On-Site Report From The People’s Choice Awards

peoples choice large As you can see, I was there first hand at the 38th Annual People’s Choice Awards, and oh boy, was it a surprising and crazy awards night indeed. There were some serious surprises, some incredible frustrations, and even some refreshing love sent out to the most underrated stars in the business. It was as well very entertaining to be a part of a live audience. I have never experienced being on live television before, and even though I was not showcased (I was sitting in the first level Loge floor near the back, but I had a decent view, especially with the help of my binoculars), it became a surreal experience hearing the stage manager count down to being live; then finally the cameras were rolling, and you realize you are being broadcast to millions of viewers at home. Crazily spectacular! You could tell that the people that were attending this show were diehard fans who definitely had voted numerous times, and knew exactly who was going to win except for a few surprises I will discuss later. Also, it felt a bit strange knowing there were so many television fans who went out of their way to vote for CW series programs, which are usually the lowest rated programs on television. It was as if all the viewers of the CW were gathered at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live for one very special convention where their shows were being awarded. Based on who won the majority of awards, I can pretty much narrow down the demographics to young voters as well as older viewers who specifically watch CBS shows (an older demographic channel network). Since CBS owns the CW network, it seemed these two channels monopolized this awards show with relative ease.

So for those readers out there who are not aware of this, the People’s Choice Awards works a little differently than other award ceremonies. Basically, if you see the stars on the red carpet or in the audience as the telecast is playing it either means one of three things: they are a presenter, they are there to accept the award, or both. Yes, all winners know beforehand that they will win each award. Also weird, was that the entire list of winners is not televised or even awarded in-between the commercial breaks when the cameras are off. They are given the awards before the show on the red carpet, and some winners were introduced in a video package by the cast from the ABC Family show, Pretty Little Liars. It made for a rather odd evening, because I walked away disappointed that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two did not win anything major except for “Best Book Adaptation,” and felt like the film had disappointing night at the People’s Choice Awards until I later found out it swiped multiple categories, including “Favorite Movie” of 2011. For the final category of the show to be best comedy series was anticlimactic, and seemed that CBS was just trying to promote themselves with a surprising win for How I Met Your Mother for “Favorite Comedy Series.”

me at peoples choice
Yours truly, Joseph Braverman, at the People's Choice Awards above the lit stage.

Now the show for you guys at home, even though shorter than most shows at two hours, probably dragged along. Not so for us in the audience. Every commercial break, there was literally no time in-between to go grab a drink or a bathroom break. The protocol is that you cannot leave your seats whatsoever during the live telecast, and if you leave during the commercial break and return once the awards show is back on air, the attendees will not let you in until the following commercial. I had no reason to leave, and sat comfortably for two hours, while some individuals wasted their precious money spent on the show spending half their time outside in the lobby. Because the People’s Choice Awards Show is so predetermined, the entire taping felt incredibly rehearsed. Rarely was there any impromptu segments, aside from the speeches themselves, and even those were cut short. It was kind of sad to see a well deserving newcomer like Emma Stone be asked to wrap up her speech while we had to hear Adam Sandler go on and on about his childhood teachers after an undeserving win for “Best Comedic Movie Actor.” Looks like the reviled Jack and Jill had the last laugh after all. In fact, the best and most sincere speech of the evening was from Nina Dobrev of Vampire Diaries fame, where she boldly revealed that she was not even in the initial nomination ballot. The viewers at home voted for her in the “other” category until she was the popular majority, and then when finally placed on the ballot, she won the award for “Favorite TV Drama Actress.”

Another thing you may not have noticed during the telecast was the reasoning behind Judd Apatow’s remark about CVS/Pharmacy, where he said something along the lines of wanting to thank them and felt like visiting their stores right away. Before Bridesmaids was announced the winner of “Best Comedy Movie”, there was an ad infomercial about the CVS/Pharmacy Cosmetics program, and the money back you earn after spending a certain amount on beauty supply purchases. Everyone in the audience was groaning and totally confused as to the relevance of the CVS informercial, and so Judd Apatow cleared the discomfort and tension with his sarcastic remarked I mentioned earlier, drawing a relieved laugh from the audience for breaking the ice. Cute but not really funny was when Bridesmaid’s star, Maya Rudolph, started breaking into song with “Hold On.” Look, it was charming in the actual movie, but repeating the same song gag at an awards show kind of diminishes the deserved win.

Now here is where I felt like a complete minority at the Awards show — I was really appalled and angered when Water for Elephants won “Favorite Movie Drama” over movies like Moneyball and especially The Help, which was a box office hit. Yet, everyone around me seemed to be screaming in happiness. I wondered why, because I barely remembered that this movie even came out in 2011, let alone existed. Then when I saw the screams as the person accepting the award came to the podium, everything all began to make sense. Robert Pattinson, who accepted the award on the film’s behalf, starred opposite Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants. I knew Reese starred in the film, but I had completely forgotten that Pattinson co-starred in the drama as well. The whole affair left a bitter taste in my mouth with the knowledge that even though Twilight may not have been nominated or won anything at all this year at the People’s Choice Awards, the Twilight fans did get their revenge with a win for Water for Elephants.This is why I leave the movie selections in the hands of the Academy, and not the general public.

chloe moretz
The talented Chloe Moretz was met with disrespectful boos by the attending fans for her surprising win against all four Harry Potter actors. Moretz did not deserve such poor behavior.

