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American Country Awards Weather Mixed Critical, Fan Reviews

Our Country

Fair or not, it's a fact--the brand-new, first-ever American Country Awards, which were held Monday night, had to face down a lot of mixed reviews before they even had a chance to prove their mettle.

First off, there was the widespread discussion of whether or not yet another major country awards show was overkill--i.e., what was so special about this particular concept that it warranted production in the first place?

If questioning the show's mere existence weren't enough in and of itself, the show then caught ire from the CMT folks for claiming the title of "first and only" fan-voted awards (the CMT Awards are wholly fan-voted and have been around since 2002).

So, despite coming in with a solid roster of performers, some mildly fresh ideas (most notably, increased focus on new talent), and a fair amount of positive hype--the ACAs were already poised as underdogs from the start. Not the best place to be in, but hope remained (at least on my end) that the new program on the block would redeem itself in the face of opposition.

Were the ACAs any good? I personally didn't think they were all that bad, if not remarkably unique. There were some uneven moments, but that was to be expected at a brand-new event. Performances were the best part of the evening--as it is and should be at most awards shows. Handing out guitars as trophies was a fun touch. Carrie Underwood wore a cool dress. Everyone knows all about Easton Corbin now.

So, on to next year and we'll see how it goes then, right?

Well, perhaps not, if some have their way. General consensus of the ACAs--which according to reports, garnered a lukewarm 6 million viewers--ran from carefully factual reviews to some downright disapproving commentary.

"There were so many bad moments," lamented Country Weekly editor Ken Tucker in a radio interview, citing poor pacing of the show and bad overall writing. "Two hours of my life I'll never get back."

Not surprisingly, country powerhouse CMT--likely still irritated by the "fan-voted" scuffle--chose to ignore the awards show entirely, without a mention of the event on its website.

One country fan, however, decided to take the negative chatter he'd been hearing and turn it into something amusing--more amusing than the ACAs themselves, anyway. He started an online petition titled "Termination of the American Country Music Awards," and is attempting to gather half a million signatures on its behalf.

"This petition is intended to stop the American Country Awards from becoming an annual award show," the introduction reads. "Words can not begin to express the pointlessness of this award show...the American Country Awards bring forth no relevance or merit."

The petition then goes on to cite a few quotes from Twitter in its defense, most humorously the following example:

Country Artist David Nail tweets:

"I knew I was rooting for Brady and Pats! Brady closest thing to Jordan! Titles, market ability, media skills, class, etc!"

--Clearly Nail was watching the Jets/Pats game not even acknowledging the show's existence!

Okay, okay, I admit I laughed aloud at that one, although I didn't sign the petition myself.

The "chairman" of the petition, Thomas Newton, who is a Nashville resident, admits that his effort is mainly meant to be comical. "But if it were to reach 500,000 signatures, maybe we're on to something," he noted. (So far he's only collected a couple dozen.)

In the end, since this new show is intended to be a fan-voted effort, my opinion, Ken Tucker's opinion, and any other critical opinion shouldn't really matter. Whereas Thomas Newton's should--as should yours.

You're free to sign his petition (or protest it), but I'd also like to hear from all of you right here: Did you enjoy the ACAs or not? Let me know what you think.

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