Kris is here to keep me calm.

Good God, what an astonishingly tasteless evening. A nasty host with an insult for everybody, music that barely resembles country, and women spoken of with no respect, whether they’re cheerleaders, talk show hosts, country music superstars or songwriting legends.  Not to mention a pot-shot at Stonewall Jackson.  I’m going to go listen to some Kristofferson, Tillis, Cash and Loveless, and remind myself that this twisted trainwreck is not what country music is; it’s just a cable channel’s tawdry attempt to be the hillbilly MTV. You can read my running thoughts below for the evening. Know that they’ve been heavily censored. HBO wouldn’t broadcast my inner monologue from the past three hours.

Oh, and I will never, ever, ever, do this again. Not live blogging, mind you: I’m going to do that for Idol country night if I’m home for it. But the CMT Music Awards? Never again.

As it happened:

8:0o Are You Smarter than a 5th Grade Country Music Star, eh? Would’ve been cooler if they asked one of the aging pop/rock stars to name a Webb Pierce song.

8:03 This skit was longer than an SNL bomb.

8:04 Then again, I’d rather watch that than Rascal Flatts. I wonder if their cover of “Life Is A Highway” has Tom Cochrane thinking he could do country?

8:09 I’m glad Foxworthy has a hit to pimp again. Doesn’t have to drag out the redneck jokes.

8:10 Martina McBride doesn’t strike me as thinking Thomas Jefferson is related to George and Wheezy.

8:11 Now you’re mocking Dolly Parton? Lay off the chicks, dude.

8:13 Now we have a fat joke about Rosie O’ Donnell. And a joke about the Dixie Chicks not getting played on country radio and Grammys. Noticed they got some cheers and the applause was tepid for his “jokes.” Get over it.

8:14 Now bashing Faith. Where’s Vince? Please?

8:15 How do you insult people for five minutes then segue to a tribute to those who died today in the Virginia shootings? Couldn’t you at least put some distance from the vile before you go for the cheap applause?

8: 16 Heh, they played the pop remix version of The Wreckers video. And Taylor Swift won Breakthrough Video, like I predicted. Gotta be the first shout-out to MySpace I’ve ever heard.

8:17 Video Noms: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood. Carrie’s got my vote.

8:18 Sanjaya joke. Is he out of material already?

8:25 Why is Blake Shelton wearing an apron? And Ron White is still telling the same jokes about being a drunk.

8:26 Duo Video: Sugarland. I called that one too. Damn, Foxworthy’s still attacking lefties like it’s 2003, and the country fans don’t even vote for the troops-praising Big & Rich video. They’re the ones who deserved it.

8:27 Did Jennifer Nettles really just say the “Want To” video had “a lot of gut and a lot of heart”?? It had a lot of t and a lot of a, and that’s about it.

8:28 Kenny’s singing “Summertime.” Weird to hear that after a huge nor’easter.

8:31 Anyone notice his vocal was just as loud when he moved the microphone far away from his mouth? I guess if he can pretend it’s summertime, he can pretend to sing about it.

8:37 This is a tasteless song for Hank Jr. to sing, given the events of today which happened at a country school.

8:40 This whole show is leaving a bad taste in my mouth so far. What scares me is that it’s also an accurate portrayal of the genre right now. That comment Foxworthy made about not hearing the Chicks album “because country radio isn’t playing it” is an interesting one, since country radio isn’t playing most of the good country stuff out there but is playing aging rock stars. I wrote in the Pam Tillis album review I’m working on that her album is a reminder that country music is an art form, not a radio format. So far I’m seeing more artists tonight that use the genre instead of contributing to it.

8:47 Hard to Taylor to be too Swift in a dress with a train that long. Video Director goes to Roman White for Carrie’s “Before He Cheats.” I’m three for three. Carrie’s on fire.

8:51 What’s going on with this Keith Urban performance? Is it live as in going on right now, or pre-taped?

8:53 Damn, he’s good though. I think the rehab thing hurt him with the fan base – he won Video last year, but didn’t make the final four this year. He’s a talent with rallying behind. He’s just so damn good.

8:54 Followed by a scratching yourself joke. Foxworthy needs to go. This show had more dignity the year that Toby Keith & Pamela Anderson co-hosted.

