5 Awesome Things from Ruke’s CMA Blowout

Nashville (Screen: ABC)

And the winner of Best Episode Ever is, this one!With eleven Country Music Award nominations between them, Rayna and Luke playfully trash talk as they dress for the big night. But their banter takes an awkward turn when Rayna finds a prenuptial agreement in his tote bag. Juliette dons maternity formal wear and worries about meeting cowriter/baby daddy/ex-boyfriend Avery’s parents, who are also coming to the show. Secretly gay cowboy/Best New Artist nominee Will tries getting miserable beard wife Layla pumped for their live performance, but she’s too depressed about her new image as “reality show moron” to care. Gunnar and Zoey take his son Micah to the show, because it’s not as if absentee mom Kylie is ever gonna watch the kid. Deacon is content to ignore the CMAs until he comes home and finds Scarlett blissfully camped out on the couch, glued to the TV.

Throughout the evening, tension grows between Rayna and Luke; she’s confused about the prenup and he can’t believe she’s kicking his ass in wins. Sadie’s first CMAs is sullied by threatening texts from her ex. Teddy reacts poorly when he sees Natasha on the arm of another man. Jeff the skeevy exec (who set the mayor up with the lovely call girl) suggests he play it cool. Avery’s mom greets Juliette with kindness and hugs1, but dad’s as cold as ice. When Gunnar steps out to take a call from Kylie’s estranged parents, Jeff approaches Zoey and asks her to send him some demos. Zoey loses sight of Micah, who is suddenly nowhere to be found. Teddy tries chatting with Natasha and she pretends she to not know him. Later, he forces a boiler room meeting. At first, she’s pissed at him. But when she realizes he’s jealous, she puts out free-of-charge. In the boiler room. At the CMAs. HE’S THE MAYOR!

It wasn’t an easy decision, but here goes – the winners of 5 Awesome Things from Ruke’s CMA Blowout are…

Couch potato contagion When you put Scarlett in her element — at home, on a couch, watching an awards show — she’s suddenly really likable. I’d totally watch the Oscars with Scarlett. Of course, Deacon thinks award shows are dumb, but he still gets completely sucked in. He doesn’t totally get why his niece roots for certain people over others, and he doesn’t see it when she observes that Luke and Rayna seem unhappy. But in the end, he sticks around for the whole ride. On behalf of all women who’ve gotten men to watch dumb TV with us, I salute you, Scarlett!

It’s like rain on your wedding day Layla can pretend to be happily married, but playing dumb ain’t her bag. When she and Will hit the red carpet, this awesome exchange ensues:

Reporter: Layla, isn’t it ironic that you moved to Nashville to be a country singer but then you ended up on another reality show instead?

Layla: Yes, situationally, it is. But if you’re talking about verbal irony, which is the use of words to express the opposite of their literal meaning — and I believe that that’s what you’re attempting to do right now — then no, no it’s not.

Oh, girl, those haters just gonna hate you more. But I love it!

Every parent’s worst nightmare Juliette keeps having flashbacks about her druggie mom, Jolene, who used to padlock her in a trailer while she went off to get wasted with sleazy men (shudder). Jules’s weird feels are not helped by Avery’s dad, who keeps ranting about what a terrible mom she’ll be. Later, Juliette tells Avery maybe the old man has a point. “We are who we learn from,” she says. Avery replies, “If that were the case, I’d be a judgmental, unforgiving jackass just like my dad.” Umm… In the end, Avery tells his dad off, assures Juliette that they will love their kid unconditionally and not be the spitting image of their own terrible parents. Then Jules reveals the baby is a girl and they both happy cry, even as they’re losing the Song of the Year award. Awwww!

Rayna kills it with kindness Let’s list all the ways Luke is a total d-bag at the CMAs – he whines when Rayna wins, gets upset when she thanks Deacon and Liam in her acceptance speeches, hijacks the acceptance speech for their co-win, gets wasted, ogles Sadie all night, and tells Rayna she wouldn’t be this successful if he hadn’t proposed to her onstage. But the biggest offense is that Luke believes he’d benefit from a prenup more than she would!

Rayna responds with a perfect Entertainer of the Year speech. She thanks her daughters, then gives a shout out to Sadie, Juliette, and all women artists in general, then adds, “To my man, my love, Luke Wheeler, I share this with you, babe. What’s mine is yours. And to all the men out there, just remember we’re not trying to take anything from you. There’s plenty of sunshine for all of us!” OMG did Leslie Knope write this?

Zoey dumps Gunnar Gunnar is so mean and blamey toward Zoey when Micah disappears, and then he ends up missing his own win for Song of the Year. It’s a total shit show. After Micah turns up unscathed, Gunnar seems to think everything’s a-okay. Zoey asks what happens if Kylie never returns, and Gunnar says he thinks that would be best for everyone. HONK. Wrong answer. Your girlfriend never asked to be a full-time mom. That’s when Zoey gives her beloved the sad so-long. I say, good riddance! Now maybe we’ll get to hear her sing more, and he can do the laundry, for a change.

  1. New favorite character alert! I hope she dumps her husband and gets with Glen  

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail: tara@whatelseison.tv
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