CMT Music Awards 2013 ~ Predictions

Summer is officially here, and that means the CMT Music Awards are upon us once again! On Wednesday, June 5th, country star Jason Aldean and actress Kristen Bell will take the stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to host country’s party of the summer, celebrating the year’s biggest hits and the videos that brought them to life. With star performances from Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Pistol Annies, Darius Rucker, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban, the evening is bound to be spectacular.

While the performances at a country music show are always something to look forward to, it is the winners that viewers anticipate. Who will take home the coveted buckle? Since this show is entirely fan-voted, picking a winner can be a tricky business. But I’m going to try my best. Here are my predictions for this year’s CMT Music Awards:

CMT Performance of the Year:

  • Dierks Bentley- “5-1-5-0” from CMT Unplugged
  • Eric Church- “Homeboy” from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
  • Luke Bryan and Ryan Tedder- “Drunk on You/Feel Again” from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
  • Miranda Lambert- “Over You” from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
  • Rascal Flatts and Journey- “Don’t Stop Believin’” from CMT Crossroads: Journey and Rascal Flatts
  • Toby Keith- “Bees Ago” from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year

Who should win: Luke Bryan and Ryan Tedder

Four out of the six nominees in this category are from the 2012 CMT Artist of the Year show last December. While each performance was stellar in their own right, it was Luke Bryan and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder who conveyed the most unique and entertaining performance of the evening with a mash-up of Bryan’s number smash, “Drunk on You”, and One Republic’s “Feel Again”. The duet may be the least country act in the category, but it is the most fun. And Bryan is currently in the hot seat, fresh off his surprising Entertainer of the Year win at the ACMs in April. If anyone should sneak the buckle, it’s him.

Who will win: Miranda Lambert

Look, I love Blake Shelton and, especially, Miranda Lambert. I cannot express that enough. It’s been an incredible joy to watch them go from little recognition to extremely deserving critical and commercial acclaim within the last three years; their status as country’s cutest couple solidifies their mutual and separate superstardom, making them one of music’s hottest commodities. However, I feel as though it is this couple-y concept that is prompting voters to continuously hand them awards that other artists should be winning; the “Over You” era is a perfect example of this block voting. When I first heard the co-written, “Over You” and the story behind it, I cried my eyes out, feeling the pain of Shelton’s premature loss of his older brother through Lambert’s beautiful execution of the song. It was this tune and its backstory that carried both Lambert and Shelton into even greater success, scoring them Song of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and, for Shelton, Entertainer of the Year at the 45th Annual CMA Awards. Nearly the same pattern occurred at April’s ACM Awards, with “Over You” taking both Song and Single of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year. While I don’t deny the Sheltons deserving success, I can’t help but point out that many of these awards should have been handed to other artists, such as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Carrie Underwood. My point is that it seems as though award show voters are desperate to maintain this idyllic superstar couple status by over-elevating Lambert and Shelton to the top, with fans jumping on the bandwagon, as well. That being said, because of the song and its significance, Lambert will take home the buckle, adding one final award to cap off the “Over You” era.

CMT Collaboration of the Year:

  • Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh- “Rocky Mountain Way”, from CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends
  • Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church- “The Only Way I Know,” from 2012 CMA Awards
  • Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill- “Don’t Rush”, from 2012 CMA Awards
  • Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw- “Feel Like a Rock Star”
  • Rascal Flatts and Journey- “Changed,” from CMT Crossroads: Journey and Rascal Flatts
  • The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis- “Three Wooden Crosses” from CMT Crossroads: The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis

Who should win: Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh

Five words: Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh. THE EAGLES’ Joe Walsh. That man can play a guitar like no other, and Paisley does nothing less than hold is own against this legendary guitarist. “Rocky Mountain Way” is a classic, a song Walsh released in 1973 with his initial band, Barnstorm. To see it recreated in a modern era while simultaneously maintain its deep-rooted bluesy feel is a testament to Walsh’s musical longevity. The two should take this award simply because of Walsh’s presence.

Who will win: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Eric Church

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Eric Church represent the new male faces of country music, successfully racking up hit after hit and award after award. The three of them together on one song packs a superstar punch, a cleverly executed move by Aldean and his camp. Because of their popularity, they are bound to take home this buckle.

CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year

  • Dustin Lynch- “Cowboys and Angels”
  • Florida Georgia Line- “Cruise”
  • Jana Kramer- “Why Ya Wanna”
  • Kacey Musgraves- “Merry Go ‘Round”
  • Kip Moore- “Beer Money”
  • Randy Houser- “How Country Feels”

Who should win/will win: Florida Georgia Line

There is no denying the whirlwind success Florida Georgia Line has incurred during the past six months. “Cruise” is a song that will forever remain on summer playlists, and the video is a testament to the current all-American culture: beer, bonfires, boys lovin’ on girls, and the American flag symbolically positioned in the background of a concert in the middle of a field. The song’s success has been further solidified by the newly released remix featuring rap sensation, Nelly. I have to admit I like this version better than the original. Moral of the story: I can’t see anyone snatching this award away from these guys. They’ve earned it.

