Presenters rehearse new line to announce awards, ‘and the winner is …’

By Beth Harris, AP
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Competitive edge: ‘and the winner is …’

LOS ANGELES — The Oscars were a little bit country this year.

“Crazy Heart,” which stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country music star, was the most obvious presence on the red carpet at Sunday’s ceremony. Bridges was nominated for best actor, Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for best-supporting actress and the song “The Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett was up for best song.

But Tim McGraw, co-star of the best-picture nominee “The Blind Side” was also in attendance with his wife, Faith Hill. McGraw plays the husband of Sandra Bullock’s character in the film.

Miley Cyrus was also at the Kodak Theatre to present an award. She came with her mother, Leticia Cyrus, but not her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.

“Last time I was here, I was with my dad,” the young pop star told E!’s Ryan Seacrest. “He kept stepping on my dress, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a throwback to more competitive days, Academy Award presenters rehearsed the line “and the winner is …” instead of the blander “and the Oscar goes to …” for Sunday’s show.

The last time the language was used officially was for the 60th Academy Awards in 1988, when “The Last Emperor” won for best picture. The following year, show producer Allan Carr changed the wording, although some presenters ignored the new guidelines.

“His goal was to make it not seem as competitive,” said Lucia Schultz, the motion picture academy’s librarian. Other awards shows also followed suit.

Although academy staff would not confirm the change before Sunday’s telecast, presenters have been using the phrasing all week.

At rehearsals on Saturday, Tom Hanks noticed the change and said, “You’re breaking the mold here guys.”

During his rehearsal, he joked around saying, “The Saturday Oscar goes to …,” and “the winner of the fake Oscar is. …”

AP Business Writer Ryan Nakashima and Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen in Los Angeles, and Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle in New York contributed to this report.

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