Tune in here at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT for the Zap2It live-blog of the 43rd annual Country Music Awards on ABC. Can Taylor Swift win Entertainer of the Year? We can hardly wait to find out!
Want to see your favorite country music stars on the CMA red carpet. Check out our photo gallery!
Here we are gang, who’s ready for the 2009 CMAs? Just for the record, “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” are off tonight because of the CMAs. If you’ve never watched them, you should start. They are both excellent comedies, especially “Modern Family.”
8:01 pm — “If guys don’t want me to write bad songs about them, they shouldn’t do bad things.” — Taylor Swift. Amen, sister.
8:04 pm — I haven’t seen Taylor Swift perform live before and frankly… I’m underwhelmed. Girlfriend could use some cardio because her breath support is weak. I do like her throwing the furniture and sliding down the fire pole, though. It’s like Miley, only not slutty.
8:05: — Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley welcome us. I am a total geek for both of them, I love his song “Wrapped Around” and I’ve been in love with her since her audition of “Independence Day” on Idol.
8:06 pm — FIRST KANYE JOKE! Carrie and Brad sing, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Kanye. Let ’em pic guitars and drive them old trucks, ’cause cowboys have manners, they don’t interrupt.” Okay, seriously… that was pretty good. And Brad and Carrie should do many, many duets.
8:07 — Run-down of the Entertainer of the Year nominees. George Strait plus 8 joke, nice. Taylor Swift is the youngest nominee ever in that category.
8:09 — Brooks & Dunn joke. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” parody. Hee. If you didn’t know, Brooks & Dunn are splitting up after nearly 20 years of recording together.
8:11 — Carrie compliments Brad on how he smells and he says he’s wearing “McGraw.” Faith Hill genuinely laughs her ass off in the audience.
8:13 — Single of the Year presented by Kid Rock. I’m rooting for “Chicken Fried.” It’s a great song, plus it’s Matt Holliday’s at-bat music. Just a little bit of trivia for y’all.
8:15 — “I Run to You” by Lady Antebellum, which is her first CMA win. Well, that’s cool, but I was really excited about “Chicken Fried.”
8:16 — Swine flu joke set to the tune of “Blue.” I love them singing these old-school country songs, even if this one was totally lame.
8:17 — HOOTIE! I think he should do his “Burger King” song. Instead he does “Alright” and it’s… aight. I’m still a fan of “Let Her Cry” from Hootie & the Blowfish.
8:22 — Kelly Pickler and Jake Owen present Song of the Year and I’m not quite sure what the difference between single and song of the year are, but either way, go “Chicken Fried!” By the way, I love Kelly Pickler’s brown hair, she looks very sophisticated.
8:24 — “In Color” by Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto wins. Man, I’m 0-2 with “Chicken Fried.” They give a shout-out to Fort Hood and veterans everywhere. Amen. Thank a veteran today.
8:25 — Miranda Lambert performs “White Liar.” She’s the first live performer who can really put her money where her mouth is, live-wise. Except her enunciation is terrible. Mush-mouth Lambert, we’ll call her.
8:27 — Did Lambert just say “a redhead named Bernice?” Does she mean the lady from “Designing Women?” That woman was a hoot.
8:33 — Brad Paisley performs “Welcome to the Future” now. It’s about having Pac-Man on your phone, fighting the Japanese in WWII, video chat, and racism. You know, country stuff.
8:38 — The Zac Brown Band does “Devil Went to Down to Georgia” and I freak out. I love this song. I used to perform it in high school; I’d sing and my friends Deborah and Jill could do the fiddling parts, they were SO good.
8:41 — The fiddle player for the Zac Brown Band is playing this song SO quickly, I hope everyone is suitably impressed. Wow.
8:48 pm — George Strait does “Twang.” I like the old-school country. My faves of his are “All My Exes Live in Texas,” “Love Without End, Amen,” and “Adalida.” Also, he’s a good-lookin’ fella, no?
8:51 — Lady Antebellum performs “Need You Now.” I personally like the Firehouse version, but I’m a sucker for power ballads from the 80s/90s.
8:55 — Patricia Heaton and Neal Flynn present the award for Vocal Group of the Year. I hope this goes better for her than her appearance on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Good lord, woman.
8:56 — Okay, once again I’m throwing my hat in the ring for the Zac Brown Band. But Lady Antebellum wins. Sheesh. Don’t ask me for my Oscar picks either.
9:00 — Ritz’s new slogan is “Open for Fun?” I’ve got that as a tattoo. Weird.
9:03 — Carrie Underwood does
“Before He Cheats Part II” “Cowboy Casanova,” which is a nice little shout-out to Tony Romo. Boy, was his going from Carrie to Jessica Simpson a move in the wrong direction on the Girlfriend Scale. Watch her performance here.
9:05 — You know what I like about country music? They’ve never acted like Carrie Underwood is second class because she got famous from “American Idol.” The same cannot be said for other kinds of music.
9:08 — Oh my god, why are Marie Osmond and George Hamilton in a wig presenting Best New Artist? I’m sorry, those are the Judds. Good lord. Ashley better light a candle.
