By Annie Reuter
This past weekend, Las Vegas was transformed into a country music mecca with the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards taking over Sin City. While the awards aired last night (April 6) on CBS, there are plenty of moments that weren’t captured on television. Radio.com was all over Las Vegas, hanging out at the ACM Party for a Cause, asking questions on the red carpet, inside the awards show and in the press room covering the event.
Here are 10 things that CBS didn’t show you on television.
1. The ACMs are a glamorous affair
If your perception of country fans include cowboy boots, flannel shirts, jeans and a big ol’ ten gallon hat you are very wrong. Artists and attendees dressed to the nines, whether they were seated in the very front row or at the top of the bleachers. Sure, there were also some in jeans and cowboy boots. You just can’t take the country out of some people. But there were men in tuxes, women in evening gowns, cocktail dresses and stilettos showing country stars clean up nice.
2. The applause is real, even if they tell us to do it
The ACMs are broadcast live and as with any TV taping, there are commercial breaks, musical interludes and memorable moments. Before the show started, the broadcaster came on the overhead speakers informing everyone in attendance that the show would be starting in 15 minutes or 10 minutes or 5 minutes. It was as if the voice from the sky in the Hunger Games was warning us that something major was happening. And for country fans, this was exactly the case. “Applause, please,” the announcer would say seconds before the commercials ended. Yes, we were coaxed to clap at certain moments, but none of us were coerced to take a standing ovation for Entertainer of the Year winner George Strait, that was just common sense.
3. The artists have fun during the commercial breaks
While you’re running to the bathroom during the commercial break, artists are taking selfies with each other. Just check out Dustin Lynch. Somehow he managed to track down Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks, all while you were refilling your red solo cup. That takes skill.
Dustin Lynch (@dustinlynch) April 07, 2014
Dustin Lynch (@dustinlynch) April 07, 2014
4. Country fans don’t seem to know who Daft Punk are
While Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan’s monologue kept the audience engaged, there was one moment during the ACMs that had some raising their eyebrows. The MGM Arena went silent as Album of the Year GRAMMY winners, Daft Punk walked out onstage to give away an award. No joke. You could hear a pin drop. Things got back to normal though when Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton took off the French duo’s helmets. “How the heck are you supposed to ‘Get Lucky’ in that thing? I can’t even breathe,” Bryan remarked. We’re not quite sure every one in the audience got the joke…but we did. Kudos Bluke.
5. Everyone loves Miranda Lambert
Move over Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert is country music’s newest sweetheart. Last night she garnered several awards, including Single Record of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, to which the crowd erupted in screams every single time she took to the podium. It was by far the loudest reception all night, that is until George Strait won Entertainer of the Year. But even still, Lambert is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
Related: The 2014 ACM Awards Winners List
6. Leemann’d became a buzz word
Country artists are jokesters and whether it’s on the red carpet or backstage, the genre as a whole knows when to have fun. None more so than the duo of Lee Brice and Jerrod Niemann. Put those two whiskey aficionados together and you’re in for quite the night of partying. Their bromance even gave birth to the term Leemann’d. Just like the pairing of Bluke (Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan), these rebel rousers definitely know how to have a good time.
7. We bet you can’t not sing along to “Wagon Wheel”
One of the most infections songs released within the past year, Darius Rucker‘s “Wagon Wheel” has taken on a life of its own. While it didn’t win any ACM Awards, it stole our hearts. There was not one person in the MGM Arena not singing when Rucker and Lady Antebellum took the stage to perform the track. Giving it the honor of being the biggest sing-along of the night.
8. Merle Haggard tribute left the arena speechless
Conversely, the most quiet performance of the night went to George Strait and Miranda Lambert’s performance of Haggard’s “The Fugitive” and “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down.” No one had to be told to clap after that one.
9. Eric Paslay has two reasons to celebrate
If you don’t know the man behind monster hit, “Friday Night,” you do now, after Eric Paslay‘s work hit the stage for two performances last night. The singer-songwriter wrote Lady Antebellum’s “Golden, which they performed with Stevie Nicks. Rascal Flatts also played their latest single, “Rewind,” which Paslay also penned.
10. Carrie Underwood promises new music is on the way
We haven’t heard much from Carrie Underwood, but the awards show attendee got a little chatty on the red carpet, revealing that she is in fact working on new music.
Radio.com (@radiodotcom) April 07, 2014