CMA’s 50, Reviewed

Life

Is today Christmas? I woke up with the same giddy excitement for the 50th CMA show!

So it’s not Christmas but I do have TONS of snacks, sparkling grapefruit water (I really went cray-cray on that impulse buy) and not-gonna-lie I’m wearing the same dress I wore to my sister’s wedding. (WHO SAYS YOU WON’T WEAR YOUR BRIDESMAID DRESS AGAIN? I’LL GIVE YOU AN OCCASION.)

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Let me recap for you the first ten solid minutes of the CMAs in one sentence. Basically anyone who has been involved in country music for over 10 years sang a medley of all-time hits, including Reba’s Fancy, Randy Travis’s Forever And Ever, Amen and Alan Jackson’s Don’t Rock The Jukebox.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are singing “the election is lasting, forever and ever.” Clever start to the hosting intro. (And I mean… amen. Pun WAY intended.)

Entertainer of the Year nominees are mentioned, Carrie Underwood’s one of them. Brad proclaims, “#ImWithCarrie.” Love it.

Aweeee you guyssss! Five of our Olympians from this year are giving the first award tonight for single of the year. They look adorable all dressed up. My money was on Chris Stapleton, Nobody To Blame. The adorable Thomas Rhett is the winner, though, and he and his wife both look so happy about it. I’m happy too.

Home girl has taken the stage! (I should specify… this is Kelsea Ballerini.) She’s singing Peter Pan – a slow version with two people dancing in the background. She looks sincere and has such solid stage presence. PS, the people dancing are aerial dancing (is that even a term?) Read… one or both of them are regularly… not on the ground… I love the creativity and level of entertainment I felt from this performance.

Olivia Newton John is part of the group – who knew, she was 1979’s female vocalist of the year? Song of the Year will be announced. Tim McGraw wins with Humble and Kind. The song writer, Lori McKenna, gave the sweetest thank you speech about how this song was a prayer she wrote for her children, and how she writes songs for Tim McGraw because of Faith Hill. Faith is (adorably) crying at her seat. I LOVE MOMENTS LIKE THESE.

Jason Aldean is singing “Brand New Man” with Brooks & Dunn. Jason’s voice sounds great with Ronnie and Kix in this classic performance.

Dierks Bentley and Elle King are singing “It’s Different With Girls.” I love this song and they’re performing a classic, sweet version of this song.

GUYS MY OTHER FAVE IS PERFORMING! Maren Morris is singing My Church. Her hair is way curly, “fro-ed out” even. She’s got a little church choir behind her, and she’s wearing a trendy black dress. She seems real happy and comfortable rockin’ out to her first hit.

Let me take a minute to say, Carrie Underwood has been dressing to honor each decade. Everyone knows she’s like model-level beautiful so she looks amazing in each dress. #GOALS.

Jennifer Garner is giving the award for New Artist of the Year. Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Cole Swindell are all nominated. We have some great new artists! Side note, she is rocking her outfit. Maren wins! Hooray sista, I am PROUD O YOU. She’s way humbled and emotional. Last year she was watching the CMAs at a bar and here she is today. CRYING up a storm and thanking her favorites. She is a wreck and I absolutely love her perfectly flawed thank you. Maren, you have arrived my friend.

Brad Paisley straight up admitted that Carrie is doing one of her “legendary outfit changes” and I love that.

Garth and Tricia are singing a tribute medley. Watching the crowd react to each song introduced is really fun. Words to explain the way this audience is receiving the performance: giddy excitement, sentimental tears, true appreciation.

Oh snap, Carrie Underwood is looking SASSY singing Dirty Laundry. She literally is crushin it tonight.

Faith Hill is giving out the next award, for Album of the Year. Nominated: Black (Dierks Bentley), Hero (Maren Morris), Mr. Misunderstood (Eric Church), Ripcord (Keith Urban) anddddddd Storyteller (Carrie Underwood). Ok, I am WAY surprised. Eric Church is the winner! Mr. Misunderstood is a solid album though, so I’m happy with him. Eric mentioned that he presented his album last year at his performance at the CMAs and I totally remember that.

Little Big Town is singing their new song, Better Man. Fun fact, Taylor Swift wrote this song! Listen to the lyrics and you will believe it.

Miranda Lambert looks like she 100% knows what she’s doing. She’s singing Vice… acapella for the first several measures and completely on key. I actually love her very simple hairstyle.

