Celebrities and fans gathered at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday to celebrate “the do-ers” – that is, people who get out there and do something good for others, which includes both celebs and not-quite-as-famous young adults alike. The event was the annual Do Something Awards, organized by DoSomething.org and set to air on VH1 this Tuesday.
The Do Something Awards recognize a handful of celebrities for their charitable and activist efforts, along with five young adults under age 25 for their community service. This year Katia Gomez, 24, took home the Do Something Award – along with a $100,000 grant – for creating Educate2Envision, which provides education for young citizens of Honduras.
Among the celebrity winners were Ben Affleck, Will.i.am, Kristen Bell and Joel McHale, for the awards that DoSomething.org invited fans to vote upon online.
Unlike other Hollywood award shows, where plugging a cause is often frowned upon and sometimes leads to cutting off speeches, the Do Something Awards centers on those kind of speeches.
“This is the awards show where Will.i.am going off on politics and Giuliana Rancic speaking from the heart for a long time – that’s encouraged,” Do Something CEO Nancy Lublin told EW on Monday. “This is where you can wear your cause loud and proud. I think those are some of the best moments of the night.”
During Will.i.am’s speech for the Music Artist award, he talked about his efforts to transform Boyle Heights, where he was raised in the East Los Angeles neighborhood’s housing projects. “We have to care about our own communities a little bit more,” he said. “America has to wake up.”
E! News anchor Rancic, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last October, dedicated her award to her husband, who encouraged her to speak out about her experience with the disease. “I could have easily kept it on the DL,” said Rancic, who founded cancer awareness charity Bright Pink. She also told the audience, “Girls, you gotta take care of yourself and your own health.”
Lea Michele, the event’s first winner, for the TV Star: Female category, thanked PETA’s Michelle Cho and reminded the audience to not ride horse-drawn carriages in New York, an issue she’s been speaking about alongside PETA.
Michele arrived with her beau Cory Monteith, who won the TV Star: Male award. Their entrance on the event’s blue carpet is being labeled as their debut public outing as a couple, though of course they’ve walked carpets as Glee co-stars many times before and word about their romance has kept the Internet buzzing for months. Lublin, who was backstage during the ceremony, told EW that while Michele and Monteith were offstage following their acceptance speeches, “I don’t think they ever stopped holding hands. It was really adorable. Like I think their hands were physically attached.”
Hosting the event were New Girl stars Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris. They followed in the footsteps of Glee‘s Jane Lynch, who hosted the awards the past two years. But the trio of funnymen weren’t itching to one-up Lynch with their hosting skills.
“We don’t compete with her. We celebrate her,” Johnson told EW on the carpet. Greenfield added, “If we’re the second-best hosts of the Do Something Awards ever, that’d be alright.”
They definitely achieved at least second-best status with plenty of the banter New Girl fans know well. Plus, they showed off their unabated dance moves and vocal chords when they entered the show as a One Direction-spoofing, non-“doing” group called Zero Direction. Also to look forward to when the show airs on Tuesday: an on-going gag about Morris learning how to swim, complete with inflatable arm floaties and a four-foot-deep pool, yes, inside the airplane hangar where the event was held.
Other award recipients included Emma Stone, Josh Hutcherson, and Olympian Hope Solo. Check out the full list of winners below.
The Do Something Awards, which also featured performances by Flo Rida and fun., airs on VH1 on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 9/8 c.
Winners announced during the show:
The Do Something Award Katia Gomez
Athlete Hope Solo
Comedian Joel McHale
Couple Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Facebook Ben Affleck and The Eastern Congo Initiative
Music Artist Will.i.am
Style Giuliana Rancic
TV Star: Female Lea Michele
TV Star: Male Cory Monteith
Twitter Kristen Bell
Winners revealed online following the show:
City Miami, Flor.
Film Invisible Children Kony 2012
Movie Star: Female Emma Stone
Movie Star: Male Josh Hutcherson
Reality TV Show Dancing With the Stars
TV Show The Big Bang Theory