THE BLOG
06/06/2008 11:41 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Inside Bravo's A-List Awards: I Watched So You Don't Have To

Since you can't wait until next Thursday to watch Bravo's A-List Awards, let me give you an insider's recap, because, ahem, I was there Tuesday night when they taped it at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

The night had a very promising A-list start: bright lights, red carpet, roped off areas, and score, open bar. Bravo had seemingly gone through their awards show check list but with one quick glance into the VIP section, it was apparent they had forgotten the one key ingredient: celebrities.

Don't get me wrong, I love Bravo reality programming as much as the next liberal so it was indeed a thrill to see the Real Housewives of New York and Orange County and all the players from Top Chef, but come on, couldn't I see a "real" star? One whose presence would warrant a braggadocios text to my entire contact list?

Enter the show's host: Kathy Griffin. To anyone who might say she's not a real star, I say: not so fast, asshole. Not only is she hilarious (her impression of Paris Hilton's strut is uncanny) but she was the only relevant A-list celebrity there. I'm trying to even think of a close second...Kenneth from 30 Rock? Jessica Stam? Rachel Dratch? None really compare.

Before the house lights went down, the ten of us not on a Bravo reality show took our seats in the balcony and looked down on (literally, and also in my case, figuratively) those nominated and kinda-well-connected audience members on the main level.

There was Avery, daughter of NY Housewife snob, Ramona, curiously scoping out the seating arrangement in typical only-child manner; OC Housewives Tammy and Jeana with daughter Kara posing for pictures near the stage; Top Chef-testants Dale, Sara N, and Hung chatting with Project Runway Season 1 champion Jay McCarroll; 30 Rock cast-mates Judah Friedlander and Kenneth (who cares what his real name is, he'll always be just Kenneth to me!) laughing and sitting next to each other; and Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer chatting with Lance Armstrong and Kate Hudson. Oh wait, no, that was probably Padma and Ted Allen talking to OC Housewife Lauri and husband George. Buzz kill. I would love to see me some Mayer.

Speaking of OC Housewife Lauri though, um, shouldn't she have been back in CA since her son was arrested two days prior for possession of heroine and ecstasy with the intent to sell? Nah, who am I kidding, she's right; self-promotion and a chance to meet Biggest Drama Queen nominee Lauren Conrad above all else. (LC was a no-show, by the way, soooo, maybe tending to family emergencies would've been a better call, Lauri. Meh, tomato, tomahto.)

As show time neared, the lights dimmed and the producer warned us about "hiccups" (or parts of the show that will be edited out, like cleaning the floors, technical difficulties, etc) and asked for our applause for the first time of a subsequent 4.53 million.

It all began with Kathy dressed in a floor-length evening gown draped on a grand piano, singing a satirical song bashing actual A-listers. So obviously, she was in her element. I don't want to spoil it, but there was a reference to Sam Ronson and Lindsay Lohan's new "relationship". DVR the show if for no other reason than her opening song. Priceless. Oh! And she goes on to later call out Dina and Ali Lohan for bailing on the show four hours before taping. Totally worth your precious recording space.

After the song and dance, Kathy went on to read an "e-mail" she received from the "Bravo Execs" that listed words she couldn't say during the program. Oh, how I wanted it to be real, but alas, I'd seen that in her act before, and there's only so many times a list of bad words can be hilarious before it starts getting old. I did learn an intie fact though: "cock-sucker" is allowed as long as it's not used in a way that's offensive to Gays. I'm a little skeptical, so let's see if it's edited out next week or not. I bet those cock-sucking censors won't allow it.

I hate to say it, but after the opening, the show started a steady decent into stabby boredom.

There were, of course, brief blips of entertainment: Lance Bass and a strap-on made a guest appearance, Margaret Cho (who looked fantastic! Lost a ton of weight!) presented an award and got the crowd excited about newly legalized gay marriage in CA and acknowledgment of those unions in NY (woo!), a quick fire challenge between the winner of the Chef of the Year Award (click here for spoiler) and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio -- that part was actually interesting because they competed in real-time during the commercial break.

Regarding commercial breaks: there's three minutes or so of silence, a producer then asks us to clap, then the show restarts. I really thought something cool would happen during the break, like celebrity dizzy-bat races, or a Q & A with the audience. No such luck: fantasy squashed.

Awards were handed out for Biggest Drama Queen, Best Butt, Best Chef, Biggest Cewebrity, Best TV show, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, and I think there were a few more that I missed while in the bathroom or at the bar, in that order. Mad Men was nominated a bunch, and I don't even know what that is. Apparently I need to start watching, it's just that good.

Lauren Hutton received the Fashion Icon award. Doing her best Paula Abdul impression, she accepted the trophy saying she hasn't slept in 46 hours, and it's a long story, but a good one. Swaying, mumbling, fumbling, Hutton made her way through the speech and wobbled off stage. Awkward. What would Simon say?

The night wound down with a charity fashion show presented by Tim Gunn and stylist-freak Rachel Zoe. Someone needs to tell that girl to each a sandwich. Her and Bethenny from NY Housewives need some serious caloric intake. Those two looked so skinny in person, like little soft-shell crabs: brown and crispy on the outside, no meat on the inside, way over-priced. Made me want some tarter sauce just looking at 'em.

The fashion show dresses were designed by Project Runway alums such as Laura B, Daniel V, Nick V, Michael K, Sweet Pea, Christian, Alison K and modeled by celebrities like Nikki Taylor and Candace Bushnell. The duds will be auctioned off at Bravotv.com to raise money for Myanmar cyclone relief.

The bottom line: Watch the first ten minutes and you're good to go. It took two and a half hours to film, but if they edit it into 30 minutes, it's worth a watch. If it's an hour, eh, you probably have better things to do, like plan what Bravo reality show to audition for. Only 363 days until the next A-List awards, so start planning your reality career path now.

Are you in, or are you out?