It was a goose-bump inducing moment of pride. And it made up for waking up at 2am to cover the Oscars for work. Seeing Soweto Gospel Choir up there on the Oscar stage. Sure, it was only for a few minutes, but the fact that Hugh Jackman gave a shout out to "Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa" made it a memorable one.
Some other memorable moments that made this year's ceremony entertaining for me included:
* Kate Winslet's speech: say what you will, the woman has had to sit through this ceremony five times before, and five times before has lost out on Oscar glory. I would also have been a blubbering dramatic if it had been me up on that stage (oh, how I wish!). I'd be lying if I haven't made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this would have been a shampoo bottle. Well it's not a shampoo bottle now. " Kate Winslet, Best Actress.
* Sean Penn's win: if anyone had to take it away from Mickey Rourke, it could only have been Penn. Haven't seen Milk yet, but Rourke is brilliant in The Wrestler, so Penn must be double-so. Also appreciated his politically stirring speech, calling for equal rights. " You commie, homo-loving sons of guns! I did not expect this and I want it to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often. " - Sean Penn, Best Actor.
* Danny Boyle channeling Tigger: as a Winnie the Pooh fan, I appreciated Boyle's vigour and passion. Also love the fact that I can now add "interviewed an Oscar-winning director to my CV!". " My kids are too old to remember this now but, when they were much younger, I swore to them if this miracle ever happened, I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and that's what that was. " Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle, Best Director.
Woke up early, 2am-early, to go to work and get the latest on the Grammys. As I was getting dressed, had E!News Red Carpet on, and heard that Chris Brown had apparently been taken in for questioning, and that neither he nor girlfriend Rihanna would be at the ceremony. Word is he either got into a fight with someone else, or he got into a fight with Rihanna...Woaaah...Another Woaaah! moment was MIA almost ready to pop out her baby, performing alongside Jay Z, Kanye West and T.I. Really, she was literally ready to give birth, even telling Giuliana Rancic that she had someone on standby if she did go into labour. Then again, as a colleague said to me, if she had the chance to perform at the Grammys she wouldn't let being pregnant interfere in that either. And she was performing with Jay Z et al!
Otherwise, a bittersweet moment for the South African artists. Soweto Gospel Choir was up for Best Contemporary World Music Album, but lost out on that nod. It would have been their 3rd win in a row, following the last two year's fantastic showing...but good on Ladysmith Black Mambazo - 3rd win, amid notching up 13 nods over the years!