The 2020 Emmys were bound to be full of surprises due to its socially distanced ceremony, and they did not disappoint. There were crazy cameos from Emmy Awards winners (and an alpaca). There was a history making sweep. There were underdogs that toppled industry veterans. Keep reading below for the five most shocking moments of the 72nd annual Emmy Awards.
Jennifer Aniston puts out a fire
During a staged bit about Covid-19 safety practices, host Jimmy Kimmel sanitized the envelope for Comedy Lead Actress before tossing it in a trash bin and lighting it on fire. Jennifer Aniston was handed a fire extinguisher to put out the flame. That was planned. Not planned was the fire’s determination to keep on burning. It sprouted anew as Kimmel reached in to grab the envelope. Aniston looked alarmed but soon donned the look of a steely action star as she attacked the fire like a pro.
“Schitt’s Creek” makes a clean sweep
We knew the beloved Pop TV comedy would have a great night. But few predicted just how sweet it would be. Most pundits assumed the show would claim Comedy Series and trophies for leads Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. But then Dan Levy and Annie Murphy bested last year’s winners Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein in the supporting races, and Levy took Comedy writing and directing (he shared the latter category with co-director Andrew Cividino). “Schitt’s Creek” became the first comedy series to win all four major acting awards. Additionally, with Creative Arts wins for Casting and Contemporary Costumes bringing their trophy count to nine, the Canadian hit became the most awarded comedy series in Emmy history.
“Unorthodox” steals a directing award
Perhaps it was vote splitting due to “Watchmen” having three nominees, but Maria Schrader prevailed in Limited/Movie Directing for helming “Unorthodox.” The limited series was a word of mouth hit for Netflix, but it was widely predicted to fall prey to “Watchmen” in every category in which it was nominated. Plenty of winners gave engaging, heartfelt speeches during the ceremony, but it was a treat to see a truly surprised winner. It was the first upset of the night, made all the sweeter because Schrader genuinely didn’t see it coming.
Uzo Aduba surpasses two Emmy favorites for “Mrs. America” win
Most Emmy watchers assumed the big battle in Limited/Movie Supporting Actress was between Jean Smart (“Watchmen”) and Toni Collette (“Unbelievable”). Imagine the shock of those pundits when neither of those women won. Instead Uzo Aduba picked up her third win after two previous victories for “Orange is the New Black.” The actress was clearly shocked at her latest win, excitedly looking off camera and shouting “Mom, I won!” That’s why we love Uzo.
Zendaya shocks in Drama Actress
The young actress was up against titans of the industry, such as Laura Linney, Olivia Colman, and Jennifer Aniston. When Kimmel opened the envelope to reveal the “Euphoria” star had won, her room of friends erupted in screams of joy. Zendaya overcame her emotions to deliver a heartfelt speech, noting that despite the turmoil of this year: “there is hope in the young people out there.” A fitting sentiment for the woman who just became the youngest ever winner of the Drama Lead Actress category.