First of all, disclaimer: I too only have one vote per category, and yes I voted…and no I'm not revealing how I voted. With that said, I'm going to lay out my Top 20 nominated videos that I think were especially noteworthy this year.
Performance of the Year First and foremost, and without any hesitation, I want to say that Martina McBride doing "A Broken Wing" with Train was among the most spiritual moments I've ever witnessed live I was indeed in the audience.
If you haven't seen this video yet, you may consider this an overstatement. Trust me it's not. Frankly, it was simply one of those covers that re-invented an already amazing song and took it all the way to 11 excuse the spinal tap reference please. Filmed on Loretta's ranch, it was done right, tastefully, and certainly made a lot of folks go out and re-rent the movie bio-pic with Sissy Spacek I did.
This is Jason's year with 4 Noms and he earned it. I greet every breakthrough artist on Top 20 as if I were their own manager. I feel slighted when they don't immediately hit 1 on the charts and I feel like I'm part of their team each time they do. The only way for me to handy-cap this category is to take everything into account, and that includes time spent on the Top 20 Countdown itself. It's the whole package. I'll be watching this category on pins and needles though since it's be ludicrous to count out Thompson Square's "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" that makes you wonder why you didn't come up with it yourself, or Aaron Lewis' rabid, cross-over fan-base who already knew he was a country boy, if only a slightly Stained one….
Duo Video Of The Year I'm going to go against conventional wisdom on this and not expand on Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" though they have dominated this segment of country music, and deservedly so for some time now. I'm also going to go off the commercial reservation a bit and just say that, perhaps while a long-shot at this year's awards, The Civil Wars brought something truly refreshing to the genre with "Barton Hollow.
Group Video Of The Year Lady Antebellum takes us deep with "Hello World" and, as this year's all-genre super-group, they're gonna be tough to beat for some time to come. I could handicap each one of these videos and feel right about it.
I do think the standouts are perhaps the two who may have been underdogs a few years ago, but came out swingin' this year. It just became such an overwhelmingly popular concert tune, that he was forced to shorten the song, and release it. Footnote: Kenny's video was almost 9 minutes if I remember correctly, proving that length may count after all — we'll see June 8th.
Best Web Video Of The Year I'm gonna start with Blake Shelton's "Kiss My Country Ass" because Blake has some kind of weird, indescribable charisma the way only a few people have; sort of like the guy who earns your respect even while he's smacking you around a little. All this while simply playing a guitar and singing a song. And then there's Taylor Swift. Her release-party version of "Mine" was so highly anticipated I think a few teenage girls actually imploded watching this online.
Taylor's star will not fade for any foreseeable future as it simply orbits Earth leaving a trail of teen emotions in its wake. Best Video Director Of The Year These folks never quite get the credit they deserve, but no artist will slight the video director's contribution to their careers.
Chris Hicky brought us Carrie Underwood and her legs in the performance video for "Undo It," and then delivered Keith Urban's stripped down video for "Without you" featuring touching private home-movie footage from Keith and Nicole splashed on the wall. This is gonna be a tough one as well. I'd be the last one to go to Vegas on any one of these mentions however, and that's what makes the CMT Music Awards so special — it's up to the fans and —alas- I'm only one of them…. Follow Evan on Twitter: EvanFarmer , and check out his website: www.
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