• Wed, Jan 8 - 2:12 pm ET

Here Are 7 Behind The Scenes Secrets About Hollywood Awards Shows You Probably Didn’t Know

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I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that Awards Season is creeping up on us quickly and the bad news is that, unfortunately, there is no bad news. Because Awards Season is fantastic. Hellooo, you get to watch other people get applauded for their creative achievements while you sit on your couch in your pajamas! And, most importantly, you get to will your favorite projects to win stuff, which is only made sweeter by the possibility to complain non-stop for weeks afterward if they happen to lose. What I just described there is known in some circles as living the life.

But, like all other part of Hollywood, award shows are never what they seem to be on the surface. Because, what I’ve gathered from every sketchy agent-type character on TV, it’s showbiz, baby. And, in showbiz, there are lots of secrets being tucked away (until someone writes a tell-all book.) Honestly, if you even want a chance at getting all of the secrets out of your Hollywood, you’ll have to soak it for at least a week or have it dry-cleaned, but who has time for that? What we do have time for, though, is a nice round up of my 7 favorite hush-hush things about the whole awards show process.

1. Seat-filling is a real thing.

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Okay, quick, what do you do if you’re a celebrity at an awards ceremony where the camera could pan over to you at any moment BUT you have to pee. You have to make a game time decision and your seat definitely can’t be empty ever, so what do you do? Oh, wait, never mind. You can totally count on the seat fillers that have been hired for that purpose. Go pee as you please or pick up that award you just won, you free bird. The seat-filler will keep your seat warm and make uncomfortable small-talk with your plus one.

2. Everything is free and borrowed.

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And I do mean everything. You know how the average normal finds it absolutely insane to spend thousands on an outfit and jewelry that they’re only going to wear once and then do it over and over again? Right, well it turns out that celebrities also sort of agree. That’s why they either wear free clothes sent to them by hopeful designers, or just rent to their hearts’ content and strategically avoid red wine for the night.

3. Speaking of security, they prepare for months for just one night. 

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After all, we need someone to protect our shining gems and their even shinier (albeit borrowed) gemstones. That’s why it’s no biggie for a team to prepare for weeks on end with the FBI and police department to make sure everything goes smoothly.

4. The costs add up really quickly.

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Award shows are great for advertising because they don’t cost that much to produce but make a lot in ads. Except “don’t cost that much” actually means thousands upon thousands of dollars on things that you forget even cost money. Like the actual statues, for instance, which go for just under $1K apiece, if we happen to be talking specifically about an Oscar.

5. Celebrities only show up because they know they’ve won.

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True, sometimes celebrities still don’t show up even if they have been nominated and we have to sit through the awkwardness of an acquaintance accepting their award for them when they win. But with smaller shows, they do show up and that’s because they’ve already gotten word that they’ve won the category they’re nominated for. Not because they’re really into wearing uncomfortable shoes and clapping endlessly for hours; but because they know they’ll be leaving with a hunk of gold-plated ego booster.

6. Susan Sarandon isn’t showing up unless she’s high.

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She’s said herself that the only time she’ll reconsider pulling a Bieber before a show is when it’s the Oscars; otherwise all bets are off and she’s probably going to arrive glassy-eyed and hungry.

7. None of the statues are personalized.

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In my mind, I’d always assumed that the statues that the winner is handed onstage already has their name, birthdate, height and weight, favorite potato chip, etc. But actually, nope. What we see on TV is usually just a stunt trophy for TV purposes that gets engraved afterward.

Keep an eye out for some of these things at the next award show you cancel your dinner plans to stay at home and watch. I know I will be!

You can reach this post's author, Olivia Wilson, on twitter.
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  • Jill O’Rourke

    I really wish seat-fillers were a thing in non-fancy life. I’d hire so many to take my place at boring parties.

    • Olivia Wilson

      Oh man, yes. Also at the doctor and when I have to meet up with old friends who I’ve just discovered are really annoying.