Saving Country Music’s 2016 Anti-CMT Awards LIVE Blog


Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2016 ANTI-CMT Awards LIVE blog. After taking a year off due to an open boycott of CMT, Saving Country Music has returned to offer spirited dissent, snarky commentary, and borderline inappropriate sarcasm amount the CMT Awards festivities, as well as hopefully give credit to the few, if any, bright spots during the presentation.

As always, you’re encouraged to chime in as well below in the comments section. At the very bottom, you can also find a run down of what can be expected from the presentation. And remember, none of this really means anything, because it’s just the CMT Awards.

Pot right? Let’s wheel ’em around.

WARNING: Language, and occasional misspelled words.

9:29 – Welp, that’s all folks. Thanks to everyone for stopping by, reading, following along, commenting, liking, sharing, or however you chose to participate. It was about as bad as we expected.

The biggest takeaway would have to be all the cross-genre collaborations that are no doubt a precursor to a new era in country music where nearly everything is a collaboration looking to reel in more fans as actual country fans leave the genre in droves. Fifth Harmony, Pitbull, Pharrell, and others, this is all just the beginning. It will be like an episode of CMT’s “Crossroad” all day, every day.

9:22– Wow, that’s it? what a flat ending. They couldn’t even make it to the half hour.

9:21 – I’m telling you folks, Little Big Town isn’t going to close out the CMT Awards and bring Pharrell with them to the Opry if they weren’t thinking about releasing new music from this admittedly pure pop album to country. I’ll believe it when I (don’t) see it.

9:20 – What is Pharrell doing in this performance other than hawking camo wear and shaking a shaker?

9:18 – Tim McGraw: “We hope to move you. We hope to make an impact in your life.”

9:17 – The CMT for Video of the Year goes to Tim McGraw for “Humble and Kind.”



9:16 – Hey, we got Vince Vaughn and Little Big Town under the same roof—both whose careers would be in down the tubes if it weren’t for Motorboatin’.

9:13 – I will disown any of you as readers if you stick around after this mess to see the special sneak preview of “Still The King”.

9:11 – Wow, I didn’t recognize Jason Aldean’s wife without a TMZ watermark over her face.

9:10 – Awful.

9:08 – What the hell is going on in this Jason Aldean performance? It sounds like a drum machine is going haywire. Is that on purpose? We know this shit ain’t live.

9:05 – JJ Watt is trying to polish up his resume just in case a concussion gets him into the broadcast booth sooner than later.

My God these host jokes are absolutely bombing. Who do they have writing for CMT these days?

9:03 – Stapleton’s “Parachute” is already struggling mightily on the charts. This is a great song, but it’s severely questionable if anyone will play it beyond those who own the record. CMT and the rest of the country music industry have no clue what to do with this guy. But they left him for one of the last performances, because they know so many people are tuning in to see him.

9:01 – At 9:01, Chris Stapleton finally takes the damn stage, backed by the pink and orange hues of a Southwestern sunset, singing his current single “Parachute.”

9:00 – Blake Shelton: “That’s not what I was going for, but what the hell? I just like to have a few drinks and get on Twitter.”

8:58 – The CMT Award for Social Superstar of the Year goes to Blake Shelton.

8:58 – Social superstar of the Year? What kind of bullshit is that?

8:57 – If you took a drink each time you saw a “Still The King” commercial tonight, your significant other would be calling poison control right now.

8:53 – They’ve teased Stapleton going into the last five commercial breaks. Now they’re just fucking with us.

8:51 – Maren Morris had pitch issues in her first performance opening the show, and ditto for her 30 seconds on the Firestone tread separation stage. She’s gonna have to work on that if she wants to be the next big thing. Then again, it didn’t hold Taylor Swift back.

8:50 – Five-year-old me was so obsessed with “Elvira”. Timeless song.

8:49 – Watching the Oak Ridge Boys with Blake Shelton is like putting ketchup on your $40 steak.

8:47 – This meme bit is terrible. Get Stapleton on the stage to save this trainwreck.

8:46 – That last award was basically CMT giving an award to itself. It was all performances on CMT. It would be like giving myself an award for the best article. Dumb.

8:44 – The CMT Award for Performance of the Year (whatever that means) goes to Carrie Underwood. For what performance, we don’t know.

8:41 – Man, these commercial breaks last 7 minutes. I could have made my own damn sandwich at this point.

8:38 – These bastards have been teasing the Chris Stapleton performance for 50 minutes.

