"It's a great night tonight. We have four black nominees tonight. So great! It's kind of like the Def Oscar Jam," joked 2005 Oscar host Chris Rock at the top of his divisive monologue 11 years ago. Now that he's officially back as emcee, we thought it'd be fun to look back at his first time at bat, when he took hilarious jabs at Nicole Kidman, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tobey Maguire, Jude Law, Colin Ferrell, Michael Moore and then-President George W. Bush. (Watch this opening monologue below.)
"I love the Oscars. The Oscars are the only awards show where the people getting awards don't perform. That's right, there's no acting at the Oscars. None at all," Rock teased in his monologue. "You go the Grammys, there's singing. You go to the Tony Awards, there's singing and dancing. You go to the Source Awards, there's singing, dancing and shooting."
While Rock praised that year's four black Oscar nominees, things aren't looking very good for African-American actors this time around. Of the 20 potential nominees across the four acting categories, Gold Derby predicts that only one black performer — British born Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation") — will receive a nomination. And no black stars were nominated last year at all. No doubt Rock will make fun of Hollywood's current lack of diversity, a stark contrast to 11 years ago.
Rock's reviews were good and ratings were strong with 42.16 million viewers during his ceremony when "Million Dollar Baby" won Best Picture. The only Oscarcast to top that number since then was two years ago when Ellen DeGeneres drew an audience of 43.74 million. By way of comparison, last year's ceremony, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, had just 37.26 million watching.
Rock has a history with Reginald Hudlin, one of the two producers of this year's Oscars. The multi-hyphenate directed the pilot of Rock's laffer "Everybody Hates Chris" back in 2005. Hudlin and David Hill, a veteran producer of live TV events like "American Idol" the World Series, were paired up by the academy to produce the Oscars for the first time.
What films do you think will be in the Best Picture line-up this year? Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
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