Matthew McConaughey has taken the stage! (Alright alright alright!) He’s introducing Tim McGraw who is singing Humble And Kind.

Brad Paisley sang with the Oak Ridge Boys.. until commercial break… It was a nice moment of fame for them.

Cue the happy tears, Alan Jackson is singing Remember When. He looks completely authentic. Clips from CMA shows are being played overhead. Don’t mind me while I sob on my couch. George Straight has entered the stage and he’s singing Troubador, with Alan still on the stage too.

I have no clue who the couple is currently on the stage, announcing the next award. They did give the score to the World Series though (and I must admit I’m pulling for the Cubs, even though I’m a pretty serious Brewers fan). Vocal Duo of the Year goes to Brothers Osborne. I’m shocked because I was expecting Florida Georgia Line to win. Side note, turns out Brothers Osborne are brothers… 😉

Keith Urban is singing Blue Aint Your Color. The performance is very classic. I’ve noticed a theme of authentic, slow, serious songs tonight.

The award for the Vocal Group of the Year is up next.Awe, Little Big Town wins! I love them so I could back this any day.

The time is here. BEYONCE and the Dixie Chicks have taken the stage. They’re singing “Daddy Lessons.” Out loud, I meaningfully said in a confused tone, “I like this.” We have fiddles, a harmonica, your classic guitars and the Dixie Chicks harmonies. This dynamic girl-power collaboration is now singing “Long Time Gone.”  My roommates have really good opinions and they say this was the “best. collab. of the night.” They have some credibility and I have to say it was an unforgettable performance.

Kenny Chesney is receiving the third ever Pinnacle Award. I’m so happy for Kenny and proud of all he has done for country music. One of my favorite life moments thus far was watching Kenny perform live at Country Thunder several summers ago. KENNY, U DA MAN.

Thomas Rhett is singing “Die A Happy Man.” We have another heart-felt performance delivered by Thomas who already won an award tonight for this very song.

Chris Stapleton is performing “Seven Spanish Angels,” which I believe was by Ray Charles. I am remembering my complete confusion last year when he won so many awards. And here we are today with Chris as another household name in country music.

Luke Bryan has taken the stage, and he’s singing Move. I’m honestly thrilled to hear a party song as we have experienced a lot of the sweet-serious songs tonight. Luke Bryan will always come through for a good time.

Lee Greenwood is singing “I’m Proud To Be An American” with Brad and Carrie and absolutely everyone at the CMAs. I LOVE AMERICA, AND I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC.

Florida Georgia Line is singing “May We All.” I’m looking for you, Tim McGraw. AND THERE HE IS! Tim has joined Tyler and Brian on the stage for the second half of the song, and I loved the solid performance.

Vince Gill is on the stage to present the Female Vocalist of the Year award. He also announced that the Cubs are up 6-3 and I’m gathering that a majority of the crowd is pulling for Chicago tonight. Carrie Underwood is tonight’s winner! I would like to personally congratulate Kacey, Maren, Kelsea and Miranda as they were also nominated for the award. All five of these women are doing amazing things for country music.

Eric Church is singing Kill A Word. Eric is an incredibly talented singer and I will always appreciate his work.

Dolly Parton is now being honored. She is definitely iconic. Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix are performing Jolene. (CUE ALL THE EXCITED VIBES!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I. loved. their. performance. BOOM. REBA has entered the stage. She’s singing Dolly’s “9 to 5.” Now we have Kacey Musgraves singing “Here You Come.” Kacey is crushing this sweet performance and Dolly appears to be very pleased with the performance. Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride have joined the stage singing “I Will Always Love You.” (Carrie and Martina, would you pleaseeeee collab more often?!). Jennifer, Carrie, Martina, Kacey and Reba are all singing and I am shivering and have tears with all of the emotions. The performance was sweet, special, beautiful, and altogether lovely. The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to Dolly. “I would’ve cried but I didn’t want to mess up my eyelashes.” Gosh Dolly, some things just never change!

Sharon Stone has taken the stage to award the Male Vocalist of the Year. Nominees are Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban. Our winner is Chris Stapleton.  Again, all five nominees are phenomenal, but since I never lie I will admit that Chris would not be in my top four preferences for this award. Nevertheless, Chris is WAY talented and he gave a very nice speech, so kudos to you my friend.

