Carrie Underwood was the big winner at Wednesday's 2012 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, taking Video of the Year for "Good Girl" and Collaborative Video of the Year with Brad Paisley for "Remind Me." She thanked her fans for watching the videos and supporting the artists. Carrie also turned in a high-energy performance of "Good Girl."
The CMT Music Awards co-hosts, Toby Keith and Kristen Bell, kicked the show off with a comedy bit playing off the presidential election, and this year's candidates even got in on the act. The skit pitted Toby and Kristen against each other in bids to host the show solo. Fake news reports from Steve Kroft of CBS's "60 Minutes" and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of NBC's "Today" gave the opening a real-life feel.
President Obama himself made a cameo, signing a memo saying he wanted both Kristen and Toby to do the job. Mitt Romney weighed in as well, saying he wanted both of them to host the show, adding, "See, I just put two people back to work. You're welcome America."
The skit ended when Willie Nelson stepped in and convinced Toby and Kristen to co-host the show. Toby and Kristen then entered the arena in a giant red solo cup in a nod to Toby's monster hit. Toby said it was CMT's own version of Lady Gaga's "crazy egg" from last year's Grammy Awards.
Lady Antebellum opened the show with a collaboration with Nashville-based pop group Hot Chelle Rae. They performed a mash-up of Lady A's hit "We Owned the Night" and Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight." "We Owned the Night" was named Group Video of the Year too.
Luke Bryan delivered his latest hit, "Drunk on You," on a stage in the middle of the audience before moving to the main stage and handing his guitar to a fan. Luke later won his second CMT buckle for Male Video of the Year with "I Don't Want This Night to End." He thanked his wife for not shooting him after doing such a sexy video. For a laugh, Luke had presenter Tom Arnold pull a pair of camouflage underwear out of the singer's pants and throw it into the audience.
Zac Brown Band performed their brand-new single, "The Wind," for the first time on television. It will appear on their third album, "Uncaged", due out next month.
Pistol Annies, Miranda Lambert's all-girl group, made their CMT Music Awards debut singing "Takin' Pills" from their debut album, "Hell on Heels". They're expected to start work on a second Pistol Annies project in the coming months. Host Kristen Bell later sang a spoof of Pistol Annies' song "Hell on Heels," hoping for a spot in the band as "Hollywood Annie."
Miranda took the Female Video of the Year trophy for her emotional #1 hit "Over You." She dedicated the win to her husband Blake Shelton's late brother Richie, who inspired the song.
Little Big Town performed their sexy new single "Pontoon" on board an actual pontoon boat on the stage. Lady A's Charles Kelley and Luke Bryan were spotted in the audience singing along to LBT's new summer hit.
Hank Williams, Jr. and Brad Paisley took over the show's outdoor stage to sing their new duet, "I'm Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams." Eric Church also used the outdoor stage to sing his #1 hit "Drink in My Hand."
Willie Nelson welcomed Jamey Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Darius Rucker and Toby Keith for a group performance of Willie's ode to marijuana, "Roll Me Up," more popularly known as "Roll Me Up and Smoke When I Die."
Kenny Chesney took time out from his Brothers of the Sun tour with Tim McGraw to perform his brand-new, intimate single, "Come Over." Host Toby Keith had a lot of pyrotechnics backing him up for his performance of "Beers Ago."
The Band Perry presented the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year trophy to Scotty McCreery. He filmed the winning video, "The Trouble with Girls," at his own school, Garner Magnet High School in North Carolina.
The Band Perry returned later in the show to sing their latest hit "Postcard from Paris" after an introduction from actress Denise Richards. Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti and Jordin Sparks presented the CMT Performance of the Year trophy to Jason Aldean for "Tattoos on This Town" from the CMT Artists of the Year special. It was his first CMT Music Award win.
Jason came back to present Group Video of the Year to Lady Antebellum for "We Owned the Night." Thompson Square won Duo Video of the Year for "I Got You." Shawna Thompson noted that they were selling boots and buckles at a western store in Nashville not long ago, so it was nice to get the buckle-shaped CMT Award from the fans.
Lauren Alaina, Casey James, Jana Kramer, Scotty McCreery, The Farm and Kip Moore all gave mini-performances on the CMT Music Awards' Nationwide Stage throughout the night.
Rascal Flatts closed out the show with a performance of their hit "Banjo" before welcoming rock legends Journey for a collaboration on "Don't Stop Believin'" as the credits rolled.