The nominees for the 43rd Annual CMA Awards were announced this morning, and you should get excited! It’s country music’s biggest night! Except for that other one with rearranged letters that happens in April! (Will I ever stop making fun of that? No! It amuses me!)
There are more or less exactly zero surprises here: Brad Paisley leads with six SEVEN* noms surrounding his American Saturday Night, including “Then” for Song/Single of the Year — it’s only made me cry like six dozen times, I fail to see what is the big deal — and Entertainer of the Year, which he will probably lose to Chesney again, despite the fact that these people obviously find Brad entertaining enough to let him host the show. (Paisley and Carrie Underwood will resume their duties as emcees on the Nov. 11 telecast.)
Elsewhere, all kinds of men crawling all up in this here dancerie: Chesney, Urban, Strait, Randy Houser (really?), Jamey Johnson, Jake Owen, blah blah blah. It’s a good thing they gave Taylor Swift an Entertainer nod — yes, I do mean that in all sincerity, she’s earned it — just to break up the sausage party. (Did your current ACM EOY, Carrie Underwood, get snubbed here? I say no: ACM EOY was fan voted, so of course she won… but she hasn’t been touring, new album’s not out yet, etc. We’re between cycles for Ms. Underwood. Calm yourselves, psycho fans!)
I also enjoy the dueling frat parties of Darius Rucker and the Zac Brown Band vying for Best New Artist; both went (somewhat unexpectedly) platinum this year, and it should be interesting to see which way the votes swing. I say Zac — just cause Darius came in with a pre-existing fan condition — but I’m probably wrong. And you knew I’d bring this up eventually: Thank god someone finally nominated Sugarland’s Love on the Inside for Album of the Year.
Other questions: Will Lady Antebellum end Rascal Flatts’ reign of terror to win their first Vocal Group Award? Will Brooks & Dunn win their last award for Duo? How much do you think Letterman’s BEST SONG EVAR ZOMG endorsement of Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy” helped that song get its Song/Single nods? How weird is it that they gave Randy Travis a Song of the Year nom for Carrie Underwood’s sledgehammery cover of his “I Told You So”? And, as always: Keith or Kenny, people, Keith or Kenny… or Taylor?
Check out the full list of nominees after the jump, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
*UPDATE 9/10: Paisley scored another nod alongside Keith Urban today, when the CMA realized they’d left the pair’s “Start a Band” off the list of nominated Musical Events. Oopsy.
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