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Selfies & Pizza: At The Oscars With Ellen

Ashley Smith |
March 2, 2014 | 11:53 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Ellen and Friends (Twitter @TheEllenShow)
Ellen and Friends (Twitter @TheEllenShow)
Taking selfies and eating pizza sounds more like a Friday night at home than the Oscars, but Ellen was just doing her best to calm those tense stars sitting within the Dolby Theatre. As the host of this year's 86th Annual Academy Awards, DeGeneres made the enjoyment of her A-list audience the priority. “It’s important for me to relax everybody because there’s so much anxiety in the room,” said DeGeneres in a pre-Oscar interview with Robin Roberts.

The highlights of the evening—and subsequently those most viral—were the pizza delivery and the record-breaking selfie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, and Kevin Spacey among others. Ellen struck the right balance of capturing attention when necessary, sharing the spotlight and creating viral moments to generate global buzz. Overall, she was the perfect fit and understandably deserves all accolades being lobbed in her direction. 

She began the show with a typical monologue, addressing some of the major nominees such as June Squibb, Meryl Streep, and Jonah Hill.  Ellen even so boldly called out Jennifer Lawrence on her red carpet arrival fall (a moment the internet won’t let us too soon forget). The audience embraced the opening monologue, and soon discovered they were in for a greater treat as the show progressed. Of course there was a “Finding Nemo” reference, followed by a kind gesture to Best Supporting Actor non-winner Bradley Cooper with a consolation prize of lotto tickets.

A suit change was met with great audience approval as she transitioned from her sparkly Saint Laurent velvet suit jacket to a white suit on trend with the handsome men that walked the red carpet before her. When perusing the audience on one of her many jaunts she jokingly presented the idea of ordering pizza. Her next pass through the audience—phone in hand—resulted in the now internet-famous selfie as she gathered about a group of her actual friends for a sweet moment and now Twitter-record holding picture. 

And then about 40 minutes later, a delayed entrance onstage revealed an actual pizza delivery that she began to distribute to Hollywood’s finest. I can only imagine the fear stylists and designers experienced across the world as the greasy slices were passed out coming within inches of exquisite couture…thankfully, Ellen remembered her manners and brought plates and napkins for the hungry Oscar-hopefuls. 

Following the “Wizard of Oz” tribute, my favorite moment of the show occurred as Ellen emerged dressed as Glinda the Good Witch. I screamed SHE’S WEARING A DRESS (a well known divergence from her typical attire), only to have the glorious moment end too quickly. After these memorable bits the show clipped along as it became more obvious that its duration would go over the allotted three hour time slot. Ellen kept her introductions short, humorous and to the point continuing to generate laughs and progress the show. And then it was over, with “12 Years A Slave” being crowned Best Picture winner. 

All in all a marvelous demonstration of hosting efficiency, humor and kindness—a combination Ellen has exhibited time and time again on her talk show. She made the effort to engage with the audience as promised and kept her jokes fresh to remain current. I applaud DeGeneres’s hosting efforts and look forward to more star-studded selfies. 

Read more Neon Tommy Oscars coverage here. 
Reach Staff Reporter Ashley Smith here and on Twitter.



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