My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Discussion: ACM changes Entertainer of the Year criteria, among other tweaks

This article from the Music Row webpage tells all about the Academy of Country Music’s changes to several categories for the 2010 show.

Citing an willingness to adapt with the changing country music industry, the Academy announced a number of changes to some of the major categories.  Most notably, the Entertainer of the Year race will now have 8 final nominees, adding 3 more artists to the ballot.  They’ve also combined the Top New Male Artist and Top New Female Artist into one Top New Solo Artist category, while expanding the Top New Vocal Duo or Group into two separate races, one for Duos and another for Vocal Groups.  It’s true that groups and duos have been making more of an impact, especially where stardom is concerned, in the past few years.  But seriously, are there so many upcoming duos and groups that they need their own award(s), and to shut down 2 solo awards to do it?  That just seems like pouring gas on the fire if you ask me.  It’s hard enough for solo artists to break through these days, and now the competition will be tighter than ever for solo singers, and the ACM will surely find itself scrambling to fill up even three spots in the Duo and Group categories.  Also, all of these recently amended categories will also be open to fan-voting.

I know we’ve already had the fan-voting for Entertainer of the Year discussion before, with most agreeing it cheapens the prestige of the award when rabid fans are involved. But what about the idea to have 8 nominees? Is country music really creating that many superstars right now? Or will we see B-level artists like Jason Aldean or Dierks Bentley competing with the likes of Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley?   The biggest change I think this new criteria will bring is it means more females can, and will, be nominated for the Entertainer trophy at the 2010 ACM Awards.  What do you think?

7 responses to “Discussion: ACM changes Entertainer of the Year criteria, among other tweaks

  1. Steve from Boston December 19, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I don’t like the idea of the fan voting for the ACM’s, and not crazy about the 8 contestant categories.

    But I may have a minority opinion in that I don’t mind the combining of the male and female best new artists into one solo category. As long as they keep the top female and male categories seperate, I think it will be OK and will help streamline things. Could be wrong on this though, J R makes a good point about making it harder for new acts to compete.

    When they first announced this, I thought they meant that the TOP male and female categories would be combined, and that would be ridiculous.

    But still, the big problem with both the CMA and the ACM is their unwavering commitment to bad taste and mediocrity of late, and these ACM tweaks do nothing to address their failure to honor the finest real Country artists who have been pushed to the fringes.

  2. Occasional Hope December 19, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Separate categories for new group and new duo is just insane. How are they going to fill them out? It’s hard enough most years to find enough plausible nominees for the main duo category.

    • Razor X December 19, 2009 at 9:52 am

      And in a few years, they’ll combine the awards again because there won’t be enough worthwhile nominees to go around. It really is stupid because there may be a lot of duos and groups on the horizon now, but that won’t always be the case. Like everything else, it’s cyclical.

      Instead of tinkering around with the Entertainer of the Year award and letting fans vote, they should have created a new separate fan-voted award to preserve the integrity of the Entertainer trophy. That being said, the ACMs have completely lost all credibility as far as I’m concerned (and the CMA is not far behind them), so I just can’t get too fired up over this. The whole mainstream is just a bastion of mediocrity and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  3. Bob December 19, 2009 at 10:49 am

    JR said: It’s hard enough for solo artists to break through these days, and now the competition will be tighter than ever for solo singers, and the ACM will surely find itself scrambling to fill up even three spots in the Duo and Group categories.

    New solo artists will have to find themselves a Kix or a Kristian and call themselves a duo.

  4. Lep December 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I can no longer bring myself to care about any awards show, but these decisions seem mind-boggling to me, especially choosing to have separate categories for new duo and group. It’s hilarious enough when groups/duos are still nominated in the main category even when they’ve stopped charting or recording new music (The Wreckers, Big and Rich, Diamond Rio), so I can’t wait to see how the ACM fills up both ballots dedicated to just new duos and groups. LoCash Cowboys, anyone? I also wouldn’t be surprised if “new” is used very loosely.

  5. highwayman3 December 19, 2009 at 11:28 am

    The bottom line is these awards shows arent about who wins or honoring good music, it is a huge marketing showcase. Record companys pay big to get their artists involved because it increases sales. Adding the entertainer up to 8 will allow 3 more people the publicity of being nominated for entertainer. They might as well just hand it to Taylor Swift now and save us seeing the infamous suprised look on her face.
    The ACM’s are just silly, and too add to the sloppiness look to last year when the Album of the year was held back to change criteria, they had all year to foresee that but didnt act on it, arent they people in the know about sales and country music. And the fact that they make up awards just to get an artist on their show. Im pretty sure they made up some honor to get Garth Brooks to perform a few years ago, And Jennifer Nettles won for winning song of the year the previous year, this year, its silly.
    Regarding the new artist awards, is it really an honor to win something for doing nothing? Like Julianne Hough won for being famous from dancing with the stars, Kellie Coffee won top new female, (nothing against her its just she hasnt really taken off career wise) there’s no crediblity. Jack Ingram won what last year or two years ago when he was one of the longest careers in the room. It’s like the dentist giving you a free toothbrush after visit, ya it feels good but everyone gets one. Its madness.

  6. jagers December 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I really donot think fan voted is good.! The only way that Taylor Swift won’t win is not be nominated! SO SAD!

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