Social media brings stars closer to the audience and Ellen used it to her advantage.
When Ellen Degeneres took the Academy Awards gig this year, she had some huge expectations to live up to. Mostly expectations that she wouldn’t alienate half the audience thanks to a certain performance by Seth Macfarlane the previous year. So Ellen found an easy solution and bribed all the attendees with pizza. Presumably, it was the ever hungry Jennifer Lawrence who had the best time as the delivery guy (still unclear whether he was an actor or not) walked into the Dolby Theater and started handing out slices to the A-listers. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto and Harison Ford each got a slice, before Ellen left it to producer Harvey Winestein to foot the bill. He must have been a good tipper, though.
"No pressure, only a billion people are watching, whatever you feel is right," she shouted.
Ellen's casual hosting style was a nice change of pace for the stuffy award show.
Ellen didn’t rely on flashy, musical numbers. Instead, it was audience participation. Clever, given that her audience consisted of some of the best actors in the biz. There were selfies with the likes of "12 Years A Slave" stars Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor, best actress nominee Julia Roberts and some of the cast members of "Hustle." And of course, there was the big one, taken by Bradley Cooper, which Degeneres later tweeted and which got retweeted over two million times – a photo featuring Degeneres, Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Brad and Angelina and about a third of Jared Leto’s face, among others. All in all, it was more like a night out with the friends you wish you had, rather than the stuffy affair the Oscars are typically known as. Well done, Ellen.