UNIVERSAL CITY, California -- Kevin and Britney. Nick and Jessica. As if their lives have not been documented enough, each took center stage Sunday, making the 2006 Teen Choice Awards -- well, must-see TV.
Let's start with Kevin Federline, who closed the show with the television debut of his new single, "Lose Control." With a dimly lit backward-facing pianist playing the intro to the track, the performance began with a pair of young Federline look-alikes (Caucasian dancers clad in white street wear) lip-synching the first verse. When the chorus hit, the pianist turned around and ... surprise! It was K-Fed himself.
Looking "gangster" -- as "High School Musical" star Vanessa Anne Hudgens put it backstage -- Kevin busted through the fast-paced tune with a vengeance, growling lines including "Don't hate 'cause I'm a superstar" and taking his fair share of bleeps from censors. He walked into the awestruck crowd at one point, but left the choreography mainly to his crew.
"I was expecting more dancing from the dude, you know," Sean Paul said backstage. "But he's OK. He's doing his thing."
Perhaps the highlight of the performance was the introduction from Mrs. Federline, Britney Spears -- who in turn was introduced brilliantly by co-host Dane Cook as "the mother of all presenters."
"This show has been very good to me and my career over the years," Spears said, giggling and chomping on gum. "And I'm hoping that it will be as good to our next performer."
Good stuff, but the line of the night clearly belonged to Nick Lachey, who took the podium after winning Choice Love Song for "What's Left of Me": "I just want to start off by saying ... awkward?" Lachey said, smiling. "A little bit!"
Awkward, of course, because his ex-wife and the inspiration for the breakup song also happened to be the show's other co-host, Jessica Simpson -- working alongside rumored romance interest (denied by both), Cook.
"Co-host," however, might be a strong word for Simpson, who mostly just laughed along to Cook, an instant crowd-pleaser with his nonstop jokes.
The comedian, who changed outfits as much as Simpson -- switching from one classic-rock T-shirt to another
-- opened the show spoofing "Pirates of the Caribbean" and then stayed on the pop-culture topics, at one point comparing the mic stand to Nicole Richie. (On a similar note, he also did something he said he's "always wanted to do": Give Mischa Barton a sandwich.)
As well as being a tabloid editor's dream, Teen Choice 2006 was also an awards show -- though several winners weren't revealed until after the ceremony -- with the big winner being "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which earned six awards, including Choice Action Adventure.
"It feels great," Orlando Bloom said backstage. "We make movies for people to enjoy, so when they do, it feels good."
Bloom also won the coveted Choice Male Hottie prize, while Jessica Alba took the female equivalent.
"It's what's inside that really counts, except for this award," she joked, going on to thank her styling crew as well as "all the photographers who have airbrushed me over the years." "What I'm trying to say, kids, is it's all just an image," she added. "If you truly want to be hot, just be yourself."
Adam Sandler, who won Choice Comedian for the fifth time, also offered some advice (hard to dissect given that it was the "words" of his 3-month-old daughter), as did triple-winner Nelly Furtado, who scored prizes for "Promiscuous" and told viewers to "wear a condom."
The show did have a truly inspiring moment, however, when Ashton Kutcher presented the Courage Award to Jason McElwain, an autistic high school basketball team manager who made six consecutive three-pointers when his coach put him in at the end of a game. (To demonstrate how difficult that is, NBA star Lebron James tried and made only two in a video clip that was aired at the awards show.) "Dreams can come true," McElwain screamed as his team cheered behind him and his mother sobbed from the front row.
Other big winners included "High School Musical" and Fall Out Boy, both taking three prizes.
"We really like the awards that are voted on," bassist Pete Wentz told MTV News. (According to Fox, 14.7 millions votes were cast.) "I think those are the only ones we can actually win too. When it's older people, or like an academy, we don't fare so well."
Along with Federline, other performers included Furtado and Timbaland with "Promiscuous" and two-time winner Rihanna with "S.O.S."
"It was a big thing for me," Rihanna said. "But the highlight for me was Kevin Federline's performance. And seeing Britney. She's so cute!"
2006 Teen Choice Awards winners:
- Choice Single: Fall Out Boy ("Dance, Dance")
- Choice Action Adventure: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
- Choice Drama/Action Adventure: "The O.C."
- Choice Hottie, Female: Jessica Alba