As an update to my previous post, here are my impressions of the Alma Awards. First, it was not live. While I found this annoying in a way I loved how it shaved off show time. Usually award shows like this go on for way too long. This one was packed into two hours of nonstop acceptance speeches, video montages, and performances. The best performance was by a young singer called David Archuleta who I had never heard of before but since the tweens on Twitter were going crazy for him I looked him up and turns out he was last year’s American Idol finalist. He sang a timeless love song in español (Contigo en la Distancia- Together Across the Distance) effortlessly. Kudos to David! Shakira gave a disappointing overly sexual performace of She-Wolf. Shakira, you don’t need to do that, honey. Your talent transcends any body gyrations you can make onstage. Nelly Furtado sang Manos al aire (Hands Up) from her first album in Spanish (and I loved it). I think the only thing I really disliked about the Alma Awards was George Lopez’s sense of humor- repeatedly putting down your own people to get laughs really isn’t the best thing to do at a show that intends to transcend stereotypes. Lopez’s comments made me uncomfortable during the whole show. At least Eva Longoria was classy.
They didn’t present any winners to the “Year Behind the Scenes” category, so check the link below for the full list of Alma winners in case it was a separate ceremony. (It wasn’t up when I wrote this.) Here are some genre highlights from the awards ceremony:
- Edward James Olmos presented a special sports award to boxer Oscar de la Hoya for his boxing and philanthropy work. We all know Admiral Adama likes boxing, so he was a fitting presenter for this particular award. Before presenting it, Olmos blessed the audience and I swear was *this* close to saying “So Say We All!” Maybe not- but I like to think he wanted to!
- The gorgeous Salma Hayek, who has been in several genre films, was very gracious with her long time fans and dedicated her Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence to them. Thanks Salma!
- When Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) accepted her best comedy actress award she said that there were many other nominated actresses more talented than she is. Perhaps, but this girl definitely has the potential of greatness and the fact that her show focuses on a Latino-heritage family makes it a win for families who watch Disney TV. Latino kids can watch other kids like them on TV, and other ethnicities can enjoy some Disney bubblegum with a Latino flavor. That’s inspiration right there.
- Rita Moreno presented a special recognition of Ricardo Montalbán and his work helping other Latino actors in the industry. They had a great video montage, and his role as Khan was singled out! I had no idea how hot he was when he was young and starting out. Wow.
- Dexter’s Lauren Velez won best TV drama actress. When she got up to accept her award I did a double take because there were TWO of her! Not really; it was her twin sister. Sweet of them to be together like that.
I don’t think the Alma Awards are very accurate in actually giving out awards; I suspect they are more image awards than performance awards, and they don’t like to repeat winners. It makes sense in a way because the Alma Awards is a concept created by the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. In the end, I suspect the award statuettes are an excuse to get together and celebrate Latinos in the business in one big fiesta. I’m OK with that to an extent, because awards might end up going to the same batch of excellent actors year after year, and that would get old fast. What we need then are more Latinos in the industry. When we become commonplace, award shows like this will become redundant.
Winners announced on the actual show were (full list here):
- TVACTOR, COMEDY: Oscar Nunez, The Office
- TVACTRESS, COMEDY: Selena Gomez, Wizards of Waverly Place
- TV ACTOR, DRAMA: Benjamin Bratt, The Cleaner, A&E
- TV ACTRESS, DRAMA: Lauren Vélez, Dexter, SHO
- ACTOR, FILM: John Leguizamo, Nothing Like the Holidays
- ACTRESS, FILM: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona