The 11 most toe-curlingly awkward awards show moments of all time

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty’s ill-fated presentation of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture was one for the history books. Thanks to a mix-up, Beatty was given Emma Stone’s Best Actress winner card, and showing it to Dunaway she exclaimed that La La Land had won Best Picture. Of course, when they reached the stage, they discovered it was Moonlight that had won the award, and in the resulting furore a lot of the attention that film deserved has instead focussed on the gaffe. But worse things have happened, and gaffes come gaucher than this one. Here’s 11 of the most awkward ones, like, ever.

1. Steve Harvey awards Miss Universe to the wrong person

At 2015’s Miss Universe competition, Steve Harvey mistakenly announced the competition’s ‘first runner up’ – written on his card – as the overall winner of Miss Universe. Upon realising his “honest mistake” he had to own up, and transfer the winner’s tiara and sash from the runner up, Miss Colombia, to the winner, Miss Philippines. Awks.

2. Judy Finnigan’s bra breaks free


At the 2000 National Television Awards, Judy Finnigan (of Richard and Judy fame) had an absolute disaster. Her top slipped down past her bra, leaving it exposed for the world to see – meanwhile, Richard thought the crowd was  going mad for his Ali G impression. Judy later revealed that she was so “mortified” that she’d thrown away the offending bra immediately after the ceremony.

3. Kanye letting Taylor finish

The “narrative” of Taylor Swift and Kanye West‘s fr-enmity began here, at the MTV VMAs 2009, when Kanye interrupted the 19-year-old’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video to tell everyone that Beyoncé should have won. By 2015’s ceremony, Kanye and Taylor were close enough that Swift presented the Vanguard award to West, and he reflected on his behaviour six years prior: “If I had a daughter at that time would I have went on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s?” 2017 sees them back on rocky territory, following 2016’s ‘Famous’ feud.

4. Lily Allen and Elton John taking the joke too far

At the 2008 GQ Men of the Year Awards, this odd couple had a weird falling out – for a joke or for real, it’s hard to tell. Elton picked up on the number of drinks Lily had had, Lily replied, “I’m 40 years younger than you. I have my whole life ahead of me,” and then Elton hit back: “I could still snort you under the table.”

5. Jarvis Cocker takes the piss out of MJ


Jacko’s grandstanding performance of ‘Earth Song’ at the 1996 Brits irked Jarvis Cocker so much that he decided to do a bit of bum-waving onstage. “My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing,” he later said. “The music industry allows him to indulge his fantasies because of his wealth and power. People go along with it even though they know it’s a bit sick. I just couldn’t go along with it anymore. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision brought on by boredom and frustration.” A classic of the genre.

6. Ronnie Wood throws his drink over a stage invader

At the 2000 BRIT awards, Ronnie Wood and Thora Birch were presenting Best Soundtrack when a very drunk DJ, Brandon Block, crashed the stage appearing to think he had won. Wood ducked behind Birch, then threw his drink over Block, before Block was removed from the stage by security. You can’t always get what you want…

7. ‘Adele Dazeem’

That was how John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel at the 2014 Oscars, because of how it had been phonetically spelt on the teleprompter. Just… wow.

8. ‘Come up and get it, Frank!’

At 1934’s ceremony, this introduction of Cavalcade director Frank Lloyd was misunderstood by Frank Capra. Capra believed he had won Best Director for Lady for a Day, and described the walk back to his chair as “the longest, saddest, most shattering walk in my life.”

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9. The streaker of ’74

Robert Opel streaked during the 1974 Oscars, flashing the peace sign behind presenter David Niven. Cool, calm and collected, Niven quipped: “Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen… But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

10. J-Law’s fall

Jennifer Lawrence: never more relatable than when she stumbled on the way to the most important moment of her career so far: picking up her 2013 Best Actress award for Silver Linings Playbook. Not awkward so much as hilarious – Lawrence’s reaction is priceless, as is Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper’s little dash to make sure she was ok.

11. James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s entire Oscars performance as hosts

At 2011’s Oscars, Franco and Hathaway were painfully chalk-and-cheese hosts, with Franco going for slacker vibes, and Hathaway beaming with excessively positive energy. As Tina Fey joked to Hathaway at the 2013 Golden Globes, “You gave a stunning performance in Les Misérables. I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.” Ouch.