by Natalie Finn | Fri., Nov. 2, 2012 5:00 AM
Nothing had us seeing Red at the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards—but that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy plenty of surprises!
From who didn't win the night's top honor to the most wince-worthy jokes to what was left unsaid, we've broken down the event's most shocking moments.
Be prepared for five spit takes:
1. Taylor Swift Goes Home Empty-Handed: Despite being the butt of one of the night's big jokes (more on that later), the record-breaking pop star—wait, country-pop star—failed to capitalize on any of her three nominations, not even for Best Musical Event, for her song from The Hunger Games! Sure, she was between albums this past year, but her Speak Now Tour was a raging success. And was there anyone in Nashville last night who's made more headlines than Swift? Now, don't tell us that the CMAs are all about the music or something!
2. Swift Rebuke: Minus a very strange joke about trying to induce labor for pregnant Sugarland belle Jennifer Nettles, hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood let their fellow artists be and kept most of their punchlines pegged to current events. They even danced "Gangnam Style" for way more than the allotted time it takes to make sure a gag doesn't get old. But Taylor Swift's latest breakup took center stage: Paisley marveled over the Schwarzenegger-for-Swift trade made by the Kennedy family and then went on to talk about them "never, ever, never, ever, etc" getting back together. "Maybe she'll write a song about it," Paisley got in one last dig. "She'd never do that," chided Underwood. Yeesh, excuse Taylor for breathing!
3. Blake Shelton Steals the Show: We've never seen anyone so stunned by his own good fortune. The Voice judge (he called it his "side job," FTW) walked away with a leading three wins: Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year (he accepted with wife and Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert to make for one of the ceremony's most emotional moments) and—the big enchilada—Entertainer of the Year, his first time winning the CMA Awards' top prize and easily the most jaw-dropping moment of the night for him. "You can tell this time I really didn't think I was gonna win," he said onstage after doing a literal double take in his seat.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
4. Kelly Clarkson Goes Full Country: We've seen this before, with Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Gwyneth Paltrow and other stars from different genres who end up stumbling upon a country-friendly hit and decide to stay put for a spell. And Clarkson had that big, Grammy-nominated hit in 2010 with Jason Aldean, "Don't You Wanna Stay." But now she's landing nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year and channeling Dolly Parton on the very "Islands in the Stream"-reminiscent "Don't Rush," her new duet with Vince Gill. All right, Kelly, welcome to the party! But don't forget to thank American Idol—Carrie always does.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
5. Hunter Hayes Forgets Someone: After Carrie Underwood made a big show of introducing her adorable touring partner, Hunter Hayes, before his first-ever CMA Awards performance, it seemed only reasonable that he would return the love at some point. So after the 21-year-old "Wanted" singer had accepted his statue for New Artist of the Year, we flipped back and watched again, thinking we had to be mistaken. But we weren't. He forgot to thank Underwood! Good luck packin' those arenas on your own, kid.
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