9:09 — Best New Artist goes to Darius Rucker. Awww, good for Hootie!
9:11 — Daughtry performs “Tennessee Line” with The Thing That Ate Vince Gill. I like Chris Daughtry, I thought he and Katharine should’ve been the Final Two from season 5 of Idol. Taylor Hicks is a hack (sorry mom).
9:20 — Jimmy Dickens interrupts Brad Paisley talking about his video for “Welcome to the Future” by saying that Taylor Swift made the best video. Okay, the first Kanye joke was way better.
9:22 — Keith Urban perf
orms “‘Til Summer Comes Around” and he’s another performer I don’t love live. Hmmm. I also hate his emo hair. Still, despite the not good live thing, the hair and the drug problem… Nicole Kidman traded WAY up.
9:26 — Tim McGraw performs “Southern Voice.” Oooh, I like Tim McGraw. Did you know he’s playing Sandra Bullock’s husband in “The Blindside?” I learned that today.
9:35 — We honor the troops invited to the show tonight. Thanks, guys. Seriously.
9:36 — Sugarland performs “Keep You.” I like Sugarland, they’re pretty solid. The lead singer, Jennifer Nettles, reminds me of a country Stevie Nicks.
9:41 — Randy Houser and Robin Roberts present Album of the Year to Taylor Swift, which is her first CMA win. Good for you, blondie.
9:50 — Brooks & Dunn perform “Honky Tonk Stomp.” It’s a good ol’ sh*t-kicker song, I like it. Wanna hear a secret? Sometimes I play “My Next Broken Heart” on bar jukeboxes and make my little brother dance with me to it. Heh.
9:54 — Jamey Johnson and Kid Rock perform “Between Jennings and Jones.” Speaking of George Jones, if you haven’t heard “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” you are missing out. One of the best country songs ever written.
9:58 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Julianne Hough present Vocal Duo of the Year. It’s gotta be Brooks & Dunn, right? So they can go out with an award? Nope, goes to Sugarland. Weird. Also weird? That Sugarland invited them up on stage. Awk-ward.
10:00 — Is it possible that duo “Joey and Rory” are Katie Holmes and Alexis Bledel? No? That’d be funny.
10:06 — Taylor performs “Fifteen” and it’s better than “Forever and Always” was, but I’m still not convinced she’s a good live performer. Carrie Underwood made her look like a girl performing in a bar somewhere.
10:10 — LeAnn Rimes presents Male Vocalist of the Year to Brad Paisley. Oh yay. I love him. He and Kimberly Williams could not be cuter and he actually can play the guitar like a rock star.
10:17 — Jason Aldean performs “Big Green Tractor.” Yeah, woo John Deere. Boo, Allis Chalmers. Wow, I’m a hick.
10:21 — They now honor Barbara Mandrell by having Martina McBride and Charlie McCoy perform “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” George Strait comes out in the middle and joins Martina, that’s cool. I love Martina McBride. Also, I totally remember watching Barbara Mandrell and her sisters’ variety show on NBC when I was little.
10:31 — Reba performs “Consider Me Gone.” I love Reba. She was the first concert I ever went to, I was like six. She was touring with Steve Wariner and I was obsessed with her song “Little Rock.”
10:35 — Billy Currington performs “People Are Crazy.” Man, there are a lot of performances but this is SO MUCH better than pretty much any other awards show. Each winner gets like 10 seconds to thank people and we move on. Awesome.
10:38 — Leann Womack and Kris Kristofferson present Female Vocalist of the Year. I appreciate that Kris Kristofferson hasn’t gone all plastic-surgery-crazy like Kenny Rogers. Seriously, Kenny Rogers is frightening.
10:40 — Taylor Swift wins FVOTY. Hmmm. After tonight? I’m not entirely sure that’s the right call. Oh well. Good for her. Wow, Taylor Swift is tall. She is like towering over Kristofferson. I looked it up, she’s 5’11. Well, you go with your bad self, tall girl!
10:46 — Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews perform “I’m Alive.” I don’t really care for Chesney. It’s a totally irrational dislike; it’s mostly because I think the song “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” is silly. I do like this song, though, and Dave Matthews is great on it.
10:53 — We’re here, the moment’s arrived. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw present the award for Entertainer of the Year.
10:54 — And the award goes to… TAYLOR SWIFT. Wow. That’s crazy. She’s only 19 years old! She cries and says that everything she has ever wanted has happened to her. She calls up her band members and it’s all very sweet. I’m getting all teary-eyed, y’all.
10:57 — Carrie and Brad thank us for watching and we’re done.
Well, that about does it for the CMAs tonight. Let’s hope cutie Taylor Swift isn’t all Lohaned out by the time she’s 23. This was fun, I wish all awards shows were this great.
Carrie Underwood performs ‘Cowboy Casanova’ at the CMAs
Taylor Swift performs ‘Forever and Always’ to kick-off CMAs
CMA Red Carpet pics
Country Crossovers Gallery: Country stars who’ve tried acting
Gallery: Why Taylor Swift rocks our world