Now it’s Brad Paisley’s turn to perform. He’s wearing jeans and a cowboy hat, and he’s singing Today. Country history clips are being showed on screens behind Brad, which contributes to the sentimental touch of this year’s show.

Taylor Swift is back at the CMAs! She is presenting the award for Entertainer of the Year! Nominated: Garth, Keith Luke, Chris, Carrie. The 2016 Entertainer of the Year is awarded to Garth Brooks. Garth is our winner and he gave a very classy and heart-filled thank you acceptance speech.

Carrie, wearing a beautiful black dress, and Brad, wished our viewers a final good night.

The current score of the World Series is 6-6 so while the CMAs are over, American TV has more history to be made tonight! Goodnight all and thanks for reading the post!

Were you surprised by the performances and award winners? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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CMAs 2015 Reviewed

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CMA 2015 awards have begun!

The opening sketch is a tribute to Star Wars and they just made a joke about Garth Vader. This. Is. Awesome.

Hank Jr. is singing with Eric Church. #HankAndEric is literally hashtagged on Hank’s guitar. Love it! Visualize: a bunch of old guys in aviators, with the American flag in the background; this looks real fitting to kick off this year’s country awards show.

John Mellencamp is singing “Ain’t That America” with Keith Urban. My roommate wants to know who did John’s hair. I want to know how Keith is so PERFECT all the time. As an obviously perfect segue, Keith has busted into “John Cougar, John Wayne, John 3:16.” Keith’s wing-man’s harmony is not quite on point though. On another note, Megan is sue she has the same outfit Keith is currently wearing – a scoop neck white tank top, a black blazer, and black skinny jeans. Classic for either gender, I guess.

Carrie and Brad are back on stage. THEY JUST SAID CRAY-CRAY and NAY-NAY! And threw Josh Duggar under the bus. I love when Carrie and Brad sing little jingles together. I had to hold my breath when they talked about Blake and Miranda (Love you both #4eva) but we are off to a good start.

Single of the Year goes to: Girl Crush! Little Big Town wins a big award and I am so happy and proud of them! The band looks awesome and they are so happy. Other thoughts on this moment: I’m not surprised this song won, Karen gave a great speech, and Kimberly has a very muscular back (YOU GO GIRL).

Next up is a performance by Zac Brown Band. ZAC BROWN IS NOT WEARING A HAT! Zac and his bald head are on center stage singing a song I don’t know- Beautiful Drug. I am liking what I’m hearing.

Kenny Chesney’s performance is next. He has a beach vibe on stage which is so perfect for him, the King of Summer. Kenny’s wearing a classic outfit of gray pants, a black polo and a standard Kenny cowboy hat. He’s singing “Save It For A Rainy Day” and it sounds good. I am convinced that Kenny’s having the time of his life on stage right now.

Sign me up for #SamHunting. I have such a real crush on him. He’s wearing a black shirt with a white collar, though, and it kind of looks like one of those priest outfits. Even so, Sam, you are rocking the priest look. I swear he knows he is adorable; he has this smile between phrases. You can “Take My Time” any time.

Song of the Year: Girl Crush wins again. This time we are honoring Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey.

Quick shout-out to my favorite so far of Carrie’s outfits. Her dress is beautiful. It’s long, flowy, and a very dainty light purple color. Carrie tweeted earlier today that she has TWELVE outfits for the day.

Little Big Town takes the stage, this time to perform. They’re singing “Girl Crush” and their outfits are weird. Picture a lot of shiny silver and black sparkles and that’s their outfits. Their harmonies are on point, though, and that’s what we’re here to care about.

New Artist of the Year: Chris Stapleton. I WANT A RE-COUNT! Literally my last choice AND I don’t even know who he is. What does he sing? And that is a terrible hat. I would have preferred any of the others (Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett).

I have been waiting for this moment! Carrie Underwood is performing “Smoke Break.” She is wearing fringe and over-the-heel boots, which is so 2015. She blows me away every time she performs. Talk about a girl crush. Per usual, Carrie looks AND sounds flawless.

Mystery Man/New Winner Chris Stapleton is singing “Tennessee Whiskey” with JT himself. Didn’t see that one coming. You know what, though? They rocked it, so good for them. Our featured unlikely duo is now singing “Drink You Away.” The performance is heating up and everybody’s loving it.

