Live blog: 2011 CMT Music Awards
7:00 p.m.: As promised we’re starting with Shania Twain and Taylor Swift’s pre-taped parody of “Thelma & Louise.” It’s so great to see Shania back, even if it’s in a cheesy movie spoof, and hearing Kenny Rogers sing “The Gambler” is never a bad thing. I do wish that we could drive Kid Rock off a cliff. OK, that’s a little harsh, but if he could never host this awards show again, that’d be fine with me. Explain to me again the country connection, here, please?
7:04: Kid Rock is opening the show with his usual Kid Rock thing, and Wynonna is performing an intervention. Never been so glad to see one of the Judds, and this from a woman who tried to delete the OWN channel as soon as it appeared on the Cox cable guide. “This ain’t MTV, this is CMT,” she says. Now, she’s shilling her new single for seemingly forever before she finally starts belting and twanging. It’s all just a setup to give Kid Rock time to change into a duded-up cowboy hat, fancy red pants and white button-down shirt. “Hell, yeah, I’m country,” he and Wynonna declare in song. Still not convinced, but at least the Kid is acknowledging the debate.
7:08: Now, here comes something country: Oklahoma country music star is playing his new single “Made in America.” I heard a lot about the song from Toby when I interviewed him last month, so my interest is definitely sparked. It’s a big vocal performance from Toby, who’s now officially the only artist to play the CMT Music Awards every year they’ve been existed. That’s 10 years in a row. I like the pyrotechnics, and I really like the song. Definitely hit potential here.
7:10: Teen girl squeal! Just got the first look at Justin Bieber in the crowd. He’s sitting next to his country collaborators Rascal Flatts, which includes Picher-bred guitarist Joe Don Rooney.
7:11: Oh, good grief, here comes Tulsa-bred actor and live wire Gary Busey, along with “Celebrity Apprentice” winner John Rich and Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Hope one of them has a tranq gun in case Garey sees some oogres.
They’re going to present the best duo video award. Oklahoma has a dog in this fight with newcomers Thompson Square. Husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square includes Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson. Here are the nominees:
Duo Video of the Year
• Steel Magnolia – “Last Night Again”
• Sugarland – “Stuck Like Glue”
• The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
• The JaneDear Girls – “Wildflower”
* Thompson Square – “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”
7:14: Winner: Sugarland. Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles are praising the CMT’s as the most fun awards show and praising their fans.
7:15: Speak of the devil. The first up-and-coming band on the Nationwide Insurance side stage is Thompson Square playing their No. 1 “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.” That song has so grown on me. I’m eager to see what else this edgy country couple comes up with.
7:20: Kid Rock is announcing the five final nominees for the top award, video of the year. The voting will continue until the tail end of the show on CMT.com.
Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party.”
Kenny Chesney, “The Boys of Fall.”
Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me.”
Sugarland, “Stuck Like Glue.”
Taylor Swift, “Mine.”
I love hearing the big cheer for Miranda. Go Ran! Of course, Taylor’s fans are in full voice.
7:22: CMT performance of the year nominees Martina McBride and Pat Monahan of Train are talking about good and bad collaborations, and we have our first Weiner joke. They’re going to give out the collaborative video award, and I Belieb it’s gonna go to the Flatts and Bieber. Noms:
Collaborative Video of the Year
• Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson – “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
* Justin Bieber featuring Rascal Flatts – “That Should Be Me”
• Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow – “Collide”
• Aaron Lewis featuring George Jones and Charlie Daniels – “Country Boy”
* Loretta Lynn, Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow – “Coal Miner’s Daughter”
7:24: Winner: EEEKKKKK! It’s Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts. Hear the girls squealing, and the crowd is giving them a standing ovation. Bieber is giving it up to the Flatts, his mom, his vocal coach and the fans. This kid could be a country singer. Jay DeMarcus says it was an honor to have Justin bring ‘em the song, Gary LeVox thanks God and their families and the the Biebs for letting them be part of “the haircut the shocked the world,” and Joe Don declares “We got Bieber fever!” So do the CMT’s, apparently.
7:26: Rockers Paramore are introducing another young band, hot country trio The Band Perry. The family band is doing “I Love the Way You Lie,” which I actually prefer to their breakout hit “If I Die Young.” It’s got more life to it, which sort of makes sense.
7:37: Cheryl Hines and Melissa Peterman – “the two funniest women on TV” – are taking the stage, and Melissa is saying “Didn’t I tell you that Nashville is the greatest place in the world?” They’re detailing all the things that make the men manly: hats, belt buckles, etc., and Cheryl adds handcuffs. “I think I had a different night than you,” she quips to Melissa horrified/befuddled look. “I think ya did. I worry about you,” Melissa replies.
Jokes aside, they’re introducing Luke Bryan performing his new single “Country Girl (Shake It for Me).” I didn’t care for it when I heard him play it back in March at the Rascal Flatts OKC show, but I’m digging it more here. It does make ya wanna shake it. Not as much for me as his background dancers, but still, fun. Love Lady Antebellum dancing in their seats, and him killing (metaphorically) the dancers at the end.
7:42: Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and “Dancing With The Stars” victor Hines Ward and Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews are facing off, and Hines is showing a few of his winning dance moves. He is sexy even doing a goofy joking dance move. They’re going to give out the CMT performance of the year award, and as always, I’m rooting for Reba.
CMT Performance of the Year
(musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT)
• Martina McBride and Train – “A Broken Wing” from CMT Crossroads: Train and Martina McBride
* Reba McEntire – “If I Were a Boy” from Unplugged: Reba
• Darius Rucker and Adele – “Need You Now” from 2010 CMT Artists of the Year
• Keith Urban and John Mayer – “Sweet Thing” from CMT Crossroads: John Mayer and Keith Urban
• Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville” from CMT Crossroads: Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band
7:44: Winner: ZBB and Buffett. Zac Brown is thanking the absent Jimmy Buffett along with all the Parrotheads in Margaritaville, while fiddler Jimmy De Martini thanks the fans for “accepting us for who we are.”
7:46: “CMT’s Next Superstar” finalists Matt Mason and Steven Clawson are performing Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast as You” on the side stage. The reality TV show’s finale is Friday night; Broken Arrow native/Broadway star/Emmy winner/emerging country artist Kristin Chenoweth is set to perform on the live finale. She has a new country single called “I Want Somebody (Bitch About)” that I’m warming up to; it is so weird to hear her sing country even if she is from Oklahoma.
7:51: Kid Rock is telling us that tonight’s show is going out on the American Armed Forces Network. I love the way the country music awards shows always remember to give it up to the troops.
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