Last night, 2020 continued its incredibly strange pattern.  For the first time in ACM Awards history, there was a tie for Entertainer of the Year.  But it shouldn't have been...

First of all, if you're asking yourself, how in the world could this have happened?  Billy Dukes explains it quite well here.  Believe it or not, they actually planned for this.  They considered it in the ACM Awards Criteria and Policy.  It actually says, "in the case of a tie, all winners will receive an award."

The exact qualifications include:

The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, success at radio, consumption, success of music videos, vocal performances, live concert ticket sales, artistic merit, appearances on television, appearances in films, songwriting, success in digital media, and contributions to the country music industry. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership

In all truthfulness, I thought that either Eric Church or Luke Combs would have been a better fit for that award, but I'm not a member of the Academy of Country Music and that's not based on any of the criteria above...that's just my personal preference.

I'm even less of a fan of the "everyone gets an award" policies.  It really feels like a disservice to both of them to have a tie.  One of them should have won it.  Just one.

Now, I'm not going to say that Thomas Rhett doesn't deserve the award.  That guy has worked his butt off.  I really like him.  He deserves it and I'm glad he's won it.  But if we have to choose one person to win it, between the two that did, I would have to give the nod to Carrie.

Here's why:

1. Vocal performances/Artistic Merit - Did you see that medley that she performed??  Unbelievable!  It included Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That,” Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” and Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing.”  First of all, it's all about country music with Carrie Underwood.  She may have released some stuff that is more contemporary sounding, but dang can she turn it on when she wants to.  She is country.

2.  Live Concert Ticket Sales - This one is tough because 2020 was such a mess for touring schedules but in July 2019, Billboard reported that Underwood could gross as much as $50 million from the tour, pointing out that almost "15 years into her career, Underwood's touring business continues to grow. Each of her six tours since 2006 have averaged a higher gross and attendance than the one before, including 2019's Cry Pretty Tour."

3.  Appearances on Television/Films - Carrie just has a heads up here.  She is on commercials and hosting awards.  Again...nothing against Thomas Rhett, but she's just in front of the cameras more.

4.  Success in digital media - When it comes to social media, Carrie Underwood quadruples Thomas Rhett's followers on Twitter (2.4 million for Rhett - 8.3 million for Underwood)  She doubles him on Instagram (4.2 million for Rhett - 9.8 for Underwood).  It's not even close digitally

5.  And yes...I'm going to go there.  It really is an uphill battle for women in country music,  Of the 13 awards that were handed out last night, only 4 of them went to women...and only two of those were shown on television.  Even to be nominated for entertainer of the year is an incredible feat.

 

Now, before Thomas Rhett fans jump on me about how great he is, you don't have to convince me.  I agree.  He's incredible.  I do not have a horse in the race.  I like Thomas Rhett too.

All that I'm saying is that if they only handed out one award for entertainer of the year last night (between the two that actually won it) it should have gone to Carrie Underwood.  That isn't going to happen.  They both won...and congrats to both of them.