The 2022 ACM Awards LIVE Blog

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards LIVE Blog conducted by Saving Country Music.

Though the plan was to retire this particular annual live event commentary amid the rapid decline of popular award shows and the lack of interest they create, since this year the ACM’s are making a seismic shift to streaming online through Amazon Prime as opposed to broadcasting on network television, it feels like an important even to at least observe and commentate of for the implications it could have on award shows in the future.

So feel free to follow along as we spit raspberries and razz people for their bad music, and maybe give some praise for the good stuff that transpires as well. This is all unscripted, so apologies ahead of time for syntax errors, and make sure to bring a thick skin. This is all in good fun.

To watch the awards on Amazon Prime, CLICK HERE.

To see the nominees, CLICK HERE.

All times Central time.

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WINNERS:

Entertainer of the Year- Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year – Chris Stapleton
Female Vocalist of the Year – Carly Pearce
Album of the Year – Morgan Wallen – Dangerous: The Double Album
Song of the Year – Lainey Wilson – “Things A Man Oughta Know”
Single of the Year – Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean – “If I Didn’t Love You”
Duo of the Year – Brothers Osborne
Group of the Year – Old Dominion
New Female Vocalist of the Year – Lainey Wilson
New Male Vocalist of the Year- Parker McCollum

Video of the Year – “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King and Miranda Lambert
Event of the Year – “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde

9:13 – Two big takeaways from the 2022 ACM Awards: The women of country music who are doing an uneven share to keep the music country and quality were on display in full splendor, and won some deserved awards. And Morgan Wallen won one of the biggest awards of the night in a clear signal the industry is ready to move on from all the controversy. We cannot let the former overshadow the latter, though with the way the media and Twitter reward negativity, that’s a big risk we run.

Lainey Wilson had a big night winning Song of the Year, which was completely deserved. Carly Pearce won Female Vocalist, which was also deserved. Ashley McBryde also had the performance of the night with Carly. And Miranda Lambert finally got hers, taking Entertainer of the Year, even though she was not in attendance. For a minute there, it looked like she may never win it. Now she’s slayed that white whale.

Surprisingly, Luke Combs was shut out. But he’ll get his. And the women winning all the big awards wasn’t due to any agenda. They deserved them across the board. Lainey and Carly are superstars in the making, and now both Miranda and Carrie Underwood have their Entertainer of the Year crowns secured.

As far as the whole streaming awards aspect, I thought it was better. Two hours instead of three, pack it in as opposed to drawing it out, and let folks get on with their lives. Last year, traffic to this live blog was so bad, I decided it was my last one. This year, it was up dramatically. It seems online engaged people more. It will be interesting to see the numbers once they’re finalized.

9:02 – Thanks everyone for following along. Actually surprised by the amount of folks following , even though the comments are kind of light so far. I’m going to compose some final thoughts on the night overall, recap the winners, and then get back to the real stuff.

9:00 – After 22 years of performing, and 17 ACM Award attendances, Miranda Lambert wins the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. Long time coming, and well deserved for one of the strongest women, and one of the biggest champions of true songs and songwriters in country music.

8:55 – The 2022 ACM Entertainer of the Year is Miranda Lambert! This is her first Entertainer of the Year win.

8:54 – Dolly Parton comes out to thank Kelly Clarkson for the tribute.

8:52 – Kelly Clarkson has always been an unexpected champion of country roots from a platform decidedly outside of the genre. Again, a little bit of a strange decision to have her sing “I Will Always Love You” with Dolly in the house. But she’s killing it.

8:50 – Chris Young may have been ‘Raised on Country,’ but he made his nut with this horrific trend-chasing, tractor-rapping bullshit. We should send him to Russia as punishment for invading Ukraine.

8:47 – Doesn’t Mitchell ‘Bitches’ Tenpenny have a restraining order to fight somewhere? This dude just reeks of Drakkar cologne and delinquent child support.

8:46 – “I want you to know that country music is everything to me.”

We’re witnessing Carly Pearce, and Lainey Wilson becoming the future of country music tonight. And that future is bright.

8:44 – The 2022 Female Artist of the Year goes to Carly Pearce.

8:42 – The 2022 Male Artist of the Year goes to Chris Stapleton.

A little surprising Luke Combs didn’t win, but another solid pick.

8:40 – Lady A doesn’t even seem to be excited by Lady A’s music.

