There’s only a few minutes until the telecast starts, so guests at the Elton John Aids Foundation viewing party are frantically trying to mark their paper ballots for a contest. The problem? Patron built all the bars from ice and the ballots are not water-resistant. There are few places for people to check “Alfonso Cuaron” and “Jared Leto” as the consensus locks.
It’s one hour into the show and the TV feed at Elton’s soiree keeps getting intermittently knocked offline. After the third time, the audience groans. Jane Fonda, next year’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, takes advantage of the down time. She pulls out her iPhone to poke away. For now she’s safe. Later, she’ll get in trouble.
When “20 Feet From Stardom” wins the Best Documentary Feature award, Quincy Jones leans over the back of his chair to double handshake with Elton John at the head table. They are seated back to back.
In other music news, Pharrell put back on his tuxedo after re-launching his hat’s career and singing “Happy” in the opening act of the ABC telecast. Above, he reunites with Illumination’s Chris Meledrandri.
InStyle and the Four Seasons had viewing parties, but the hot spot is inside the Elton tent at Table 18. Kim and Kourtney Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner shared the table, but all there head out early. Presumably, they’re on to the next stop in the chain of black Audis who provided all the sleek rides for VIPs. Kelly Rowland remains at the table. For the time that she was at the party, Kim had her own private one-man security detail.
Three of the four actor winners. That’s Lupita looking in over Jared’s shoulder backstage at the Dolby.
Earlier in the night, Donatella Versace and Jane Fonda had been Elton’s wing-women. Now it’s Lady Gaga and Kelly Osbourne having a huddle at the table. As Jane Fonda, seated at their elbow, tries to snap a photo on her iPhone, Gaga reaches out and heismans her. “Please don’t” she says, perhaps not recognizing Fonda. Fonda tucks her cell phone away.
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Patriots owner and all around NFL good-guy Robert Kraft, Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grange, and Tommy Hilfiger all ring the head table, three times the size of the others.
“12 Years a Slave” wins Best Picture and there’s an audible sigh of relief in the Elton John tent. With George Clooney accepting on behalf of “Argo” last year, and Brad Pitt first on the mic for “12 Years” last night, Matt Damon‘s seat must be getting hot. #Oceans11OscarsClub.
After the show, Steven Tyler is hawking 5 days at his Maui hideaway to raise money for the EJAF. To up the sexiness quotient he asks: “Any Catholics here who want five more children?”
Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett is making sure the name inside the envelope matches the name on the statue.
The Vanity Fair dinner and party has already been in full swing for over four hours, and it’s only two or so hours away from winding down. “Nevermind” says someone every producer should get to know quickly. A generous donor at Elton John puts down $85,000 to win an auction for a pair of tickets to leave the outpost on San Vicente immediately and head up to the Vanity Fair party on Sunset.
You’re getting rave reviews, you broke twitter, and you got $200 cash out of Harvey Weinstein. What are you doing now? “I’m going to Vanity Fair with my wife” – I’m guessing Ellen DeGeneres said or thought.
Ed Sheeran is performing at Elton John. Taylor Swift, who had Ed on her tour last fall, is in the pit cheering him on while most of the other newly arrived talent (Karina Smirnoff, Dan Bucatinsky, J.B. Smoove) are still in the arrivals chute. Ozzy Osbourne is heading for the car callback.
“Captain Phillips” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” producer Dana Brunetti arrives at his own party in Beverly Hills with Kristin Chenowith. As pals approach him, he’s too flooded for hellos and waves handshakes and mouthed “thank yous” instead.
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This long driveway off Sunset in Beverly Hills…
Leads to Michael De Luca‘s tennis court. Tonight, playing the role of “Tennis Court”: hundreds of people dancing to “Under Pressure.”
Perhaps in honor of John Travolta‘s presenting appearance at the Oscars, DJ Bee Fowl (a regular in Bootsy Bellows’ back room) is playing “Staying Alive”. The dance floor is still packed. Barkhad Abdi is on scene and although he lost to Leto, is telling guests that he now lives in L.A. As for working with Paul Greengrass again: “I’d love that” he says.
Others seen on the Oscars “scene”: Kellan Lutz and his manager Ryan Daly, J.B. Smoove, Dan Bucatinsky, Lady Victoria Hervey, glossy publisher Jason Binn, Sheryl Crow, Christina Aguilera ex Jordan Bratman, Melonie Diaz and her boyfriend Matt, Lady Victoria Hervey, and Karina Smirnoff.
Dana Brunetti party photos by Mikey Glazer. All others courtesy of Getty Images and Patron.