I have always been a big fan of country music. So it should come as no surprise that every year (that I can remember, anyway) I plant myself in front of a television and enjoy the CMT Music Awards.
Now, these awards have always been known for the memorable performances and moments and that is part of the country charm.
But the 2011 CMT Music Awards, while entertaining in their own right, did not provide these exciting moments that I live for. The songs were good, the performers were on key, but the memories just were not lasting.
Maybe I am just being cynical (or crabby, since Justin Bieber managed to snag one of the famous belt buckles,) but I found myself losing both focus and interest when it came to my beloved awards show.
Hosted by Kid Rock, you would think that the night would be full of wild antics and witty one-liners. But other than a mildly amusing opening segment starring Taylor Swift and country music veteran Shania Twain based on the infamous movie “Thelma & Louise,” the show seemed to be more about quickly throwing together as many performances and presentations as possible before time ran out. Jokes and audience engagement was obviously not high on the list of importance.
But enough grumbling aside, because even if there was not much comedic value, the vast majority of the performances were enjoyable in and of themselves. I will admit, when The Band Perry stepped on stage and began to sing a rendition of “Love The Way You Lie,” I was skeptical. Were there not already enough historically non-country performers invading the awards (i.e. Justin Bieber, Paramore, and Ludacris) without the country artists themselves performing away from what the awards are all about? But my relief was quick to appear when after only a short moment, The Band Perry cut into their wildly popular song “You Lie.”
Other notable performances included Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe’s “Collide,” (cue ‘aww’ moment when the pair started slow dancing on stage,) and Sugarland’s “Stand Up” in honor of the tornado victims in the south.
But the performances were not what the night was about, despite how many there were. The night was really all about the awards handed out to artists based on their music videos, all of which were decided by the fans. And the top honor of the night, Video of the Year, went to Taylor Swift for “Mine.” The young artist was not present to accept the award, but she gave her acceptance speech live and onstage from her concert in Milwaukee, complete with 15,000 screaming fans behind her.
What I would consider to be the most surprising award handed out for the evening would be the Collaborative Video of the Year, won by Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts for their song “That Should Be Me.” For an obviously non-country artist to win a clearly country award really shocked me, even with the fan power of Rascal Flatts behind the young artist. Then again, I suppose those ‘Bielibers’ are a force to be reckoned with themselves.
Overall, the CMT Music Awards were something nice to have on the television screen as background noise and a mildly amusing distraction, but they did not live up to the potential that they could have reached.
But, that is just my opinion. What did you all think of the awards? Were there any moments that stuck out to you while watching?
Full Winners List
Duo Video of the Year: Sugarland, “Stuck Like Glue”
Collaborative Video of the Year: Justin Bieber ft. Rascal Flatts, “That Should Be Me”
Performance of the Year: Jimmy Buffet & The Zac Brown Band, “Margaritaville”
Breakthrough Video of the Year: The Band Perry, “If I Die Young”
Female Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”
Group Video of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “Hello World”
Male Video of the Year: Blake Shelton, “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking”
Video of the Year: Taylor Swift, “Mine”