(The finale of the People’s Choice Awards/ photo by Julian Khaymovich)
Similar to all of the other glamorous awards shows in Hollywood, the People’s Choice Awards is full of A list celebrities, thank you speeches, and high fashion. However, unlike the Grammys, Oscars, and Golden Globes, the winners of the People’s Choice Awards are chosen entirely by the people! Because it is a show curated by and for the people, a unique aspect of it is that the general public is given the chance to attend the awards show.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be able to purchase tickets to attend this year’s show, thanks to the Dashew Center. When we got to downtown LA’s Microsoft Theater, I found out that our balcony seats had been upgraded to orchestra seats (meaning that I would be sitting several rows behind celebrities)! Shortly after taking our seats, the show began. Joel McHale was this year’s host, and he began the show with a cold open video and subsequently appeared onstage with strollers full of toddlers to “appear more likeable,” joking that they were part of Brad and Angelina’s divorce settlement. I personally enjoyed his hosting as he was efficient, welcoming, and maintained his sarcastic brand of humor that he is most famous for.
My personal favorite moment was the running joke about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with The “Best Dwayne Johnson” award going to a literal rock. In addition, Kevin Hart burned Dwayne in his speech, saying thanks to everyone, “except The Rock. He hasn’t helped me at all.” The Rock didn’t hold back; during his own acceptance speech, he gave Kevin a big “F*** you!” I’m guessing if you were watching on TV, it was bleeped and the shot was cut out, but I can confirm that this actually happened.
Numerous celebrities, such as DJ Khaled and Justin Timberlake, presented awards without a hitch. However, there were a few issues that you may or may not have noticed while you were watching. A major blip that occurred was Kristen Bell’s teleprompter shutting off (something that has been happening frequently at awards shows, lately) while honoring Tyler Perry; she later gave an apology for not memorizing her lines.
When Fifth Harmony (now, technically Fourth Harmony without Camila Cabello) began performing, there appeared to be a sound issue that you may not have caught while watching at home. Besides that, their performance was excellent, and so was Blake Shelton’s. Another technical mistake was the fact that camera operators (or more likely, it was a producer’s mistake), cut the shot and missed a cute hug between Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Timberlake, this was prime gif material that only people in the audience witnessed. Regardless of that slight error, Ellen DeGeneres won her 20th People’s Choice Award (see image below), setting a new record for the awards show, and mentioned mashed potatoes in her speech, because..why not? Justin Timberlake presented the award, mentioning how he was stuck on the 101 just eight minutes prior to coming up on stage. Johnny Depp accepting his award awkwardly and thanked his fans for sticking by his side throughout his divorce. Lastly, Tyler Perry gave a passionate acceptance speech after receiving the “Favorite Humanitarian” award in honor of his nonprofit, the Perry Foundation, which spends millions of dollars on fighting homelessness, food and water insecurities, as well as disaster relief. In between all of these speeches and performances, during the commercial breaks, I endlessly attempted to reach the front row where all of the stars were sitting.
The first several times, security guards stopped me. After persistence and pure luck, I strutted down the aisle with confidence, and no one stopped me...by the time I reached the second row, casually and nonchalantly looking side to side for familiar faces (you can see the backs of the cast of The Big Bang Theory if you zoom into the picture above), the commercial break was over and security told everyone to return to their seats. I was so close, yet so far - I guess that just means I have to try again next year!