Television

CMA Awards 2015 Recap

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Welcome to “Country music’s biggest night,” this month.

Cause nothing gets me ready for the impending 9 months of winter quite like watching performances of my favorite country songs about boozin’ in the summer. Looking past that fact though I think everyone in America can agree that we can divide last night’s awards show into two categories: BJT & AJT. Before JT and After JT. Also note to future country singers hoping to sweep the awards: bring your buddy Justin Timberlake. But more on that below…here are the hits and misses of the night’s bits, performances & audience reactions.

No, Thank You:

-Hey, I get that Star Wars is making a hot comeback this year but did we need to start shoving it down America’s throats like 5 months early? I’m out on Star Wars. So as you can imagine, the opening bit with Brad as Guitar Solo, Carrie as Carrie Fisher and Garth Vader turned Luke Vader didn’t do it for me.

-Obviously fresh on everyone’s brains (because we’re reminded of it every five minutes) is the Blake/Miranda divorce and it needed to be addressed. Unfortunately, Carrie & Brad started with “the breakup we can’t ignore” and then tossed it over to Miss Piggy and Kermit. I’m actually more fired up about the Muppets taking over than I am with Star Wars. Enough with the puppet publicity.

-Related to my last point but not a part of the show, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani waited until right when the show was beginning to have their reps officially announce they’re a couple, making it red carpet fodder. DOUCHE move. Seriously, #TeamMiranda all the way.

-William Shatner got drunk (I assume) came onstage in a storm trooper costume and shat all over the joint.

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-Zac Brown Band sang off key a whole lot.

-Brett Eldredge never performed and yet he has a brand new album…how does this add up CMA?! HOW?!

-Carrie performed “Smoke Break” looking like a smoke, obv.

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-Every year they throw pop acts into the mix and hope for musical magic and every year there’s duets that crash and burn.(Wink.) This year was Fallout Boy with Thomas Rhett. They did “Crash & Burn” first followed by “Uma Thurman” where essentially both of them held back their natural style of singing while red-lipped body suit ho’s gyrated around them. It was inspiring.

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– Luke Bryan performs a slow number without his backwards hat. WHY EVEN PERFORM? #DesertSandstormUndies

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-Miranda rocks the shit out of her performance of “Bathroom Sink” and ABC acts supes mature and doesn’t once give us a reaction shot from Blake. BOOOOO. I want to see the regret in his eyes.

-I was forced to eat all the nice words I gave Kacey for her red carpet look when she did too much outfit and special effects-wise for her performance. There were literal My Little Pony graphics parading in the background.

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Yes, Please:

-Carrie Underwood’s crack in the monologue about “some dude” calling women in country tomatoes and the camera pans to three men in the audience with stone cold expressions who probably hate women…and tomatoes.

-John Mellencamp & Keith Urban were the opening hair cr3w. John sported some fluffy locks and Keith had his usual mom going through a mid-life crisis haircut so putting the two of them together was top entertainment for me. Also they sang “Ain’t that America”, which always slays. MURICA. HOME OF THE HAIR.

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-Brad invented the phrase “Sam Hunting” to refer to the art of talking and transitioning to song. Thank GOD someone ribbed on him for this because it’s not okay. Talking mid-song sucks and Sam abuses the privilege just because he’s swoonworthy.

-JT got mad screen time right off the bat when Brad shouts it out to him then hopes for a performance of “that song about Christmas that he just can’t put his finger on.” I’ll put my finger on it. If it’s cool with Jessica, of course. But seriously, show Justin’s pretty face as much as possible.

-Little Big Town slayed Girl Crush as per usual (but please start performing another single, I’ve seen this one a lot) and blondie gave me silver skirt goals.

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-Eric Church channeled a sunglasses-wearin Beyonce and dropped a surprise album mid-show, which was much more exciting than either of his performances.

-Chris Stapleton owns the MF’ing night. Had quite literally no idea who this bearded fellow was before last night and suddenly he’s the stuff and also BFF’s with Justin. Just as long as he doesn’t try to take JFal’s place I’m cool with it. But seriously according to me and EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON at the awards show his collab with JT was the performance of the night. Tennessee Whiskey was first, followed by Drink You Away and they tore that shit wide open. There was a girl also singing with them but her name isn’t Justin Timberlake and therefore she remained in the shadows, literally I don’t think she had her own spotlight. (Re-watch full performance here.)

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-Follow up to the actual performance, which was bananaland good, the country stars in the audience could not even with JT and it made me feel so much better about sitting completely still on my couch grinning at the TV. Specific shout out to Keith Urban whose undies were probably more soaked then mine…he cheered & danced and screamed like a fangirl with an I ❤ JT poster all while filming the whole thing on his iPhone. One guy had actual tears. Most of the girls just drooled openly. It was amazing to see everyone lose their cool for JT and the Tennessee Kids duetting with the largest beard I’ve seen in a while.

