Tuning in to the People’s Choice Awards requires an automatic suspension of shouting “Aw hell no!” After all, placing the power in the hands of “the people” — or rather, rewarding the movies and TV shows with the most mouth-foamingly rabid fan bases — can lead to awkward moments like Robert Pattinson walking to the podium to collect the trophy for Best Drama Movie (for the moderately received Water for Elephants) and wondering aloud, “I don’t know why they asked me to accept it.” (Um, because you’re hot, and you’re there, and the Twilight fans didn’t vote to see director Francis Lawrence.)
And that’s why it’s best to not take the festivities — hosted by a very game, funnier-than-her-cue-cards Kaley Cuoco — too, too seriously. Take Nathan Fillion’s totally awesome acceptance speech for Favorite TV Drama Actor, which referenced the big glass statuette in his hand: “Let this giant crystalized tear of victory be a symbol of your excellent taste!” Or Zachary Levi, who took his opportunity as a presenter to sport an indubitably jaunty blue-and-green plaid suit with white shirt and gold tie. Outstanding!
Below, check out my picks for the three best and three worst moments from the two-hour telecast, followed by a full list of the winners (including those not announced on air).
THREE BEST MOMENTS
3) Neil Patrick Harris tries to hijack the show | Following a funny pre-taped Big Bang Theory lead-in (and an introduction as “the blonde bimbo from that sitcom”), Cuoco engaged in a delighful battle with awards-show/song-and-dance junkie Harris, tearing open his tuxedo to reveal a blue sequined top. “I’m in a 12-step program, but I’m only on step 5…6, 7, 8!” Harris pleaded, before Cuoco had the How I Met Your Mother star (and his backup dancers) escorted out by security.
2) Judd Apatow and Maya Rudolph accepting Best Comedy Movie for Bridesmaids | Apatow brutally skewered a ridiculous (and ridiculously long) product-placement segment that preceded his win by thanking CVS pharmacy in his speech, and then adding, “I just feel like going there right now. I don’t know why.” After that, he recited the lyrics to Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On,” before Rudolph took over, then led the movie’s cast to a rousing sing-along finish.
1) Cuoco visits the set of Parks and Recreation | I howled with laughter during a pre-taped bit featuring Cuoco unearthing the hidden talents of the cast of NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Aziz Ansari rocking the hell out of a suit. Adam Scott destroying a laptop computer with a hammer. Rob Lowe proving he can make any woman fall in love with him. And — most hideously hilarious — Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt attempting a sword-swallowing routine for the very first time. “He’s so relaxed,” Plaza cooed as she force-fed the blade into Pratt’s mouth. “Not after I tickle him, though.” Cue blood splatter, and cue the fits of laughter.
THREE WORST MOMENTS
3) Sharon Osbourne presenting the Favorite Daytime TV Host Award | I’m not sure if she wrote her own lines or just read what was on the teleprompter, but Osbourne’s relentless complaning about not being nominated in the category for The Talk alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray, and Regis & Kelly was a clear embarrassment for co-presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and for the home viewing audience.
2) Adam Sandler’s accepts the award for Favorite Comedy Actor | Sandler, using his patented idiot voice, gave an interminable speech thanking his teachers through the years. “Mrs. Really Old Lady With a Bad Wig Who Died Halfway Through Second Grade,” “shop teacher Mr. Nofingers,” and “art teacher Miss Never-wore-a-bra” were just a few of his punchlines that flopped harder than frozen turkies off a diving board. When you can’t get a laugh from the People’s Choice audience, it might be time to hang up your standup mic.
1) Aggressive product placement throughout the telecast | It was painful enough sitting through packages about Honey Bunches of Oats fueling the nomination announcement breakfast and Pantene sponsoring the “Statuettes,” a group of glamorously coiffed models who were hired to “present and protect the coveted People’s Choice trophies.” But a long, grotesque segment about backstage correspondent SuChin Pak getting a visit from the CVS Pharmacy Beauty Club was about as welcome as a thick clump of hair clogging your shower drain.
The Winners Are…
Favorite Daytime TV Host: Ellen DeGeneres
Favorite TV Comedy Actress: Lea Michele, Glee
Favorite TV Drama Actress: Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Favorite TV Comedy Actor: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Favorite TV Drama Actor: Nathan Fillion, Castle
Favorite TV Crime Drama: Castle
Favorite Cable TV Drama: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Celebreality Star: Kim Kardashian
Favorite Late-Night TV Host: Jimmy Fallon
Favorite Cable TV Comedy: Hot in Cleveland
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Supernatural
Favorite New TV Drama: Person of Interest
Favorite New TV Comedy: 2 Broke Girls
Favorite Network TV Comedy: How I Met Your Mother
Favorite TV Competition Show: American Idol
Favorite TV Guest Star: Katy Perry, How I Met Your Mother
Favorite Network TV Drama: Supernatural
Favorite Movie Actress: Emma Stone
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress: Emma Stone
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor: Adam Sandler
Favorite Movie Star Under 25: Chloe Grace Moretz
Favorite Drama Movie: Water for Elephants
Favorite Comedy Movie: Bridesmaids
Favorite Book Adaptation: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Favorite Movie Superhero: The Green Lantern
Favorite Movie Icon: Morgan Freeman
Favorite Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Favorite Action Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Favorite Action Movie Star: Hugh Jackman
Favorite Ensemble Movie Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Favorite Animated Movie Voice: Johnny Depp, Rango
Favorite Pop Artist: Demi Lovato
Favorite Band: Maroon 5
Favorite Album: Lady Gaga’s Born This Way
Favorite R&B Artist: Rihanna
Favorite Male Artist: Bruno Mars
Favorite Female Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Song of the Year: “E.T.,” Katy Perry featuring Kanye West
Favorite Hip-Hop Artist: Eminem
Favorite Country Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Music Video: Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night”
Favorite Tour Headliner: Katy Perry