Light Mode

77th Annual Academy Awards: Inside Elton John’s Sizzling Post-Oscar Bash!

When you’re on the same guest list as Pam, Paris, Christina, Dame Liz and those party-hopping Desperate Housewives, you know you’ve found a hot, hot Oscar night bash. But then, when the host is none other than Sir Elton John, would you expect anything less?

Limos lined the streets outside West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center as guests clamored to get inside Sir Elton’s always-sizzling 13th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Dinner and After Party to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Flashbulbs popped as the A-list guests entered the party, greeted by towers of pink roses and dozens of shimmery disco balls.

The event was co-sponsored by the renowned jeweler Chopard, and when the host arrived on the red carpet (accompanied by his companion David Furnish and their 2-year old cocker spaniel Arthur) clad in a long Japanese print Yogi Yamamoto coat, blue-tinted eyewear, gold platform shoes and gigantic cross around his neck, the fashion accessory he most wanted to point out was his timepiece: “This is an Elton John AIDS Foundation watch designed by Chopard,” he explained. “They sell them and a large amount of the proceeds go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.” (Of course, some select guests took home the watches, just for adding their glitter to the occasion).

- Advertisement -

Sir Elton looked positively smashing, and he shared his secret to staying so youthful: “I still play music, I am very active and busy, and I think that keeps me young.” His dog Arthur may also be a vital element, if you ask Celine-clad Paula Abdul, who credited “lots of laughter, being around good people and my dogs” as her principal beauty tip. “Waking up to dog licks is the best!” Look for Paula’s canine saliva-based beauty cream to launch soon.

(Story continues below…)

Early arrivals to watch the Oscar telecast were led by the Desperate Housewives as Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria strolled inside hand-in-hand, later followed by Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy, and Nicolette Sheridan vamped her way down the red carpet in a satiny white gown and drenched in Chopard jewelry. The show’s guys also dressed for the occasion: Jesse Metcalfe was in a black-on-black suit and shirt, while Jamie Denton opted for classic Kenneth Cole and admitted the girls may have put more time into their party prep: “I’m in the process of moving,” said Jamie, “so I was shopping all day at a store called ‘The Great Indoors’ and it took me about 10 minutes to get ready.”

Brooke Shields–draped in a black Donna Karan she actually purchased and didn’t borrow–shared her Oscar picks: “Scorsese–I think it’s time and only fair–Jamie Foxx, and I voted for Kate Winslet— think she’s amazing.” The stars weren’t shy about who they were rooting for to take home trophies (Foxx and Cate Blanchett topped the favorite answers) though the never-shy Eric McCormack had an unconventional pick to take home the Best Actor triphy: “Me! I deserve an Oscar.” Meanwhile, –nattily matching his date’s dress in a purple suit–had his own ideas. “I’m rooting for the catering staff!” said Tim. “Last year we were so hungry!”

The guests enjoyed a lavish a five-course dinner while they watched and whooped at the Oscar telecast. The exotic beauty Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon told me that she was most amused by the collection of dinner companions at her table, which included Tim, Paula and The Donald himself, along with the latest Mrs. Trump, Melania. A live auction followed the dinner, during which the first two in a series of limited edition Yamaha Signature Red Pianos signed by Sir Elton sold for $150,000 each–Trump, however, was not the bidder.

As the after party swung into full tilt, the Hilton sisters–Paris in a flattering gold strapless gown, Nicky in a not-so-flattering fuscia bandage dress-pow-wowed together with photog pal David LaChappelle to pick the perfect time to bail to the Vanity Fair bash a few blocks away, but it should be noted that neither consulted their Sidekicks for info on that party’s progress.

- Advertisement -

More famous faces flowed through: Kaley Cuoco and Amy Davidson watched from a long white leather banquet as Tara Reid rushed straight to the bar, her newly pneumatic chest amply filling out her shiny aqua gown. Younger stars like Jennifer Love Hewitt, Tori Spelling and Molly Simms freely mingled with the old school crowd, including Jacqueline Bissett, David Carradine and still-couple-y George and Alanna Hamilton.


The Housewives cleared out, replaced by the late-night crawling kids from The O.C. Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody, who were more snuggly than usual in public as they catted up their co-star Melinda Clarke. In fact, there was a whole lot of couple canoodling going on: I spotted Teri Polo, Joss Stone, and Shannon Elizabeth all curled up and kissing their significant others. Glamazon Natasha Henstridge, ravishing in a curve-loving Cesar de la Para, stayed into the wee hours macking on her date Darius “We met in New York,” she said, describing their movie-like meet-cute. “He was waiting for a cab. We met on the street.”

The night’s oddest couple? The Insider‘s Pat O’Brien, who shared a suspiciously lengthy embrace with actor Anthony Anderson. Or maybe it was “the Late, Late Show’s” Craig Ferguson, who accidentally burst in on Beck in a stall of one of the lavish porta-potties.

Surprisingly, few of the Oscar winners or nominees joined Sir Elton’s party: Don Cheadle and Catalina Sandino Moreno worked their way through the room, but the most A-list allure came from Salma Hayek, who got cozy in the private VIP section with a graying gentleman, just a few feet away from where newly separated Ben Kingsley was surrounded by a pair of gorgeous blondes who were young enough to be his daughters–hey, as far as I know, they were his daughters.

At the concert stage in the center of the grand tent where the rock group Scissor Sisters enthusiastically tore into a racous series of their songs, including “Filthy Gorgeous.” Lead singer Ana Matronic found endlessly inventive uses for the word “motherf—-” and cheerily suggested, “everybody in this world is a whore,” including the bulk of the assembled Hollywood crowd. She also encouraged everyone to party as if the cure for AIDS had just been discovered.

- Advertisement -

During the show, I spied Christina Aguilera–in yet another outfit ode to Marilyn Monroe, this time in baby blue–introducing her shockingly slight fiancé Jordan Bratman to Tim Allen, explaining that once she’s done with her next album she’s hoping for a winter wedding, when suddenly I was nearly mowed down by a massive entourage surrounding a wheelchair-riding Dame Elizabeth Taylor–looking, yes, her age, but also appropriately glamorous–who screeched into the VIP area just in time to catch her pal Elton joining Scissor Sisters on stage for the final set of songs.

La Liz, who seemed determined to show the world she’s still alive and kicking (“I have not been in seclusion,” she told reporters outside. “They’ve also said I’m dead. Believe me, I’m not”), seemed especially pleased with the rollicking, well-timed performance of “The Bitch is Back.”

After declaring Scissor Sisters “f—ing heroes” for jetting in from Tokyo overnight to perform at the party and raise funds to battle AIDS (Ana joked that the time zones were so far apart, they had “come from the future–and wait ’til you see the future!”), he celebrated Dame Liz’s birthday by helping her blow out the candles on her cake as Sharon Osbourne also joined the revelry.

La Liz’s arrival preceded that of another bombshell, Pamela Anderson, eschewed the usual Oscar finery in favor of massively frizzy blonde hair, gigantic black sunglasses, so-tight white capris and a brown shirt unbuttoned to display those very particular Golden Globes that made her famous.

Pam reunited briefly with her Home Improvement co-star Tim Allen, before leaning over to her scruffy boy toy companion and suggesting, “Let’s go to ANOTHER party.” Perhaps she was feeling upstaged by Salma, whose Prada gown was growing ever more cleavage-friendly as she swayed her hips to the music of Michael Jackson.

The bash-also attended by Donatella Versace, Julian McMahon, Aisha Tyler, Maroon 5, Randy Jackson, Natalie Cole, Mary J. Blige, Josh Groban, Fran Drescher, Tom Arnold, Orlando Jones, Claire Forlani, Gillian Anderson, Kelsey Grammer, Paulina Rubio, Cameron Crowe,Jeffrey Katzenberg, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Eliza Dushku, Jordana Brewster, George Lopez, Jane Seymour and John Waters–raised nearly $1 million for AIDS research.

And that, my friends, was reason enough to party.

- Advertisement -