Show us the dresses: ABC's red carpet coverage was questionable at best. In fact, the network seemed to want to do anything (talk about college students' dreams, show a behind-the-scenes look at American Hustle's costumes) besides showing pretty dresses. Come on, guys! Jeremy Renner was fantastic in Hustle, but we're all here to see what Lupita Nyong'o is wearing.
Poor Liza: Except for squirmy murmurs after that Liza Minnelli joke, the crowd at Tampa Theatre's Hollywood Awards Night, the biggest Oscars bash around, roared heartily for Ellen DeGeneres' opening riffs. "Speaking of sex at rodeos …" Typical Dory: laughing with 'em, not at 'em. Well, except for Liza.
Best speech of the night: Jared Leto shocked absolutely no one by walking away with the Best Supporting Actor award, but it was a pleasant surprise to hear him deliver one of the most heartfelt speeches of the night. " In 1971, in Bossier City, La, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children. … That girl was my mother and she's here tonight. I just want to say 'I love you, mom. Thank you for teaching me to dream.' … To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen and live the impossible, we are thinking of you tonight. … And to those of you who have ever felt injustice because of who you are and who you love, I stand here in front of the world with you and for you."
Not so fast: You wouldn't think a speech could be as lovely and elegant as Leto's, and yet Lupita Nyong'o, who has flat-out owned the awards season, saved her most shimmering moment for her biggest trophy: a tutorial in grace. "It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey, for her guidance," Nyong'o said. "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid."
That hat looks familiar: The Grammys always play bratty li'l bro to the big bad Oscars. But Sunday's show especially soared when they turned up the Oscar-nominated tunes, from Pharrell dancing with Lupita during Happy (swoon) to the delicate duet between Karen O and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig to, as always, U2 thriving on stealing the spotlight. Plus, let's be real: Who wasn't singing along when Idina Menzel belted out Frozen's Let It Go? (Speaking of Pharrell, it really bothers us that there are TWO mega-mega Pharrell hats. It's like believing in two Santas.)
He's got that going for him: Despite working together on such comedy classics as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Bill Murray and the late writer-director-actor Harold Ramis (who died last week at the age of 69) had a falling out late in life that left them estranged. But in typical eccentric, unpredictable Murray fashion, while awarding best cinematography, the grizzled nutter snuck Ramis into the list of nominees. If you were waiting for him to finally, truly honor his pal, there you go. Well done, Bill.
Pretty in Pink: Be honest: You almost didn't recognize Pink warbling Over the Rainbow on two feet — instead of her regular loop-de-looping Cirque du Soleil schtick. By focusing on her pipes instead of her trapeze, she reminded us that her voice is as strong as her moxie.
In memoriam: Interesting choice in the In Memoriam segment: James Gandolfini, who starred in the posthumously released Enough Said, was listed first. Though, as expected, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died just last month, was last. Plus: Bette Midler's performance of Wind Beneath My Wings? Cheeseball song, but wow, Bette looks good. Perhaps some Botox beneath her wings, too?
EGOT alert: Oscar trivia! Composer Robert Lopez, who won for Best Song (Let It Go from Frozen), is now the proud owner of an EGOT, meaning he's won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar AND Tony award.