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Inside the MTV Woodie Awards 09: Behind the Scenes and on the Red Carpet with College’s Artists

Jess Shaffer | Monday, December 7, 2009

I can’t say that I’m a red carpet pro. Admittedly my first interview on the Woodie Red Carpet was disaster. Apparently the fact that I wasn’t interviewing acts of U2-scale fame, instead these bands are minor, fringe group favorite bands, didn’t occur to me. Nervous, panicky and so green to this type of experience, I clashed with the red carpet.
With a bit of practice, chatting with talent like Janelle Monae, 30h!3 or Friendly Fires became easier.
And of course with comfort, quickly came my tendency to mock relentlessly. In an inner commentary, I began to notice delightful nuances in an already strange environment. Alexa Chung plays Never Have I Ever with “Weeds” star, Mary Louise Parker. As Parker walks away from Chung, a priceless scoff escaped her lips in response to her interviewer — “Who the f**k was that?!” David Cross, of “Arrested Development” fame, looks around confused and asking where his girlfriend, Amber Tamblyn (“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Joan of Arcadia”) disappeared to. Maybe she’s gone back to preschool, where she would have been when you were her age. A lanky character, dressed up as Waldo, wanders the carpet, posing with acts for no apparent reason.
Personal highlights of the night is an odd mixture of memorable highs and lows. I insulted Roxy from “The City,” accidentally asking her about being on “The Hills.” Her look of disgust was priceless. My only star-struck moment of the night is one of shame. Seeing Nick Cannon round a corner, what was my response? My mind blank cry of “What up Nick Cannon?!” This low point quickly gave way to a high point when Cannon responded with a smile, a wave, and a “Hey!” Though the Dead Weather remained reclusive on the Red Carpet, I did manage to get an awkward smile from lead singer, Alison Mosshart. Considering her red eyes, pale skin, generally lifeless demeanor and affinity for black clothing, I considered this the equivalent of seeing a dog walk on its hindlegs — confusing but somehow wonderful. Getting to banter with Matt and Kim and chat with Zooey Deschanel pretty much made my night.
Inside the show, I managed to get accidently seated in the same bar area as the stars. Sitting next to the very band I offended with my horrible first interview, I looked around to see Asher Roth over my shoulder and Leighton Meester mere feet away. I tried to play it cool, until I was inevitably asked to leave the area by security. Yet another highlight. Then again, I’m particularly proud that the same security guard hassled model, Jessica Stam, until a frantic publicist ran over to rectify the situation. When it comes down to it, if it’s good enough for Jessica Stam, it’s good enough for me, particularly in a situation involving security.

The views expressed in this column are that of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
Contact Jess Shaffer at [email protected]