A review of the 2000 Academy of Country Music Awards - televised CBS in the U.S - live from Universal Studios, Los Angeles. I was invited recently by my cousin who works in TV Advertising sales, to
attend with her the taping of the live broadcast of the Academy of Country
Music Awards in Los Angeles. This was broadcast on CBS in America, who is
one of my cousin's clients.
Now... let me first introduce my musical backgrounds... I'm a pop girl. Pop
music, Funk, Rock and Roll is my bag! Anything with great hooks, groove, hip
hop beats to jive to and hunky heartthrobs on MTV... and I'm there! So, the
cynic that I am happily accepted the invitation and with some reserve I
arrived at B.B Kings on Universal City Walk, for pre-Awards drinks with the
I was prepared to see lots of bouffant hair-dos, tall cowboy hats, and
jeans. What I didn't expect to find was the most elegantly dressed,
beautiful women in all the sparkles you could possibly imagine, gorgeous men
in suits (yes the black cowboy hats with studs, some reaching higher than
7ft!), and celebrities galore. Oh, did I mention heart throbs? I realized at
first glance, that I, as an artist, was in the wrong music field. The spunks
were in "Country"!
We began our trek from BB Kings to the Universal Studios like a herd of
sheep in our glitz, past the decorated tables in the sun that were awaiting
us for after the show, into the Theatre itself. Inside it look similar to
the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and tonight the stage was amass with props
and sets and cameras on dollies. We were to be the live TV audience.
Later I found out that this Dick Clark Production was better than the
Grammies. Thirty-one acts, one after the other, with amazingly quick setups,
just blew me away. The timing was great and the show ran seamlessly, well at
least from a spectator's point of view.
First up, the tiny, (not everywhere) Dolly Parton. My gosh, she looked so
good for her age and her comic style was great. The hair, the dress, the
one-liners, the whole bit.. I was very impressed. She goofed on her
rockabilly number, even with lyric cue cards and M.D (musical director)
conducting the timing to her from the back of the Theatre, BUT she was still
full of spunk. First performer was George Strait, followed by the aging
George Jones. I had no idea who he was but he was definitely greeted as a
big-wig. The story goes that he was asked to perform at the Country Music
Awards (the ACM's competition), who consequently asked him to cut his
performance short. In an outcry he refused to perform.... "I'm legendary..
he cried". So, when he got up at this Awards, he began his song with "I'm
going to finish this one!", to which he received a standing ovation.
Lonestar followed. Now, let me get this clear. I'm supposed to be at a
country music Award night, but the more we went in to it, the more I kept on
feeling we were at some pop concert. Lonestar, and a few others who
performed, like Jo Dee Messina, Sawyer Brown (liked his funky pants) Martina
McBride (Country's version of Sheryl Crow?) and Winona Judd, all seem to be
getting a little "pop-ish". Shania Twain (who didn't show) has certainly set
a new precedent in cross over music.
Tim McGraw and model looking wife Faith Hill win my "I Love You Husband
Forever" Award, while they did their own "making out to music" on the stage
with gay Paris on the video screen behind them. Ahh love is bliss in the
limelight. I just know that hunky Tim was really looking at me.. I know he
was.... Yeah... he was! Clint and Lisa Black were definite runner ups with
their love rendition. Congrats go to the production team who did a 16 piece
orchestra set up in 1 minute... Wow! Marie Osmond, Patti Page, Winona Judd
and Trisha Yearwood win my "I'm getting on the podgy side of life" Awards
and the Dixie Chicks win my "is it dark or blonde hair this year.. oh I
don't know, let's just clean up all the awards tonight" Award.
In reality, even though there was an immense wealth of talent on the stage,
not one act really blew me away. Well Collin Raye has a certain stage
presence which was heartening (now he was looking at me.... I know it!)
Also, newcomer Jessica Andrews has certain potential with a sweet smile and
pretty voice. But generally I was not blown away by any star quality or high
impact entertainment value. I'm not saying that this would have happened
elsewhere. This is the standard feeling I'm getting from a lot of these
events. I'm in Hollywood, I'm going to the best shows, but to tell you the
truth, when it comes to showmanship, we have equal if not better caliber of
talent in Australia. Our outback pubs, Leagues Clubs and hardworking gigs
have created seasoned and great Australian entertainers, a background which
many American artists lack.
So back to the show.. a quick beer in the foyer and back we were counting
down from the commercial break, 5,4,3,applause please....oh no, not Faith
Hill again. (she deserves her success, very pretty, nice voice, gorgeous
husband, two wonderful kids... all perrrrfect.) And with her husband Tim
McGraw also cleaning up... all I could think was ... is there a conspiracy
Well, the show ended on time apparently, with the missing Shania Twain
winning the last Entertainer of the Year award, announced quickly over the
credits in defiance of her disappearance.. and Dolly said goodnight in her
squeaky Southern drawl... while we rushed out to grab a Vodka and Lime or
two and a plate of good 'ol countrified food at the buffet.
It's nice to be in Hollywood. But give me Tamworth any day!!!
© 2000 gilli moon
All written matter copyright Gilli Moon/Warrior Girl Music, and cannot be printed, disseminated or published unless by the strict permission of the writer.