ACM Awards 2011 winners: Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift win at Academy of Country Music Awards

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comApril 3, 2011 

Miranda Lambert won most of the top honors at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards, but she couldn't secure the night's biggest prize.

Taylor Swift took home the fan-voted entertainer of the year award. Did she deserve it?

Musical performances dominated the three-hour show, which was hosted by Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire. It aired live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Among the highlights: a Carrie Underwood/Steven Tyler duet, a Jennifer Nettles/Rihanna duet and a Zac Brown Band/James Taylor collaboration. Which performance was your favorite?

Here's a full recap of the show:

***

The show opens with Blake Shelton serenading a mystery woman in a romantic setting. Instead of Miranda Lambert...it's his co-host, Reba McEntire! Ah, country music humor. Gotta love it. However, Miranda Lambert doesn't look too happy in the audience.

8:04 - Brad Paisley performs "Old Alabama" joined by...the guys from Alabama! As in, the music group, not some random Phenix City male alliance.

8:07 - Celine Dion is in the house! She loves how country music is always performed from the heart. I'm guessing "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" is an exception.

8:08 - Hosts Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire take the stage. They promise no Charlie Sheen jokes, no Lindsay Lohan jokes and no jokes about celebrity scandals. Blake jokes about Reba being old. Ouch.

Among Blake's other jokes?

*Country hit "Smoke a Little Smoke" is about Miley Cyrus.

*Why did Jake Gyllenhaal break up with Taylor Swift? Well, he did star in "Brokeback Mountain."

*Carrie Underwood's husband was traded to a new hockey team. "You know who else traded husbands this year? LeAnn Rimes."

8:14 - Toby Keith performs "Somewhere Else." We're a little amazed by the horn section.

8:18 - Quick comedy bit with Brad Garrett, Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire. Brad gives them a ride down the strip.

8:23 - Bethany Hamilton and the actress from "Soul Surfer" introduce a performance by Carrie Underwood. She sings "Undo It." Pretty standard Underwood, right? Wrong. Steven Tyler joins her on the tune. Yes, this is as amazing as it sounds. Even better, they follow the tune with "Walk This Way." Awesome. The only thing that could make this better is "Dude Looks Like a Lady." Am I right?

8:30 - Reba and Blake arrive at Mandalay Bay and introduce a performance by Sugarland. They sing "Tonight." I definitely like this one better than "Stuck Like Glue." That said, I kind of wish the lyrics consisted of more than "tonight."

8:37 - Dierks Bentley performs "Am I The Only One." No, Dierks, you are not the only one who wants to have fun tonight. Feel better?

8:45 - Keith Urban sings "Without You." He sits on a stool while a black and white video plays in the background. The footage spans everything from the beach...to Keith in the shower.

8:49 - Here's Eric Church, who was apparently named Best New Solo Artist. He sings "Smoke a Little Smoke." No more Miley jokes, fortunately.

8:52 - Wow, time for an actual award! Song of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me."

8:59 - Taylor Swift performs her new single, "Mean." It has a really strong bluegrass vibe. Hmm. I enjoyed that.

9:04 - Best New Vocal Group The Band Perry performs "If I Die Young." I'm getting a little tired of this song.

9:07 - Best New Artist is The Band Perry.

9:14 - Jason Aldean sings "Dirt Road Anthem." I love it when he raps. That was a pretty great performance.

9:19 - Single Record of the Year is "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. She's very grateful. Again.

9:24 - I took a brief break from the awards to watch Meat Loaf's meltdown on "Celebrity Apprentice." Scary.

9:26 - Blake Shelton performs "Honey Bee." My favorite line: "You'll be my glass of wine, I'll be your shot of whiskey."

9:31 - Album of the Year goes to "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum. They thank Miranda Lambert for not being in the category this year. Haha.

9:38 - Blake Shelton breaks his vow not to tell Charlie Sheen jokes.

9:38 - Sara Evans sings "A Little Bit Stronger." I love Sara Evans. I've interviewed her and I confidently say that she's talented AND nice.

9:42 - Donny and Marie are in the house! They present Best Vocal Group to Lady Antebellum. No major shock.

9:52 - Miranda Lambert sings "Heart Like Mine." I love the abundance of pink in this performance, especially the pink microphone.

9:54 - Back to Mandalay Bay. Jennifer Nettles and Rihanna sing "California King Bed." Wow, I love it! Totally awesome. I did not expect to love this duet so much.

10:06 - Ronnie Dunn debuts his solo career by singing "Bleed Red." I miss Brooks!

10:11 - Vocal Duo of the Year is Sugarland. Again, not a major shock.

10:13 - Martina McBride sings "Teenage Daughters." She successfully makes me feel bad about all my teenage antics. I'll call this week, Mom! I promise!

10:23 - Male Vocalist of the Year is Brad Paisley. "I am so proud of the other nominees. I'm friends with all of you," he says.

10:26 - Darius Rucker performs "Music From the Heart" with a chorus of people with developmental disabilities. Sooo emotional. I love Darius.

10:34 - Reba McEntire sings "When Love Gets a Hold of You."

10:39 - Well hello, Robert Pattinson...and Reese Witherspoon. They present Favorite Female Vocalist to Miranda Lambert.

10:47 - Alan Jackson takes the stage and introduces a performance by Zac Brown Band and James Taylor. They duet on "Colder Weather" and transition into "Sweet Baby James." It's a little sleepy. I won't lie.

10:57 - Entertainer of the Year is Taylor Swift. HUH?!?!? Remember, this is a fan-voted category.

11:00 - We're done!

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