Results – The Second Annual Pajiba Academy Award Telecast Quiz and Contest
Yes, it has been three days since the big event, so perhaps your taste for Oscar talk has dissipated, but I expect at least a few of you from that pool of 100-plus comments will bear with me to learn the winner of the contest. (That was my first Pajiba column ever to attain the century mark in comments; granted, I ensnared you with the promise of prizes and not my way with words.) I performed the careful task of grading every single entry, and we have a winner! Before I reach that announcement, though, I offer highlights on some of the critical proposition bets that produced that winner.
The "Scorsese" drinking game had me on the edge of my seat all evening. When the show opened with a surprise win for Hugo in the Cinematography category, I immediately wondered if I had placed the ranges of "Scorsese" utterances too low. I quickly realized, though, that few people that have the privilege of working with Martin Scorsese call him anything but "Marty." What a swell guy he must be. Although all the Hugo winners thanked him, most of them made use of the more friendly appellation. Mentally I imagined Sir Ben Kingsley calling him "Marty" on the Hugo set in the same accent that he used when talking to Robert Redford's "Martin Bishop" in the movie Sneakers.
Still, the "Scorsese" total slowly crept up as the evening progressed.
Bridesmaids Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy ended the drama during their award presentation, taking their drinking game stunt to the Oscar stage and pushing the answer from the "5-9" range to the "10-14" answer.
This year problems in the Middle East were addressed in an acceptance speech. As big of a favorite as Iran's The Separation was in the Foreign Film category, that was not too much of a surprise.
Uggie the dog was featured, spotlighted in a comedic bit with Billy Crystal and ending up on stage for the Best Picture win, which if you were a regular Pajiba reader also should not have been a surprise.
Meryl Streep's acceptance speech was a nail-biter if you were timing it as I was. Extended applause interrupted the beginning of her speech, and her opening in which she reflected on how audience members must be tired of her and made a point of thanking her husband first and foremost left me suspecting that she would be going well beyond the designated 150 seconds. However, after thanking her veteran makeup artist (a winner from earlier in the evening), she quickly picked up the pace with a heartfelt, all-encompassing reflection on her many friends in the room. I like to think that her final words of gratitude to those that had passed included her former paramour (and iconic 70s actor) John Cazale. At 146 seconds, Meryl wrapped up, and the "under" was achieved.
Speaking of the departed, while this is not related to the game that I wrote, I did make a point of counting the number of people named in the In Memoriam tribute for another contest I had entered. This segment always makes my eyes a little glassy, but it was made much worse by the act of impassively tallying the number of this year's notable cinematic dead for such a trivial matter. Esperanza Spalding (a jamming bassist, by the way) accompanied the montage with a beautiful vocal rendition of the already heartbreaking "What A Wonderful World." I felt like the Grim Reaper, and I do not recommend that feeling. (The number, by the way, was 39.)
I know you all want to know the results of my demographic survey almost as much as you want to know the winner, right? Here they are:
A) a man - 13 (11.4%)
B) a Muppet - 21 (18.4%)
C) a very manly Muppet - 17 (14.9%)
D) a Muppet of a man - 33 (28.9%)
E) prefer not to answer - 28 (24.6%)
I hope none of you were offended by the lyrics-restricted verbiage. I truly meant "man" in the admittedly gender-biased but humanity-universal sense of the word. I would like to thank PerpetualIntern for answering "Muppet of a (Wo)man", Arrogant Ambassador for defiantly answering "F) A Woman", figgy for her equally defiant answer (in spite of labeling herself a plain Muppet), and lubeg for only answering this question and none of the others with "F) a very Muppetly man".
Also, I am wondering why glv put a reminder to give mom a copy of the Midnight In Paris soundtrack in the middle of the answers. Finally, I want to let Pookie know that his expressed contempt was indeed felt, as grading his numberless quiz did slow down my momentum.
I have made you wait long enough. Remember how I said in the previous column that I placed second in last year's quiz? Well, I went back and looked at last year's column and discovered that I was mistaken. I wasn't second. I actually won my own quiz on the strength of the tiebreaker and gave the prize to the person who came in second place. She returned this year to defend her title, but, alas, Margrete, your repeat win was not to be. You did score well with 11 out of 22 correct, but we had multiple entries that scored both 12 and 13. (Pajiba's own Dustin Rowles improved considerably over his performance last year with 12 correct this time.)
One entry alone, though, had a staggering 14 out of 22 correct. And that entry was...
C. Robert Dimitri!
Yes, I did it again! You are all but the junior Oscar prognosticators when compared to my uncanny, bordering-on-psychic Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prediction mastery! I'd like to thank Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Angelina Jolie's right leg, that large cloth protrusion on the right shoulder of Emma Stone's dress, the adorable Emma Stone herself, Uggie the dog, all the heartwarming speeches of Oscar night (especially the one from those guys that won for Best Animated Short), Marty, Billy Wilder, and the states of Texas, North Carolina, California, Georgia, and Virginia.
Most of all, thank you to my wonderful fiancée. You, my dearest, have brought a seismic positive shift to my life outlook that makes George Valentin's jarring leap from silent film to the talkies in The Artist seem miniscule in magnitude.
Aside: said fiancée has just informed me that she believes that I have an unfair advantage over everyone else given the amount of study that I put into preparing these quizzes, and as such I should not be too smug. She compared my advantage to that of Pete Rose betting on his team's own games with his advanced lineup knowledge. As appalled as I was by this analogy, we are still engaged as of the writing of this sentence, but I might be looking for a demonstration of undying faith like that shown by Berenice Bejo's Peppy Miller toward George Valentin to make amends for her statement.
I apologize. I cannot collect the prize, and I truly have drawn this out long enough. Four contestants answered thirteen correctly (=DocDoom=, KatSings, Returnofthesmith, and Trish). Our champion is a Muppet of a man and was only one minute away from the actual ceremony time of 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 53 seconds. Congratulations to...
Pajiba officials will be in touch with you about your prizes. As promised, you do have the option of my treating you to one of those guided tours of the [Chapter 11] Theater at Hollywood and Highland, home of the Academy Awards, if you are in the Los Angeles area in the near future.
Thank you, everyone, for playing along and indulging me in this column that is far too lengthy for the simple announcement of a contest winner. I shall return!
C. Robert Dimitri wouldn't mind constructing silly quizzes like this full-time and would very much like to attend the Oscars someday.