Here are a few things you expect to see at The CMA Awards every year: Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood taking on host duties, great performances from iconic and new artists, and sparkly outfits (oh the sparkly outfits!). But this year the awards and ABC introduced one other addition to that list with Ariana Grande... and it was weird. Ariana Grande performed at the CMA Awards with country group Little Big Town on Wednesday night. Well, she didn't really perform with them as much as performed after them and then they sang part of her song "Bang Bang" with her and she looked really uncomfortable doing it. Fans of country music took to Twitter to talk about Grande's performance and really dwelled on the fact that her inclusion in the show made absolutely no sense, and I have to agree a bit.
Now it seems obvious why the CMAs and even ABC would want to bring a huge name in the music industry to the awards show telecast: To get eyeballs on the screen, especially since Taylor Swift has officially crossed over into pop music, according to Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's "Post Pardum Taylor Swift" comment in their opening bit at the awards telecast on Wednesday night. But even if the only reason for bringing Grande to the show was to use her popularity, did she have to sing "Bang Bang" only? Or was that just the deal they made with her so she would appear? Her being paired with Little Big Town felt so disjointed, and should never not have been paired together in the first place. The only thing that matched about Little Big Town and Grande were their outfits.
So what did Twitter users have to say about the performance? Some people were annoyed with Grande's appearance but also the overall state of country music at the moment:
Annoyance was expressed in very clever and direct ways:
Confusion was definitely another popular emotion:
Does it really matter that a non-country singer performed at a country music awards telecast? That answer will never be agreed upon as long as extremely popular stars like Grande are the singers in question. But one thing's for sure, despite her popularity, there are plenty of upset and disappointed country fans out there.