3. Couples couples everywhere! Count ‘em, folks. There were four separate married couples sharing the stage at one time or another last night. Four! Miranda and Blake shared an award, as did Karen and Jimi of Little Big Town and Shawna and Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square. And Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed during a tribute to Willie Nelson. Country music breeds rock solid marriages … and wildly successful spouses!
4. Speaking of Willie Nelson, how about that tribute to the singer-songwriter? Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban joined forces to pay homage to this country music sensation. The one question we have is whether Toby Keith was hanging out in Willie’s bus, trying to get herbally inspired for his next great bus song…
5. Kelly Clarkson goes country, and does it in a big way! You might know her as a typically angry rock-pop, boy-bashing songstress. However, in case you have been living under a rock for the last ten years, Kelly has always had a Texas drawl and southern charm. That is why it comes as no shock to us that she is continuing to cross the aisle into country music territory. Kelly hit the stage with another huge name in country music, Vince Gill, and seduced America with her latest baby-making single, “Don’t Rush.” It will be interesting when the statistics for 2013 babies come out — how many of them will be born on or around August 1? #blamekelly
6. Carrie’s wardrobe. One dress after the other was to die for. And one slit after the other was higher up her one, perpetually bare leg. Stunning; breathtaking … there aren’t words that do Carrie justice. One thing we know is that those babies conceived during “Don’t Rush” should all be fighting the stork for just a small piece of the genetic jackpot Carrie hit!
7. Little Big Night! The mega-talented, but often under appreciated quartet finally scored big, winning vocal group and single of the year, due in large to their massive summer hit “Pontoon.” While they were on track to become the Susan Lucci of the CMA’s, they finally nabbed a pair of coveted trophies. It only took an odd combination of motorboatin’ and a whole lot of Jesus to score them the win…Who knew the man upstairs was a voting member?
8. Brad Paisley. We’d argue that there’s no better award show host than Paisley, who is quick on his feet, witty and charming without ever coming off contrived. Oh, and he randomly busts into the Gangnam Style dance! He’s also got a knack for knowing how to add the perfect amount of sentiment without coming off saccharine. We have to applaud his short homage to Andy Griffith, as well as his musical shout out to New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Very few could parlay Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” into “Southern Comfort Zone” into a full-out gospel choir. Amen, Brad Paisley. Amen.
9. Shut outs. Although it was a huge night for some of country’s faves, a few others were surprisingly shut out. Most noticeably missing from the line of acceptance speeches were the incumbent Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift, and the guy with more momentum than a Night Train, Jason Aldean. While we didn’t have to bust out our shocked faces for Taylor being left out, we’d have bet on Aldean nabbing a trophy. Same for Lady Antebellum, who we felt was a shoo-in for vocal group of the year. Carrie Underwood AND her flawless legs also failed to score any trophies this year, but with legs like that, and Mike Fisher, we’re sure she’ll be just fine.
10. Humility and pure talent. The CMA’s aren’t a show about covering yourself in fake blood, floating over the audience or stage-crashing. There’s a genuine feeling of community and camaraderie (exemplified by Miranda Lambert’s acceptance speech), and at the end of the day, it seems that country music is one big family. Sure there are some egos and some smoke and mirrors, but at the end of the days, the CMAs stand out in a sea of award shows because they seem much more genuine. It’s shows like this that remind us WHY we love country music.
Let us know which moments you loved, hated, loved to hate! We can’t wait to hear your most favorite and least favorite parts of the night!