You can always count on CMT to have a skit at the beginning of their shows and this year was no different. Trading on Trace Adkins popularity on “The Celebrity Apprentice” they had him running around trying to get tickets to the show after promising his younger daughters they could go to see Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus, the three Presidential hopefuls, Larry the Cable Guy and Gretchen Wilson all played along. Turns out they had Billy Ray Cyrus scalping tickets in front of the venue.
Keith Urban opened the show with an awesome performance of Raise the Barn and had Brooks & Dunn come out on stage to play along with him. Having these three superstars of country start the show really kicked it off with a bang.
Billy Ray and Miley then made their first official appearance of the night with a monologue that had Billy Ray basically making fun of her popularity and saying they were using her to get to him and it really wasn’t necessary, he loves CMT. They did run a video of his biggest hit Achy Breaky Heart from 1992 after he made the comment that it was a great year, Miley asked if it was because that was the year she was born, he acted like yeah, right, that’s it.
Martina McBride, looking beautiful as usual, came out to present the first buckle of the night for Group Video of the Year. Rascal Flatts was nominated twice in this category and some folks thought the vote would have been split, but they did win for Take Me There. They joked that they were glad to beat that other group (Rascal Flatts) and then thanked their fans for keeping them employed. Bucky Covington then performed a portion of his song A Different World before going to commercial.
LeAnn Rimes was the next performer to make an appearance, she did her hit Nothin’ Better to Do complete with costumes and dancers from her video. Taylor Swift, last years winner, came out to present the buckle for Breakthru Video of the Year. Kellie Pickler took this for I Wonder, unfortunately she wasn’t in the arena to accept and they had her on satellite to accept. She was really surprised and wasn’t sure what to say and was flustered to say the least. Rascal Flatts performed their song Bob That Head next, which this viewer and listener is still trying to figure out in what universe would be considered country music. James Otto then performed a portion of his song Just Got Started Loving You before the commercial.
Lance Smith and Katie Cook came out and announced the winners of awards given earlier and wouldn’t be seen on the show. Video Director of the Year went to Michael Salomon for High Maintenance Woman, I Got My Game On and Love Me If You Can. Supporting Character of the Year went to Rodney Carrington for his part in I Got My Game On. Kellie Pickler took home her second and third buckles for Tearjerker Video of the Year and Performance of the Year for I Wonder. Comedy Video of the Year went to Brad Paisley for Online.
Tom Arnold and Jewel came out to announce Sugarland, Jake Owen and Little Big Town performing Northern Town, this talented ensembled blew the audience away with the harmonies. Paula Abdul in her usual ditzy style came out to introduce Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performing their hit I Need You. Female Video of the Year was presented by Tim Daly to a very surprised Taylor Swift, who ran on stage barefoot after taking her shoes off before presenting the award to Kellie Pickler because “they were hurting my feet”. Luke Bryan took the show to commercial after performing a portion of his song All My Friends.
Jason Aldean and Snoop Dog, an unlikely pairing, came out to introduce Alan Jackson singing his song Good Time. The Collaborative Video of the Year was presented by real life couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert to LeAnn Rimes and Jon Bon Jovi for their video Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore. The hosts of the evening, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus came out and did their hit song Ready, Set, Don’t Go, Miley did a pretty good job for someone reportedly had strep throat. Heading off to commercial gave us Lady Antebellum singing part ofLove Don’t Live Here Anymore.
Sara Evans, Josh Turner and Julianne Hough came out to introduce Brad Paisley’s performance of I’m a Guy. The Wide Open Country Video of the Year went to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant for Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On), it was presented by reigning superstar couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Reba McEntire came out to present the Male Video of the Year to Trace Adkins for his video I’ve Got My Game On. Trace said this has been a really good year for him and thanked the fans for supported him. Taylor Swift was next up to perform her song Picture to Burn, complete with changed lyrics. Ashton Shepherd sang a portion of her song Taking off this Pain before going to commercial.
Rodney Carrington, dressed as Billy Ray in 1992 complete with a mullet wig, came out to introduce Toby Keith singing his hit She’s a Hottie. It’s been a debate all over the internet whether the girl that came up to dance on stage during his performance was a plant or not. Naomi Judd and Rossi Morreale, hosts of the new show “Can You Duet”, came out to present Sugarland with the buckle for the Duo Video of the Year for Stay. Chuck Wicks took us to the next commercial break with a portion of Stealing Cinderella.
John Rich, Bobby Brown, Maureen McCormick and couple of others from “Gone Country” came out to introduce Kenny Chesney performing. Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmidt came out to present the biggest award of the night for Video of the Year to Taylor Swift and Trey Fanjoy for Our Song. Taylor was really surprised and hugged Kenny Chesney and Jennifer Nettles on her way up to the stage. The final performance of the night belonged to Carrie Underwood who took the show out in style with her hit All American Girl.