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Shakira Star-Struck at American Music Awards
Will Smith & Shakira
Mariah Carey
Eurythmics Dave Stewart & Annie Lennox
Missy Elliott
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Jenny McCarthy

Los Angeles, November 22, 2005 – While this year’s American Music Awards didn’t have Anna Nicole Smith gloriously slurring her words on live television, we still managed to uncover some charming moments.

Simultaneously entering the backstage press room from opposite sides, winners Will Smith and Shakira did an awkward little etiquette ballet. Clearly star-struck, Shakira gulped, “Oh, you’re Will Smith.” Then, she gestured toward the podium, “You go first”. “Ladies first”, Smith gallantly demurred. A bit more back and forth resulted in a compromise: they went together.

We were told Missy Elliott wouldn’t stop backstage because of an unspecified injury, but then she rode in on a motorized scooter, grasped a crutch and triumphantly stood up.

Mariah Carey, who seems to have stopped taking Vogue maven Andre Leon Talley’s style advice and slipped back to barely-there costumes, didn’t have her advance team come backstage to adjust the lighting before posing for photos. For once.

Despite her librarian-style black-framed eyeglasses, Jenny McCarthy was still blonde. She told her people she wanted to go into the press area reserved for reporters, which, when she got there, she found was, er, filled with reporters, who asked her questions. Jenny then told her reps that she didn’t want to talk to people, so they left, and headed over to the apparently less-threatening photography area, where she posed.

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