-Even though it didn’t matter what the hell FGL did because they followed Chris & Justin, I still had to throw a little fashion appreciation their way because it made me laugh out loud. Gone were the vests that I have plagued for years and the replacement was Brian wearing a harness and a feather necklace. No hang on, necklace is overstating it. He was wearing an actual full feather hanging off a string.Upon second glance there was a feather in his back pocket as well. I don’t know what I expect from two men who live in actual treehouses but it still gets me every time.

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-Pentatonix does a quick accapella country ditty and the audience lost their shit over it. Everyone was all in on their 2 second performance and it was really cute and well deserved cause this group is more talented than the Barden Bellas. They even got a standing O.

-Miranda wins Female Vocalist and you can tell she’s not sure how to handle the cameras but Luke swoops in and hugs her. What a gentleman. I almost forgive him for his lack of hip gyrations. In Miranda’s thank you she says, “I appreciate it, I needed a bright spot this year.” YOU GOT THIS GRRRRRLLLLL. KILL ‘EM.

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-Chris Stapleton wins his third award of the night and tears up. He’s humble and sweet and grateful and we need more of him in America. Also it’s very clear that all the top country artists were rooting for him which gives me even more of the warm & fuzzies. Also not for nothing he has some pretty luscious locks that curl better than my own.

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-Luke thanks his “baby” and they show Garth Brooks. LoLz. That cameraman was swiftly fired. Then Luke-no baseball cap-Bryan also shouts it out to the cool kids of country in the front row to remind everyone who isn’t VIP that they suck at life.

 

Winners:

Single of the Year- Girl Crush by Little Big Town

Song of the Year- Girl Crush

New Artist of the Year- Chris Stapleton

Vocal Duo of the Year- FGL

Album of the Year- Chris Stapleton, Traveler

Vocal Group of the Year- Little Big Town

Female Vocalist of the Year- Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist of the Year- Chris Stapleton

Entertainer of the Year- Luke Bryan

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Music, Television

CMT Music Awards Recap

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Well guys, it’s here. Country season has arrived. It’s finally an OK time to listen to songs about sunshine and trucks and partying outside and feel good about it instead of trudging through snow and hating every single person in the south. Country season is short-lived in the Northeast but it’s pretty glorious. And there’s no better way to kick it off than with me sitting in my bed for 3 hours with my laptop on my chest watching a ratchet livestream of a bunch of cool as shit country performances happening in Nashville, where I am not. But whatevs, TAN LINES. JOHN DEERE. MURICA. LET’S DO THIS.

(It’s rare that you hear me say this, but for the record this was an overall entertaining show. Props to CMT.)

Highs

-Lady A kicks off the night with “Long Stretch of Love”, including a mid-song interlude into the land of EDM as Zedd drops some knowledge from his beat laboratory. It was entertaining at best to see the country stars at a loss for what to do with their hands for this breakdown while all the fans moshed. ALSO Hillary looked like a smokeshow slutty Sandra Dee with leather leggings, jacket and hot pink pumps. Sexy, Can I? Real talk though HOW do country singers stomp (literally stomp their feet) all over a stage in stilettos. Get back to me on that.

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-I love a good blurring of fiction and real world, which always comes with an appearance of cast members from Nashville. Deacon and Will Lexington introduce Reba and hawk Season 4…where Will teases “Some of us are coming back…good luck pal.” YEAH RIGHT, GUYS A REALLY SMART BLOGGER ALREADY PREDICTED DEACON’S COMING BACK NEXT SEASON, SO HA.

-I can ALWAYS get down with the camera panning to someone who flubs the lyrics. Last night’s most memorable was Jason Aldean’s girlfriend/mistress/wife(?) getting an audience shot during his performance and singing the wrong words. I relish in these moments. It’s the little things.

-The jockey that rode American Pharoah into history at the Belmont last weekend gets an appearance just cause and introduces Ron White. The three words he’s allowed to say into the mic are pretty incoherent but this was already hilarious because they put a baby jockey next to Erin Andrews and the height difference was glorious. Love wittle cute jockeys.

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-The boyz of FGL have been somewhat listening to me. Blazers, man. So classy. I like what I’m seeing (until the whoutfit performance…see below. HAD to ruin it.)