8:37 – I’m going to truly enjoy watching this new Billy Ray Cyrus Elvis impersonator show absolutely and certifiably bomb.

8:35 – Dude, Joey Lauren Adams was so badass in “Chasing Amy” and all those old films. What the hell is she doing slumming around with Billy Ray Cyrus on CMT these days? PU

8:34 – Underwood nailed that last note.

8:33 – I’m a sucker for an enthused church choir.

8:32 – Well at least there’s a banjo on stage. Usually Carrie Underwood is one of the respites for these stupid award shows, but this song does nothing for me. At least she can sing it without technological assistance.

8:31 – Thomas Rhett is dressed like he should be scraping the tarter off my teeth.

8:30 – Thomas Rhett just won something while I was cracking jokes, likely Male Video.

8:29 – Danica Patrick’s got bigger balls than all the male performers backstage except for Luke Bryan, and that’s only because he got his slammed in a door and they’re swollen.

8:28 – Prediction: Danica Patrick will actually a win a fucking race before Chase Rice wins anything.

8:27 – And Dierks was one of the few who could pull off introducing a Merle tribute, however abbreviated.

8:25 – Wow, Merle Haggard actually gets a mention by Dierks Bentley, who also mentions Ali and Prince. Glad I didn’t take that bet.

8:23 – Great. Typing Chad Michael Murray got John Michael Montgomery’s “I Love The Way You Love Me” stuck in my head. I guess it’s better than whatever the CMT Awards probably have coming up. They teased Stapleton a while back. It couldn’t happen quick enough.

8:19 – It feels like such a reduction to put a band on the stage and give them 30 seconds to run through the hook of their current single. Why even bother? Brothers Osborne aren’t my favorite, but even the Gong Show at least gave folks a minute to prove their muster.

8:18 – Don’t feel too bad Elle King, Florida Georgia Line have no idea who Hank Williams is.

8:17 – True story, Elle King had no idea who Dierks Bentley was when they asked her to perform with him. “I had no idea who he was.” (

She’s got more soul than most of the country performers though.

8:15 – Cole Swindell couldn’t be more hate-able.

8:13 – The CMT Award for Group/Duo Video of the Year goes to “Little Big Town”. I guess for “Girl Crush,” but they didn’t announce that.

8:12 – I have no idea who the hell Chad Michael Murray is, but I’d much rather see John Michael Montgomery or Michael Martin Murphey, or even Michael Jackson Montgomery.

8:11 – Chewbacca mom is at the CMT Awards, and George Strait and Alan Jackson aren’t. Nuff said.

8:07 – Erin Andrews teased an appearance by Chris Stapleton coming up, and so far my bootleg stream is holding up. We may make it through this mess after all. Who wants to make me a sandwich though, I’m getting hungry.

8:04 – Screw Fifth Harmony and their big bag of nothing. Get off the stage, this is supposed to be a country awards show. What is Cam doing slumming with these hussies? Yuck.

8:03 – Who’s this no singing pop wasteoid screwing up Cam’s “Mayday?”

8:02 – Woop to Robert’s Western World that I can see in the background. Otherwise, this Thomas Rhett performance sucks.

8:00 – There’s more of a chance Bernie Sanders will secure the Democratic nomination than anyone on the stage with Thomas Rhett is actually playing their instruments live.

7:58 – The non-signing Florida Georgia Line guy looks like a homeless version of Mr. Peanut with that beard.

7:56 – OH MY! The Auto-Tune is so thick from the one in the man bun, you could butter bread with it. Yikes!

7:54 – Nobody’s mean tweeting our next guests,” says JJ Watt introducing Florida Georgia Line. Is that a challenge?

7:53 – Erin Andrews making jokes about JJ Watt “pulling his groin.”

7:51 – The thing about these really emotional videos like this one Martina McBride is premiering is that if they don’t hit, they fall completely flat from being too sappy. That’s what happened with Tim McGraw’s “Humbled & Kind.” It’s also what Stapleton’s “Fire Away” got right. It’s so hard to get it right.

7:47 – Well if nothing else we’ve gotten face time for Chris and Morgane Stapleton in the first hour.

7:45 – All jokes aside, the video for Stapleton’s “Fire Away” video is stellar. It might win Saving Country Music’s video of the Year.

7:44 – The CMT Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year goes to Chris Stapleton for “Fire Away”

7:43 – Any coincidence that the moving tiled backdrop presentation of Luke Bryan’s song is the same way Auto-Tune looks when it’s fixing a vocal signal?

