By Alesandra Dubin Posted January 8, 2009, 6:05 PM EST
LOS ANGELES Last night's People's Choice Awards—the first semi-official stop on Los Angeles's crowded award-season calendar—fulfilled its reputation as a throw-away stepsister to more important ceremonies like Sunday's Golden Globes, according to a consensus among the press.
An Entertainment Weekly blog slammed the show for its predictability—suggesting that all the winners received advanced notice and conspicuously appeared in the audience at the Shrine. And it pointed to a questionable moment in which singer Jewel stood outside the Shrine “pretending to randomly give out a CVS Pharmacy-sponsored makeover to some woman, then cut to a pre-taped segment featuring said woman's makeover.”
(It wouldn't be the first time an award show pulled a ruse on its viewing audience: Consider MTV's Video Music Awards, at which the band Paramore joined the broadcast from the stage at Paramount, which was meant to to trick viewers into thinking the satellite feed was coming from the the Whiskey five miles away in West Hollywood.)
Last night's People's Choice show may not have packed much of a punch—but that wasn't always the case. The Los Angeles Times noted “the decline and fall of the People's Choice Awards,” and suggested the problem with the show's credibility resulted when it changed its voting procedures from a more scientific Gallup poll to an Internet free for all. New York magazine discussed the show's more influential days and suggested what happened to make it lose a significant amount of its draw over the last few years and today pull “about as much star power as a potluck at Jason Biggs's house.”
Next up on the award season circuit: the Critics Choice Awards tonight at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.