If you missed Part One of our predictions, click here. And click here for Part Two.
Now, once again: On with the show!
Scott: The nominees for Single of the Year are: "Anyway" by Martina McBride, "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood, "Lost in this Moment" by Big & Rich, "Ticks" by Brad Paisley, and "Wrapped" by George Strait.
Gwen: Again, for those like me who always get the Single of the Year and Song of the Year categories confused, Single of the Year is awarded to the artist and the producer. This category is more about radio play and overall production of the records, whereas Song of the Year is more the integrity of the songwriting.
Scott: Just like with the Song of the Year category, it's an even playing field. None of the nominees have a huge advantage over the other, so I will simply go with the song that I heard more on radio out of these five, which is "Before He Cheats."
Gwen: I think I might have heard "Ticks" just as often as I heard "Before He Cheats." But if we're also taking into account overall production of the song, I think Carrie Underwood is probably going to take the award here.
Scott: It's interesting that George Strait was nominated for "Wrapped" in this category instead of "Give It Away," which was his bigger record. In closing on this category, though, I have to say -- it's hard to vote against America's Sweetheart.
Gwen: Not for me! But, in the interest of keeping the peace, let's move on to Album of the Year. The nominees are: 5th Gear, by Brad Paisley, It Just Comes Natural by George Strait, Long Trip Alone by Dierks Bentley, Love, Pain and the whole crazy thing by Keith Urban, and These Days by Vince Gill.
Scott: Five very entertaining collections, at various ends of the country music spectrum. With Brad Paisley you have possibly the best country album released in the calendar year of 2007, a set from Dierks that furthered his cause as a leader of the young traditional country movement, and albums from Strait and Urban that saw business as usual. My personal pick in this category has to be the amazing range displayed by Vince Gill in his multi-disc set. I think the "hugeness" factor for CDs of this release might be a little too much for voters to deny. I will say, if it is a single album that gets the award, it will be Paisley. I think in the end, Vince will take this one, and perhaps that is as it should be.
Gwen: It would be a huge year for Vince if he walked away with this one in addition to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Amazingly enough, I'm in agreement with you on this. I'm not the biggest Vince Gill fan, but the range he shows on this album set is delightful.
Scott: That leads us to the Entertainer of the Year category, and as usual, it's filled with male voices. Gwen, you do the honors -- who are the nominees?
Gwen: Those nominees are: Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, and Keith Urban. What do you think?
Scott: You've got a field of superstars here. However, I think this is one of the easiest picks of the night. Only the possibility of a Rascal Flatts upset could spoil this award for one of the hardest-working men in the business: Kenny Chesney.
Gwen: Rascal Flatts very well might pull off an upset in this category. Kenny is the reigning King here, and and Brad Paisley is quickly coming up to Entertainer of the Year speed, but I don't think he's there this year.
Scott: George Strait and Keith Urban are always contenders in this category, but compared to the other three, it's been a business-as-usual year in the marketplace for them.
Gwen: The artist missing from this category is Tim McGraw. I was very impressed with the album he released, the tour with wife Faith Hill was a huge success, and his radio presence has been constant. If those are some of the biggest reasons for the Entertainer trophy, Tim certainly should have been nominated. I'm sorry he wasn't.
Scott: A lot of folks are, but among the ones that are on the list, I just don't see how Chesney doesn't get it, at least this year...unless you have a Rascal Flatts upset, which wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world.
Gwen: I'm almost expecting it. Their career has followed a long trajectory, and that has headed nowhere but up. I agree with you that Kenny has kept up his strong showing in all aspects of the music world, but this year, I think the Rascal Flatts boys will walk away with the coveted trophy.
Scott: Could very well happen. I don't necessarily think that would be a Dewey-defeats-Truman special. I'm still a huge believer in what Kenny Chesney has done, and continues to do, in the country music industry. But we will all see what happens on November 7th.
That's it for us on the CMA Nominations...tune in to watch the show, and see if we're right! The awards will air on ABC on November 7th at 8 EST/7 CST. For more information on the CMA Awards and the nominees, check out the CMA Website.