7:41 – Can’t stand Luke Bryan, but I just can’t get too offended by “Huntin’ Fishin’ Lovin'”. It reminds me of an old Alabama song back when they were good.

7:39 – Apparently Luke got this gash on his forehead right before the CMT Awards from catching his head on a skeet shooter. But I have it on good authority he actually caught his head on stupid.


7:35 – I was hoping Bobby Bones would have to present an award to Florida Georgia Line after those turdheads called Bobby out for paying for his own anti-publicity campaign. That and “Dirt” are about the only two good things those guys have done.


7:32 – Ha! Who is this guy with the tribal tattoos? I know I’m supposed to know this as a country music writer, but I have no clue. He sounds awful.

7:31 – Just because…


7:31 – Go back to sniffing your own balls Bobby Bones.

7:30 – Though I wouldn’t root for anyone to win these worthless awards, I will allow myself to be happy that Kelsea Ballerini lost.

7:29 – The meaningless CMT Female Video of the Year award goes to Carrie Underwood.

7:27 – JJ Watt flirting with all the married country girls. Underwood’s hockey player dude is the only one who doesn’t flinch.

7:23 – And yes, writing wages these days can’t support a cable bill, so we’re going full pirate tonight. The last few years, CMT has streamed the awards on their website. Not tonight apparently. This also means we could get shut down at any point.

7:21 – So what was missed while Saving Country Music headquarters was searching for a reliable online stream was not much. Keith Urban open the show, trying to balance a chupacabra on his head while Maren Morris sang incredibly off key.

7:19 – Even 30 seconds of LOCASH on the Firestone stage before they cut to commercial is too much. Fitting the stage is named for a brand famous for tread separation.

7:18 – JJ Watt needs to sack Chewbacca mom into the turf.

7:16 – Erin Andrews’ yoga joke bombed like Tony Romo in the playoffs. If she’s not talking about someone’s torn meniscus on the sidelines, she’s got very little.

(chill out, I love Erin Andrews {not really})

7:14 – If the CMT Awards wanted a roided-out jarhead to host this thing, why didn’t they just ask Brantley Gilbert?

(chill out, I love JJ Watt)

7:13 – Dude, I think Rosie O’Donnell would even endorse Trump if he could build a wall big enough to keep Pitbull out of America.

7:11 – Sorry for the delay folks! Was working on finding a reliable online stream. If you’re looking for one yourselves, here is the only one that appears to be out there. Cut and paste this:

Don’t know how long it will last, and if it ends, so will the LIVE blog. Until then, onward and upward!

7:00 – Alright, here we go!

6:59 – Over under on even a mere mention of Merle Haggard?

6:58 – Get ready to be ass whipped all night with CMT peddling their stupid new scripted show with Billy Ray Cyrus as an Elvis impersonator. That’s pretty much the entire point of this whole awards presentation—to affix the country music nervous system to the boob tube for the next 2-3 hours to indoctrinate you into thinking that show looks even halfway decent.

6:56 – So the best part of the red carpet was that foul-mouthed country artist Wheeler Walker Jr. crashed it and was running around causing havoc. He left early though. “I thought it would be funny, but it’s bullshit.”



Hosts: Football player JJ Watt, and sports babe Erin Andrews.

Presenters: Vince Vaughn, Rob Riggle, Danica Patrick, Charles Kelley, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, Kellie Pickler, Chris Janson, Kelsea Ballerini, Leona Lewis, Joey Lauren Adams, Madison Iseman, Billy Gardell, Chad Michael Murray, Bobby Bones, Cody Alan.


*Note: The Firestone Stage is where they put the B-level stars to sing for 30 seconds before the commercial break.

Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys (“Doing It To A Country Song”)
Chris Stapleton
Florida Georgia Line (H.O.L.Y.)
Jason Aldean
Keith Urban with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris (“Wasted Time”)
Luke Bryan (“Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”)
Thomas Rhett
Cam and Fifth Harmony
Dierks Bentley with Elle King
Billy Ray Cyrus with Cheap Trick
Carrie Underwood (“Church Bells”)
Pitbull with Leona Lewis and Cassadee Pope
Little Big Town with Pharrell Williams
Brothers Osborne (Firestone Stage)
LOCASH (Firestone Stage)
Maren Morris (Firestone Stage)
Michael Ray (Firestone Stage)

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