Our countdown to the 2011 Grammy Awards, to be held Feb. 13 at Los Angeles' Staples Center, continues today as we turn to country, a field that continues to baffle Grammy voters.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

“Satisfied,” Jewel
“The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert


“Swingin’,” LeAnn Rimes
“Temporary Home,” Carrie Underwood
“I’d Love To Be Your Last,” Gretchen Wilson


The Grammys are notoriously out of step when it comes to the country field. Occasionally they get it right, but that seems almost more by accident than by knowledge. For example, let’s compare the singers nominated here with those nominated for the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards: Lambert and Underwood are up for both, but the ACMs then picked the much more appropriate Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and Taylor Swift. October’s Country Music Assn. Awards nominated the same females as the ACMs, but swapped out Womack for Martina McBride. So how the hell did Rimes, Wilson and Jewel get in here for most prestigious music award there is? Who the hell knows, but it might be time for the Grammys to rethink who gets to vote in the country categories and make it a little more restrictive.  I’m not saying that the Grammys have to be in lockstep with these other shows (that are voted on by the country music industry) or that they aren’t all fine singers, but Rimes, Wilson and Jewel are nominated for performing songs that were in no way hits (remember that country is still a very radio-dominated format). What year do the Grammy voters think it is?  Venting my spleen is pointless here, thank goodness, because there’s no way Rimes, Wilson or Jewel are winning (again, ladies, this is no commentary on your singing abilities) unless the voters in the know split their votes between Underwood and Lambert.  If we go totally on vocal prowess, former best new artist recipient/"American Idol" winner Underwood wins, but Lambert’s delivery on “The House That Built Me,” which also had the bigger buzz since it is up for both song and record of the year, is so heartfelt and touching that a win may be undeniable.

Winner: “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert

Our previous 2011 Grammy predictions:

Best Alternative Music Album

Best Female Pop Vocal