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Actor Sterling K. Brown poses for a pic amid cardboard cutouts of Emmy hopefuls at Staples Center, part of the socially distanced 2020 Emmy Awards.

It was time for the Country Music Awards and this year’s went off without a hitch. 

The 55th annual awards show was originally supposed to take place in Las Vegas, but after a long delay it was moved to Nashville. There it took place at three venues—country headquarters the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the legendary Bluebird Café. 

“Thanks for moving us back to the home of country music,” host and country phenom Keith Urban said. 

There were 24 toe-tapping, knee-slapping performances in all, including Carrie Underwood, P!nk, Taylor Swift—who returned to the awards for the first time in seven years to sing her popular song “Betty”—and Luke Bryan, who sang “one margarita, two margarita, three margarita—shot.” 

On the fashion front, the word was fancy or relaxed, country cool—everything from jean jackets to flashy sequin dresses and, of course, cowboy boots and spruced up Daisy Dukes. 

The album of the year went to “What You See Is What You Get” by Luke Combs. Single of the year went to Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country.” And the top prize was a shocking split shared by Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett for entertainer of the year.

The show was upbeat and entertaining and, as one winner said, “You know, country fans are the best fans in the world.” Yee-haw!

 

EMMY GOLD

There may be a major pandemic, but that’s not stopping the television academy from honoring its best at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, or funnyman Jimmy Kimmel who played host.  There was a small gathering of attendees and presenters at Staples Center. The awards were carried out in a largely remote ceremony that was live streamed. 

Festivities started early with interviews, a showcase of this year’s hopefuls and a look back at red carpet history.

Kimmel has become a popular host. It’s his third time around, after gigs in 2012 and 2016.

First up to help Jimmy as the show began was local nominee Jennifer Aniston. An elegantly clad Jen held the fire extinguisher while Jimmy burned the COVID germs out of an Emmy envelope. Before you could say “social distancing” the deed was done and Jen was on her way back home to friends Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.

Kimmel also served as executive producer and with that title he brought cozy changes. 

The remote set-up had cameras all over the world, from LA to NYC to London, Berlin and Tel Aviv—130 in all. The cameras were sent to each nominee’s home for the winning reaction, giving the ceremony a one-of-a-kind look. A few got gussied up but most were in their robes and PJs. 

As for the winners, “Schitt’s Creek” turned out to be a runaway in the comedy department, picking up statuettes for everything it was in (which was everything) in every category. “Curb your Enthusiasm,” “Dead to Me,” “The Good Place,” “Insecure,” “The Kominsky Method,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Schitt’s Creek” and “What We Do in the Shadows” were all nominated but had “Schitt’s” laughing all the way to the living room winner’s circle. Catherine O’Hara won for best actress and Eugene Levy for best actor, as well as Daniel Levy for writer, director and more. 

For best variety, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” got the win.

On the best drama side, “Succession” was home with the Emmy. Lead actress went to Zendaya for “Euphoria.” 

Lead actor in a drama went to Jeremy Strong for “Succession.”

OK, leave it to Kimmel to get some humor in to what he called the “Pandemmys.” I’ll admit it, this year’s ceremony was strange and quirky, but at least for a couple of hours it took our minds off of other worldwide calamities.

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