CMT Duo Video of the Year

  • Big & Rich- “That’s Why I Pray”
  • Florida Georgia Line- “Cruise”
  • Love and Theft- “Runnin’ Out of Air”
  • Thompson Square- “If I Didn’t Have You”

Who should win/will win: Florida Georgia Line

See: Breakthrough Video of the Year

CMT Group Video of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum- “Downtown”
  • Little Big Town- “Pontoon”
  • Pistol Annies- “Takin’ Pills”
  • Rascal Flatts- “Come Wake Me Up”
  • The Band Perry- “Better Dig Two”
  • Zac Brown Band- “Goodbye in Her Eyes”

Who should win/will win:

Little Big Town has had a much-deserved year of critical and commercial success catalyzed by this song and its video; “Pontoon” became the song of the summer of 2012. The group usually finds itself as the space-filler in most awards show categories, but as of late, they have scored a total of three awards from both the CMA and ACM Awards and have garnered an increasingly strong fan base. I don’t see that streak ending anytime soon.

CMT Female Video of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood- “Two Black Cadillacs”
  • Faith Hill- “American Heart”
  • Jana Kramer- “Why Ya Wanna”
  • Kacey Musgraves- “Merry Go ‘Round”
  • Miranda Lambert- “Mama’s Broken Heart”

Who should win: Carrie Underwood

I speak on behalf of all Carrie Underwood fans when I say: What more does this woman have to do to win an award?! With the haunting third single, “Two Black Cadillacs”, Underwood and director P.R. Brown created a chilling video based on author Stephen King’s thriller Christine. Who is the mistress? Who is the wife? Which one of them killed the adulterer? Or was it the car? Everything about the video screams creepy creativity, substantiated by a fantastically penned song. The CMA and ACM Awards have unfairly snubbed Underwood during the last six months; luckily, the CMT Music Awards are a fan-voted show, so I’m crossing fingers that the Care Bears rally behind their gal and get her the buckle deserves.

Who will win: Miranda Lambert

In the past few years, Lambert has deservingly snuck the buckle for Female Video of the Year while either Swift or Underwood snagged Video of the Year. Fresh off her win at the ACM Awards and still riding on the success of “Over You”, I don’t see Lambert’s Ran Fans abating their voting support for their girl. Plus, “Mama’s Broken Heart”, co-written by fellow nominee Kacey Musgraves, is an incredible song backed by a very well done video. Swift has a small chance, but her fan base seems to have followed her to the pop world, giving Lambert the edge.

Male Video of the Year

  • Blake Shelton- “Sure Be Cool If You Did”
  • Eric Church- “Creepin’”
  • Hunter Hayes- “Wanted”
  • Jason Aldean- “Take a Little Ride”
  • Kenny Chesney- “Come Over”
  • Luke Bryan- “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”

Who should win/will win: Luke Bryan

Bryan is on fire, and there’s no stopping him or his fans. Although “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” is a fairly mediocre song, the video is fairly strong. Plus, it’s Bryan. He’s country’s It Boy right now, and that popularity will only increase as the year progresses. While Bryan seems to be a shoe-in for the buckle, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hunter Hayes stole a win in dark horse fashion.

Video of the Year

  • Brad Paisley- “Southern Comfort Zone”
  • Carrie Underwood- “Blown Away”
  • Erich Church- “Springsteen”
  • Florida Georgia Line- “Cruise”
  • Hunter Hayes- “Wanted”
  • Jason Aldean- “1994”
  • Kenny Chesney- “Come Over”
  • Little Big Town- “Tornado”
  • Luke Bryan- “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”
  • Miranda Lambert- “Mama’s Broken Heart”
  • Taylor Swift- “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
  • Tim McGraw- “One of Those Nights”

Who should win: Carrie Underwood

2012/2013 have been Underwood’s years, driven by a strong fourth album and one her most successful singles to date. “Blown Away” is supported by a phenomenal video, showing off her acting chops (take that, you Soul Surfer haters) and boasting a darker side of Underwood. The allusions to “The Wizard of Oz” are subtle, yet effective, and the aesthetics of the video are visually enticing. This year, Underwood has earned this award more than any other year she’s been nominated for it.

Who will win: I have no clue.

Usually, a clear winner stands out amongst the nominees, with Underwood and Swift claiming the top prize for the last six years (six!). But this year, all ten of the nominees are extremely deserving of Video of the Year, giving fans a difficult choice as to who they want to vote for. At the beginning of the show, the hosts announce the top five contenders for the buckle. If I had to guess, the top five this year will be:

  • Carrie Underwood- “Blown Away”
  • Florida Georgia Line- “Cruise”
  • Hunter Hayes- “Wanted”
  • Luke Bryan- “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”
  • Taylor Swift- “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Most would predict Swift as the winner, given her immense fan base and her cunning ability to round up swarms of Swifties into hardcore voting mode with a quick send of a tweet. However, both Underwood and Bryan’s fans have proven that if they vote hard enough (and crash their servers in the process), ousting Swift for the top spot is no problem at all. Florida Georgia Line and Hayes have a pretty good chance of taking home a win, given the undeniable amount of success each act has had. If I had to give the edge to anyone, I’d say Underwood, if only because her fans are still furious about the award show snubs earlier this year. However, it’s anybody’s award to lose.

The CMT Music Awards airs tonight at 8/7c on CMT.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s