Carrie Underwood takes top CMT Music Award
"I just want to thank you guys for watching the videos, voting for them, supporting all of us because we all need you, we all love you," Underwood said in accepting the prize.
She was up against a virtual list of country all-stars including Jason Aldean; Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter; Toby Keith; Lady Antebellum; Miranda Lambert; Rascal Flatts and Natasha Bedingfield; Blake Shelton; Taylor Swift and Civil Wars; and even herself for a collaboration with Brad Paisley.
It was one of two awards that she took home. She also claimed the Collaborative Video of the Year for her work with Paisley in "Remind Me."
"I'd like to thank this beautiful woman for being in the video," Paisley said. "Otherwise, it's just a dork walking through the desert."
The real news during the two-and-a-half hour event broadcast live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena was Male Video of the Year winner Luke Bryan throwing his camouflage skivvies into the audience. He won for "I Don't Want This Night to End."
"The first time around, I threw a jacket in the crowd," the 35-year-old country crooner said about the 2010 ceremony. "Well, I found out it was a very expensive jacket. So, I thought I would potentially one day throw something a little cheaper."
Another "American Idol" winner, Scotty McCreery, took home the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year trophy for "The Trouble with Girls," a clip he filmed at his school, Garner Magnet High School in North Carolina.
"This award is so special to me 'cause I got to film this at my home high school, Garner Magnet High School [in North Carolina]," he said. "I thank everybody who came out to support that."
Hosted by actress Kristen Bell and country star Toby Keith, the CMT Music Awards are known for their mash ups and this year's event didn't disappoint. Lady Antebellum opened the show with a collaboration with Nashville-based pop group Hot Chelle Rae. The two performed a mash up of "We Owned the Night" by Lady A and "Tonight Tonight" by HCR. Later in the evening, Lady A won the buckle for Group Video of the Year for the aforementioned song.
Rascal Flatts closed out the show with a performance of their nominated hit "Banjo" before bringing on stage rock legends Journey for a rousing rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'."
Among the slew of other performances, Little Big Town played its new single, "Pontoon," aboard a real boat. An outdoor stage hosted Hank Williams Jr. and Paisley, who performed their duet "I'm Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Willliams." Later, Eric Church stood on the same stage to sing his No. 1 hit "Drink in My Hand."
A very tired looking Kenny Chesney flew in from his "Brothers of the Sun" tour with Tim McGraw to perform "Come Over." Keith, on the other hand, was boisterous during his pyro-laden performance of "Beers Ago."
The list of winners from the 2012 CMT Music Awards:
Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood, "Good Girl"
Male Video of the Year: Luke Bryan, "I Don't Want This Night to End"
Female Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert, "Over You"
Duo Video of the Year: Thompson Square, "I Got You"
Group Video of the Year: Lady Antebellum, "We Owned the Night"
Breakthrough Video of the Year: Scotty McCreery, "The Trouble with Girls"
Collaborative Video of the Year: Brad Paisley with Carrie Underwood, "Remind Me"
CMT Performance of the Year: Jason Aldean for "Tattoos on This Town"