The Farr Side: CMA telecast was a disappointment
By David T. Farr
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The 2014 Country Music Awards — what a disappointment. I’m sorry if you’re a country music fan, but the entire telecast was a joke. And it certainly wasn’t a country music show.
My first thought was about Taylor Swift’s absence. She was nominated for a few awards, but the newfound “pop star” was nowhere in sight. It’s no surprise either, CMA recently shunned her for going pop on her latest album, “1989.” Swift sold an impressive 1.3 million copies of the album in just one week, something no country artist had ever done.
Swift was absent, but that didn’t stop the CMAs from going pop all night, starting with a performance from Megan Trainor with Miranda Lambert. They performed Trainor’s current hit “All About That Bass.”
Of all the country stars to capture Trainor’s attitude, Lambert was the best choice. It still was a surprise. But things went from bad to worse when Little Big Town performed their latest hit “Day Drinkin” before Ariana Grande joined them on stage for Ariana’s pop collaborative hit “Bang Bang.” Why Grande was even there is beyond me. I like her, but she couldn’t have been more out of place.
Trainor and Grande didn’t even need to be there for the show to straddle the genre fence. Most of the performances were definitely not your parents country music. In fact, I don’t really want to classify it as pop or Southern rock, either.
From a performance perspective, no one stood out. No performance was worthy of an awards show. I wasn’t impressed with anyone.
I also sensed a pattern throughout the show, one I’m sure was unintentional: Several songs performed were about drinking. I’m not a prude, either, I also realize this was a country music show and not a Wiggles concert, but still.
Dierks Bentley performed “Drunk On A Plane,’ then it was Little Big Town doing “Day Drinking.” They returned later to perform “Smokin’ And Drinkin’” with Lambert.
Eric Church even performed with George Strait. They sang “Cowboys Like Us,” a song that talked repeatedly of drinking a cold one. LOL! Strait is a country legend who seemed so out of place with Church. The song doesn’t fit him at all.
The only thing even remotely “country” about the 2014 CMAs was when they honored Vince Gill with the Irving Waugh Award For Excellence. Gill’s humble reaction almost brought tears to my eyes. I hope everyone present in the audience drank up that moment and goes back to making good old fashioned country music with some substance to it.
Oh, and there were some awards presented, too. Congrats to Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, who each took home the Vocalist of the Year honors for the fifth consecutive time.
Contact David T. Farr at email@example.com.