On Tuesday at the Palm Springs International Film Festival gala, Mariah Carey took the stage for easily the most awkward acceptance speech of the 2010 awards season so far. Honored for her supporting turn in "Precious," she giggled and leaned on the lectern for support as her eyes went glassy during uncomfortably long pauses. Finally, the diva confessed, "Please forgive me because I'm a little bit ... um, yeah!"
The next night at the People's Choice Awards, Carey explained her clearly inebriated behavior in Palm Springs. As she told reporters backstage, she and "Precious" director Lee Daniels hadn't seen each other in a while, and they got a little carried away while celebrating their reunion.
"We were celebrating and having little splashes [of champagne], and I hadn't eaten, and that's what it was," she said. "We were celebrating the movie and all the exciting stuff going on. There's a time for celebration and a time for not — but really, technically, it's a party atmosphere. We had splashes of champagne. I love Lee, but he's a bad influence."
Carey had a shot at a re-do when she won the People's Choice Award for Favorite R&B Artist. Maybe she had time for a nosh or skipped the bubbly, but she proved capable of delivering a speech sans awkwardness. Hubby Nick Cannon guided her up to the stage, lest her heels get caught in her floor-length gown, leading to an embarrassing tumble.
"My real fans know that they are my extended family, and I love them so much," she said in thanks.