The 45th Academy of Country Music Awards kicks off tonight from the down-home heartland of America: Las Vegas, Nevada. Like the gamblers swilling free drinks and praying over penny slots up and down The Strip, country music’s latest and greatest will take their chances on trophies such as Top Male Vocalist, Top New Artist and Vocal Event of the Year.
Juli and Karlie will follow along as Reba changes outfits,
Kix and Ronnie sing for the final time as a duo and Carrie Underwood makes some comment destined to be construed as anti-Taylor sentiment.
And since you’re obviously hip enough to follow a live blog of the show, keep your cell phone handy. For the first time, you’ll be able to text in your picks for the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year category. Stay on the lookout for text codes for each of the nominees during the broadcast.
So get comfy, flex your thumb muscles and keep your cynicism (somewhat) in check. Live from Las Vegas…it’s the ACM Awards!
10:00 – Juli: Thanks for reading, everyone. Last one out turn off the lights.
9:59 – Karlie: Darius is an odd note to end on, but it sounds happy. We hope you’ve enjoyed the live blog as much as we did. In the words of the 2010 EOTY, God bless you so much.
9:58 – Juli: Hi, Sam Bush! So good to see you rockin’ the mando for Darius Rucker’s performance.
9:57 – Karlie: And the war is on. Taylor fans, start your engines.
9:55 – Juli: Nobody stole Carrie’s happy tonight. Congrats, EOTY!
9:53 – Juli: Who knew Nicole Kidman could move the muscles in her face enough to sing along? That was pretty dang cute, though.
9:51 – Karlie: Keith sounded great, and -aw! – Nicole Kidman was singing along. I would sing along too if my husband was a
rock pop country star.
9:50 – Juli: This camerawork is making me nauseated. Or maybe it’s the light reflecting off Keith Urban’s waxed chest.
9:47 – Karlie: Is this some kind of satiric nod to the user-generated awe$omeness of the Interwebz and the havoc it’s wrecked on the music industry?
9:47 – Juli: Keith is singing Radney Foster’s “I’m In.” I like this song. I even like The Kinleys’ version. Remember them?
9:45 – Juli: Whatever happens, Karlie, we can count on Taylor to look shocked.
9:44 – Karlie: So will Taylor go the whole night without an award? Or does she have EOTY on lockdown?
9:55 – Karlie: AND THE WAR IS ON!!!
9:42 – Karlie: Miranda Lambert: “You’ve got to be kidding me. Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, Carrie Underwood. … Taylor Swift. You’ve got to be kidding me!”
9:41 – Juli: Yay for Miranda, but Lee Ann Womack was robbed.
9:40 – Juli: Mr. Fergie Ferg looks like he’s ready to go up with the Space Shuttle.
9:39 – Karlie: I guess LeAnn Rimes didn’t make this slideshow.
9:39 – Juli: Waiting to see Martina and a bottle of Jack in the “Keep on Lovin’ You” montage.
9:37 – Karlie: Only 20 minutes left, and no “Rebaaaaa, Las Vegas!” play on words?
9:34 – Karlie: That second Taylor Swift performance sure was short. Oh, wait, it was just background music on a commercial for the new Letters to Juliet movie.
9:32 – Karlie: Oh! Oh! Lee Ann Womack sighting! If only for .25 seconds.
9:30 – Juli: Brooks and Dunn now have to accept the Top Vocal Duo award and pretend like they don’t want to beat each other to death with their own rib bones.
9:30 – Karlie: I’m so glad there won’t be an awkward Sugarland/Brooks and Dunn repeat.
9:30 – Karlie: Is Carrie wearing Matthew’s boots? Wink, wink.
9:26 – Juli: Remember the “My Maria” music video where Kix got to ride the cool horse and Ronnie was stuck releasing that stupid dove? No wonder they’re going their separate ways.
9:24 – Juli: Brooks and Dunn look like they can barely stand to be onstage together. They’ll be singing “My Maria.”
9:17 – Juli: Poor Brad isn’t even dried off and he’s onstage accepting the award for Top Male Vocalist.
9:15 – Juli: Good thinking to hand off the Tele before you jump in the pool, Paisley.
9:13 – Brody: People are diggin’ the Toby Keith song performed earlier. Over 600 searches and rising.
9:13 – Juli: Brad Paisley’s singing “Water.” Fess up: who’s gotta pee now?
9:03 – Juli: Karlie, it mostly involves drinking every time you roll your eyes at the happenings on stage/screen. Make sure your local poison control center is on speed dial.
9:00 – Karlie: Does the ACM drinking game involve taking the number of shots equivalent to the Entertainer of the Year nominee you voted for? 1 for Brad, 2 for Carrie…?
9:01 – Juli: What’s up with all the hand-holding, Lady A? Did Hillary take on more high heel than she can handle?
8:58 – Juli: Reba’s having some trouble reading off the teleprompter. She and Martina must be playing the ACM drinking game backstage.
8:57 – Karlie: Is it just me, or does Carrie seem to connect better with material she writes? Digging the understated personality she brought.
8:56 – Juli: Carrie sounds good, but is she wearing a Donna Martin original?
8:55 – Karlie: Carrie could totally double as Watercolor Barbie.
