Although I wasn’t online to live blog last night’s awards show, I did go old school by jotting down some notes while I watched.
Here’s my 2012 CMA Awards notebook dump.
- Luke Bryan in leather jacket, Eric Church in trucker cap and shades, Jason Aldean in plaid shirt and straw hat. They look like a faux-outlaw version of the Village People.
- Carrie and Brad’s opening includes a “Moves Like Jagger” parody (Martina looks bored) and a “Gangnam Style” dance. Just in case anyone was concerned about this show being too country.
- Reba sitcom joke, because Reba’s new sitcom will be on ABC. Cut to Reba in the crowd, then cut to Tim Allen, who also has a sitcom on ABC. Hey, did you know that you’re currently watching ABC?
- Willie doping joke! I’m sure the writer of that one is really patting himself on the back.
- Dressed as a doctor to deliver Jennifer Nettles’ baby, Little Jimmy Dickens will do anything for a laugh.
- My grandma on Jake Owen’s leopard print jacket: “I have a blouse just like that.”
- Thompson Square lady’s mention of “Mamaw’s mason jar” makes her the most country thing on the show thus far.
- Miranda Lambert sings “Fastest Girl in Town” while wearing what appears to be a mirror ball made out of shellacked trash. Not one of her finer moments.
- What’s with all the black and leather tonight? Even Zac Brown got the memo.
- My grandma on Kimberly Perry: “And to think of all the years I worried about how my hair looked…”
- Miranda crying at the songwriting win for “Over You” is the best thing she’s done tonight, with all the heart and humanity that that shtick-y “Fastest Girl in Town” performance lacked. More of this Miranda, please.
- With all the fuss over “Pontoon,” Little Big Town has graduated to the kooky, elaborate staging demands class of country stars. Looks like they’re on Hollywood Squares. Phillip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman using their limited space allotments especially well.
- One of the big winners as far as camera time is Kenny’s bald head. They keep showing that same clip from his video every time he’s up for anything.
- Carrie Underwood sings a bit of “Once a Day” to honor Connie Smith, who’s in the audience with Marty Stuart. For some reason, it’s very funny to me to imagine those two sitting through this show.
- Yes, Faith Hill is singing a new song called “American Heart” with an enormous American flag behind her on the screen. In case you somehow missed that this is all super patriotic – so you should play it, radio! – she tacks a “God bless America” on to the end of the song. Thanks for that, Faith.
- Brantley Gilbert’s wallet chain hangs so low that you could probably hook it with an umbrella handle from the front row at most of his shows. Someone should do this.
- Brad Paisley’s “Southern Comfort Zone” is, I think, a better and more ambitious song than Ben Foster gave it credit for in his Country Universe review. But a finale choir is seldom necessary, and several members of this one appear confused by their own presence at the show.
- I can’t make a strong case for it being country, but I don’t tire of seeing Carrie Underwood perform “Blown Away” live. Seems like an especially challenging song vocally, so I’m impressed by the way she can hit most of those notes with a minor tornado happening right behind her. Kinda surprised they continued with this song and staging given Hurricane Sandy, though.
Best performances of the night, in no order:
Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill with “Don’t Rush,” Zac Brown Band with “Goodbye in Her Eyes,” Eric Church with “Springsteen,” Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away,” Eli Young Band with “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”