The Teen Choice Awards is one of those kudos-fests where it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses, and I guess that’s why it seemed strange that Sunday night’s two-hour telecast spent more time focusing on handing out trophies (it seemed like pretty much every hot celebrity under the age of 35, as well as Ellen DeGeneres, got one) and less on musical performances and comedy sketches. Still, the lack of compelling happenings makes it all that much easier to narrow down a list of the evening’s highs and lows. So let’s get to the ceremony that finally gave Linda Hunt a surf board with which to bookend her Oscar (I didn’t make that up, really):
Three Best Moments of the Telecast
* Kaley Cuoco as Host: Yeah, that’s not really a “moment,” but if I separated the Big Bang Theory actress’s individual contributions, she’d undoubtedly take all three slots on this list. Cuoco attacked her middling setups and punch lines with such breezy loopiness that she made it impossible not to giggle. I particularly liked watching her intro the Choice Vampire category with a set of plastic bloodsucker fangs in her mouth (not easy to say “comes out in October” with those teefs!), and her adorkable game of ping-pong with Chuck star Zachary Levi.
* Community‘s Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs presenting the trophy for Choice TV Show — Sci Fi/Fantasy: After running through a litany of the world’s woes, McHale declared that “endangered animals will be motivated to repopulate their destroyed habitats” after the announcement of the best series about “teens flying unicorns in space.” Jacobs preceded the roll call of nominees by intoning “the vigils and burnt sacrifices end now!” Too bad these two couldn’t have joined Cuoco in hijacking the entire affair.
* Tyra Banks maintaining her staunch commitment to the ridiculous by introducing the Choice Male Artist category as “Choice Male Artisté.” Not sure if Ty-Ty was aiming for intentional laughter or if she just thinks things sound more fashionable when you turn up the volume on French by 50 percent.
Worst Acceptance Speech
* Ashton Kutcher, picking up Choice Movie Actor: Romantic Comedy, for No Strings Attached, sang Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” almost in its entirety while wearing flip flops, a woven hat, plaid shirt, and shades. Only made worse by Kutcher’s huffy advice to teens about not charging items to their credit cards if they don’t have money in the bank to pay for it. Easy for Mr. Demi Moore to say! I wanted someone to hand a statuette to Fergie when the cameras caught her giving the “cut” signal to the person in the seat next to her.
* Justin Bieber having to aggressively hoist his sagging pants while taking the stage to accept a sack full of trophies. “Anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” squeaked The Biebs. Tell that to child soldiers in Rwanda.
* Demi Lovato getting the “Acuve Inspiration Award” for going public about her depression and eating disorder. Can we let the kid have a couple years of recovery before we drag her in front of a mic and make her publicly discuss her “incredible journey”?
* Tyra Banks introducing the return of Sean Kingston, who’s recovered from a jet-ski accident, by eloquently noting that when news of Kingston’s injuries first broke, “Everybody was like ‘Oh my God.’”
* “Teens” chose The Tourist‘s Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp as Choice Actress and Actor in the Action/Adventure Movie category, and Linda Hunt as Choice Actress in a TV Action Show? Alrighty then.
What did you think of the Teen Choice telecast? Did I miss any of your best and worst moments? Sound off in the comments!
TELEVISION TROPHIES (TELEVISED AND NON-TELEVISED)
Choice Drama: Gossip Girl
Choice Actress, Drama: Blake Lively, Gossip Girl
Choice Actor, Drama: Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl
Choice Comedy: Glee
Choice Actress, Comedy: Selena Gomez, Wizards of Waverly Place
Choice Actor, Comedy: Cory Monteith, Glee
Choice Action Series: NCIS: Los Angeles
Choice Actress, Action: Linda Hunt, NCIS: Los Angeles
Choice Actor, Action: Shane West, Nikita
Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy: The Vampire Diaries
Choice Actress, Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Choice Actor, Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Choice Animated Show: The Simpsons
Choice Reality Show: Jersey Shore
Choice Male Reality/Variety Star: Paul “Pauly D” Del Vecchio, Jersey Shore
Choice Female Reality/Variety Star: The Kardashians
Choice Reality Competition Show: American Idol
Choice TV Personality: Jennifer Lopez, American Idol
Choice Breakout Show: The Voice
Choice Breakout Star: Darren Criss, Glee
Choice Female Scene Stealer: Kat Graham, The Vampire Diaries
Choice Male Scene Stealer: Michael Trevino, The Vampire Diaries
Choice Villain: Justin Bieber, CSI
Choice TV Show: Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Star, Male: Ian Harding, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Star, Female: Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars