2011 CMA Awards Live Blog
The CMA Awards are just 90 minutes away, and we’re full of questions: is this Blake Shelton’s year to rake in the trophies? Will dark horse The Civil Wars nab Vocal Duo of the Year over Sugarland? Wouldn’t we all rather be watching Modern Family?
We’ll kick things off a little before 8pm Eastern, but until then, here are this year’s nominees in case you want to refresh your memory, make predictions, or work on your awards show drinking game.
10:58 - Karlie: I have your name written on the inside of my arm on a daily basis, Juli Thanki. Thanks, everyone!
10:57 - Juli: Thanks, everyone, for making our first Engine 145 live blog hilarious and entertaining. Shoot me your mailing address and we'll get some Engine 145 buttons sent out your way. And thanks to my longtime blogging buddy, the Kelly Taylor to my Brenda Walsh, Miss Karlie.
10:57 - Karlie: FINALLY, a shoutout to B.o.B.
10:56 - Juli: Taylor Swift has the names to thank in her acceptance speech written on her arm.
10:56 - Karlie: The award goes to Taylor Swift.
10:54 - Juli: Reba's presenting Entertainer of the Year AND namedrops Jean Shepard and Bobby Braddock. Well done, Reba.
10:53 - Karlie: Alright: Bets on Entertainer?
10:51 - Karlie: Key quote from Dolly's Joyful Noise preview: "God didn't make plastic surgeons so that they'd starve."
10:49 - Juli: This Dolly Parton/Queen Latifah movie looks incredibly awful. But I still want to see it. I love me an awful Dolly movie. After all, I own Rhinestone and Straight Talk on DVD. Also, Dolly RAPPED ABOUT THIS MOVIE when I saw her perform last summer.
10:49 - Karlie: DOLLY PARTON. In the commercial, but whatever.
10:48 - Juli: "Congrats to my hubby, too. It's gonna be a good night tonight, babaaaaay!" Oh, Miranda. Never change.
10:48 - Karlie: That makes me happy for country music, and music in general.
10:47 - Juli: Female Vocalist of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert. Yay!
10:46 - Karlie: You can always spot the network-forced presenters from ABC shows that have no interest in country music whatsoever.
10:46 - Juli: Dierks, I love you like bacon, but I wish you would have shaved.
10:45 - Juli: You guys, I think Faith Hill didn't realize her shirt was sheer. She is going to be so embarrassed, y'all.
10:45 - Karlie: Juli, I think you were right about the all-black performer uniform. A last-ditch tactic to make the songs seem better in comparison to the sets and wardrobes?
10:42 - Karlie: You know Faith means business when she makes the singing fist, and shakes it during key lyrics.
10:40 - Karlie: Faith Hill IS BACK. First time in 5 years.
10:39 - Juli: Definitely the highlight, Karlie. Wish they'd do more tributes like that.
10:37 - Karlie: Glen salute is definitely the highlight of the night. Still to come: Female Vocalist of the Year. And more Carrie Underwood skin care commercials.
10:36 - Juli: Holly Williams, via Twitter: There are truly no words for a couple of the hairdos tonight at the CMA's, did I miss the memo about a Fiddler On the Roof casting? Come sit by us, Holly.
10:35 - Juli: Hunter Hayes wonders who the old dudes onstage are.
10:35 - Karlie: Glen joins the guys onstage. Hat tip.
10:34 - Juli: Hey, there's Jimmy Webb! And Glen Campbell gets an immediate standing ovation. Not gonna lie; I'm getting a little choked up.
10:32 - Juli: Very fitting that these three talented pickers are saluting Campbell. Brad Paisley's version of "Galveston" gets the double thumbs-up from Glen.
10:31 - Juli: Now it's Keith's turn with "Wichita Lineman." Also very nice.
10:30 - Juli: It's nice that the CMAs are giving someone the roses while they live, to borrow from a Carter Family song.
10:30 - Juli: Ohhh. Vince Gill is singing "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." It's lovely.
10:30 - Karlie: Very cool that Glen is in the audience to enjoy this.
10:29 - Juli: I'm slightly alarmed that I have the same haircut as 1968 Glen Campbell.
10:29 - Karlie: Glen Campbell's snazzy suits never fail to make me smile.
10:23 - Karlie: Things are looking up! Vince Gill to salute Glen Campbell.
10:23 - Juli: Martina gets a standing O. For looking smoking hot. Or singing about cancer. Whatever.
10:22 - Karlie: Juli, I like to think Drunken Martina is out there ensuring Gary LeVox doesn't make it onstage for a third time.
