I'm ready to watch the entire Academy of Country Music show tommorow night on my television. In recent award shows, I've always had some sort of conflict where I couldn't watch it live.
On Tuesday, I will keep a journal during the show and post it on the blog. It should be an exciting night in Las Vegas, and one of my favorite parts of award shows is hearing the artists debut their new music.
These are my hopes of who will win the awards, but keep in mind, I lean towards traditional country music.
Vocal Event of the Year
I have to give "Me and God" with Josh Turner, Dr. Ralph Stanley and three members of Diamond Rio the nod over "Politically Uncorrect" by Gretchen Wilson and Merle Haggard. The song is so unique, especially on today's country radio, and Turner, Stanley and Co. deliver an excellent performance.
Video of the Year
Call me subdued, but I love the laidback approach to George Strait's "Seashores of Old Mexico" video. It's a great song, and the video accompanies it perfectly.
Song of the Year
Got go with George Strait and "Give It Away". This is the kind of song where Strait can make you feel every word, not to mention the fact that it's a great play on words song written by two legendary songwriters, Bill Anderson and Buddy Cannon, and an excellent newcomer, Jamey Johnson.
Single of the Year
As much as I'd like to go with Strait again, I'll give the nod to Josh Turner's "Would You Go With Me?". Once again, very unique and the lyrics are pretty cool. I hope this is the beginning of a long country music career for Turner.
Album of the Year
For this category, I can't make a completely informed decision because I've only heard Strait's "It Just Comes Natural" and Carrie Underwood's "Wasted". I'm going to surprise the heck out of you by going with Underwood. Although Strait's songs are better, Underwood's album is more consistent and there's fewer throwaway songs on it.
Top New Duo or Vocal Group of the Year
Great. Why don't they just call it the 'top new we just came in from pop music' award as contestants Little Big Town and The Wreckers had also been in pop music. Heartland made it big with one song, "I Loved Her First", and that's it. I've got to go with The Wreckers, who have actually delivered a few memorable songs.
Top New Female Vocalist
This is the 'I didn't win a music talent show contest, but I came close award' with Miranda Lambert (Nashville Star-third) and Kellie Pickler (American Idol-sixth) competing with newcomer Taylor Swift. I'd like to see Lambert win, but she has a one-album advantage over her two competitors.
Top New Male Vocalist
Chris Young needs to win this award. Not because he's the best artist, but because the other two are closer to performing in Branson than they are to being considered country newcomers. Craig Morgan released his first album in 2000 and has had enough subsequent ones to put out a greatest hits package.
Top Vocal Duo
There's a lot of good competition here, but I like what I've heard from Sugarland with "Settlin'" and "Want To". They definitely deserve this one.
Top Vocal Group
Last year, Sugarland would have been in this category, not the former. How can Lonestar win if they no longer have a lead singer? Shouldn't Diamond Rio be in the hall of fame yet? This award is just a formality, and everyone knows Rascal Flatts has it won already. I like Lonestar though... "Uhh.we'd like to thank Richie McDonald who couldn't be here".
Top Female Vocalist
This award pits contemporary country artists Miranda Lambert, Sara Evans and Carrie Underwood against flat-out pop singers Faith Hill and Martina McBride. My pick would be Evans, but Underwood will win. Hopefully, Hill has already accepted this outcome.
Top Male Vocalist
Urban is the clear favorite, but as one of my Australian mates told me recently "His next country song will be his first". I would like to see Strait take this one, but I'd settle for Paisley.
Entertainer of the Year
My pick would be Strait for his stand and deliver style of concert. It's a simple charm, and nobody can do it better. But when it comes to concerts, he's not going to win any popularity contests against Brooks and Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw. I'm just glad Urban isn't in this category, but I'd vote for ABRF - Anybody But Rascal Flatts.