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The Fifth Annual Pajiba Academy Award Telecast Contest Results

By C. Robert Dimitri | Miscellaneous | March 5, 2015 |

By C. Robert Dimitri | Miscellaneous | March 5, 2015 |

We still need to announce the results of this year’s Oscar quiz, featuring for the first time a grand prize of one hundred dollars cash! I realize the Oscar buzz has completely died down, and I apologize for procrastinating the presentation of the results. With the money on the line, though, I know one of you will be very happy with this column. Thanks to everyone who participated, and thank you especially to those participants that provided amusing remarks with your entries to make the grading process a little more entertaining. To paraphrase one of my favorite Simpsons quotes, in a sense, you’re all winners. In another more accurate sense for this particular case, though, all but one of you are not.

Regarding the proposition bets, we had Neil Patrick Harris giving us a magic trick in the form of his predictions locked in a box and no reference whatsoever to the specified non-movie projects of his. (This was truly a missed opportunity to drum up support for a Dr. Horrible sequel.) White was the winning dress color among the actress nominees, there was no specific mention of any of the current events I listed, one of the guys that won the Best Live Action Short Oscar did trip on his way up the steps, and Julianne Moore’s speech came in just a few seconds under the 150 mark.

If you have completed this quiz in past years, you might have noticed that I did not include my usual question that selects a particular word (“Scorsese,” “Gravity,” etc.) and asks you to guess how many times it will be spoken over the course of the telecast. I was not confident in my ability to accurately track that question for the televised version of the program, because this time I spent those 220 minutes not on the couch at home but instead inside the confines of the Dolby Theatre on the first mezzanine level. Yes, I’m finally people who know people. (More accurately, I know my wife, and she was fortunate enough to acquire tickets for us.)

I don’t have any juicy celebrity personal interactions to share, but I do highly recommend the experience if you ever have the opportunity. Star-spotting was frequent and fun. At various points over the course of the evening we were in close proximity to Laura Dern, Bruce Dern, Jessica Chastain, Jared Leto, Steve Carell, Zoe Saldana, Keira Knightley, Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Pine, Rosamund Pike, Adrien Brody, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Oyelowo, and many more.

The show plays better live than it does on television in my opinion, although I did miss some of the savvy audience reaction shots that complement what takes place on stage. Afterward we were able to enjoy the food, drinks, and live entertainment at the Governor’s Ball. Lest you had any doubts, they know how to put on an opulent party in Hollywood. I was casually sipping my champagne and eating my Wolfgang Puck gourmet macaroni and cheese, and all of the sudden Sergio Mendes and were just a few yards away putting on a live concert. Also, we had the chance to hold an actual Oscar, and, yes, they are surprisingly heavy even when you know ahead of time that they weigh eight and a half pounds.

Back to the contest. We had an unprecedented eight-way tie for second place with 14 answers correct. Each of these competitors receives no money, but they do receive my accolades and respect. (I myself only managed eleven correct this year.) In improving order of the tiebreaker, I offer you these titles for your performances…

Sling Dingers (175 minutes): the American Sniper Sound Editing Award. You grossed a lot of money at the box office, and you certainly have your fans, but ultimately I’m afraid you have come up short when it comes to the big prize.

Raptor5 (185 minutes): the CitizenFour Documentary Feature Award. Best Documentary Feature is extremely admirable. Congratulations. Ultimately, though, the docs are always going to be underappreciated in this game. Also, it’s not an entirely safe gig.

NoNeinNyet (187 minutes): the Feast Animated Short Film Award. You’re even more overlooked than the documentaries, but you do have that adorable cartoon dog that devours all that good food working in your favor.

Benjamin (189 minutes): the Big Hero 6 Animated Feature Award. Yes, you were produced by behemoth Disney, but it was still something of an upset that you made it this far. You’re big. You’re heroic. And I guess you’re number six. (Cut me a break. I haven’t seen this movie.)

ZizoAH (190 minutes): the Patricia Arquette Supporting Actress Award. Beloved Boyhood only has you in its Oscar win corner, and your acceptance speech certainly generated much conversation.

DavidChristian (194 minutes): the Whiplash Award. On top of Supporting Actor, you surprised us with Editing and Sound Mixing. Ultimately, though, J.K. Simmons is probably going to throw a chair at you, and you’re just not our tempo.

Wilma (197 minutes): the John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn “Glory” Award. Third place is not shabby at all. May the inspiring song of Common and John Legend guide you to even greater achievements in the future.

Kathy (206 minutes): the Grand Budapest Hotel Technical Achievement Award. Score, Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup. That’s an impressive haul. There are probably quite a few Pajiba folks that like you the best of the nominees. This year, though, you must settle for second place.

Without further ado, the winner of the 2015 Pajiba Oscar Telecast Quiz and recipient of the BIRDMAN Award is…


Congratulations to Nerg! You had 16 correct, which was two answers better than anyone else this year. (You also had the best tiebreaker response among the top nine finishers with a guess of 217 minutes, only three minutes away from the broadcast’s duration.) That’s a margin of victory we have never seen previously in this quiz.

I can’t speak for them, but I can only imagine that Inarritu, Keaton, Norton, Stone, and company would be extremely proud of you. You - like all of us - had a Birdman, but you conquered it! Your dedication can only mean that you are what we talk about when we talk about love, as Raymond Carver might say, and I can only assume that there is constant drum background music accompanying you everywhere you go in one long tracking shot that is occasionally populated by a monstrous (imaginary) bird monster.

You have won the grand prize (please email pajiba at gmail dot com to collect). Spend it well! Also — as I always offer the winner — if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can hit me up for that Dolby tour (assuming they’re still giving them and I’m still here) in the future.

Thank you everyone for playing!

C. Robert Dimitri will return in the Sixth Annual Oscar Quiz.