8:58 They just ran an ad for Foxworthy’s DVD collection, which apparently includes a skit of him riding a coffin in a funeral home like it’s a mechanical bull. I’m actually sick to my stomach. This has to get better, right?

9:00 I went to Belmont, which is the Southern Baptist university that’s hosting this event. They’ve gotta love the man in a dress.

9:01 Josh Turner just showed the right way to pay tribute to those who died today. First and foremost, not tacked on at the end. Good for him.

9:02 Female Video: Carrie Underwood. Well, I’m four for four. I’m going to say she wins the Video at the end also.

9:03 Speaking of classy, there’s Underwood again. She’s just so well-spoken and composed, all the time, no matter how tacky her surroundings are. Good of her to thank the fan club. Every time I write about Underwood on this site, her fan message boards are all over it, and they’re just as classy as the star they follow.

9:05 I love this Sugarland song. It could use a fiddle. She’s singing the hell out of it though. The second hour is already far better than the first.

9:09 ROSANNE CASH has been in the audience for this debacle? She must be as sick to her stomach as I am. And Matt C. from The 9513 as well, who’s spoke up in the comments. CMT should sell Pepto-Bismol ads next year.

9:14 Someone must have written that Cash intro for Foxworthy. It was too respectful for him to have written about a woman.

9:15 Cash is a poet. She has me near tears with her eloquence.

9:16 This whole segment feels like it should be on the CMA’s or the Grammy’s. It is so out of place on this trashy spectacle. The whole show should be like this. I remember the fan-voted shows that TNN used to do, with the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award always being the touching highlight. You can celebrate the fan’s favorites without pandering to the base instincts.

9:20 “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was my Dad’s favorite song of that time. A lot of memories coming back right now.

9:23 The reverence being shown to this man by those who are revered themselves (Willie, Scorcese, Rosanne Cash) speaks volumes about this man’s gifts.

9:25 Kris just spoke of the “spiritual communion” between Cash and his audience. What an illuminating description. He’s paying tribute to John instead of basking in his winning the award. There are artists with a mere shadow of his talent that trail him even further in grace.

9:32 Um, Bon Jovi? THIS IS NOT A F***ING COUNTRY SONG! You know why you think it is? Because of all the “country singers” tonight who sang songs that are just as lite rock as you guys are! Trust me, you’re not the ones I have contempt for.

9:36 Wide Open Award. First one I got wrong. Jack Ingram over Johnny Cash. Wow. Just. Wow.

9:43 You might be white trash with money. Recycled redneck jokes. Ugh.

9:44 Lance Smith still doesn’t seem very masculine, even next to Ross the intern.

9:46 Carrie’s the consummate pro. Her stage presence has improved dramatically.

9:49 Think Foxworthy can avoid saying something tacky about her outfit?

9:50 Ah, Gretchen. Yesterday’s tomorrow girl.

9:52 Nice for Kenny to bring the director up. He’s right, by the way. Shaun Silva is top-notch.

9:59 Group Video, Rascal Flatts “What Hurts The Most.” I think that’s the one I said they’d win for. Heh, they wish every show was fan-voted. Pander pander.

10:02 Love this Dierks Bentley song. He’s one of the real talents out there among the new ones.

10:04 Who snuck that fiddle on the stage? Aren’t those contraband these days?

10:14 If you’re going to put Rodney Carrington through the trouble of coming to the show, why not let him sing his latest single? May be a novelty record, but “Show Them To Me” would be more entertaining most of the bland crap we’ve seen tonight.

10:16 Oh for God’s sake. Barbara Mandrell?

10:17 Did Mandrell just say the genre she loves is in good hands???? I’ll let it go because her music sucks anyway.

10:18 Video of the Year is…..Carrie Underwood. This woman is just raking them in!

10:20 Okay, I’ll stick around for Martina to sing. But what a crapfest this has been.

10:25 Did Foxworthy just say country doesn’t take sides in a war? Where the hell has he been?

10:26 He’s giving a way too defensive celebration of country music, and he’s contradicting himself along the way. And he has real contempt for women. Martina deserved a better introduction than that. I guarantee you she’ll get one worthy of her tomorrow on American Idol by those Hollywood types that Foxworthy hates so much.

10:28 I like this song a lot, and even more so after tonight’s crapfest. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disgusted.