Best Step Forward: The Opening Number
Kudos to the ACCAs for not ignoring the very real fallout of "Tomatogate" in 2015 (a year in which there were no ACCAs, mind you). A quick recap: Radio consultant Keith Hill made the observation that based on tons of data, the way to boost a station's ratings was to limit how many female artists are played, referring to them as the "tomatoes" of the broader country-music salad. This obviously sucks on a few levels. But since the ACCAs are essentially the "country radio awards" — winners are based mostly on radio play and sales — it was commendable of them to start the show off with a trio of women: Jennifer Nettles, Cam and Martina McBride belting out McBride's "This One's for the Girls." Their harmonious and on-the-nose performance isn't going to change any trends on the dial overnight, but it did show that the country radio isn't completely tone deaf.