September 10, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

When the 2010 CMA award nominations were announced last week, Miranda Lambert received nine well-deserved nods, including Entertainer of the Year. But most of the chatter was about the blondes missing from that category: Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. Last year’s Entertainer winner Swift is between album cycles, so it’s easy to rationalize her snub. But Underwood — who racked up three No. 1 singles, a platinum album (Play On), and a top-grossing tour during the eligibility period — has never been nominated for the CMA’s highest honor…yet she’ll be cohosting their telecast for the third straight time when it airs from Nashville on Nov. 10. It’s a bit awkward. (A CMA rep declined to comment.) Two excuses are easily debunked: If traditionalists want to disqualify Underwood for being ”too pop” (see: ”Undo It”), they’ve gotta throw out half the town, including Swift and 2010 Entertainer nominees Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban. If they’re punishing American Idol grad Underwood because reality stars haven’t ”paid their dues,” remember: Lambert once finished third on Nashville Star. Which leaves this: The last time the CMA nominated more than one solo female for Entertainer of the Year was 1979. Yes, it’s easy to point a finger and shriek sexism. But until this organization proves it can recognize more than one chart-dominating, arena-headlining woman at a time, it’s kind of hard not to.

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