8:39 – Not for cancel culture whatsoever, but if there was ever a band that deserved to be collateral damage in the culture war, it would be Lady A.

8:36 – I gotta say, I like this format way better than the broadcast network presentation. No commercials, just knock it out in a couple of hours, nobody’s got three hours, especially for this crap.

8:35 – Luke Bryan has gone from from offensive to just outright boring. “Buy Dirt” isn’t a terrible song, but this performance is putting me to sleep.

8:31 – Is Luke Bryan really singing a song for grown ass humans whose entire premise is the word “Up”? This song should have been left on the cutting house floor.

8:29 – Fine, safe R&B song, Kane Brown. Know any country songs?

8:27 – Kane Brown trying to bring back the ornamental broach a la Madeleine Albright circa 1998.

8:25 – Jason Aldean’s gut needs to hire Carrie Underwood’s gams as a personal trainer.

8:22 – Don’t be fooled folks, Jason Aldean ain’t playing that piano. It’s to hide that Michelin tire he smuggled into the arena around his waist.

8:20 – This is the future of country music right here ladies and gentlemen. She has a ludicrously thick Louisiana accent, plenty of country attitude and aw shucks humility, and lives and breathes country. Her names is Lainey Wilson.

8:16 – Breland’s got NOTHING. They’ve been trying to shove this Urkel-looking dude down our throats to absolutely no avail. Beyond Tik-Tok, nobody gives a fuck. Dude’s got 4,000 followers on Twitter. Checklist bullshit music over canned beats.

8:14 – Parker McCollum wearing a Cheatham St. Warehouse hat on the ACM AWARDS.

Little victories.

8:12 – Glad for Parker McCollum. Glad for his New Male Artist of the Year win. He got here the right way, off of paying dues, building roots, and writing songs. Just wish his new music was a bit better, deeper, and country, including this “Pretty Heart” song.

Still, hard to not root for the hometown kid.

8:10 – Gabby Barrett doing well with “I Hope You Dance,” and glad to hear an older song on the ACM Awards. Just a little random.

8:09 – Wait, we’re getting a rendition of “I Hope You Dance,” and it’s NOT by Lee Ann Womack ?!?

8:08 – Brothers Osborne are lit up like bodily fluids under a black light at a motel room you rent by the hour.

8:07 – What the fuck is Brothers Osborne wearing?

8:04 – Look, Morgan Wallen’s album was far and away the biggest album of the last year. Wouldn’t have been my pick. It would have been Carly Pearce’s “29: Written in Stone,” and she proved why just a few minutes ago. Or Miranda Lambert’s “Marfa Tapes.” The industry just signaled they’re ready to move on from the controversy. The elite intellectuals in the press won’t be.

8:00 – The 2022 ACM for Album of the Year goes to Dangerous: The Double Album, and 1,000 think pieces are launched.

7:58 – Wow, love Dolly Parton, but this performance is totally pre-recorded. It sounds like the studio track. She’s definitely lip-syncing.

7:56 – James Patterson is on the ACM Awards, and Tyler Childers is not.

7:54 – Gotta say, the audio is surprisingly good in this presentation, especially for a big stadium. You could almost be convinced the music of this Thomas Rhett song is live.

7:52 – Isn’t Rhett Akins’ precocious kid a little old these days to still let up on stage for a cute moment?

7:51 – No surprise, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde turns in the performance of the night so far. Brilliant and beautiful.

7:50 – See this is how you have an awards show “moment.” Strip back the production, don’t overload it. Some cello, a little mandolin, an excellent song, and great voices.

7:49 – Ooh! Ashley McBryde and Carly Pearce. They look pretty stunning.

7:47 – Okay, Jimmy Allen’s performance is not that terrible. Downright tolerable. Also seems like a good dude. Don’t be surprised if he one of the next Opry members.

7:46 – Jimmy Allen’s getup looks like he shart glitter.

7:45 – Didn’t we already suffer through a Jimmy Allen performance?

7:43 – Jason Aldean. Dude. Seriously man, maybe consider cutting back on the carbs.

7:43 – The ACM for Single of the Year goes to Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean for “If I Didn’t Love You.”

7:42 – WoW! Lainey Willson wins the ACM for Song of the Year with the excellent “Things a Man Oughta Know.” Win for the good guys, and gals. “Country Music is my life,” she says.

7:40 – The mentioned the soundtrack of “Yellowstone,” but what’s so great about it is it doesn’t feature any of the music you will see tonight.

