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annual academy awards


Ellen DeGeneres received an Emmy nomination for her job hosting the 2007 Oscars and now she will be taking the helm again at next year’s ceremony.

“It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars!” Ellen DeGeneres, 55, tweeted on Friday.

She added: “I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.”

It will mark Ellen DeGeneres’ second time as Oscar host after she emceed the 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007, for which she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program.

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time,” Ellen DeGeneres said in a statement.

“You know what they say – the third time’s the charm.”

This year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, drew mixed reviews for an edgy performance. He had already taken himself out of the running for a return engagement next year.

Ellen DeGeneres will emcee the Academy Awards for the second time

Ellen DeGeneres will emcee the Academy Awards for the second time

Oscars producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron expressed their delight at having the talk show queen back.

“As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars,” they wrote in  press release.

“There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”

“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO.

“She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”

Ellen DeGeneres became a household name with her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has earned 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.

The 2014 Oscars Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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Family Guy writer and creator Seth MacFarlane was a risky choice as the host of this year Academy Awards.

Seth MacFarlane, 39, incurred the wrath of viewers during his joke stuffed monologue after he made an indirect reference to Skyfall singer Adele’s weight.

He said: “Rex Reed will be out here to review Adele’s performance of Skyfall.”

The funnyman left no facet of Hollywood untouched by his barbs as he hosted the 85th annual Academy Awards, as he joked about women, domestic violence, ageism, weight and the “hairy” Kardashians.

Seth MacFarlane began the broadcast looking totally relaxed; alone on the stage, he delivered a series of one-liners, many of which drew fire from critics and the internet community.

Starting off with a reference to the Oscar-nominated film Lincoln, Seth MacFarlane pondered about Daniel Day Lewis’ devotion to character, saying: “I would argue the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”

His tale took an uncomfortable turn when he brought up the issue of slavery: “Like, if you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot, did you try to free him? How deep does your method go?”

Page Six scoffed at the aside, which got a cold audience reaction, by calling it “flat”.

While going through his list of perfunctory celebrity bashing jokes he also managed to make an inappropriate joke about 9-year-old nominee Quvenzhane Wallis and George Clooney.

“To give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be 16 years until she’s too old for Clooney,” he said.

In his intro to presenters Jennifer Aniston and Channing Tatum, he accused the Friends star of having a dubious past.

“Of our next two presenters, at least one is honest about being a former exotic dancer. Please welcome Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston,” he quipped.

Twitter user Laura Hudson was among the thousands on the micro blogging site that found it hard to swallow his humour.

“I mean this Oscars ceremony also featured Jennifer Aniston getting called a stripper, a domestic violence joke,” she wrote.

Laura Hudson was referring to Seth MacFarlane’s most controversial barb. As he introduced Quentin Tarantino’s violent revenge western Django Unchained he described it as, “the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence – or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie”.

The reference to Chris Brown’s 2009 assault of Rihanna drew gasps from the audience in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

Rihanna and Chris Brown have since been reunited, and recently attended the 2013 Grammy Awards together.

Huffington Post criticized the comedian for taking a dig at the sensitive topic: “Domestic violence is not like dating, Seth.”

Seth MacFarlane later targeted snubbed actor/director Ben Affleck saying: “The film’s director is unknown to the Academy.”

And again later in the program referring to Ben Affleck’s bearded appearance in the movie he quipped: “The first time I saw [Ben Affleck] with all that dark facial hair, I thought, <<My God, the Kardashians have made the jump to film>>; and even he had to admit afterward he wasn’t sure about the joke.

“The energy in the room cooled as the crowd laughed nervously, forcing him to reply with an assurance that the joke was ‘as bad as it gets, if it makes you feel better.”

“Oh no, that’s what we were afraid he would do,” he said, mimicking the audience’s response.

He followed it up with another Quentin Tarantino aimed jibe – the writer/director won the award for Best Screenplay on the night.

Talking about the film’s controversial overuse of the n-word, Seth MacFarlane drew silence from the crowd when he joked that the screenplay was “loosely based on Mel Gibson’s voicemails”.

Seth MacFarlane’s sock-puppet reenactment of Flight in which he wore a brown sock to represent Denzel Washington, also raised eyebrows from the conservative crowd.

“You’re a white guy in 2013,” said William Shatner to Seth MacFarlane.

“You can’t wear black hand.”

TODAY wrote: “White guys doing racial humor, no matter how gentle, still makes everyone uncomfortable.”

Website Gawker slammed the first time host as “unfunny, tired, self-centered and boring, but also incredibly homophobic and racist”.

But not everybody disliked seth MacFarlane’s presenting style.

“Loving that MacFarlane is attempting to preempt his #Oscars criticism,” Vanity Fair posted on their Twitter account Sunday.

The magazine was referring to William Shatner apparently predicting seth MacFarlane’s Oscar fail, telling him: “The show’s a disaster. Your jokes are tasteless and inappropriate and everyone ends up hating you.”

He then showed Seth MacFarlane a copy of a newspaper headline from the day after the awards that read “Seth MacFarlane Worst Oscar host ever”.

Playing innocent, Seth Macfarlane tried to defend himself and asked what he did wrong.

However, TV host Piers Morgan was quick to show his support for the comedian.

