It can be forgiven that many folks--even true-blue country fans--didn't get too excited at the news that Carrie Underwood would be performing at the 46th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards. Although she's a megastar, a performance from Underwood at a major country awards show is about as rare and unusual as communion served at a Catholic mass.
However, things did start to get a little juicier when word got out (probably first via a hint from American Idol host Ryan Seacrest's radio show) that Underwood would be performing with a top-secret duet partner. By Friday afternoon, the buzz was out: Who would Underwood be hitting the stage with on Sunday?
There were plenty of spoilers on the web. But for those who waited to enjoy the surprise, the Academy of Country Music mercifully didn't make us all wait too long to find out.
Barely a half-hour into the program, Underwood strode out in an uncharacteristically hard-edged outfit, with Avril Lavigne-ish hot pink streaks threaded through her blond mane. Launching into a particuarly mean-edged version of "Undo It," she was joined on stage by...Steven Tyler.
It sounds like an odd combination when simply written down, despite the obvious American Idol connection (Underwood a past and much-beloved winner of the show; Tyler a current and sometimes-criticized judge). However, America's sweetheart Underwood and the 63-year-old perennial bad boy Tyler made a highly engaging combo, launching into Aerosmith's classic "Walk This Way" after ripping up "Undo It." First of all, Tyler has a bit of core sweetness about himself that compliments Underwood's good-girl veneer. And secondly, the duet almost made one believe the classically squeaky-clean Underwood--or you! Or me! Or anyone!--could pass herself off as a rocker chick, if she wanted to be one. Check it out for yourselves:
I've been watching and reporting on country-music awards shows for the better part of the past decade, and although I hate to admit it--they can be quite predictable. The fact that it's pretty hard to be surprised or excited anymore kind of speaks volumes about the difficulty in making these ceremonies fresh and exciting. However, I'm happy to report that this little duet stands out, honestly, as one of the most entertaining things I've seen on an awards show in...well, as long as I can remember. Kudos to the ACMs for that!
What did you think of Carrie and Steven together? Be sure to let me know!
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