It’s easy to greet tonight’s Academy of Country Music Awards with a simple question.
“Didn’t this already happen?”
No. But your confusion is justified.
You could be thinking of the Country Music Association Awards, which aired in November.
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You could also be thinking of the many recent mixed-genre award shows that predictably turned into a lovefest for Taylor Swift’s brand of country music.
The ACM show, which airs live from Las Vegas tonight on CBS, will feature performances by Swift, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and a variety of other heavy-hitters. Reba McEntire will host.
Many of the usual suspects fill the Entertainer of the Year category: Carrie Underwood, Swift, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and more.
I want to be optimistic about tonight’s ACM Awards. Really, I do.
Yet in the aftermath of awards season fatigue, the show risks becoming another night of “been there, done that.”
I’m still holding out hope, though. Especially if ACM insiders read these suggestions for improving tonight’s broadcast:
Ban all Kanye West references
Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. It was disrespectful. Kanye jokes and imitations were entertaining for approximately nine days following the incident.
Now? They’re just overdone.
We know the country music world loves Taylor Swift. Please resist an urge to remind us of that fact by referencing a long-expired moment.
Reward Lady Antebellum
The trio, which includes two University of Georgia alums, leads the ACM pack with seven nominations.
They deserve it. They’ve earned a crossover following while maintaining a sound consistent with their country roots.
The group’s three members boast honest, heartfelt live performances that don’t have to rely on flashing lights or gimmicks to captivate an audience.
Limit the ballads
Tonight’s performance lineup is so long, you have to wonder if they’ll have time to give anyone an award.
Watching a couple hours of live music is exciting. Unless, of course, the majority of artists resort to the sleepy ballads that often seem to characterize country music awards shows.
So pick up the pace. Or else.
Keep it real, Brooks & Dunn
Last. Duo performance. Ever.
How many times have we heard those words from splitting country duo Brooks & Dunn?
There was their last CMA show, their last summer tour together and now, their last ACM performance.
We get it: This is our last chance to savor a major country bromance.
But guys, cool the drawn-out goodbyes until you’re really taking the stage for the final time.
That way, Kanye will know when to interrupt you.