10:21 - Juli:I'm so very moved. To head into the kitchen and fix a snack.
10:19 - Juli: Martina McBride is singing "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." I am saddened by Drunken Martina's Twitter absence.
10:19 - Karlie: Blake Shelton would like to thank his mullet, for getting him where he is today.
10:18 - Juli: Blake Shelton wins it. Miranda is thrilled.
10:17 - Karlie: Reese Witherspoon gets to break out the y'alls in her hometown of Nashville.
10:17 - Juli: Here's Reese Witherspoon presenting Male Vocalist of the Year.
10:13 - Juli: "Tattoos on This Town" is one of the better songs on Aldean's album. Mostly because there's no rap and only a dozen or so country cliches.
10:14 - Karlie: Jason Aldean singing "Tattoos on This Town."
10:07 - Karlie: Alright, I have to do it. A big Raleigh, N.C. shout-out to Scotty McCreery and Large Market Station of the Year WQDR. At least he's not singing "I Love You This Big."
10:07 - Juli: Isn't it past Scotty McCreery's bedtime? It's a school night.
10:06 - Karlie: I was pulling for you too, Chris Young. Call me. Or, as Reba says, Twitter me.
10:04 - Juli: New Artist of the Year is The Band Perry. I was pulling for you, Chris Young.
10:04 - Karlie: Apparently one secret missing from her hair is the elusive sing, don't scream secret.
10:03 - Juli: Karlie, that just makes me wish Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosting this show.
10:02 - Karlie: Carrie's old-school Tammy Wynette hair-do as she duets with Brad Paisley reminds me of Mean Girls: "That's why her hair is so big, it's full of secrets."
10:01 - Juli: Remind me why we're still watching this.
10:00 - Karlie: Y'all. I'm kind of over this show. Not you fine folks, but the show. Seriously, how is there a whole hour left?
9:55 - Juli: I want to bottle Miranda's "who gives a crap" face. It is truly marvelous.
9:55 - Karlie: Miranda Lambert judges Sugarland from the audience.
9:54 - Karlie: Oh, wait. He's just being ignored in the corner of the stage.
9:53 - Karlie: Where is Kristian Bush for this song? At a bar down the street on Broadway?
9:52 - Juli: Sugarland is joined by Matt Nathanson, who is whisper-singing as he and Jennifer Nettles stare at each other from across the stage. It is all Very Dramatic and Romantical. Or something.
9:51 - Karlie: Lady Antebellum thanks its "Glam Squad." Waylon Jennings cries from the grave.
9:51 - Juli: Number of people who needed to see Dave Haywood's chest hair: zero.
9:50 - Juli: Phew. I was worried the Perry kids wouldn't even have time for a bathroom break tonight.
9:49 - Juli: Billy Currington and LeAnn Rimes are presenting Vocal Group of the Year. It goes to Lady Antebellum.
9:50 - Karlie: Up next - Vocal Group of the Year.
9:49 - Juli: Dierks! Show more Dierks, camera. Then let him sing.
9:47 - Karlie: Kimberly Perry HAS to be blackmailing her little brothers to keep them in those haircuts. HAS to.
9:45 - Karlie: Here's The Band Perry singing the creepy cool "All Your Life."
9:45 - Juli: One of the Perrys is wearing a fluffy pirate shirt. And it's not Kimberly.
9:41 - Karlie: From Christy G in the comments: Hmmm, here's an idea for next year....Jason Aldean performed by the Chipmunks. I'd pay to hear a chipmunk sing/rap "Swervin' like I'm George Jones."
9:39 - Juli: Every country singer who makes the rock 'n' roll horns should be forced to chop off a pinky, thus marking them for life.
9:38 - Karlie: Blake Shelton plays the "smile and look appreciative from the audience" game much better than his lovely wife.
9:37 - Juli: I'm pretty sure I've seen and heard this exact same performance at a bar mitzvah.
9:36 - Karlie: Baby makin' promptly interrupted by Gary TheVoice.
9:36 - Juli: Gary LeVox is singing like someone has crushed his testicles in a vise.
9:36 - Karlie: Darius and Lionel collaborate on baby makin' music.
9:35 - Juli: Camera cuts to Reba, smiling politely. Perhaps she's wondering where the clay Lionel head from the "Hello" video is.
9:34 - Juli: I kind of like this song. It rocks, softly.
9:34 - Karlie: Just as I was about to write "short and sweet," out comes Darius Rucker.
9:32 - Juli: Oh, Little Big Town. Thank you for not sucking.
