Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesNo one will ever sum up what’s wrong with the People’s Choice Awards better than my former colleague Whitney Pastorek, who penned the 2009 dissertation “You showed up? Here’s a trophy!” But here’s what I’d like to add: If you truly want to do an awards show for “the people,” don’t spend two hours selling us projects and products (that I refuse to mention) in thinly-veiled embedded promotions, and don’t keep referring to us as “the people.” You are people, too, the last time I checked. It comes off condescending. Also, if Taylor Swift isn’t even trying to pretend she didn’t know she was a winner, then I promise you everyone realizes the stars are told who won ahead of time. And I understand that: The stars don’t want to piss “the people” off by looking like they can’t be bothered to accept an award from them, but there’s no way they’re going to show up to get stiffed by them. That’s fine. But just showing up to say “thanks” isn’t enough when it’s a two-hour televised show (unless you’re Favorite Movie Actor Johnny Depp and, in a voice that sounds oddly like Robert Shaw, you tell your award presenter, Taylor Swift, “My daughter said that if I didn’t say ‘hi’ to you, I’d be in big trouble, so, ‘hi’ from my daughter”). Prepare something. Entertain us. Because the only thing worse than bombing is bombing on a show when we know you had time to prepare. I’d honestly prefer the stars pre-record something funny/interesting so we, the people, get something out of it. Rant over. Let’s list the evening’s most awkward moments, then the full list of winners.
The nominees for Favorite Awkward Moment are:
• Near the end of the show, when Kristen Stewart won Favorite Movie Actress, and she, Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson were suddenly sitting in the front row. No way they were there the whole night, when Kristen and Rob lost Favorite Movie Star Under 25 to Zac Efron. Do they book the stars in half hour increments? “It’s always surreal to be at places like this, but I was a vampire this morning in Baton Rouge, so it’s really weird,” Stewart said, having flown in from the set of Breaking Dawn. The trio later accepted the award for Favorite Movie and Favorite Movie Drama, and also won Favorite Onscreen Team.
• Taylor Swift presented Favorite Movie Actor, immediately making you think of her rumored recent breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal. Oh, and her ex Lautner was a nominee.
• Jennifer Aniston and her breasts (no shirt under a vest) presented the first award, Favorite Comedic Star, to Adam Sandler, who is currently sporting a black eye; then she announced that Grown Ups won Favorite Comedy Movie, and David Spade and Rob Schneider, who just happened to be in the audience, joined Sandler on stage, before Sandler plugged his movie with Aniston.
• In a pre-taped video, the Whittaker Family, winners of Favorite Viral Video Star for “‘Single Ladies’ Devastation,” are surprised at their door not with the actual Waterford crystal trophy, which they’re told is still being engraved in Ireland, but with a giant trophy made out of Wheat Thins, which sponsored that category. At the ceremony, they’re present to exchange the trophies, and their Wheat Thins one has bites taken out of it — because “the people” got hungry.
• Jane Lynch won for Favorite TV Comedy Actress, and Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer joined her onstage because Glee also won Favorite TV Comedy, only she didn’t know that they were standing behind her, so she gave them a shout-out pointing to their seats and then used all their time so they didn’t get to speak.
• Zachary Levi presented with Emma Roberts, and Jim Parsons presented with Miranda Cosgrove.
• Queen Latifah sounded off-key singing the opening number, “Dynamite,” with backup dancers who were, or were made to look like, “the people.” I will say she got commendable crowd participation with the arm-waving — minus Kathy Griffin. If Kathy Griffin is above doing something…
• A sneak peek of The Dilemma was clearly painstakingly edited to show a clip of Latifah, who has a role in the Vince Vaugh-Kevin James comedy.
• Conan O’Brien defeated Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres for Favorite Talk Show Host and had to crouch to speak into the mic that presenter Mila Kunis used. (“At the Oscars, the thing goes up,” he cracked.)
• Elton John got a standing ovation just for showing up (to announce Taylor Swift as the Favorite Country Artist and plug Gnomeo & Juliet).
• Selena Gomez & the Scene, Favorite Breakout Artist, performed. They, by the way, beat Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Bruno Mars, and B.o.B.
• Latifah asked Neil Patrick Harris to grade her performance as host, and she didn’t hear him upgrade his initial low mark and begged him for a higher grade (that was a fun idea that just went on too long, as did her bits in the crowd accosting the Kardashian and Twilight trios).
• In a pre-taped video, Latifah hit her head in rehearsal, which led into a dream sequence involving Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Dr. Drew, David Boreanaz, and Emily Deschanel — and felt like it was written by an online contest winner. Again, just because it’s for “the people,” doesn’t mean you can half-ass it on writers. But at least we found out why Kathy Griffin and the Kardashian sisters were both in the audience when Keeping Up with the Kardashians won Favorite TV Guilty Pleasure instead of My Life on the D-List (Kathy was the backup host in that dream sequence).
• There was a sneak peek of Season of the Witch — that’s the best they could do? Ditto for the Kid Rock performance.
• Latifah plugged the phones carried by presenters and used to announce the winners instead of the traditional envelopes (because “the people” are tech savvy, but not smart enough to see through that product placement).
Winners — televised
Favorite Movie: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Favorite Drama Movie: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Favorite On Screen Team: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)
Favorite Comedy Movie: Grown Ups
Favorite Comedic Star: Adam Sandler
Favorite Movie Actor: Johnny Depp
Favorite Movie Actress: Kristen Stewart
Favorite Movie Star Under 25: Zac Efron
Favorite TV Drama: House
Favorite TV Comedy: Glee
Favorite TV Comedy Actor: Neil Patrick Harris
Favorite TV Comedy Actress: Jane Lynch
Favorite TV Drama Actress: Lisa Edelstein
Favorite Talk Show Host: Conan O’Brien
Favorite TV Guilty Pleasure: Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Favorite New TV Drama: Hawaii Five-0
Favorite New TV Comedy: $#*! My Dad Says
Favorite Female Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Online Sensation: Katy Perry
Favorite Breakout Artist: Selena Gomez & the Scene
Favorite Country Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Viral Video Star Winner: “Single Ladies” Devastation, The Whittaker Family
Winners — untelevised
Favorite Action Movie: Iron Man 2
Favorite Family Movie: Toy Story 3
Favorite Horror Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Favorite Action Star: Jackie Chan
Favorite Competition Show: American Idol
Favorite TV Crime Drama: Lie to Me
Favorite TV Crime Fighter: Tim Roth, Lie to Me
Favorite TV Drama Actor: Hugh Laurie, House
Favorite TV Doctor: Gregory House, Hugh Laurie
Favorite TV Family: The Simpsons, The Simpsons
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Fringe
Favorite TV Obsession: Dexter
Favorite TV Guest Star: Demi Lovato, Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite Family TV Movie: Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Favorite TV Chef: Rachael Ray
Favorite Male Artist: Eminem
Favorite Song: “Love the Way You Lie” Eminem featuring Rihanna
Favorite Rock Band: Paramore
Favorite Pop Artist: Rihanna
Favorite R&B Artist: Usher
Favorite Hip-Hop Artist: Eminem
Favorite Music Video: “Love the Way You Lie” Eminem featuring Rihanna