Well, CMT has managed to turn its video music awards into the VMAs, meaning last night’s CMT Awards telecast was a glitzy, fast-forwardable letdown. If you missed it (check out the winners), here are just a few highlights:
• The show opened with a taped skit of Trace Adkins (hair not in a ponytail) trying to get tickets for his two daughters — both big fans of Miley Cyrus, who hosted with her dad, Billy Ray. Trace wasn’t the only celeb shut out: John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton also worked the phone for tix. Watch the skit, and the entire show, online.
• LeAnn Rimes recreated the video to her hit “Nothin’ Better to Do.” While it’s refreshing to see a singer, you know, sing live during a production number, something about the dance break just felt off. Are we ready for a dancing country star?
• Speaking of off, Paula Abdul (pictured) was on hand to deliver THE most awkward introduction ever. She looked fabulous, in a Spider-Man inspired gown, and she clearly felt great as she danced her way to her mark. But then she spoke: “My life has always been surrounded by dance, cheerleading, tons of inspiration, and, of course, music. That’s why I’m so happy to be here in Music City!” Cut to Keith Urban, looking bored. But continue. “Now, I’m just so blown away. There’s so many American Idol alumni here, I feel like this is a reunion, and I’m a proud mom. You know, some of those kids we literally found underneath a rock, and saw that they could actually be our bright and shining diamonds in the rough.” Dramatic pause as she puts her outstretched arms down. “When they were vulnerable on that stage about ready [glares over her right shoulder at some screaming fan] to get kicked off, they held their own with total grace and dignity. [Looks over her shoulder again and says, “Alright. I get it.” Shakes her head. Continues, unconvincingly.] “It’s just that I’m really proud of my little angels. Now what I’m trying to say is: In music, there’s so, so much that you have to take into consideration. But most of all, you’ve gotta have faith. But in this room, it’s all about spirit and faith. There’s only one person in this room who has faith. And it’s Tim. Ladies and gentleman, performing their hit song “I Need You” Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.” [Tim and Faith then perform their ballad, which loses some of its intimacy thanks to fans who scream after every line. Also, because after you see them sit facing each other, knee to knee, on three different award shows, the magic is gone.]
• Snoop Dogg, who helped Jason Aldean introduce Alan Jackson, said he’s coming out with a country song, “My Medicine.” Really?
• I couldn’t bear to watch Miley and Billy Ray sing. Sorry. But if you must, it’s here.
• Watching Taylor Swift perform “Picture to Burn” made me want to see Miranda Lambert.
• The woman who “happened” to jump up on stage during Toby Keith’s performance of “She’s a Hottie,” right as the song hit its musical interlude, made me feel more uncomfortable than LeAnn.