Los Angeles – Wednesday’s VH1 Big in ’04 awards show was a terrifying example of life imitating art, one that was dreadfully similar to “Saturday Night Live”‘s “Train Wreck Awards” skit from a few weeks ago.
There was Anna Nicole Smith, just slightly more coherent than she was at the American Music Awards, threatening to flash the Shrine Auditorium audience after accepting the Big Makeover of ’04 award.
There was ultimate odd couple, Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen, fondling each other from the “beige carpet” to the stage, which they entered on a horse-drawn carriage. (They also tried to fondle Smith after presenting her with the trophy.)
There was Paris Hilton mispronouncing “economic” backstage after winning Big Catch Phrase award for “That’s hot.”
There was Michael Moore receiving a mix of cheers and boos while accepting the Big Boat Rocker Award, and comparing his political crusade to that of Rosa Parks, who refused to move to the back of bus 49 years ago this week.
And there was notorious “Bachelor” floozy Trish, “Survivor” hero Rupert and “Amazing Race” tandem Charla and Mirna being honored (or mocked?) onstage by Kathy Griffin for no particular reason.
Speaking of “nonfiction” TV, the arrivals area outside the Big in ’04 was more of a parade of reality stars than a red carpet, with dozens of “celebrities” promoting new shows. “It’s going to show the life of a single mother,” Shar Jackson said of hers. “Oh, just mentioning my kids makes me miss them. I’m gonna cry!”
Also making noise for reporters was “Desperate Housewives” housewife Eva Longoria, who showed up with Mario Lopez. “Where’s JC?” a reporter yelled as Longoria raced by without answering.
Anna Nicole was certainly a favorite during arrivals, regardless of her rare ability to answer even the most elaborate of questions with only one word. “She’s not as hot in person,” Chris Pontius interrupted Green Day mid-interview to say.
Along with a smorgasbord of breathing train wrecks, the actual Big in ’04 show featured a few tender moments, most notably Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder singing an impromptu jam after Wonder presented the actor/singer with the Big Entertainer of ’04.
P. Diddy also gave a passionate speech about his Vote or Die campaign after being presented with the Maverick Award for the second year in a row, although it was a bit odd that he never acknowledged the enormous “P. Diddy for President in ’08” banner that dropped behind him.
And Usher continued his awards-show hot streak by winning Big Musical Artist. “This is for everyone who ever doubted me,” he said, holding up the trophy.
As host, Nick Lachey (who now has two reality shows to promote) was his usual calm, cool self, with skits that mocked the attention his and Jessica’s relationship has been getting in the tabloids.
Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Maroon 5 and Velvet Revolver performed during the show, which also honored Big Bummer Moment, Big Banned, Big Second Coming and Big Family.
Big in ’04 will air Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1. Check out VH1’s Big in ’04 site for more about the show.