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-Kristen Bell gets a few cameos, bits about advice from last year’s host and such and these are funnier than anything she ever did as a host, and I’ve come to the conclusion that hosting forces jokes and over the top bits that make people unfunny. Epiphany. Watch here

-LUKE.BRYAN.IS.BACK. Look, I understand that as an artist, Luke wanted to show his range and put out a few snoozers that were really deep and not just about girls shaking their asses and I was patient. I waited for Luke to release a new banger that would guarantee a gyrating performance. And it paid OFF. He performed new song Kick the Dust Up which allowed for full hip movement. We’re going to momentarily forget that he was wearing a stupid shirt with red leather shoulder pads because there was shaking, there was a baseball cap and every time there’s a baseball cap it gets flipped backward halfway through the performance when cocky Luke comes out to play. I guess you could say my friend Lindsey and I enjoyed it…

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-Lady A wins for their Bartender music video which included Kate Upton and Charles immediately announces, “You have to put Kate Upton in a video to win!” in very typical guy fashion. #Tits #Merica Hillary tries to prevent a PR snafu and is like um no that’s not true…but realistically it probably is and this awkward moment was pretty gr8.

-Jake Owen debuts new song “Real Life” and his super hot short hair for the first time in a while and I’m loving it. Anyone who rides up to the stage on a bed gets my support. Drool. The chicks doing high kicks on inflatable pizza slices, however, can see themselves out. That is NOT real life.

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-In other awksies moments, Nikki Reed presents award for Male Video and reads a very scripted joke off of the teleprompter “It’s time to finally honor a forgotten minority…men.” Aaaaandd CRICKETS. The joke bombed so hard she was forced to nervously laugh at it herself. Someone got fired.

-The bit that seemed to work the best was a pre-recorded knock off of Uber with “Guuber” where celebrities drive other celebrities around Nashville. The idea’s pretty stupid but it played off of star power with Steven Tyler as a driver and of course, the punk who needs to be included in everything, Biebz. He and James Corden express their love for Luke Bryan and his sapphire eyes, which I can always get on board with plus a sing along to Country Girl Shake It For Me. Luke lapped that shit right up when he accepted the award for male video and declared welllll Bieber loves me soooo…

-Sam Hunt performs banger “House Party” (unfortunately still in that white tunic shirt) and realizes that his star power is his ability to make girls swoon and take selfies with them. Get it, Sam.

-Queen Carrie brings it with the outfit changes for “Little Toy Guns” performance. Flawwwwlezzzz.

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Lows

-The hosts Erin Andrews and Brittany Snow are mostly lame, as most hosts are and pretty awkward together. The bits that fell flat were Erin’s lesbian crush on Carrie Underwood and a small Pitch Perfect Nashville Bella’s performance in the beginning.

-It’s gotten to the point where I think every time Reba hits the stage she’s performing a medley of old songs like “Fancy”…turns out she’s actually making and performing new music and it all just sounds the same to me. Snoozes for Reba always. Sorry bout it.

-Apparently Whoutfits are the new cool thing of country music? What. This is not flattering at all. Knock it off.

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-Oh hey Billy Rae Cyrus, it’s so nice of you to drop in after getting a blowout to promote your new show and make me want to puke everywhere.

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-There’s a bit with Joe Dirt in it…is it 1997?

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-Joe Dirt very truthfully pointed out while introducing Keith Urban that he’s so close to a mullet why doesn’t he just do it? And I actually agree with this very trashy fictional character. Seriously Keith, your hair gets woofier every time I see it. Enough with the soccer mom cut. Grow it long for a dirty man bun or keep it boy length but either way this in between, almost mullet, almost “I drive a Dodge Caravan” style is reaaalllyyyy gonna need to go. (PS he performed a new song “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″….COULD THAT TITLE BE LONGER?)

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-Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold were on the show WAY too much. I don’t get the Arnold thing. His accent sucks and it isn’t funny. Plus did we all just forget that he banged his nanny and had a secret kid with her just because he’s the Terminator? Anyway, him in a cowboy hat spitting out incoherent sounds was downright painful.

-Mike Fisher (Carrie’s other half) is the Taylor Swift of crowd shots and he doesn’t even know it. For whatever reason, every country awards show, the camera is fixated on Mike in the audience half of the time and yet he doesn’t have reactions. Why are we watching him? Because he’s pretty…but also out of a group of drunk country boys I think we should be able to find someone more fascinating to take Tay’s place. Let’s work on that. Petition for Brett Eldredge to be his replacement?

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Full Winners List

Collaborative Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood “Somethin Bad”

Breakthrough Video of the Year: Sam Hunt “Leave the Night On”

Duo Video of the Year: Florida Georgia Line “Dirt”

Female Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood “Something in the Water”

CMT Performance of the Year: Bob Seger & Jason Aldean “Turn the Page”

Group Video of the Year: Lady Antebellum “Bartender”

Male Video of the Year: Luke Bryan “Play it Again”

Best Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood “Something in the Water”

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