“This is unbelievably, unacceptably, gob-smackingly, hilariously inappropriate. Keep going. @SethMacFarlane.”

People Magazine also threw in some praise: “If you’re hating on Seth, just remember: He’s got Channing up there dancing.”

Russell Crowe tweeted: “Congratulations @SethMacFarlane , you did great mate, handled it all with grace, #topjob .”

And Steve Martin, who hosted the ceremony three times, in 2001, 2003, and 2010, tweeted: “Seth MacFarlane was wonderful and who knew? I did. But then, I wrote <<Cruel Shoes>>.”

The Office actor Rainn Wilson was also a fan of Seth Macfarlane’s presenting style, as were Kristin Chenoweth – who performed a musical number, Here’s to the Losers, to close the show.

Rainn Wilson wrote: “Truly, @SethMacFarlane did a great job. Funny, self-deprecating and surprisingly fresh.”

Kristin Chenoweth tweeted: “I had a blast tonight singing with @sethmacfarlane. He KILLED it! So good!”

In an effort to change the course of history, he used the remainder of his 15 minutes to redeem himself, starting with a sensual dance by Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum to his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s The Way You Look Tonight.




Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Adele and other stars performing on the Oscar show have insisted that they will sing live and won’t cheat by miming.

“They’re all singing live as far as I understand,” declared Cameron Mackintosh one of the producers of the Les Miserables movie.

Cast members from the picture such as Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crow, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Amanda Seyfried and Sacha Baron Cohen all sang live at rehearsals for a musical segment that celebrated movie musicals of the last decade such as Dreamgirls and Chicago.

However, Catherine Zeta Jones, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for Chicago eleven years ago, was said by observers not to have sung live during rehearsal sessions at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood where last night’s (Sunday) 85th annual Academy Awards extravaganza was taking place.

Organizers are desperate to avoid what they term a “Beyonce shambles”. A reference to Beyonce’s performance at President Barack Obama’s inauguration where the singer was found to have lip-synched to the national anthem of the United States of America.

The discovery led to a firestorm of criticism and the “Beyonce” topic was endlessly debated on political and entertainment television shows across the US, and there were choruses of disapproval in the UK, too.

Catherine Zeta Jones will dance and sing a number from Chicago, believed to be All That Jazz. It has been described as a major highlight of the Oscar show. It’s not known yet whether the actress, wife of Michael Douglas, will sing live or perform using a track she has already pre-recorded.

However, all singers performing at the Oscar ceremony – including Dame Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand – have pre-recorded their songs as a safety net just in case there are technical problems.

During rehearsals though, every performer has sung live, except Catherine Zeta Jones.

“Look, she maybe saving her voice for the official performance. Everybody’s dying to see whether she sings or not,” a source who has been at several rehearsals explained.

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Adele and other stars performing on the Oscar show have insisted that they will sing live and won’t cheat by miming

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Adele and other stars performing on the Oscar show have insisted that they will sing live and won’t cheat by miming

Academy executives, some voters and actors and agents and producers have been using any old ruse to get into the rehearsals which are being held under tight security.

Onlookers note that Adele has been “indescribably mind-blowing”. Another observer told how at one point the singer performed the Oscar nominated Skyfall title song with no musical accompaniment.

“It was Adele, singing live and knocking it out of the park. Everyone stopped to listen. The carpenters and lighting guys started applauding. It’s impossible to impress those guys but they were bowled over and showed their respect.

“It sounded out of this world unaccompanied and later some of us heard her sing with the full works, the full orchestra and it was one of those rare goose bump moments that you never forget.”

Adele has already won the Golden Globe for best original song. She and co-writer Paul Epworth are front-runners to win the best song Oscar.

Les Miserables has a rival song called Suddenly which was written specially for the film by Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.

Cameron Mackintosh paid out of his own pocket to double the chorus taking part in the Les Miserables segment from 24 to 48, flying some in from London and New York.

Others taking part in musical numbers include Jennifer Hudson who will perform a number from Dreamgirls and Norah Jones will sing the nominated song from the comedy Ted.

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Kodak Theatre, the Hollywood venue that hosts the Oscars, has been renamed the Dolby Theatre in a new sponsorship deal.

The 3,400-seater building, which has been home to the annual Academy Awards ceremony since 2002, was previously known as the Kodak Theatre.

Earlier this year a judge granted Eastman Kodak permission to end the $74 million, 20-year naming rights deal it signed in 2000.

Kodak Theatre, the Hollywood venue that hosts the Oscars, has been renamed the Dolby Theatre in a new sponsorship deal

Kodak Theatre, the Hollywood venue that hosts the Oscars, has been renamed the Dolby Theatre in a new sponsorship deal

Dolby has agreed a 20-year contract with theatre owners the CIM Group.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors believes that the home for our awards is in Hollywood,” said Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“It is where the Academy and the motion picture industry are rooted. We are pleased to have a new agreement with CIM that will continue our long-standing partnership.”

Kevin Yeaman, of British-founded audio technology specialists Dolby, said the partnership “allows the theatre to be not only the world stage for the Academy Awards, but for Dolby innovations for decades to come”.

Eastman Kodak entered bankruptcy protection from its creditors in January this year after failing to keep up with competitors.

The 133-year-old company announced it was to stop making digital cameras in order to focus on more profitable divisions.