Florida Georgia Line is performing “Confession.” The song is new to me and I like it. The stage is set up like a dusty old church; their outfits look like they just walk of The Hunger Games which even includes Brian rocking a feather necklace (?). Shout out to Tyler for rocking the man bun though (side note, I googled to see if “man bun” was supposed to by hyphenated).

Dynamic Duo Of The Year goes to FGL and I am a happy girl. Way to go!

Eric Church is singing a brand new one-Mr. Misunderstood. I think this song is perfect for this rebellious rockstar. Eric’s wearing a leather jacket, aviators and jeans-staying true to his classic look.

Thomas Rhett is playing “Crash and Burn.” He has a cool back and white stairwell vibe going on complete with dancers and HEY WAIT Fall Out Boy is totally dueting this up with Thomas right now. The duet has shifted to Uma Thurman.

You have got to be freaking kidding me; Album of the Year goes to Chris Stapleton. But who is Chris Stapleton?

Kelsea Ballereini gets a quick second on stage. I can’t tell if she’s wearing a romper or a dress but it’s a high-low ensemble, and she’s singing “Love Me Like You Mean It.” She looks beautiful and so natural on stage.

Brad Paisley is rocking “Country Nation” as his voice sounds perfect and a set of bleachers behind him are filled with college mascots. In typical Brad form there is a lot of guitar playing. Brad is wearing a football jersey himself.

Blake Shelton is singing “Gonna” and he’s all dressed up in a white shirt, black vest and black tie. He cleans up NICE. Not to be critical, but Blake’s performance was very nice without any WOW factors.

We are graced with an excerpt from Maddie and Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song.” I can’t believe how confident these ladies are looking on stage. I’m also laughing at Tae’s name embroidered on her guitar strap.

Can I be honest? I miss the OLD Luke. Tonight he is singing “Strip It Down” and his hair has gel in it and he’s wearing a collared shirt and dress pants. LUKE BRYAN, I MISS YOUR BASEBALL HAT AND JEANS AND ORIGINAL SONGS. I mean I’m not hating what I’m seeing/hearing but I truly miss the old you.

The Vocal Group of the Year award goes to Little Big Town! I am so proud of them as a dedicated fan from the beginning.

My home girl is performing! Miranda has a blonde-pink ombre hair style with a jean jacket and black skinny jeans. Her guitar is pink, too! She’s singing “Bathroom Sink.” I am surprised by the song choice but Miranda can seriously do no wrong.

Jason Aldean is wearing his typical cowboy hat and short-sleeved plaid button down. He’s singing “Gonna Know We Were Here.”

I love Kacey Musgraves. She is singing “Dime Store Cowgirl.” A daring and unique performance, Kacey has a cartoon vibe of a slideshow background. She’s wearing a sparkle leotard and white cowboy boots. Her voice sounds like honey and her stage presence is nothing short of lovely. She has five men in her band, all wearing pink suits with sparkle collars. I’m serious, though, it WORKS.

Dierks Bently is singing “Riser” with Lindsey Stirling (my roommate had to introduce Lindsey to me; sorry I’m not extremely rounded when it comes to violinists).

Female Vocalists of the Year Nominees: Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Carrie Underwood, and Le Ann Womack. Tonight’s winner is Miranda Lambert! MY GURL! “Little Red Wagon” is playing in the background and Miranda’s wearing a casual outfit. She gives a really simple and humble thank you speech.

Brooks and Dunn and Reba are performing together. They’re performing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You.” Reba is truly adorable, for a lady I can’t stand! Looks like we have a mash-up because now Brooks and Dunn have taken the lead with “Play Something Country.”

Male Vocalist of the Year Nominees: Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton. Chris Stapleton won and he might be as dumbfounded as the rest of us. I’m not sure at this point, if I’m more angry or confused by the way Chris is sweeping up these awards. I mean good for him but this is seriously not right.

Entertainer of the Year Nominees: Eric, Kenny, Miranda, Garth. The winner is Luke Bryan. Awe, he seems so very happy so I’m happy too.

Closing thoughts: I enjoyed the show minus a few unexpected award winners. And that’s a wrap!

On Carrie Underwood’s Upcoming Album and Successful Career

Life

I am freakin’ out, people! Carrie Underwood is releasing a brand new album THIS WEEK! And if that’s not good news enough, she’s including a duet with Sam Hunt! #WhatMoreCouldAGirlWant?!

