Yes, technically a bunch of other artists won hardware at the Country Music Television Awards on Tuesday night, but mostly the show seemed like a dream factory come true for reigning teen country queen [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist]. The 19-year-old megastar made her MC debut as T-Swizzle in a cute rap clip with T-Pain for "Thug Story," performed her single "You Belong With Me" and ended the show by joining one of her favorite bands, '80s pop-metal stars [artist id="604"]Def Leppard[/artist], on their indelible arena rocker "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
The night began with a skit about Swift living her fantasies (keep wishing about the whole "Star Trek" and Tennessee Titans thing), and in between the performances, for the second year in a row, she dominated two categories: Best Video of the Year and Best Female Video, both for her elaborate "Romeo and Juliet"-style "Love Story" clip.
"I wanna thank CMT for letting me live so many of my dreams this year!" Swift said. "I want to thank Shania Twain for always making such theatrical videos, and I want to thank Garth Brooks for always putting his fans first. I take my cues from you. And I want to thank my little brother, Austin, for agreeing to be my date tonight."
Though it was clearly Swift's night, it was Brad Paisley who actually won the show's award tally, taking home Best Male Vocalist ("Waiting on a Woman"), Performance of the Year ("Country Boy" with Alan Jackson, George Strait and Dierks Bentley) and Best Collaboration ("Start a Band" with Keith Urban). Accepting for the latter, whose video features two kids playing "Rock Band," Urban urged, "Learn guitar, kids ... the real thing." Paisley added, " 'Rock Band' never got anyone a date ... never."
Other winners included Rascal Flatts for Group Video of the Year ("Every Day"), Sugarland for Duo Video of the Year ("All I Want to Do") and Kid Rock for Wide Open Country Video ("All Summer Long"). Accepting his award, the always humble Rock joked that his win must really have been based on the creativity of the video for the song — which mashes up Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London."
"What's more creative than a strip pole on a pontoon boat?" Rock quipped.
In addition to the appearances by T-Pain and Def Leppard, the show featured a number of other decidedly non-country visitors, including rocker Ted Nugent as a presenter and Sugarland hooking up with fellow Georgians the B-52s on that band's pop classic, "Love Shack."