It's that time again-- the season of awards shows when the celebrities can strut their stuff down the red carpet to the screams of fans and then thank God and their mother for helping them reach their dream. So take a moment and travel with me to Southern California, the land of movie stars and swimming pools, where glamour is only a remote click away. The 27th annual People's Choice Awards drew the beautiful people down to Pasadena on a nippy Sunday night. Not too cold, as the women still chose to bare their shoulders and the men warmed their attitudes. On a short fashion note, I'll give you my best, worst and coolest dressed list.
The best: Dixie Carter, a Southern belle as always, in a smashing black dress with lots of lace, Teri Polo, simply dazzling in an aqua gown with silver glitter designs, Laura Innes in a crisp white suit, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer in classic black, Bette Midler in a shiny salmon sheath and Julia Roberts in a sharp black suit. The worst: Michael Michelle in a tube dress which she had to keep tugging up, plus it was so overdone that it took away from her pretty face, Jennifer Balanc in a lime green prom nightmare who had the critics moaning, "Just please go away," the cast of "Real World New Orleans" who were trying too hard to be cool and Leah Remini in a mixed fabric gown that looked like something mom made while fighting off a headache. The coolest: Eric Paladino breaking the trend in a slate blue suit with a black shirt and tie, Kim Coles in a fantastic teal leopard print number, Mandy Moore in a stylish gray suit with bell cuffs and Roma Downey, who dared to wear a bright purple sequined tank dress which looked great.
I also managed to sneak backstage to listen to what the night's winners had to say. But not without first hearing the gleeful Chris McDonald shouting "Life is good" at the paparazzi. He definitely set the tone for what was to follow. Bette Midler spoke about her first love, music. She said, "Napster is a good thing for the music business" as she explained that she downloads lots of different things and ends up buying many of the albums she hears. Midler feels that she is not alone in this new way of checking out music. She also said that she is currently listening to a lot of Moby.
John Goodman was like a big boy as he spoke, smiling as he said, "It's nice to be noticed." Many of my friends have stated that Goodman may feel a little guilty about his award as his show, "Normal Ohio," was quickly canceled. But the people have spoken, so he is thankful for their honor.
Teri Polo was asked what has changed since she made it big in "Meet the Parents."
"I'm wearing beautiful dresses and talking to you," she replied. She went on to say that working on the movie "gave me more appreciation for what we go through" and "it is nice to be acknowledged." Polo continued her thoughts about her film, "We felt pretty good about this movie. We didn't think we were going to win, but we felt good about it." She said that she felt "we were kind of gypped on the Golden Globes. It's nice to hear it (appreciation) from the people who actually go to the movies. Polo is currently listening to Sade, the Police, the Beatles, Dixie Chicks and even classical music. She also sings herself... in the shower.
David Schwimmer suggested that "Friends" will continue for "Thirty-three more years, that's what I heard." While Jennifer Aniston spoke about music, stating that she is listening to Jeff Buckley right now, but Radiohead is her favorite group. Someone asked what activity they liked to do together when they're not working. Schwimmer quickly quipped, "Eating." Not to be outdone, Aniston piped in, "Lunch." Garth Brooks was pleased with his award. "It's a great way to start a new year," he said. Brooks explained that he had to cancel his planned retirement because his record label merged with another company which resulted in him owing them one more recording. He plans to honor his commitment and then make a final release "for the people."
Brooks was asked what he would take with him if he were stranded on an island. As he paused to think, someone suggested a radio. Brooks looked up and offering this intriguing idea, "Music travels with you no matter what you don't have."
Brooks added that he usually listens to the music of 'N Sync, Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys -- because that's what his kids listen to.
Michael Clarke Duncan had nothing but praise for his co-star in "Green Mile," Tom Hanks. He said, "I learned how to be a professional from Tom Hanks, never to complain; never to be late, it could be worse."
He came to his chosen profession in an unusual way. "My mother told me I was going to be an actor. I wanted to be a football player."
Duncan's mother didn't want her son to get hurt playing sports so, lucky for us; she pushed him to the spotlight instead. Duncan is working on a remake of "Planet of the Apes" and is the voice of Sam in the upcoming animated film "Cats and Dogs." He listens to Ice Cube, 'N Sync, R&B, rap and jazz. Jessica Alba spoke about her show, "Dark Angel," in what some critics may call a contradiction. "We're not just doing fluff, we're doing something which means something," she said. Alba enjoys listening to P.J. Harvey, Radiohead and Bob Dylan.