I admire Carrie Underwood because:

  • She gives off a down-to-earth while also being super-woman vibe.
  • She inspires me to “Stay The Path” in fitness.
  • She’s beautiful!
  • I was one of the 5 people who watched and ENJOYED her version of The Sound of Music (people gotta appreciate!)
  • She is an amazingly talented singer
  • She + Brad Paisley are amazing co-hosts for awards shows.
  • She has such a cute family!
  • I watched her become famous beginning with her season of American Idol (so I feel like we “go way back” or something).
  • Her duet “Somethin Bad” makes me believe she’s friends with my other home-gurl Miranda Lambert

Cheers to all the other Carrie Underwood fans out there!

xoxo, sarah

Sing Along Cuz It’s One We Know!

Life
I am super-stoked for all the concert opportunities in my summer’s future! Hopefully I will get to attend a few concerts, because that’s totally my thing.
Shout-outs to my current favorite songs on the radio:
  • Little Red Wagon (Miranda Lambert). Props to my concert-sister Kara for totally claiming this song even before it was famous (and I mean, you know it ain’t my fault when I’m walkin’ jaws droppin’ like oooh, ahh…).
  • Biscuits (Kacey Musgraves). Co-worker-pal Colleen gets the cred for this one as she found it first (OK she didn’t find it “first-first” but first to me.) Anyways, mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy. Can I get an AMEN!?
  • Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars). Is this considered a guilty pleasure? Stop! Wait a minute! I’m shamelessly infatuated with this one.
  • Drinking Class (Lee Brice). I feel like my #1 jam-buddy Allison is with me whenever I hear this song, even though we’ve never heard it together. Monday through Friday man we bust our backs; how could you not relate?!
  • Style (Taylor Swift). I think I’ll always be a Taylor Swift groupie, and who doesn’t love that red lip classic thing?
  • Sinking Deep (Hillsong Young & Free). We sang this one in church and it spoke a lot of truth in my life; you are my one desire…to know you all my life. Amen 🙂
  • Ain’t Worth The Whiskey (Cole Swindell). Is it just me or is this song #SupaCatchy? But don’t think for a second I’m out to drown your memory… YEAH.
  • Shoulders (For King & Country). Because the imagery is totally beautiful- you carry my sickness, my weakness, my brokenness all on YOUR shoulders.
  • Crushin It (Brad Paisley). Because Brad is making a comeback with this one; and because I’d love to hear, “you’re killin it dude” too.
  • Dear Future Husband (Meghan Trainor). And I thought this chick was gonna be a one-hit wonder! The song reminds me of something from Grease or Hairspray and I mean you know I’m never wrong. I can relate!

Country Music Awards Show 2013

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Luke Bryan singing “That’s My Kinda Night” to kick off the evening. He sounds great but his shirt is not #1 on my List Of Favorite Shirts. I liked the Luke Bryan who sang “We Rode In Trucks” but now he’s wearing a sequin shirt. Then Florida Georgia Line joins the stage for a solid beginning of the 2013 CMAs.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood take the stage. They’re singing a few lines together and they sound dang good even when they’re just playing casually. Brad made a joke about twerking. Carrie Underwood says twerking happens at Luke Bryan concerts (haaaaaa) and now C&B are singing about Obamacare. Taylor Swift doesn’t get it. Everybody else seems to be laughing and clapping. We’ve got some Miley Cyrus and Duck Dynasty References and now it’s time for an award.

The Robinson family of Duck Dynasty is giving the Single of the Year award; it goes to FGL, “Cruise.” I personally love Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” but I mean, who doesn’t love Florida Georgia Line… and everybody and their cat loves “Cruise” so cheers to them.

Jason Aldean is singing Night Train in a cowboy hat and jeans—I’m glad he stays true to himself, and this song is clutch.

Kacey Musgraves is singing one of my favorites (don’t judge me-) Follow Your Arrow. She’s doing a great job, and looking good in a yellow dress. Side note- she’s wearing her long brown hair in a side ponytail, and looks somewhat like Jennifer Lawrence AKA Katniss.

Carrie Underwood is looking pretty in pink. Her dress is covered in flowers, which is a nice balance of dainty and interesting.  

Hooray! Lady Antebellum is singing Compass, my current favorite song from them. I’m just gonna say it—Charles is looking good. Yellow pants, a white tshirt and a jean jacket is his outfit of choice and he is rocking it. I loved their performance; my roommate agrees. Fabulous.

Jake Owen and Lucy (from Pretty Little Liars, who is apparently releasing an album soon) announce Song of the Year. The award goes to Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck,” so the writers come up with Lee to receive the award. I was actually surprised about this one, but the writer explained how the song is based on a real story—and that’s pretty neat.

I am mesmerized—Little Big Town is singing (they’re consistently among my favorites). Brad announces, “Little Big Town are going to be the only ones to sing Sober on this stage tonight.” Clever joke, as that’s the song they’re singing and we’re at a country event. They started out acapella and Karen is wearing sparkle pants. This, my friends, is how I define perfection.

Vocal Duo of the Year announced. Florida Georgia Line wins! They are going to clean up tonight. Even though they deserve this award, they honestly had very little competition (Big & Rich are soooo five years ago, and Sugarland isn’t even a band anymore).

Carrie and Brad are looking ridiculous and it’s hilarious. Brad “looks like a referee who’s going to prom.”

Now I’m going to melt, scream or both as Keith Urban sings “We Were Us” with Miranda Lambert. Miranda’s looking really good, by the way, in a black outfit and silver boots.

Taylor Swift, accompanied by a small orchestra, is singing “Red.” The group is sitting in a semi-circle, everyone’s wearing black, and they’re taking a new twist on the song—it’s slow and filled with echoes. I would describe this performance as humble, which is ironically impressive, in my opinion. I kept waiting for Taylor to jump out of her seat and reveal some sort of red dress (that never happened). Besides her below-average hairdo I’m a fan of the performance.

FGL takes the stage to perform “Round Here” and they are sounding good live. I love their lit up background that shines FGL. I have to laugh because one of the guys is wearing a bro tank of sorts and another one has on a scarf. Maybe you can pull off either look in November?

Hunter Hayes joins Jason Mraz on the stage singing together—Hunter looks even younger than I remembered (acca-awkward) but nevertheless a solid performance.

Kacey Musgraves wins New Artist of the Year! I’m satisfied that she won, and I can’t wait to see where Kacey’s career takes her.

I don’t recognize Eric Church without a baseball hat, but they tell me he is singing on the stage. I looooooove Eric Church but this is not my favorite performance of his.

Insert geek out here- The Band Perry is singing “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” and they are sounding good. Kimberly (as always) is looking fantastic, and her bros are rocking out as well. But one of the brothers needs a haircut-badly. I couldn’t tell you which one because his hair is covering his entire face. But, you know, minor details.

Sheryl Crow is announcing the next award, Album of the Year. I love all the nominees-Based On A True Story (Blake Shelton), Blown Away (Carrie Underwood), Red (Taylor Swift), Same Trailer Different Park (Kacey Musgraves), and Tornado (Little Big Town). Blake wins! I’m surprised, but there are some solid songs on that album, so it’s good. Blake said this award means the most to him which is cool.

Mr. Tim McGraw is performing, and rightly so (CMAs without Tim just wouldn’t be right-speaking of ‘not right’- high-waisted pants, Tim? Really?) Anyway Tim is singing Southern Girl, which I really do like.

Blake Shelton is singing, “Mine Would Be You” which honestly isn’t my favorite of all his songs, but hey—it’s Blake and he’s giving a solid performance.

Lennon and Maisy, the two daughters from Nashville, sing part of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” They crush it. Taylor Swift hugs them. A group including Tim McGraw gives a Pinnacle award to Taylor for her positive influence on country music and my appreciation for Miss Swift just increased. Taylor respond with her usual “I’ve never won an award before” excitement.

Carrie Underwood is singing “Good Girl” which becomes “Blown Away” which becomes “Two Black Cadillacs”—basically she’s singing a mash-up, which is the best…a riff off, of sorts (Shout-out to all the Pitch Perfect fans out there).

Vocal Group of the Year goes to Little Big Town! I will always take it personally when LBT wins anything. They have new outfits on, they’re looking fabulous and they have so many people to thank. Sweet!

Brad Paisley introduces Alan Jackson and George Strait who are singing a tribute to George Jones. I’ll be honest and admit that this is not my favorite portion of the show, but I can appreciate a tribute here and there.

Zac Brown Band performed with…someone…and gave an energetic performance, as to be expected. Not my favorite but well done nonetheless.

