Why was Robert Pattinson there, you ask? To promote his new movie, of course. R.Pattz, plus a whole slew of country music stars were at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday night to both hand out and receive awards, with Blake Shelton and the honorable Reba McEntire hosting the festivities. Blake, soon to be cohosting NBC's The Voice, showed off his sense of humor at the top of the show by poking fun at Entertainer of the Year nominee Brad Paisley with a guitar sex joke. And really, is there any better kind? Blake told the crowd of Brad's intense guitar-ing ways: "If he plays that thing any harder, he's gonna get it pregnant."
She ruled the ACM Awards last year, and she did it again this year. Lambert's Revolution dominated the night, winning four awards, including Top Female Vocalist. The big award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, went to Swift, who took a break from her Speak Now world tour to accept and graciously thank her fans.
Paisley won Top Male Vocalist for the fifth-straight year, insisting that "this is way too many" in his acceptance speech. Sugarland won Vocal Duo of the Year for the second time, while The Band Perry was awarded Best New Artist.
Of course, it took a while for the ACM Awards to actually get to the awards. Here are the performances that came before a single award was handed out: First Paisley sang "Old Alabama" with the band Alabama, then Toby Keith performed his new single, "Somewhere Else." After that came Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood (in red streaked hair) mashing up (and rocking) "Undo It" and "Walk This Way," followed by Sugarland performing their anthem "Tonight." Dierks Bentley came strutting onstage soon after Sugarland, singing "Am I the Only One."
Were you still with the show at this point? The performances were all solid and kept the show's energy high, but after almost an hour and no awards, even the biggest country music fans were probably wondering when the trophies were coming out.
Finally, after Keith Urban (singing "Without You") and Eric Church (performing "Smoke a Little Smoke"), the first award of the night was given to Lambert for Song of the Year. Miranda, in a sassy, hot-pink dress, let her songwriters do the thanking for that one.
Swift on the banjo (who knew?) played her new single "Mean" for the crowd, which is a kiss-off song to her critics, in which she tells them one day they'll be "washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things, drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing." Swift is not known for giving the best live performances, but this one was probably one of her best to date. Another standing ovation from her peers? You betcha.
Blake and Reba did a fine job as hosts, skipping Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan jokes for jabs at their fellow artists in the audience and at each other. After asking if Blake got the copy she sent of Cohosting for Dummies, Reba and Mr. Shelton zeroed in on Miley Cyrus, poked fun at Swift's breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal, and delivered low blows to LeAnn Rimes' marriage issues. However, a Sheen joke did sneak its way in there eventually when Blake said that the MGM Grand was so big it would take Sheen forever to trash it. He then noted that since that statement was "not a joke," he didn't break the "no Charlie Sheen" rule.
Eventually, it was time for an out-of-genre Rihanna to take the stage with Jennifer Nettles for a crossover performance of RiRi's "California King Bed." It's an odd combo, sure, but the performance was on point and well-received by the country crowd. Newly married Reese Witherspoon, making her first post-vow public appearance, joined her Water for Elephants costar onstage to present Top Female Vocalist, but not before Rob tried saying "y'all." You can imagine how well that went.
The evening ended with Ryan Seacrest presenting the coveted Entertainer of the Year award, which was once again decided by fan votes. It was Swift's first time winning that particular award, which is why she told the crowd she was losing her mind. "The fact that this is from the fans, you're the best thing that ever happened to me ever," she said happily.
Here's the full list of winners:
Previously Announced Winners:
What did you think of the ACM Awards, country music fans? Loved or hated the Rihanna-Jennifer Nettles performance? Thumbs up or thumbs down for Blake and Reba as hosts?