Mel Gibson was extremely charming. I couldn't help laughing as he said that he would like to be able to wake up early, to quit smoking and to "get dressed by myself." He quickly explained that no one dresses him, they just watch. (Wouldn't you?!)
We were just dying to find out what Gibson has learned about women while making his recent hit "What Women Want." "Not a lot. I'm just as dumb about it as I ever was," he replied. But then teased us about how fun it was to put on pantyhose.
To the stuck on a deserted island question, Gibson said he would take "Cigarettes, but I wouldn't have matches."
Gibson admits that he has quite an eclectic taste in music, citing a passion for Tom Jones and a range of favorites spanning from classical to Nine Inch Nails. He also loves to see live music. Julia Roberts was extremely at ease with the barrage of media, explaining her love for her career, "I'm living out my dream," and her confidence in the story of "Erin Brockovich," "It shows the potential for the best in all of us."
Roberts confided that she likes live music and is currently listening to Miles Davis. "Not gonna see him live," she giggled. The People's Choice Awards were an evening of class and talent. On the other hand, the American Music Awards were a mixed message. Britney Spears offended parents and shocked kids into puberty with her strip-tease act. She went on to shake her stuff like some Hollywood trailer trash, not neglecting to give the viewers at home a good look at her buns. Her outfit was also atrocious. I'm no prude, the teensy weensy skirt I can deal with-- it was the color!! Whoever thought that bright yellow fabric should be covered with fuschia lace should be arrested by the fashion police.
Destiny's Child looked awesome in their matching outfits which were each just a little bit different. Also Janet Jackson has grown up into a sophisticated beauty; she was gorgeous in her white suit. None of the guys of the night stood out, but one other thing did-- Faith Hill's hair! It's been the talk of the office that Hill looks like she's going through chemotherapy with her new 'do. I chalked it up to a bad shag cut that just won't look right with her type of hair-- I know, I've been there too. Well, calm down, it will grow out again. Good gossip or bad bragging, there's bound to be a lot more fun coming up in Tinsel Town. We've got the Golden Globes, the Grammys and the Oscars on their way, so don't change that channel and remember to watch for more news from DaBelly.
And the winners were...
People's Choice Awards
Favorite Male Television Performer Drew Carey
Favorite Female Television Performer Jennifer Aniston
Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series John Goodman
Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series Bette Midler
Favorite New Television Dramatic Series Dark Angel
Favorite New Television Comedy Series Ed
Favorite Television Comedy Series Friends
Favorite Television Dramatic Series ER
Favorite Motion Picture Actor Mel Gibson
Favorite Motion Picture Actress Julia Roberts
Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy Motion Picture Jim Carrey
Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Dramatic Motion Picture Mel Gibson
Favorite Comedy Motion Picture Meet the Parents
Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture Green Mile
Favorite Motion Picture Green Mile
Favorite Male Musical Performer Garth Brooks
Favorite Female Musical Performer Faith Hill
Favorite Musical Group or Band 'N Sync
Favorite Reality Based Television Program Survivor
The American Music Awards
Pop or Rock Music
Favorite Male Artist Kid Rock
Favorite Female Artist Pop Faith Hill
Favorite Band, Duo or Group Backstreet Boys
Favorite New Artist 3 Doors Down
Favorite Album Creed -- Human Clay
Soul/Rhythm & Blues Music
Favorite Male Artist Brian McKnight
Favorite Female Artist Toni Braxton
Favorite Band, Duo or Group Destiny's Child
Favorite New Artist Donell Jones
Favorite Album Toni Braxton -- Heat
Favorite Male Artist Tim McGraw
Favorite Female Artist Faith Hill
Favorite Band, Duo or Group Dixie Chicks
Favorite New Artist Billy Gilman
Favorite Album Faith Hill -- Breathe
Favorite Artist Rap/Hip Hop Music Dr. Dre
Favorite Artist Alternative Music Creed
Favorite Artist Latin Music Enrique Iglesias
Award of Merit Janet Jackson