There were first-time winners in the Entertainer, Album and Vocal Group of the Year categories at the 2012 CMA Awards, and fans saw brilliant performances by stars like Little Big Town, Kelly Clarkson, the Band Perry and Zac Brown Band. However, there were a few noticeable absences from this year's Nashville ceremony. 

The hosts stayed away from hot country gossip and treaded lightly when talking about the one bit of fodder deemed acceptable. It was sad, but certainly no surprise, not to see George Strait and Toby Keith in the audience -- they never show up, anyway. Another artist's absence was more of a shock. What did you find curiously missing from the 2012 CMA Awards?

Five Things You Didn't See at the 2012 CMA Awards:

Jason Aldean Jokes: Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood kept it positive, mostly. While they teased Taylor Swift for her recent breakup, they didn't pick on the most recent country controversy as many expected they would. In the past, the duo have taken bigger risks.

Randy Travis Jokes: Jason Aldean may have been off limits because his indiscretion is still fresh and the family wounds are raw. But we're three months removed from Randy Travis' shenanigans. With the legend safely out of site, the stage was set for at least one slight dig.

Taylor Swift's Reaction: When Paisley and Underwood teased Taylor Swift, ABC kept the camera pointed squarely at the hosts. Was she just too uncomfortable? Was she furious? Had she even sat down? Fans wanted to know.

Rascal Flatts: Not only were Rascal Flatts not nominated, but they didn't perform or present. In fact, we're not sure the trio even showed up as good sports for the 2012 CMA Awards.

Any sign ABC is bringing back 'Duets': While Kelly Clarkson performed and Jennifer Nettles presented, there was no mention of the reality show. Winner J Rome didn't present an award. It seems like it would have been a golden opportunity for the network to promote if it was returning soon.

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