Viva Las Vegas! We're packed and ready to drive to Sin City for the Academy of Country Music Awards. As readers of Hitfix know, I love me my country music. We're going to bring you all the action. We'll be blogging the awards live, plus we'll be updating you with just the general goings on surrounding the big show. Plus, we're sticking around Monday night for the taping of the Artist of the Decade special. That's not going to air until May, but you'll get the heads up since we'll be in the audience.
But first things first. The Academy of Country Music Awards will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern time on CBS Sunday night. The show should have some great performances: Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Jamey Johnson, Reba McEntire (who's hosting the show for the 11th time!), Lee Ann Womack, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland.
Here are my predictions for the main awards:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Kenny Chesney is a lock for this one. He's won the award the past four consecutive years and he sells more tickets than any of these other artists.
TOP MALE VOCALIST: Brad Paisley. He won last year and the ACMs love him. He's one of the most talented artists in the format-in any format-right now
TOP FEMALE VOCALIST: Carrie Underwood. See above. Seriously, I don't always like her song selection or her Barbie-perfect presentation, but the girl can sing.
TOP VOCAL GROUP: Rascal Flatts, although Lady Antebellum had the better year since the Flatts boys were basically in between records. We'll see if they get it on inertia alone.
TOP VOCAL DUO: Montgomery Gentry. I'm going out on a limb here. Brooks and Dunn collected these like candy for years, and then Sugarland came along. However, Montgomery is the only one in the category who's also nominated for album of the year, meaning the voters are feeling them this year.
SINGLE OF THE YEAR: "Waitin' On a Woman," Brad Paisley. In awards announced earlier, he already won video of the year for this song. Plus, we just think it's Paisley's year.
SONG OF THE YEAR: "I Saw God Today," George Strait (Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby, composers). This is a horrible, treacly song, but the voters seem to love it.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Miranda Lambert stunned folks when she won this last year for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," which is still in the top 15 of the Top Country Albums chart. It hit 100 weeks on the chart last week. So this could really go to anyone. I'm picking "Fearless" by Taylor Swift.
See you back here at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on SUNDAY!