8:53 – Brody: Two hours down, one to go. Carrie Underwood up now with “Temporary Home.”
8:49 – Karlie: Jack just set the bar high for Taylor Swift’s next awards show performance – fans on stage!
8:49 – Juli: Test…
8:46 – Karlie: Jack Ingram and Dierks Bentley take the (crowd) stage together.
8:43 – Karlie: And no, I didn’t mean for that to read semi-dirty. Let’s hear a Humanitarian Award acceptance speech and get out of the gutters.
8:42 – Karlie: Boyfriend Blake Shelton gives her a standing O. Smart guy.
8:39 – Karlie: I wonder if it’s weird for Miranda to see her face on all those screens as she’s singing?
8:38 – Karlie: Miranda’s up first. No flash here.
8:33 – Karlie: Coming up: Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw.
8:27 – Brody: Album of the year goes to Miranda Lambert for Revolution and her producer got cut off mid-speech.
8:16 – Karlie: I would have preferred the Token Kix Song to be “Rock My World (Little Country Girl).” Maybe that’s just me. From the choices, I’d have to go with “My Maria.”
8:13 – Karlie: Nice – looks like our server perked up after the Taylor performance. Take that as you will. Comment away, folks.
8:13 – Karlie: With all of the (deserved) spotlight on “Need You Now,” I wonder how “American Honey” will stack up over the next few weeks? Pretty lackluster follow-up.
8:12 – Karlie: Anyone else surprised Gloriana’s Taylor points didn’t carry them?
8:11 – Karlie: Luke Bryan wins Top New Artist.
8:10 – Karlie: Make that Single Record of the Year. And we’re back…
7:55 – Karlie: Record of the Year goes to Lady Antebellum. Could there be a sweep tonight?
7:50 – Karlie: Looks like we may be having a few technical difficulties – Juli will be back on ASAP. And if you’re trying to leave a comment and it’s not responding, we apologize! Hopefully you can still read along until we get things fixed up.
7:47 – Karlie: Announcer Dude: “Don’t miss Taylor Swift’s AMAZING performance!”
7:46 – Karlie: Did ZB just sub in “near beer” into the “Chicken Fried” lyrics? Nice.
7:42 – Karlie: I don’t usually associate Toby Keith with the adjective understated. I kind of like it.
7:40 – Karlie: Toby Keith slows things down with “Cryin’ For Me (Wayman’s Song).”
7:40 – Juli: Toby’s up singing “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song).” He’s joined by Dave Koz on sax.
7:35 – Karlie: I won’t lie, those dudes popping out of the floor were pretty awesome. Kind of like a human Whack A Mole.
7:33 – Juli: It must be difficult to dance in assless chaps.
7:32 – Karlie: Not. Sure. What. To. Say.
7:30 – Juli: Hey, it’s Laura Bell Bundy, aka Not Kristin Chenoweth.
7:30 – Karlie: Just so you’re not confused, I’m not his wife Karlie.
7:29 – Juli: “Need You Now” for Song of the Year.
7:28 – Karlie: Oh, an award! That’s what this show is.
7:26 – Karlie: I keep looking for Drunken Martina during the crowd sweeps. Here’s hoping for a close up.
7:26 – Juli: Fellas, CBS cares about your prostate.
7:23 – Juli: I’m voting for Drunken Martina, whose tweets have entertained me more than anything those eight folks have done.
7:23 – Karlie: Anyone out there whipping your cell phones out? Who are you voting for?
7:19 – Juli: Kenny’s borrowing George Strait’s technique of holding the guitar but never actually playing it. At least he’s wearing sleeves. Short ones, but sleeves nonetheless.
7:20 – Karlie: I’m also glad the screen behind Kenny keeps flashing the word “Gone.” It really helps carry the song’s message through.
7:18 – Juli: Wait, the star of “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” is Kenny Chesney? So glad there’s an announcer to explain these things.
7:16 – Karlie: From “Hillbilly Bone” to “That’s How Country Boys Roll.” Next up: “I’m a Little More Country Than That,” followed by “Small Town USA.”
7:16 – Juli: I kind of like Billy Currington when he’s not singing about millionaire geezers in bars. Or about how country boys roll. Stick with turnip greens, bud.
7:14 – Karlie: I’m pretty sure that guitar player comes up to Blake and Trace’s shoulders. In boots.
7:12 – Juli: Blake and Trace singing “Hillbilly Bone.” The best part of this performance is Trace’s belt buckle.
7:12 – Karlie: “My good friend Merle Haggard.” – Cher. Totes jeal.
7:10 – Juli: Aww, listen to the crowd pretending they know who Bob Wills is.
7:10 – Karlie: Is Cher re-enacting the ending scene from Grease?
7:10 – Juli: Cher! Cher! Cher!
7:09 – Juli: Props to the Zac Brown Band, currently on a USO tour in the Middle East.
7:05 – Juli: Imagine Kenny popping out of the screen in 3D? No thanks.
7:05 – Karlie: Five minutes in, and a Tiger Woods joke – touche, Reba.
7:04 – Karlie: Sequins, fiddles and hemlines, oh my!
7:01 – Juli: Charlie Daniels is looking good after his health problems, but I worry that Miranda and Carrie’s outfits might cause some heart palpitations.
7:01 – Karlie: Here we go folks!