Yet, perhaps more disturbing than Water for Elephants calculated win was the response for Chloe Moretz winning “Favorite Movie Star Under 25.” I had written in the preview article of this awards show that Chloe Moretz deserved her win because of her outstanding acting in movies the past couple of years like Kick-Ass, Let Me In, and Hugo. I honestly was not expecting a win, and it seemed like neither did the majority of the teen/young girl audience that populated the awards ceremony. What you did not see from the telecast of her win was that Moretz was met with resounding shocks and easily heard boos throughout the stadium. Because she was voted over Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Tom Felton (all four actors of Harry Potter), the fans in the audience went into instant attack mode. I was sitting a few seats from a girl who was screaming, “Who are you?! I don’t even know who you are!” Other people in the audience were booing as well. Chloe herself seemed pretty stunned, and said as much in her speech, describing her incredulity of winning against all four of the Harry Potter cast members. The stage manager said to the audience before the show that after every winner we were supposed to stand up — barely anyone stood up for Chloe Moretz, and I felt very sorry for her. Yes, it’s fine to be upset as a fan when your favorite selection loses, but there was a definite level of disrespect shown to Chloe Moretz that no winner, let alone person, should ever have to go through.

Another big surprise was that more people gave a standing ovation, and for a longer held time, to Betty White when she came up to accept the Award for “Favorite Cable TV Comedy” for Hot in Cleveland than for Morgan Freeman, who won for “Favorite Movie Icon.” After Betty White announced she was drawing close to her 90th birthday, the audience went wild and stood up for a very long time, applauding loudly and overwhelming Betty White with sincere emotion. Look, I am a little over Betty White, but even it was hard for me not to join in the overwhelming support. Morgan Freeman definitely got his dues from the audience with a profound level of respect and enthusiasm for his win, but it was still interesting to see that the audience stood up longer, and with louder applause, for Betty White than for Morgan Freeman. You would have thought she had won the “Favorite Movie Icon” award. Again, these types of awards shows make me scratch my head with some of the audience’s voting choices, but it’s good that we are celebrating the love for entertainment mediums across the board regardless.

The final category of the night to be announced was the winner of “Favorite TV Comedy,” which went to How I Met Your Mother. This was more a win for CBS and Neil Patrick Harris than anything else. The show gets decent ratings and never has water-cooler discussions like cult faves such as Community or Chuck. The conclusion of showcasing this award pretty much summed up my evening — confusing, slightly frustrating, yet incredibly fascinating. Here, as well, is the complete winners list of the 38th Annual People’s Choice Awards:


Movie:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Actor:Johnny Depp

Actress: Emma Stone

Drama:Water for Elephants


Movie icon: Morgan Freeman

Action movie:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Action-movie star: Hugh Jackman

Comedic movie actor: Adam Sandler

Comedic movie actress: Emma Stone

Movie star under 25: Chloe Grace Moretz

Ensemble movie cast:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Animated movie voice: Johnny Depp as Rango

Superhero: Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern

Book adaptation:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Correct Predictions: 7/15


Network drama:Supernatural

Drama actor: Nathan Fillion

Drama actress: Nina Dobrev

Cable drama:Pretty Little Liars

Network comedy:How I Met Your Mother

Comedy actor: Neil Patrick Harris

Comedy actress: Lea Michele

Cable TV comedy:Hot in Cleveland

Competition show:American Idol

TV crime drama:Castle

Sci-fi/fantasy show:Supernatural

Daytime TV host: Ellen DeGeneres

Late-night TV host: Jimmy Fallon

TV guest star:Katy Perry (How I Met Your Mother)

Celeb-reality star: Kim Kardashian

Correct Predictions: 6/15


Male artist: Bruno Mars

Female artist: Katy Perry

Song of the year:E.T., Katy Perry featuring Kanye West

Album of the year:Born This Way, Lady Gaga

Pop artist: Demi Lovato

Hip-hop artist: Eminem

R&B artist: Rihanna

Band: Maroon 5

Country artist: Taylor Swift

Music video:Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), Katy Perry

Tour headliner: Katy Perry

Correct Predictions: 6/11

The finale, where confetti signaled the end of a momentous evening.

Overall Predictions: 19/41. Meh, I got them half right. Let’s hope my Oscar predictions will be a bit better.

Head below to the comments section and post away your reactions to my on-site report and the winners of the 38th Annual People’s Choice Awards.

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Written by Joseph Braverman

My name is Joseph Braverman. I am 31 years old and a graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Digital Media. I love watching and analyzing films and television shows. I live in Los Angeles, CA, enmeshing myself in the movie industry scene in any way possible. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @JBAwardsCircuit.


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I think the whole show was awful. The ballots were obviously stuffed by those with personal agendas. Adam Sandler should have been pulled off the stage with a huge hook. The fact that everyone knows who won in advance makes it a sham.The skits were boring and stupid. CVS ads wrapped into a skit was another poor choice. Making the audience stand for every win, takes out all spontanaity from responses. People waving like maniacs at the camera during a long shot at the audience proves how few stars were even there, just people without class yelling “hi mom’ were… Read more »

Jason Kline

I love awards shows more than anyone and I couldn’t stand to watch this. I was appalled at Adam Sandler. He shouldn’t have won and he proved exactly how unfunny he has become over the last decade or so with his incredibly stupid “speech” in that ridiculously annoying voice he does that people think is sooooo funny. After that, I simply couldn’t stand anymore and just turned on old re-runs of The Nanny or whatever was on TV Land. That’s how bad it was. That being said, I am pleased Moretz won, as well as NPH and HIMYM, which is… Read more »

Floria Volynskaya

I was there in the VIP section and what you describe is totally spot on, especially about the CVS commercial.



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