntire, and Andy Samberg ("SNL" photo)
"SNL" players Kenan Thompson, dressed as Reba McEntire, and Andy Samberg ("SNL" photo)

7:53: Kid is back to introduce a surprise performance by the “queen of country music” Reba McEntire. Only, surprise, that’s not Reba, that’s “SNL” player Kenan Thompson in a red wig and sparkling green gown singing “Consider Me Gone.” Now, the Oklahoma redhead is taking the stage to confront him, saying she’s heard that he’s been impersonating her on the show. He says he’s embarrassed that they’re wearing the same dress. “But not the same size,” quips Reba. She also tells him he’s too dark to be Reba: “I’m ginger with blond highlights, and you’re a solid auburn” she says of his hair. They’re going to put aside their goofiness for a moment to present the collaborative video buckle. Please let Trace and Blake win, just so I can hear the speech.

• “Best Days of Your Life” – Kellie Pickler featuring Taylor Swift

• “Heaven” from CMT Crossroads: Bryan Adams and Jason Aldean – Jason Aldean and Bryan Adams

* “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins

• “I’m Alive” – Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews

7:57: Wish granted. They’re getting a much-deserved standing O. “Thank you Rebas,” jokes Blake. He quipped on the blue carpet that Trace had been riding his coattails for a year but now he’s thanking him for “being the biggest bada– in country music.” “Proud of my ‘Hillbilly Bone,’” adds the taciturn Trace.

7:59: Lady Antebellum is even harmonizing the intro for Brad Paisley, who is playing his rollicking “American Saturday Night” as huge balloons and confetti rain down on him. Fun performance, with Brad scorching on the guitar, but I’d like to see him do another pool dive to “Water.” Performances are always more fun when the stars have to cheat death by electrocution.

8:05: Melissa is backstage with her two BFFs – Reba and Kenan as Reba. “Let’s hug it up,” she says after her jokes fall flat. “It’s like a Reba sandwich.” I haven’t watched “Saturday Night Live” for awhile, so I’m still just stunned at the idea that Kenan has been impersonating Reba on the show. Wow, that’s some interesting, not to mention color-blind, casting.

8:08: David Spade, Kevin James, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler, the stars of the upcoming movie “Grownups,” are arguing over who is the most country and therefore gets to appear on the CMT Music Awards. Kevin made a sculpture of Garth Brooks out of grits and butter, and Adam bought Willie Nelson’s braid, but David wins because he’s “Joe Dirt.” David and Kid are exchanging witticisms, which mostly consists of Spade making sharp if easy insults and Kid retorting by calling him a “dirt ball.” When Kid tells David he’s supposed to be introducing Jamey Johnson, Spade protests, “You told me it was going to be Carrie Underwood. I didn’t fly in a puddle-jumper from Little Rock to introduce the guy who looks like an extra from ‘Ice Road Truckers.’” Why isn’t “Rules of Engagement” this funny?

Jamey Johnson (AP file photo)
Jamey Johnson (AP file photo)

Jamey is premiering his new song “Macon” on the show, and he’s got great backing harmonies from Little Big Town happening on this soulful Southern rocker. So well done there.

8:15: Broadway star turned country singer Laura Bell Bundy is singing her song “Giddy On Up” on the Nationwide side stage. She’s doing a weird jig. You’d think a Tony nominee would have better footwork.

8:19: Yikes, it’s a TV horror mashup: Celebrity chef Paula Deen with Snookie and The Situation from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” The Situation says Paula looks smokin’. “You, too, baby, but who does your hair, Crisco?” Paula quips. Oh. My. Gravy, Paula is feeling The Situation’s “cheese grater” abs. Now, they’re giving her a Jersey nickname: “Mama Hoe Cakes.” Seriously, someone better make this end, or the live blog is off, people.

Oh, good, they’re going to give the award for CMT Performance of the Year now. Here are the nominees, all of whom are preferable to this nightmare:

* “Consider Me Gone” from Invitation Only: Reba – Reba McEntire

• “Lookin’ for a Good Time” from the 2009 CMT Music Awards – Lady Antebellum

• “Southern Voice” from Invitation Only: Tim McGraw – Tim McGraw

* “Temporary Home” from Invitation Only: Carrie Underwood – Carrie Underwood

• “Then” from the 2009 CMT Music Awards – Brad Paisley

Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)
Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)

8:23: The buckle goes to Carrie Underwood, so her purse goes to fiance Mike Fisher. Hey, just because he smashes guys against the boards in the hockey rink doesn’t mean he can’t hold his fine lady’s purse.

