Stars at the People’s Choice Awards relay messages to President-elect Donald Trump. (Jan. 19)
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The People’s Choice Awards finally made its return to TV on E! Sunday night, almost two years after its last telecast on CBS.
The show featured a smattering of performances from Rita Ora, Nicki Minaj and Tyga, and John Legend, plus an overwhelming amount of awards to distribute to a very small handful of Hollywood A-listers.
Here are the five biggest moments of the night:
Stars recognized California firefighters, victims of the blaze
People’s Choice Award attendees frequently gave thanks for the tireless work of firefighters working to contain the Woolsey Fire, which blazed less than 40 miles away from the tented Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.
Mila Kunis accepted the first award of the telecast, giving a shout out to the firefighters battling the blaze: “We are in a state of emergency. You know, I have this opportunity and I want to say if you can take a minute to donate to the LAFD Foundation, it would be really, really great.”
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Kim Kardashian West gave an emotional speech while accepting a reality TV prize on behalf of the Kardashian-Jenner family, noting the back-to-back tragedies Southern California has suffered this week between the Borderline shootings and the wildfires.
“As horrible as this has been, it’s been amazing to see the resilient spirit and the heroism of those risking their lives on the front lines,” she said, dedicating the award to “all the firefighters, the law enforcement and the first responders, we really truly appreciate what you have done for all of us.”
Veterans Day was remembered
The People’s Choice Awards fell on Veterans Day, and the stars took time to honor those who have served.
Blake Shelton wore a red, white and blue ribbon on his lapel in honor of his veteran father and thanked those who fought during his speech.
Scarlett Johansson dedicated her award “to the men and women of the armed forces who put their lives on the line every day so we don’t have to.”
During activist Bryan Stevenson’s rousing acceptance speech for the People’s Champion Award, he touched on recent mass shootings, the #MeToo movement and racial inequality, including the way Americans approach Veterans Day.
“It’s Veterans Day, it’s important that we honor all our veterans, but it’s important to remember that black veterans after World War I and World War II were menaced and targeted and lynched because of this narrative of racial difference, and today we’re still burdened by that history,” he said.
Victoria Beckham gave fans a Spice Girls reference during Fashion Icon Award speech
It’s clear that the ’90s have been having a major revival moment lately, so leave it Posh Spice to give fans what they really really want by dropping a Spice Girls reference into her acceptance speech for the Fashion Icon Award.
“I wanted to show that if I can do it then really anyone can do it, and what you achieve really can be limitless,” Beckham said, before accidentally slipping into the refrain from the Spice Girls hit song “Wannabe.” “If you really, really – I can’t help it – if you really, really want it.”
She said that the people at her table gave her some speech advice, telling her “you’ve come all the way from London, you’ve got to get up there, you’ve got to give them what they want, what they really, really want.”
Beckham also touched on empowering women throughout the years, first with her music and now with her fashion line.
“Many years ago I started with girl power, and now that message is still as strong as ever but now it’s through the privilege of being able to empower women through my designs,” she said. “I’ve always been surrounded with strong supportive women, and that’s as true now as it was (then). For all the women who have been doubted or doubted themselves, this award tonight is for all of us.”
The list of nominees was too ambitious for the live telecast
When there were about six minutes left in the show and still more than 20 awards to announce, we figured E! might have bitten off a little more than they could chew.
Of the 46 awards on the lineup for the night – including the three special awards of People’s Icon, Fashion Icon and People’s Champion – only 22 awards were given out during the red carpet and the live telecast. The award for revival show was even shifted to a special live episode of Busy Philipps‘ late night talk show, “Busy Tonight.”
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani had a #couplegoals moment
Fan-favorite couple Shelton and Stefani couldn’t help but have an adorable moment during the show. The current coach on “The Voice” invited the former coach – and his girlfriend – up on stage during his acceptance speech with Daly for competition TV show.
Shelton and “Voice” host Carson Daly coaxed a laughing and slightly embarrassed Stefani from her seat in the crowd up onto the stage, with Shelton calling her “my all-time favorite coach” and saying “I love her!”
“What am I doing up here?!” Stefani exclaimed when she hopped up onstage. And in an “aw”-inducing moment, Stefani gushed: “I’m so excited to be with Blake Shelton.”
Daly butted into the love fest, joking, “They’re going to get a room.”
Contributing: Carly Mallenbaum
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