During the announcement of the first winner of Sunday night during the Academy of Country Music Awards, the show took a dig at the disaster that was the 2017 Oscar ceremony in February.
The announcers for the Song of the Year category were illusionist David Copperfield and “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Nancy O’Dell. The duo surprised the audience by declaring the winner to be actress Emma Stone for “La La Land” — obviously not nominated for country song of the year.
Doubling down on the bit, a camera then moved in on the card to reveal it really did say Emma Stone’s name.
Copperfield then did his thing, the card started smoking — and singer Thomas Rhett was rightfully given his award for “Die a Happy Man.”
The whole segment was an obvious playful dig at the Academy Awards, a ceremony in which the biggest moment ended up being the night’s top award going to the wrong movie — “La La Land.” Confusion immediately set onstage that Oscar night and the actual winner — “Moonlight” — was finally handed its Best Picture Academy Award.
Many saw the massive mistake as indicative of the night’s lack of focus on film and art. The primary concern seemed to be the country’s new president — and whatever policy points various celebrities wanted to make onstage at the expense of the craft of moviemaking.
It was a very different show at the Academy of Country Music Awards. The program — hosted by singer/songwriter Luke Bryan and singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley — has kept its focus on what deserves attention: country music and all the highly skilled and incredibly talented people who create it. The opening song numbers put the Academy Awards to shame, too.
The dig at the Oscars was well deserved, since the Academy of Country Music Awards seemed to be honing in on all the right things and providing a smooth show — while the Oscars, true to form, pushed their night’s true point to the side and instead shoved politics down everyone’s throats.