In a huge CMT Music Awards shocker, Carrie Underwood did not win for video of the year.

Seriously! Underwood, who has won the show’s most coveted trophy six out of the past nine years, lost to Tim McGraw. It’s a little unfair though, because McGraw’s emotional video for “Humble and Kind” used footage from an Oprah Winfrey TV series. And once you’ve got the all-powerful Oprah on your side, no one else really has a chance.

Even though we assumed Underwood or the unstoppable Chris Stapleton would take home the prize, we should have guessed something was up when McGraw was in the audience. This is the kind of award show where the big celebrities don’t show up unless they’re going to win.

Case in point: Blake Shelton (whose hit “Sangria” lost out on male video of the year to Thomas Rhett’s smash “Die a Happy Man”) was named CMT Social Superstar of the year.

Onstage, Shelton was visibly confused by his victory.”That’s not what I was going for, but what the hell? I like to have a few drinks and get on Twitter every now and then,” he said, examining the trophy suspiciously. “I didn’t know you could get paid for that. … See kids — something for y’all to strive for.”

Meanwhile, Underwood actually won two awards: female video and CMT performance of the year for “Smoke Break.” Stapleton obviously won for best breakthrough video for “Fire Away,” while Little Big Town rounded out the winners with the best duo or group video for “Girl Crush.”

A full list of winners and nominees is below — meanwhile, here are some of the best and worst moments.


Blake Shelton and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Shelton is all Hollywood now, thanks to his stardom as a coach on “The Voice” and that $$$ from Pizza Hut commercials. So it was a welcome surprise to see him back in the country arena performing with the Oak Ridge Boys. They sang Shelton’s album cut “Doin’ It to Country Songs” and segued into the group’s “Elvira,” and all looked as if they were having a blast.

William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen from musical group the Oak Ridge Boys and Blake Shelton. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT)


Dierks Bentley’s Merle Haggard tribute.

Short and to the point, the show paid tribute to the late country music legend who died this spring. “His songs brought together people from all walks of life. … He always said so much with so few words,” Bentley said. “He was the backbone of country, the real outlaw, the king of the Bakersfield sound. So tonight, let’s take a moment to say thanks to the Hag.”

Dierks Bentley presents a tribute to Merle Haggard. (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

Chris Stapleton’s “Parachute.”

Maybe cliche at this point, but you just can’t take your eyes off Stapleton when he performs live. It’s why he will dominate every country award show from now until eternity.

Chris Stapleton at the CMT Music Awards. (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

Carrie Underwood’s “Church Bells.”

She also crushes every live award-show performance. Side note: She has also avoided adapting a Taylor Swift-type “surprise” face when she wins so many awards.

Carrie Underwood performs “Church Bells.” (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

Maren Morris and the Brothers Osborne.

Sure, they got only a minute on the side stage to show off their hits (“My Church” and “Stay a Little Longer,” respectively) before the show cut to commercials, but it was refreshing to see new faces during a night when most of the famous singers had very predictable performances.

Maren Morris on the side stage at the CMT Music Awards. (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)


Hosts Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt.

CMT likes to bring in non-country stars to helm the proceedings, and this year was rough. Andrews, the sports reporter and “Dancing With the Stars” co-host, and Watt, the Houston Texans defensive end, had their moments. But mostly their banter was really lame, from “pulled groin” and “buck urine” jokes to Watt’s pretending to hit on Dierks Bentley’s and Thomas Rhett’s wives.

Hosts Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt appear onstage at the CMT Music Awards. (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

The pop collaborations.

Little Big Town and Pharrell were a bizarre (if not entertaining) shot of energy with their new funk-infused collaboration “C’mon,” yet several of the pop-country performances fell flat. Cassadee Pope, Leona Lewis and Pitbull’s version of “Messin’ Around” was more confusing than anything, while Fifth Harmony accompanied Cam on an oddly listless mashup of “Mayday” and “Work from Home.”

Leona Lewis, Pitbull and Cassadee Pope perform “Messin’ Around.” (Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

Another rendition of Luke Bryan’s “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Everyday.”

Yes, everyone wants more depth in country music, and this song is more mature than the party fare. Still, what happened to the Luke Bryan who dances embarrassingly at award shows? That’s what you want on live TV!

Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT)

That Billy Ray Cyrus and Cheap Trick performance.

Or maybe we just got tired of seeing Cyrus in the approximately 1 billion commercials for his new CMT comedy “Still the King,” in which he plays a disgraced country star and Elvis impersonator.

Rick Nielsen, left, and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick perform with Billy Ray Cyrus. (Mark Zaleski/Invision/AP)

Complete list of winners:

Blake Shelton — “Sangria”
Carrie Underwood — “Smoke Break”
Chris Stapleton — “Fire Away”
Luke Bryan — “Strip It Down”
Thomas Rhett — “Die a Happy Man”
Tim McGraw — “Humble and Kind” (winner)

Blake Shelton — “Sangria”
Eric Church — “Like a Wrecking Ball”
Keith Urban — “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″
Luke Bryan — “Kick the Dust Up”
Sam Hunt — “Break Up in a Small Town”
Thomas Rhett — “Die A Happy Man” (winner)

Cam — “Burning House”
Carrie Underwood — “Smoke Break” (winner)
Jana Kramer — “I Got the Boy”
Kacey Musgraves — “Biscuits”
Kelsea Ballerini — “Dibs”
Maren Morris — “My Church”

Brothers Osborne — “Stay a Little Longer”
Dan + Shay — “Nothin’ Like You”
Florida Georgia Line — “Sippin’ on Fire”
Little Big Town — “Girl Crush” (winner)
Old Dominion — “Break Up With Him”
Zac Brown Band — “Loving You Easy”

Brothers Osborne — “Stay a Little Longer”
Cam — “Burning House”
Chris Janson — “Buy Me a Boat”
Chris Stapleton — “Fire Away” (winner)
Maren Morris — “My Church”
Old Dominion — “Break Up With Him”

Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis — “Girl Crush” from “CMT Artists of the Year”
Brantley Gilbert and Lynyrd Skynyrd — “What’s Your Name” from “CMT Crossroads”
Carrie Underwood — “Smoke Break” from “CMT Instant Jam” (winner)
Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles — “I Want You to Want Me” from “CMT Crossroads”
Chris Stapleton —“Nobody to Blame” from “CMT Artists of the Year”
Darius Rucker — “Alright” from “CMT Instant Jam”

Brett Eldredge
Blake Shelton (winner)
Jake Owen
Kelsea Ballerini
Lindsay Ell
Thomas Rhett