No host? No problem: the 2019 Oscars did just fine on its own

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The ninety-first Academy Awards aired this Sunday and even though the show garnered controversy before it even aired this year, for the first time in years, it felt more refined and less drawn out than ever before.

With Kevin Hart let go from his original position as host, due to previously-posted homophobic tweets and debate about whether or not the show could go on without someone leading the awards night at all, the general attitude towards this year’s Oscars was one of uncertainty. However, despite everyone’s weariness and a few awkward moments scattered throughout the live show, the 2019 Oscars went smoothly.

Hostlessness seemed to define the evening as a refreshing shift from the norm, especially from viewers who felt that it was less “politicized.”

Queen headlined the show with Adam Lambert — in place of an opening monologue —  and played “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” as a nod to the top Oscar-winning film of the night, Bohemian Rhapsody.

This year’s awards also broke records in the best ways possible. Women won a groundbreaking 15 Oscars in total, which is the most in the show’s 91-year history.

Racial representation at the Oscars was also a positive step in the right direction this year, with people of colour winning a majority of the acting awards.

Regina King, Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali took home awards for their respective performances in If Beale Street Could Talk, Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book.

Overall, the night didn’t have any infamous fuck-ups, like the unforgettable Best Picture mixup from 2017 or Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s disastrous hosting in 2011 and it was easier to watch than shows from past years.

Ali is the first black actor in history to win twice in the category, and Malek is the first actor of Egyptian descent to win a performative Oscar.

Spike Lee won his first non-honourary Academy Award for BlacKkKlansman, delivering an impassioned speech that gave praise to the black ancestors “who helped build this country,” which earned him a standing ovation. Donald Trump took it upon himself to tweet at him, calling Lee’s speech “racist.”

One of the most pleasantly surprising moments of the evening was when Olivia Coleman won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Favourite.

Delightfully humble and flustered by her win, Coleman endeared the audience with a scattered but charming acceptance speech where she made everyone watching fall in love with her, even if they didn’t know who she was before she won.

Lady Gaga stole the spotlight for the majority of the evening, winning the award for Best Original Song and sending a flurry of speculation and countless memes about her relationship with Bradley Cooper across social media following their heartfelt duet of “Shallow” from A Star is Born.

Overall, the night didn’t have any infamous fuck-ups, like the unforgettable Best Picture mixup from 2017 or Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s disastrous hosting in 2011 and it was easier to watch than shows from past years.

The ratings seem to reflect these improvements as well, with 29.6 million viewers who watched the live broadcast — an 11 per cent increase from last year.

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