INTERVIEW: Maria Menounos Talks Oscars

Ralphie Aversa  —  03/09/2014 — Leave a comment

Over 14.7 million tweets were sent out Sunday evening during the 86th Academy Awards. The telecast, buoyed by big performances and host Ellen DeGeneres, saw a 10-year high in ratings. About 43 million Americans watched the 3-and-a-half hour broadcast. It is the highest rated entertainment program since the series finale of the sitcom “Friends.”

Speaking of Twitter, a record was broken during the show. DeGeneres’ A-List filled “selfie” was retweeted over 3.1 million times. The previous retweet record was President Barack Obama’s reelection tweet. It was re-published about 778,000 times. Ellen’s account also gained a couple of million followers in the process.

“I was at the In Style viewing party, and I was like, ‘This is absolutely brilliant right now,’” “Extra TV” host Maria Menounos told me, before an unfortunate revelation. “I never even saw it on Twitter because I wasn’t using my phone at that time. I had no battery left.”

Menounos went straight to the viewing party after covering red carpet arrivals for the TV show. She enjoyed the Oscars fashion the most.

“We were all waiting for Brad and Angelina to show up of course,” Menounos said. “I think that they looked incredible, especially Angelina.”

The TV host also gave props to the leading men of “Dallas Buyers Club.” Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto each wore white tuxedo blazers, won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively, and left the audience with poignant acceptance speeches.

“Cate Blanchett as well, I thought she was hilarious,” Menounos continued when asked about her favorite acceptance speeches. Blanchett won Best Actress for “Blue Jasmine” and dropped a “#suckit” to Julia Roberts, even though Roberts wasn’t nominated in the same category. “And of course, Lupita’s (Nyong’o) was so moving, it even made Brad Pitt cry.”

Pitt had a feature role in “12 Years A Slave,” the film that went on to win the night’s biggest honor of “Best Picture.” Nyong’o took home Best Supporting Actress.

Both were featured in Ellen’s selfie, which actually sent so many users to Twitter that the social network broke down. According to Twitter statistics, over 254,000 tweets per minute were sent during the selfie portion of the broadcast. The photo was snapped by Bradley Cooper and also included Nyong’o’s brother, Jolie, Leto, and Kevin Spacey.

An alternative view of the moment showed Liza Minnelli attempting to show her face in the picture, but not able to get around the other celebrities. Minnelli was the subject of Ellen’s sharpest jab during the show’s opening. DeGeneres joked that the 67-year old actress looked more like a man dressed to impersonate Minnelli than Minnelli herself.

Catch Maria on “Extra” weeknights at 7 p.m. on WNBC.

Ralphie Aversa

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