CMA Awards: What Did You Think?

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Who watched last night’s CMA awards? What did you all think? Right out of the gate, I have to ask which you liked better, the show’s live performances, or the awards part? I was partial to the performances. Clearly the audience was too, although that’s probably inevitable when you broadcast a show from an arena only marginally smaller than the state of Delaware.

Despite the fact that I don’t know much about country music, just like everyone else who doesn’t know much about country music we now all know exactly who  Blake Shelton is, on account of The Voice. He was certainly charming and unsurprisingly, a big winner. And the goofball graciousness is undeniably appealing.

Plus, you gotta hand it to the country music crowd for putting on a show that’s free of vulgarity/shock tactics, and for having the smarts to incorporate Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet into musical numbers.

I enjoyed it, but I’m still flummoxed: why, when you win an award, do you still have to keep a cowboy hat on, whose enormous brim completely obscures your face during your acceptance speech?  At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, would it be too much to see their eyes? Maybe that’s just me. Nor do I bring it up in the way that some people object to hats in church or restaurants – I couldn’t care less about that. But when they’re up there thanking their zillions of fans, the least they could do is let those fans catch the full mug. Right, Jason Aldean? Cowboy hats, while traditional, don’t do these guys any favors in the recognition department. I suspect some of them might even see even more crossover success if they were bare-headed, because you could tell more of them apart.

Fortunately, someone obviously told Blake Shelton that he needn’t wear another hat  for the rest of his life – which was a very savvy move. Similarly, Keith Urban was advised against sporting a chapeau  (or using a comb, for that matter) and he’s all the better, cuter, and more recognizable for it. Scotty McCreery, now belting it out alongside the big dogs, was far more appealing because we got to behold his neonatal visage entirely. The Band Perry was – and is – predictably adorable and I suspect we will be hearing lots more from them; that girl’s got pipes for days and here’s hoping they have the same two-dudes-and-a-gal staying power of Lady Antebellum, who apparently cannot walk down a street without winning something. The Glen Campbell tribute was beautifully handled.

All in all I was impressed, although I haven’t any idea why Lionel Richie was there, nor did I understand the positioning of the Jennifer Nettles / Matt Nathanson duet. The song was terrific, but I kept hoping they’d stop the weird guinea fowl mating ritual thing and turn to face us. Especially since neither had a hat on and both are easy on the eyes.

Maybe the Oscars – now that they have a brand new producer in old pro Brian Grazer – will take a page from the CMAs, who certainly know how to put on a big show and whip fans into a frenzy. Now, if they could just work on those hats.

Today’s poll:

The 45th annual CMA Awards took place last night. Which of these performances was your favorite?

1)   Taylor Swift

2)   Glen Campbell tribute

3)   The Band Perry

4)   Miranda Lambert

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