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It may be summer in California, but for the first time in years there was snow falling from the Sony Picture Studios’ “sky” at Saturday night’s Spike Guys Choice Awards. With a vibe of winter wonderland meets cabin fever, the ninth annual awards show was all about the guys.
Everything about the show was geared to make the audience feel like they were transported to a Swiss Chalet. With snow-capped glaciers, pine trees, real elk and stuffed deer heads hanging from every spot possible, the upscale Southern California vibe was no where to be found. Jon Taffer, host of Spike TV’s reality series Bar Rescue, was one of the first stars to walk down the white carpet. Other celebs like Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Floyd Mayweather, Sir Ben Kingsley, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Russell Westbrook, Avan Jogia and girlfriend Zoey Deutch, Hannah Davis, Charlotte McKinney and Coolio trickled in after. Along with the press, the Armed Forces also were on the white carpet.
As attendees wined and dined on Matterhorn meatballs, schweineschnitzel und spaetzle, Moscow Mule and Kentucky Bourbon Mule, Los Angeles-based band The One and Only PPL MVR opened up the show. Dressed like yetis, the group performed covers of songs including “Uptown Funk.” Empire co-stars Henson and Howard, who hosted the show, kept the audience laughing with their snarky comments and playful fighting.
Henson not only hosted the show but also received the Jean Claude Gahd Damn award from longtime friend Blige. In the video leading up to her award, Spike put together a reel of Henson’s best moments — with clips intended to make her look like a badass.
Although the show is supposed to be all fun and games, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brought everyone back down to reality when he brought the Armed Forces on stage and accepted the Troops’ award. Along with the many thanks, “The Rock” announced his latest project, Rock the Troops, a variety show that is so “epic and big that would entertain and honor our troops.” While the show is set to air next Veterans Day, Johnson “anticipates a lot of [his] friends who are celebrities in Hollywood, sports and music to be a part of this epic event for our troops.”
After the emotional acceptance of the Troops’ award, the show did a complete 180 and took the audience back to the 1990s with a performance from LL Cool J. The rapper-turned-actor also took the stage to receive an award honoring his 30 years in the business.
As the show began to wind down, Liam Neeson presented Salma Hayek with the Decade of Hotness award but before that the room became a little hot and steamy as the audience watched numerous clips of Hayek’s intimate onscreen encounters. Although she appeared to be a little embarrassed, Hayek accepted the award, but the first thing she said when she got on stage was: “Wow, I don’t think I can look at you guys in the face after that.”
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