Now it’s Brad’s turn to take the stage. Jennifer Nettles (you know the name from the former band Sugarland) is introducing an honorary tribute to Kenny Rodgers. The honorary crew includes Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Jennifer herself. Is it the wine, or is this performance putting me to sleep?

Rayna and Deacon from Nashville take the stage! The award is female vocalist of the year; the real competition here is between Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood. Miranda wins! She’s looking really good too. I think she just sassed Kelly Clarkson on stage as she says “really?” But really—why was Kelly nominated for female country vocalist for the year.

Luke Bryan is back on stage, this time singing in memory of his brother and sister. After some quick research I discovered that Luke’s sister passed away in 2007; their brother passed away in 1996. No wonder Luke decided to sing country music.

The Male Vocalist of the Year award is presented by Kelly Clarkson. Jason, Luke, Eric, Blake, and Keith are all nominated—Blake Shelton wins! I love how Blake and Miranda both won. Miranda has tears in her eyes; Blake seems shocked. The dynamic duo each won their respective awards last year as well.

Entertainer of the Year goes to George Strait. Cue the jaw drop, folks. I am shocked, though I think he just wiped a tear from his eye so there’s that. everyone seems genuinely happy for him, which is cool.

WHY ISN’T KEITH URBAN WITH HIS WIFE NICOLE. Sorry for the rant but I don’t know the woman next to him

George accepts his award. I don’t doubt that “this blows me away” as George said it himself. As he gives his thanks, he somehow thought it would be a good idea to name every single person he’s related to. Give up the speech bud.

Darius Rucker is singing “Wagon Wheel.” Isn’t this the same way they finished the CMAs last year?

I’m satisfied with another great Country Music Awards Show. Skipping class to watch it live was a good decision, so cheers to that!

The Sand on the Beach is Like an Hourglass

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I have been pretty good with taking pictures at lots of events as of late, but I completely failed when I visited my college friends Friday night and Saturday. Nevertheless, I’m so glad I was able to see some of my favorite people over the past few days!

The reason I came down was for a bridal shower. What a fun and classy night! Dan and Melissa got a whole bunch of fun/practical stuff and I’m happy for them.

After the shower I went to be with my future roommates in my future apartment! I’m thankful Victoria and Heather stayed up for me, and talking with them was really great.

On Saturday I met some of my friends for brunch. I’m so glad I was able to spend time with more great people! Since many of my friends stayed near school for the summer, (and as graduation quickly approaches) I’m learning to appreciate each moment I have with people I care about.

ImageConfession: it was a convenient weekend for me to forget to take pictures, as I’m realizing my dire need for a haircut. Such is life.

ACMs 2013

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Wow, here’s  a beginning. I’m seeing Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and [I know I missed] a bunch of others all starting out with a solid song.

Hosts introduced: Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. They’re looking good in black button-downs and jeans. A joke about Luke’s skinny jeans. Luke makes a joke about Nashville. I’m already lovin this.

“The folks from Duck Dynasty” are also here for the show. A joke about Zac Brown. Clever.

Kenny Chesney is up! Looking classic as always in a red cutoff, jeans, and the famous cowboy hat. He’s singing Pirate Flag, and fans all around are waving mini pirate flags. Solid way to set the mood.

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bently, and Hunter Hayes. At the same time. Outstanding In Our Field is the song. I missed a wow factor, but still-good.

Cool stage setup for this next performance. George Strait is singing Give It All We Got Tonight. He’s great live and genuinely looks like he’s having a good time. I’m not George Strait’s #1 fan but he did a nice job. I’m feeling like a straight up critic here… just waiting be be wowed I guess.

Okay, now I’m happy: Eric Church is up. He looks different! No hat, no sunglasses. Is this a first? He’s singing She Loves Me Like Jesus Does. Don’t get me wrong, this sounds good. But something about the videography is kind of weird- it appears that Eric is in black and white, but then there’s a girl singing backup with a red dress in the background. Hm.

FLORIDA. GEORGIA. LINE. Energy has entered the stage with Cruise. I can see some nerves through this performance, but they’re still rockin.

Lady Antebellum has some cool lights set up for their performance of Downtown. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Hillary and the fact that she’s going to have a baby in two-ish months yet she just rocked a stellar performance. Kudos!

