Here is my 'two cents' about last evening's ACM Awards...
* Bringing Blake out in the beginning was funny. It was one surprise that was kept a surprise. But, then when he sang his current record "Came Here to Forget" (which he sang really well by the way) I could not help but wonder where Miranda was at that moment. Kudos to the camera people who did not find her and 'focus in.' Gwen wasn't there either - at least not on camera.
* Luke and Dierks hosting together went fine. I heard most of monologue lines earlier in the week because as a die-hard country fan, I heard radio interviews and saw video clips of rehearsals. I heard the jokes early.
* Performances.... Dolly & Katy. I heard about it ahead of time. I think "keeping a secret" would be more fun for the TV audience. To give a real surprise - and a wow factor!! (But yes, I know, advertising it brings in more viewers I suppose.) Dolly still sings AND looks great. I know she is going out on a tour and I would certainly love to see her live!! She is an icon.
There were many great performances. Thomas Rhett. Chris Stapleton. Keith Urban. Little Big Town. Miranda's performance didn't really showcase her, but an old ZZ Top song is always a hit.
Ok. I love Carrie. Who doesn't? The lady is beautiful and has incredible chops. She always wears amazing clothes. My negative thought about her perfomance was that it was just too showy. Too much going on on the stage. (Country music is not about that.) And, what was with the silly drum thing for a minute? I mean - I could do that!! I tried to hear the words of the song, which in country is ALWAYS very important... and I could not because of the over-production going on. Personally, I love Carrie when she sings softer.
You know I love "Stay Humble and Kind" and of course Tim sang it well. Again, perhaps a bit over-production by the ACM on this one. All the people filing down the aisle and up on to the stage was distracting to the beauty of the song - and the wonderful words. The cameras focused on people walking... yes, different ethnicities and colors, etc. I get that. But, the people were then just standing there on stage looking a bit 'deer in the headlights' to me....like it was a last minute thought for the show. And... I have to mention that I participated in a McGraw team contest of sorts...to submit pictures showing a word describing how to be humble and kind. It was promoted heavily on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Well, the television audience did not get to see the pictures at all. It wasn't til the end of Tim's performance that there was a quick look behind people of the big screens showing a few...far-away, and fuzzy. I suppose the live audience in the auditorium got to see them. We didn't. Again - over production?? Too much going on during one song. The words ARE this song! Focus on them. My opinion.
* The awards. Yes, Chris Stapleton is deserving! The guy has written hits for years, he has sung back-up, and has put out his own stuff - for years. The ACM finally caught up with his talent.
I love Thomas Rhett. Could he and his wife Lauren get any cuter? Such sweet, young love! He deserved to win. He has had a good year.
Miranda? Not sure about her winning again. How many times in a row? She didn't really tour or have lots of radio hits this year.
Some of the awards were announced per-show - actually pre-day of show. Eric Church won for best video. Huh? Mr. Misunderstood. I think I mis-understand that choice. I did appreciate his musical homage to favorites who died this past year tho.
Jason Aldean - I'm glad he won. I have seen him a few times. The first time I took my hubby and daughter to see him at the House of Blues when he wasn't filling big venues. He has SO MANY great songs now! He is ALL about the song! No flash. Thank you Jason.
* I watched the live stream "Red Carpet" before the awards. It was interesting. It had no sound. It was one camera that panned around, zoomed in occasionally. But, it was fun to watch each darkened limo or SUV pull up and watch each artist get out. It was REALLY interesting to see which ones took time to greet the fans behind the barriers!
What did you think? In general, country artists are not as ego-driven, or flashy, or dressed scantily... etc. as you see at other award shows. They don't use foul language. They DO have manners and they respect their fans. It's about the SONG not the show - when you see them in concert on tour. It's not a lot of flash. There is not a lotof choreography. It's a family feeling for the most part. It's why I love the music so much. I love the words... I love the talent... I love that most artists are friends and not competitive with each other.
I am excited to see them at the CMA Fest in Nashville in June!!