The Oscars – the Best, Worst and the Blunder

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Did you watch the show live or catch it online after Sunday’s broadcast? Were you disappointed…surprised…how about the major gaffe everyone’s been talking about? This year’s show included all the elements of a memorable awards ceremony including impromptu singing, pranks, tributes, style, parachute drops and a huge mistake.

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The Opening
Justin Timberlake made a splash when he opened the Academy Awards with a performance of his Oscar-nominated Trolls song ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling.’ Hard to sit still when you hear this tune!

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Host Jimmy Kimmel recycled bit from his late night show and forgot a basic rule from first grade. Mahershala Ali wins an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight and Jimmy spends the night making fun of his name.

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A Tribute
Besides a moving Memoriam that brought many to tears – even before the end with the mention of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher – Jennifer Aniston fought back the tears as she paid tribute to Bill Paxton who died just hours before the ceremony.

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Some Bests
“Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho handled a run-in with a prop like a seasoned pro during her performance of her movie’s nominated song, “How Far I’ll Go.” Nothing says “the show must go on” like a 16-year-old continuing to belt her way through a song after a flag hits the side of her head. She still looked so happy to be there, not even the stray prop could ruin her night. The best recovery!

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Viola Davis gives the best acceptance speeches. Her Emmy speech in 2015 was amazing, and this Oscar speech was even better: poetic, powerful, personal. Explaining that stories need to be exhumed, she said, “There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard.” What a line. The best nonpolitical thank you of the night!

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Seth Rogen crossed something off his bucket list by showing up in a DeLorean with Michael J Fox (hello ‘Back to the Future’), to present Hacksaw Ridge with the Oscar for Best Film Editing. The best style!

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Jimmy Kimmel surprised a busload of tourists and brought them out in front of the audience. They snapped selfies with the stars. “Gary from Chicago” was quickly crowned by social media as the star of the show, and even had Denzel Washington marry him and his fiancée Vicky. Hmm…is it legally binding? The best prank!
Kimmel made sure that his audience stayed well fed with regular parachute drops of Twizzelers, Red Vines and eventually cookies and donuts floating down from the ceiling. Yum!

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The Blunder
Umm, “La La Land” actually did not win best picture. That’s definitely a mess-up for the ages, but in terms of entertainment, maybe one of the greatest highlight of all time. Presenting the award, Warren Beatty somehow wound up with the wrong envelope — the one announcing Emma Stone’s best actress win — and he handed it off to Faye Dunaway, who quickly named the movie Emma Stone starred in, “La La Land,” as the winner. The whole “La La Land” team rushed the stage, giving the indispensible talkative speeches. Oops! “Moonlight” actually won, though some of the glow of their special moment was lost in the confusion and disbelief on stage. There are two accountants that you won’t be back at the Oscars any time soon.

Grammy Moments

Music’s biggest day was packed with music, awards and friends for the Utalk crew. In case you missed it here’s a rundown of some of the highlights..

It began with a Pre-Grammy meet and greet at the Marriott Hotel. Next was the Premiere Ceremony at the Microsoft Theater where the first Grammy awards of the day in 70 categories were presented. Special performances included music legend Judy Collins, the O’Conner Band and Ziggy Marley.


(Ziggy Marley)                                                                                                     (Judy Collins)

After this came the 59th Grammy Awards show live from Staples Center. Host James Corden kicked it off with poetry and pratfalls. It turned out to be one of the best shows in the past few years with an amazing line up of performers including Adele, Bruno Mars, Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga and Metallica, Little Big Town. Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Weekend, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Demi Lovato.

     (Utalk Crew -Larissa, Kati, Steve)

Corden even managed to include a Carpool Karaoke segment with Neil Diamond leading a “car-full of friends” – J-Lo, John Legend, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Ryan Tedder, Jason Derulo and almost 15,000 people in the arena – in his timeless hit “Sweet Caroline.

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There was a  tribute to the Bee Gees featuring Demi Lavoto, Andra Day and Tori Kelly celebrating the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever. Bruno Mars and The Time took to center stage at Staples Center to perform a medley of Prince’s greatest hits. Mars brought the house down with his own rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy.” He channeled Prince’s signature style in a purple sequined suit, ruffled white blouse and black eyeliner.

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And, in true rock n’ roll fashion, there was a major equipment malfunction during Lady Gag and Metallica’s performance. Lead singer James Hetfield’s microphone didn’t work at all. For the first few bars of the performance the audience was treated to simply Gaga’s voice. But, ever the pioneering professionals, they made do: Gaga and James simply shared a microphone. They didn’t let it get them down, and Gaga in particular didn’t let it get in the way of her desire to crowd surf. The singer threw herself into the arms of her adoring public, Could it have been a time warp back to 1985?

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Adele got bleeped during her tribute song to George Michael. John Legend and Cynthia Erivo used the Beach Boys “God Only Knows” in a memorial tribute to all the artists the industry had recently lost, but didn’t include a moment of remembrance for singer Christina Grimmie who was killed at a tour stop in Orlando, Florida last June. A Tribe called Quest paid tribute to Phife Dawg that included the strongest political statement of the night.

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Grammy Award presenters included DNCE, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Pentatonix, Nick Jonas, Paris Jackson, The Chainsmokers, John Travolta and Ryan Seacrest.

Here’s a quick look at some of the night’s big winners at the 2017 Grammy Awards:

Record of the Year: Adele, “Hello”

Album of the Year: Adele, 25

Song of the Year: Adele, “Hello”

Best Rap Album: Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book

Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beyoncé, Lemonade

Best Country Solo Performance: Maren Morris, “My Church”

Best Rock Song: David Bowie, “Blackstar”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”

Best New Artist: Chance the Rapper

Best Pop Vocal Album: Adele, 25

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Greg Kurstin

Best Pop Solo Performance: Adele, “Hello”

Best Alternative Music Album: David Bowie, Blackstar

Best Rock Album: Cage the Elephant, Tell Me I’m Pretty

Best Rap Song: Drake, “Hotline Bling”

For more details, performances and a complete list of winners go to:

Super Bowl Ads, Social Media & Gaga


Movie Ads

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Guardians of the Galaxy made a lot of noise on Twitter during the Super Bowl but 24 hours after the game the most-viewed movie ad on social media was the Fate of the Furious with a jaw-dropping 42.27 million views according to social media monitor RelishMix. People are still watching it across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This year’s trailer traffic was huge compared to the top two totals last year with Captain America: Civil War and Jason Bourne coming in at a combined total at just over half of Fate of the Furious.

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Why the enormous difference? One word: Facebook. The social media portal — even if a studio buys ads on it– has a laser-sharp ability to zero in on a film’s target audience. IMore studios are beginning to drop their trailers first on Facebook before YouTube.

If you haven’t seen the trailer check the non-stop action out on Youtube

Lady Gaga

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Even though most people would say Gaga’s Super Bowl performance was one of the best seen in recent years, trolls attacked her body shape.

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In spite of the stunning high energy one-woman show that soared on the star power and tireless energy of Gaga, she was body-shamed by critics for having a “pot belly.” The trendsetter has been very vocal about her past struggles with anorexia and bulimia.

Gaga posted a passionate reply on Instagram that’s great advice for anyone struggling with self-worth.

“I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. Thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, Gaga.”

Wow! Well said Gaga! If you’re struggling with self-worth or trying to cater to someone else’s expectations and need some encouragement or advice reach out to us. Remember, Utalk is all about you talking to us. You can reach us at:, and @utalkradio on social media.

BTW…in case you missed Lady Gaga’s halftime show check it out on Youtube.