Vocal Duo of the Year nominees: Big&Rich (That’s why I pray) FGL (Cruise), Love & Theft, Sugarland (Stuck Like Glue), Thompson Square (If I Didn’t Have You). Thompson Square wins! I approve (though I hope FGL wins something). The couple is looking really classy and extremely excited.

Here’s Brantley Gilbert looking very authentic in a black t-shirt and baseball hat. He’s singing More Than Miles– a good performance.

I shouldn’t even be surprised right now: a black Cadillac drives onto the stage, and Carrie Underwood steps out singing her current single. Perfection is here- Carrie sounds good and looks phenomenal…now add two real cars, smoke, and an awesome backdrop and you’ve got Carrie’s performance. Woah.

Album of the Year nominations: Blown Away (Carrie Underwood-and yes that album has blown me away); Chief (Eric Church- solid choice); Red (Taylor Swift- duh); Tailgates & Tanlines (Luke Bryan-there are some solid singles on there); Tornado (Little Big Town-I LOVE THEM). Eric Church wins with Chief! Not my #1 choice, but not my last choice either. Way to go, Eric. Eric is halfway back to his normal look-he put on his aviators but no baseball hat. Eric Church is a one-of-a-kind and I am happy for him that he won.

Blake Shelton has taken center stage to perform Sure Be Cool If You Did. YAY. I like that he’s in the midst of the audience. I don’t like his shirt. You win some and you lose some.

Please welcome The Band Perry. I wish I was Kimberly. I love what this band offers- energy, youth, edge, beauty, style, class… I’m so into this performance of of Done.

Jana Kramer is singing Whiskey. My roommate is psyched about it…I don’t think I know this song. Jana’s wearing a pretty dress and sounding good.

We’re giving it up for Scotty McCreery and he’s looking adorable in his plaid tie and suit. I was expecting to hear him sing, but instead he introduced the New Artist of the Year nominees: Brantley Gilbert, Florida-Georgia Line, and Jana Kramer. I’m not surprised-FGL wins! And well deserved.

Who wouldn’t be excited right now to hear Jason Aldean sing 1994. We could all do without the background dancers… but it’s whatever.

Group of the Year nominees (and me realizing I LOVE COUNTRY GROUPS): The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band. I’d be thrilled with any of these BUT AM COMPLETELY PUMPED THAT LITTLE BIG TOWN WON I LOVE THEM THEY’VE BEEN MY FAVE SINCE I SAW THEM AT MY COUNTY FAIR IN HIGH SCHOOL Ummm I’m so glad LBT won! And I’m still envious of Kimberly’s fantastic curly hair.

Miranda Lambert Mama’s Broken Heart Yes Please And Thank You. (Side note if you haven’t seen the music video, check it out because it’s fantastic). I’m loving the stage and Miranda’s ever-present sass. She tells it how it is.

Song of the Year nominations: A Woman Like You (Lee Brice); Even If It Breaks Your Heart (Eli Young Band) (I’m okay with this as long as we’re not referring to the music vid); Over You (Miranda Lambert)!!!; Springsteen (Eric Church); Wanted (Hunter Hayes). Our winner is Over You and well deserved. Blake and Miranda walked up together… love it.

Little Big Town is definitely among my favorite ever bands. I have to put that out there. However. I’m not sure what to even think about this vertically hanging bed during the performance of Your Side of the Bed. I’m actually not sold on the song itself, but this is definitely creative and a whole lot of weird. Beautiful, solid harmonies for sure. Hm.

Single Record of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert for Over You. Two awards for a well-deserved, very special song. Here come the tears. Genuine appreciation though. Nice.

The beautiful and classy Faith Hill joins the stage to announce Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw (“my ride home”-ha), Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift. I feel like Tim > Taylor; maybe it’s a sound thing? I’m a big fan of this song, though… so it’s all good.

John Mayer with Brad Paisley? Okay. I really am a critic. Not loving this.

Luke Bryan’s performance, happening now! He’s singing his newest, Crash My Party. I recently got the album but I’m not familiar with this song yet. I think Luke would melt my heart if he sung the proverbial phone book. Yeah I went there.

I don’t like this Kelly Clarkson song. But I will say she is looking really good and I’m relieved to see that she is out of her strange phase (for lack of a better explanation).

Shucks. I had to leave for a meeting and to take a quiz. What a bust! I hear that Luke Bryan won Entertainer of the Year, though, which is pretty great.

Altogether I enjoyed the show and I hope that this recap was at least somewhat entertaining!