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What It's Like Watching the Oscars Red Carpet Live

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"I want to pour water into his dimples and swim around in them" said a woman seated next to us of Mario Lopez. The fandom was extreme, the screaming was eardrum-piercing: thanks to official retail sponsor JCPenney, we were live in the bleachers for the Oscars red carpet.

The day started off slow; some bleacher attendants had to arrive by 9am or earlier to get their spots. The first few hours were a blur of whooping and clapping for B-roll and teaser footage. JCPenney passed out box lunches. Once 3pm hit, anticipation in the stands was high. We waited and waited, and then after watching The Artist's Penelope Ann Miller do interviews and twirl for the camera for about 30 minutes it seemed like everyone arrived at once.

The women behind us screamed steadily. Applause sign—"EEEH!" Colin Firth—"DARCY!!" George Clooney—"AHHHOHMYGODGEORGE!!" Most other people—"Who's that?"

A couple to our right waved a small green stuffed teddy bear above their heads. The level of excitement generated by George Clooney was almost matched by Melissa McCarthey, while Penelope Cruz dashed by practically unnoticed thanks to her new shorter hair. And while it was thrilling to see so many stars in person (Gywenth in her Tom Ford cape, Ellie Kemper in a stunning Armani Privé column, Meryl Streep in gold Lanvin—check our gallery, above, for our favorites), it seemed as if everyone was waiting for the unofficial king and queen, Brad and Angie, to arrive.

They waited until the last second to make their entrance. The red carpet was completely empty of celebs, save for Sandra Bullock, who was slowly making her way down the press line. She seemed to disappear when Brangelina showed up. They took their time, walking up and down the carpet, pausing for the fans, and stopping for interviews with everyone from Billy Bush to Mario (who we saw applying Chapstick before his moment with Angelina). Then they dashed in, the press left, stagehands began breaking things down and we all filed out to watch the rest of the show elsewhere.
· Marc Friedland on Sprucing Up the Official Oscar Envelope [Racked]

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