“This is of course very special to me,”  Carrie says. “This song means so much to me.” She tells the fans “none of us could do what we do without you.”

8:24: Twitter scoundrel Blake Shelton and Laura Bell Bundy have been paired as presenters and they’re getting a bit bawdy. He’s joking he’s “used, er, watched” her sexy video “Giddy On Up” many times, while she quips that his “‘Hillbilly Bone’ is huge.” She comments that he’s got a big event coming up, and he promotes his next Six Pak album coming out Aug. 10, then acknowledges that, yes, he’s going to marry Miranda. And cue the cut to the ring. It’s predictable,  but still, pretty diamond.

For those who don’t follow Blake on Twitter, he’s been using Bundy’s album as another opp to harass PETA, joking that it is so good it makes him commit various abuses against furry critters.

LeAnn Rimes (AP file photo)
LeAnn Rimes (AP file photo)

8:27: Anyway, all that was to introduce LeAnn Rimes’ exclusive performance of John Anderson’s classic “Swingin’.” It’s a rather hyperactive rendition of the song, with Rimes and a herd of backup dancers prancing, cartwheeling and hopping. It doesn’t have much of the soul of Anderson’s version, and it reminds me of Bundy’s ACM performance: Rimes is so breathless you can’t even hear how good her voice can be. A missed opportunity to give this show a real musical highlight.

8:32: Melissa is attempting to interview Blake and Trace backstage, which involves singing at them. She jokes that she’s going wherever they’re going after the show; those two look like they can find a party wherever they end up. But I’ve noticed that except for Reba and her impersonator, all of Melissa’s interviewees have been hulking country guys. Maybe she could get her blood pressure to go down a bit if she’d lay off the beefcake backstage.

8:34: Jada Pinkett Smith is introducing “one of my favorite people” and telling everybody that “if you get a little drink in him, he can rap.” Toby Keith, Jada and her hubby Will Smith were all at the Nobel Peace Prize concert last fall, so I guess they bonded then.

Toby Keith (AP file photo)
Toby Keith (AP file photo)

Toby is performing his hit “American Ride,” which I quite like, but it starts out with the star way out of sync from the band. It gets a bit better by the first chorus, but it’s definitely NOT one of the Big Dog’s better performances. The show and blue carpet has experienced some technical problems, so maybe there’s a glitch causing this. Or maybe starting out the show in the bar wasn’t the best idea. Or maybe he thought he had enough liquor in him to rap but he’s not quite there yet.

8:39: Kid directs everyone to the Nationwide side stage for some eye and ear candy from duo Steel Magnolia. Nationwide spokesman Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces that Chris Young has won the Nationwide award for emerging artists. Two No. 1 hits in a row, I’d say Chris has earned it.

8:43: In an extremely awkward stagey bit, Melissa bursts in on a party in Kid Rock’s dressing room featuring Paula Deen, Kellie Pickler and John Rich. When Melissa inquires about the stuffed boar in the corner, Kid says “That’s my girlfriend,” adding she doesn’t talk back but just sits there looking pretty. “Excellent choice,” she replies. Again, I’m feeling the awkwardness from several states away. Ick.

Zac Brown (AP file photo)
Zac Brown (AP file photo)

8:46: Luke Bryan and NASCAR legend Richard Petty are paired up to introduce the Zac Brown Band. Luke is so excited to be onstage with Petty, he’s running over the racer’s lines, while Petty doesn’t seem too interested in reading the Promptr. With the quality of the writing so far tonight, can’t blame him. But thankfully, the quality of this production just went up, since ZBB is playing their thoughtful song “Free” while the crowd waves little lights. It’s not as much fun as “Toes,” but it’s a strong performance nonetheless.

8:51: Martina McBride, looking ever-youthful in her white frock with gold swirls, is talking about flood relief. Next time, let’s let her sing instead of letting Kid Rock and Melissa Peterman do anything related to the show.

8:55: “Dancing With the Stars” partners Erin Andrews and Maks Chmerkovskiy are going to give the award for male video of the year but not before the Ukrainian dancer talks about how much he enjoyed growing up to the music of Rascal Flattsky. Just think, someone actually got paid to write that, people. Ugh.

Here are the nominees, and despite his less-than-stellar performance tonight, I’m rooting for Toby’s funny bipartisan animated bash-fest.

