There's something that country music awards shows have that all other award shows do not: a sense of family.
Sure, there's generally plenty of love at awards shows: the losers love their fellow nominees (and if they don't they keep that private most of the time) and are happy for them (most of the time), the presenters love the performers, and the winners love everybody. But it doesn't feel like one giant family, like country music award shows do. The people who spend the year listening to the songs and watching the music videos may have their favourites, but they still love every one who steps unto that stage to collect an award. As someone once said about fan conventions (a whole 'nother post) and I paraphrase now: it's not an awards show, it's a goddamn family reunion.
First off, it's a little less formal than your average award show (at least any that aren't run by MTV). The men wear vests and ties, yes, but they're also wearing blue jeans. The ladies may wear full length gowns, but they're also just as likely to walk the red carpet in a cocktail dress. And look fabulous doing so I may add.
When the winner's name is announced and they make their way to the stage, there's few handshakes or those manly slaps on the back, no it's full-on hugs for everyone. And so often those acceptance speeches include their fellow nominees, not in the 'honor to be nominated alongside sense' (though there's that too), but thanking them for the duet they sang together which won earlier that night, or for believing in them when their career was just beginning.
Maybe it's just a Southern thing, but I could care less who takes home the shiny award since I'm a fan of everyone in country music (I've even come around to the Zac Brown Band again).