9:31 - Juli: Okay, I laughed at Little Jimmy Dickens in his Bieber get-up.
9:31 - Karlie: Oh. No. This is wrong. Yet funny. Little Jimmy Dickens as Little Justin Beiber.
9:29 - Karlie: From Barry in the comments: Next up: Tammy Wynette's stepson, Lionel Richey.
9:25 - Juli: Ten bucks says this show won't even have an "In Memoriam" segment to honor those who've passed away this year, like Hazel Dickens and Charlie Louvin.
9:26 - Karlie: Oh, in case you were wondering: The official Twitter hashtag for the CMA Awards is #CMAAwards. Yeah.
9:22 - Karlie: I like this Kenny Chesney: Understated and thoughtful, with meaningful lyrics. Who'd've thought?
9:21 - Juli: Here's Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter singing "You and Tequila." Kenny's sounding a little off tonight, but at least he's not singing about partying, the islands, or partying on the islands.
9:21 - Karlie: So we can all blame the guy smiling awkwardly next to Jason Aldean during his acceptance speech.
9:19 - Juli: Fargle bargle Jason Aldean.
9:19 - Karlie: Album of the Year, without Jamey Johnson's The Guitar Song, means little to me. Tear.
9:15 - Karlie: Lady Antebellum and two-thirds of Nashville are performing now.
9:14 - Juli: If Miss Piggy is on the CMAs, does that make Karlie and me Statler and Waldorf?
9:13 - Karlie: Brad Paisley has Carrie Underwood's sequin jacket on.
9:08 - Juli: Mac McAnally won Musician of the Year, as we learned in a three-second blurb, lest we take away even one moment of Luke Bryan's hip thrusts.
9:07 - Juli: This song is like an auditory representation of chlamydia.
9:06 - Karlie: My eyes! My eyes! [After Luke Bryan's dance moves.]
9:05 - Juli: Luke Bryan is singing his assy song about asses. Appropriate.
9:04 - Juli: Taylor gets a standing O. I kind of like that she traded her "I'm so shocked!" face for a "That's right, bitches" expression.
9:03 - Karlie: From Sam in the comments: The qualification for writing here at Engine 145: You must have Sesame Street references on hand at all times. Lesson learned, Sam.
9:01 - Karlie: The quintessential Taylor Swift performance set-up: Crewneck cable-knit sweaters, couches and bird cages.
9:00 - Juli: Taylor's strumming her guitar on a couch that probably cost more than my car.
9:00 - Juli: Holy butt. It's only 9:00?
9:00 - Karlie: Up next, Taylor Swift.
8:58 - Juli: Blake Shelton just tweeted: For those you wondering.. Yes, "Footloose" was completely screwed up... Son of a bitch!!!!!!! Ha! Ha! Oh well..
8:53 - Juli: A hatless Chris Young sounds great on "Voices" here, but I'm just going to state that if "Neon" isn't his next single, I will suckerpunch somebody.
8:54 - Karlie: Oh, hello Chris Young. I love you.
8:53 - Karlie: What's bigger - Keifer's guitar or Shawna Thompson's feather earrings?
8:53 - Juli: Karlie, I think you have a future in Extremely Literal Set Design.
8:52 - Juli: Keifer Thompson seems to have borrowed one of Kristian Bush's awful hats, but Thompson Square sounds nice here.
8:52 - Karlie: Apparently Mama's roof has fallen on hard times. And junk.
8:50 - Juli: The set behind Thompson Square is a giant roof, just in case you didn't understand the lyrics in the song about sitting on Mama's roof.
8:48 - Karlie: I think Brad Paisley just accidentally-on-purpose called these shortened performers "stupor-stars."
8:48 - Juli: Eric Church is "country music's newest outlaw"? News to everybody.
8:47 - Juli: I like Jennifer Nettles' dorky declaration to Gregg Allman: "On the red carpet, I was the one that shook your hand." I do not like Kristian Bush's awful fedora.
8:47 - Karlie: Kristian coordinated his beard with Jennifer Nettles' dress.
8:46 - Juli: Oh. Sugarland. Five-time Vocal Duo of the Year.
8:46 - Juli: And the winner of the Brooks and Dunn Memorial Award is...
8:46 - Karlie: Next up - Vocal Duo of the Year.
8:45 - Karlie: Juli: I was in the process of looking up the exact spelling of Snuffleupagus. Well played.
8:44 - Juli:From Sam G. in the comments: It's the biggest duet between two divas since Reba and Linda Davis!
8:43 - Juli: Natasha Beddingfield appears to have skinned Snuffleupagus to make her floor-length skirt.