* “American Ride” – Toby Keith

• “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington

• “Southern Voice” – Tim McGraw

• “The Truth” – Jason Aldean

• “‘Til Summer Comes Around” – Keith Urban

Keith Urban (AP file photo)
Keith Urban (AP file photo)

8:58: Winner: Keith Urban, who is thanking all the usual suspects and sending his love and prayers to all the families in the Gulf “who are going through such an insane time right now.” He says he can’t even find words for the emotions of watching the oil spill disaster play out on TV. Amen to that, Keith.

Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)
Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)

9:00: “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi is introducing an “‘American Idol’ who has become an American icon,” so it must be Carrie Underwood’s turn to perform. She’s looking sassy in slim black pants and spangly silver shirt with fringed sleeves straight out of the ’80s. But there must be some kind of technical problem out there, because she got off to an out-of-sync start just like Toby. She’s recovered admirably, leading the crowd in a sing-along on all the “nah, nah, nahs” for her new hit “Undo It.” But c’mon, are the sound guys all swilling Jack in Kid Rock’s dressing room? This show is getting ridiculous. You’d think that a live show that is going to hinge largely on performances would make sure they weren’t going to have technical issues with every third one.

9:05: Justin Moore, one of the runners-up for the Nationwide award, is on the side stage drawling his biggest hit, “Small Town USA.”

9:11: LeAnn Rimes, who is apparently continuing the ’80s theme by wearing a teal and pink Ocean Pacific swimsuit, is paired with Luke Wilson, who is from Texas where – yes, he said this – all his exes live. Oh, just give the female video award out already. Here are the noms, and there are three Oklahoma options:

* “Consider Me Gone” – Reba McEntire

* “Cowboy Casanova” – Carrie Underwood

* “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert

• “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Miranda Lambert (AP file photo)
Miranda Lambert (AP file photo)

9:13: Winner: Miranda Lambert. “My first buckle, this rocks!” she says. “Thanks to the fan, this is awesome.” “One more thing: Let’s just hope my next wedding doesn’t end up like that one,” she jokes.

9:14: Taylor Swift, who isn’t performing this year after providing more than half the entertainment at last year’s CMTs, is introducing Keith Urban and John Mayer for a guitar-tastic duet. They’re playing “Hit the Ground Running,” a song featured on Urban’s “Defying Gravity” album, for the first time on television.  Apparently, someone threw a bucket of ice water on the sound techs because this performance actually is synced up and sounds sort of, you know, professional and stuff. Just as I was getting ready to completely give up hope for this show, Mr. Tabloid Trash Mayer and the Aussie hottie have turned it around with some great musicianship. Imagine that! However, I could have done without the weird electric guitar chest bump at the end.

By the way, I thought the 2009 CMTs featured too much Taylor. But even with Miss Swift’s shaky awards show performance record, I’d rather let her sing the whole 2011 edition than let Kid Rock, these writers and these sound techs anywhere near next year’s ceremony. Just sayin’.

9:21: New neo-traditionalist Easton Corbin is on the side stage playing “A Little More Country Than That.” I’m continually amazed at how much he sounds like George Strait. In a good way.

9:25: Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow have taken the stage. “Watching you host all night, I gotta say you’re a natural,” Sheryl says. A natural what, we’re not sure. He says he started the show happy and now he’s really happy. They’re both surprised he’s still standing. Aren’t we all? Now, just give out the top award so you can continue your obnoxious liver-pickling nonsense elsewhere, Kid.

Here are the noms, and again, three Oklahoma hopefuls:

* “American Ride” – Toby Keith

* “Cowboy Casanova” – Carrie Underwood

• “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

* “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert

• “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)
Carrie Underwood (AP file photo)

9:28: Winner: Carrie Underwood gets her second buckle of the night. “WOW! Awesome fans, awesome, awesome, amazing, awesome, awesome,” she exclaims. She’s thanking the usual suspects.

9:29: Kid Rock is going off Promptr again to thank all the country stars for accepting him in Nashville and letting him host the show and be part of their scene. He’s encouraging people to come to Nashville and visit. It’s a surprisingly sincere moment from him, and it slightly redeems the debacle of his hosting job.

Lady Antebellum (AP file photo)
Lady Antebellum (AP file photo)

9:31: He’s throwing it over to Lady A to play the show to a big finish with “Stars Tonight.” This trio is one of my faves, the sound is actually working, so it’s a fun, crowd-pleasing way to end this rather rocky awards show.

9:34: Cue the confetti cannons as Lady A bids everyone goodnight and puts a feel-good finish on the 2010 CMT Music Awards, which are now mercifully over. Rest well, readers, and look for my post-awards show coverage tonight and Thursday.

-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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