Carrie Underwood showed Taylor Swift just who the real queen of country music is with her two big wins at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards. The one-time "American Idol" champ prevailed in another public vote as her video for "Cowboy Casanova" took the top award while her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only" won the performance prize.
Taylor Swift went into the night with three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me." The teen singing sensation won both those awards last year for "Love Story" and in 2008 for "Our Song." Both Swift and Underwood lost the female video race to Miranda Lambert, who took home her first CMT award for "White Liar." Swift's third unsuccessful bid this year was in the collaborative video category for her duet with Kellie Pickler on "Best Days of Your Life." That award was won by Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins ("Hillbilly Bone").
Three years ago, Carrie Underwood also won both video of the year and female video for "Before He Cheats." In the nine years of these awards, four performers have now taken the top prize twice, with Keith Urban ("Better Life," 2006; "Days Go By," 2005) and Toby Keith ("American Soldier," 2004; "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," 2003) being the others. Urban won the male video award for the first time this year for "’Til Summer Comes Around" while Keith lost his top video bid for "American Ride."
Lady Antebellum won group video for the first time ("Need You Now") while the soon-to-split Brooks & Dunn won the duo video award for the first time since 2002 for "Indian Summer." Luke Bryan delivered the breakthrough video ("Do I") and helmer Shaun Silva won an award for his body of work.
Fans voted online to determine both the nominees and eventual winners in eight of the nine categories. Voting for video of the year was different. There were 10 semifinalists, which were cut down to a final five revealed at the start of the award ceremony which aired live on CMT from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Votes cast online and via text-message during the kudocast gave Underwood the edge over Keith, Lady Antebellum, Lambert and Swift.
Photo: Carrie Underwood backstage at the ninth annual CMT Awards. Credit: CMT.