8:42 - Karlie: I hope Farce the Music is able to get an awkward Gary LeVox picture out of this performance, to make sitting through it worthwhile.
8:41 - Juli: Oh, crap. Speak of the LeVox and he shall appear. Dammit, Karlie!
8:40 - Karlie: That teaser reminds me: Are any of you folks able to differentiate the voices of Rascal Flatts and Natasha Beddingfield on "Easy"?
8:39 - Juli: Ah, the soothing sound of Ray Charles in the Chevy commercial. Let's all go listen to Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music.
8:38 - Juli: Apparently it's SOP for all the performers to wear black tonight. Fitting, as some of these songs might just be the death of me.
8:38 - Karlie: Hark! Is that a steel guitar I spot in Zac Brown's set?
8:35 - Karlie: Wait, the Zac Brown Band is from Georgia?! These guys win the award for Most State Pride at Country Award Shows.
8:34 - Juli: Zac Brown is wearing his formal knit cap tonight as he sings "Georgia On My Mind" with Gregg Allman.
8:33 - Juli: The Band Perry wins again.
8:33 - Karlie: Who takes Jason Aldean and his wristbands for Song of the Year?
8:32 - Juli: Kellie Pickler and Some Guy From Twilight presenting Song of the Year.
8:31 - Juli: Rhinestones! Fire! Standing O from Blake Shelton! Well done, Miranda.
8:30 - Karlie: Miranda's tough gal belt is off-set by her fuchsia microphone.
8:29 - Juli: I want to be married and buried in Miranda's sparkly, fringe-y jacket.
8:28 - Karlie: Carrie gets sassy, throwing Brad Paisley's Playa book before Miranda Lambert. Yes!
8:25 - Juli: From The Greencards' Twitter: I think they need Vince Gill to get up there and sing! Yes please.
8:25 - Karlie: Wait, is that a new third member of Sugarland sitting between Jennifer and Kristian?
8:24 - Juli: Sadly, she's not strong enough to button up her top all the way.
8:22 - Juli: Those are some mighty flexible dancers twirling around in fabric suspended from the ceiling.
8:21 - Karlie: I'm kind of afraid Sara Evans will milk this poorly-written single for the next, oh, decade.
8:20 - Juli: Keith Urbanly played, Keith Urban. "You Gonna Fly" is just a mashup of his last ten singles, right?
8:19 - Karlie: Whoever that guy was that couldn't get out of Keith's through-the-crowd shot deserves an award tonight.
8:17 - Karlie: Keith Urban - the man, not the action figure - is up for the second performance of the night.
8:14 - Juli: I think Kimberly Perry must be doing Reba's workout videos, Reps & Rhinestones.
8:13 - Karlie: Meg Ryan - I mean Kimberly Perry - accepts the award with her Madonna-worthy ripped arms.
8:12 - Juli: The Perry boys really need to quit cutting their own hair.
8:11 - Juli: Single of the Year goes to "If I Die Young."
8:11 - Karlie: Announcing Single of the Year...
8:08 - Juli: Yay, here comes Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family. He and our hosts are riffing on Randy Travis' "Forever And Ever, Amen."
8:08 - Karlie: Money shot of Carrie's diamond, awkwardly disguised in a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Barbie doll skit.
8:05 - Juli: And here comes Bocephus to take part in the opening monologue. It remains unfunny.
8:05 - Karlie: Let the precious few hours of Carrie Underwood singing (slightly altered) classic country music begin.
8:04 - Juli: Thanks, Andi! From the comments: "You and Tequila" won Video of the Year.
8:04 - Juli:If you had "four minutes" in the First Hank Jr. Joke Pool, time to collect big bucks.
8:03 - Juli: Whoever was next to Kenny Chesney, I want to hug her for clapping so unenthusiastically.
8:02 - Juli: Blake and Kenny Loggins totally look like CPAs ready to get down.
8:02 - Karlie: An important part of the CMA Awards is paying your respects to the genre's elders - like Kenny Loggins.
8:00 - Juli: Are those...skateboard ramps as part of the set decoration? Kids today.
8:01 - Karlie: Is that Miranda dancing back-up?
7:59 - Juli: And here we go with "Footloose."
7:54 - Karlie: Howdy, y'all - gather up the liquid courage. Er, endurance?
7:46 - Juli: There is almost no way the awards show will be better than the clip of Alex Trebek in a toreador costume that was just on Jeopardy.
7:45 - Juli: From CMT's Twitter: Musical Event of the Year goes to Aldean and Kelly Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay."
7:25 - Juli: Testing...