7:38 – The Chris Stapleton performance was feeling a little flat. But man, the Gospel singers resuscitated it. Great crescendo at the end. Performance of the night so far.

7:34 – 34 minutes in, and we finally get an actual performance of actual music as Chris Stapleton comes out to sing “Watch You Burn” dedicated to the guy who shot up the Route 91 Harvest Festival a few years ago here in Vegas. Morgane is with him, and Dave Cobb on guitar too.

7:33 – If you think this Parmalee, Brooke Eden, Blanco Brown performance is “country,” then you’re higher than unleaded prices.

7:32 – Parmalee sounds like an ingredient Starbucks can’t get because of the supply chain crisis.

7:29 – Lol, they cut her acoustic guitar out of the mix completely. Oh now it’s back. That performance was tough.

7:28 – Wow Maren Morris, maybe you should practice with a metronome. Timing all wonky on this song. At least she’s performing it in the nosebleeds, where she belongs.

7:27 – Ah, we get our first “activation” from Amazon, pumping some streaming Western series. Got Josh Brolin in it though, and looks pretty good to be honest.

7:25 – Old Dominion needs another awards like we need another COVID variant. Five years in a row for these dudes? They look like the assholes at your office that try to sell you on a crypto scheme.

7:25 – The 2022 ACM for Group of the Year goes to Old Dominion.

7:23 – The 2022 ACM Vocal Duo of the Year is Brothers Osborne, solely based off the strength of their music… … …..

7:20 – They need better writers for this thing. Dolly deserves better.

7:18 – Should have let Dolly host this herself.

7:16 – Dude, did I just see one of the Midland dudes dry humping another one of the Midland dudes? Hey, you do you, but maybe wait for a private broom closet at the afterparty.

Back cracking? I know we’re streaming, but I’m not sure even Amazon is ready for that.

7:15 – Walker Hayes: The basic bitch of country music.

7:13 – OH MY GOD IT’S STILL GOING!

Ashley McBryde stood up there for seven minutes in uncomfortable shoes just to scream “Heart on Fire!” for 3.6 seconds.

7:12 – The rich divorcees in this Vegas crowd seem to love it though.

7:10 – Man, Church is one of the few performers who regularly turns in a decent awards show performance, and we get 7 1/2 seconds of the choruses of radio singles. Lame. See Ashley McBryde lurking on the stage, but she hasn’t done barely anything yet.

7:07 – Oh great, Eric Church comes out to perform. A medley. Of 15 seconds of songs. More people support Putin than these bullshit medleys. They never work.

7:06 – Seriously, the Turnpike Troubadours could have sold this venue out. They couldn’t even find homeless folks to fill out the seats for free. Yikes!

7:04 – Dude, SO MANY empty seats at this thing. And no, there was no Covid capacity restrictions.

7:02 – Don’t worry Dolly Parton about forgetting Gabby Barrett’s name. None of us remember who the hell she is either.

7:01 – Stadiums traditionally make for terrible acoustics, especially for live broadcasts.

7:01 – Did I just see an epilepsy warning for all the flashing lights and explosions?

7:00 – And here we go! Luckily, this one is only two hours long, with no commercials.

6:57 – Amazon is the perfect place to broadcast a pop country awards show. It pairs well with their cheap plastic crap that puts actual artisans and local main street storefronts out of business.

6:45 – Was exciting when they first announced Dolly Parton would be hosting this year. Slightly less exciting when the later added Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen as co-hosts.

6:43 – Some awards have already been given out ahead of time. Lainey Wilson won for New Female Vocalist of the Year, and Parker McCollum for New Male Vocalist of the year. Pound for pound, these were probably the two best picks from the nominees in each category, and probably the most “country” options. So of course neither award was given out during the telecast.

6:40 – So it didn’t really occur to me until today that this move by the ACM Awards really is just one big grift. I assumed most anyone would be able to watch via Amazon when the ACM Awards first announced the move from CBS. But you have to be an Amazon Prime member. Granted, many people do have an account, but many others don’t.

This is all one big Amazon Prime signup campaign with Amazon product “activations” scheduled throughout the 2-hour event. So no, it’s not a “Hey, it’s streaming online so everyone can participate” sort of thing. It’s trying to get folks to sign up for the 30-day trial that you can cancel at any time, though most won’t.

This isn’t a democratizing pivot by the ACMs to the online format where more people can participate and entice Millennials to interact with it. It’s just a sell out.

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