Hmm, is it a bad thing that I got a bit more excited at the announcement that Taylor Swift was going to guest on Dancing With The Stars than I was, at first, hearing the initial list of performers for this year's CMA Awards?
Sure, the list is really strong as always. It's just not terribly surprising. I suppose one could compare it to dinner at your favorite steakhouse--you know you're not going to get some truffled-up dish on your plate. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley--also the co-hosts--top the list, followed by the expected round of heavy-hitters Taylor, Reba, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, George Strait, Sugarland, Darius Rucker, and Brooks & Dunn.
As I noted a few weeks ago, it IS a fairly interesting year overall in terms of CMA nominees. And we haven't heard the entire list of performers yet. So I am definitely expecting some excitement to come. (My personal vote is for a performance by the Raconteurs--and I want to see Jack White doing it in a cowboy hat and some clothes from Kenny Chesney's Blue Chair Bay line. I'd pay some good money for that.)
Dreams of Jack in cutoff shorts aside, there are also some circumstances that make for interest within this rather predictable roster. So, here's what I think will be the main highlights based on the performance list to date.
1) Taylor Swift. This is a no-brainer. With all of pop-culturedom's beady little eyes fixated on this singer this year--and especially in the past few weeks--her performance will likely draw viewers who wouldn't normally be caught dead watching a country-music awards show. I have very high expectations for her dress.
2) Darius Rucker. Yeah, I am a serious fan. The guy is a better country singer than a pop singer, and that's saying quite a bit. This is his first year nominated for awards at the CMAs, so I'm anticipating he'll present even more emotion in his performance than usual.
3) Tie between Kenny Chesney and B&D.
As we all know, B&D announced their impending retirement--but they are planning a blowout finale tour, which takes some of the pressure off of their CMA performance. Needless to say, though, I think this particular set is going to be a bit of a tearjerker.
Kenny called off formal touring for a while, only promising here-and-there appearances, so there's bound to be a fair amount of rah-rah-rah when he takes the stage as well. If I had a gun to my head, though, I'd say B&D are going to win the call and perhaps even steal the entire night.
Runner-up: George Strait, but that's mostly because I think his new album, Twang, kicks butt in a way he hasn't kicked butt in a while.
That's all I have to say. Oh--back to Jack in the shorts. Can we put Karen Elson in a Hooters T-shirt as long as we're dreaming large, here? That would really make my night.
Let's hear your thoughts on the CMAs this year. Hear, here.
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