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The 15 Most Awkward Moments in Live TV History

Entertainment
The 15 Most Awkward Moments in Live TV History

The 2017 Academy Awards ended with a twist that no one saw coming, resulting in one of the most awkward and bizarre moments in live television history.

The organization in charge of handling the envelopes that reveal the victors of each category accidentally passed on the “Best Actress” backup envelope to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, both on-screen legends who were flabbergasted upon reading Emma Stone’s name. They accidentally read La La Land as the winner, which saw the producers, director and actor of the near-winner join the stage. Some commotion arose before the correction was made – Moonlight had indeed won, and this information was revealed by a La La Land producer.

While this moment was quite unique and jaw-dropping in its own right, there have been other WTF moments that you may not have heard about. Some occurred during a similar series of circumstances, while others are drastically different. However, they all have one thing in common – they are awkward and confusing either due to an honest mistake, or one person going out of their way to make things uncomfortable (I’m looking at you, Yeezy).

Check out the 15 most baffling moments in TV history, including one very dirty game show, a lip syncing disaster and a series of embarrassments. Here they are.

15. Ashlee Simpson Falls to Pieces

Ashlee Simpson enjoyed a respectable amount of success in the mid-2000s with hit songs such as “Pieces of Me” and “La La.” The singer and less talented sister of Jessica Simpson was sweeping the nation with her bubblegum pop, which was equal parts catchy and slightly annoying. But there is one moment out of her 15 minutes that stands out during one eventful Saturday Night Live performance.

Things start out alright as Simpson begins singing “Pieces of Me,” up until her band screws up and starts playing the wrong song. Once Ashlee realizes this, it’s too late as she has put her mic down and the track is still playing. There is nothing more damaging to a singer’s reputation than choosing to lip sync in order to avoid messing up in public, but mess up in public was exactly what she did.

The artist tried to walk it off as the track continued playing, attempting a poorly executed hoe-down before exiting the stage hurriedly. Ouch.

14. TV Anchor’s Cringeworthy Gesture

As two TV anchors wrap up a relatively uneventful broadcast of the pieces of news dominating the area, things go off script as the female anchor decides to share her “mompreneur idea” with her male counterpart.

Expecting a business idea with potential, her co-worker gives her the green light, and she proceeds to reveal a moment in her personal life that the world did not need to know. She reveals that when her son was teething, he used to take the rubber end of her electric toothbrush. Things get even weirder as she finds a way to make everyone uncomfortable by revealing the gesture her son made. She mimics his actions by repeatedly entering and taking out the imaginary toothbrush in her mouth while moaning and revealing how good it feels to do so.

Her co-worker can’t help but let out an awkward smile before he cracks up and stares at the camera open-eyed.

13. A Sports Commentator Drops the Ball

It is of paramount importance that a sports commentator pay attention to every moment of the sport they are covering, especially in soccer where there are no breaks outside halftime. At the very least, they should be watching most of the game, or at least some of it. A former professional soccer player and commentator managed to do the impossible by finding himself distracted during the entirety of the game.

Chris Kamara was quite the player in his youth, playing more than 600 games in England before retiring. One has to wonder how he endured such longevity in the game considering the fact that he was distracted for one of the games in which he was commentating. His co-workers asked him about what was going on in the field following a red card.

His reaction was priceless – he was utterly surprised at the news of a player getting his marching orders, lifting his eyebrows in shock. Kamara goes on to ask who got the red card, before his co-workers ask him if he’s been watching the game. He admits that he hasn’t and everyone bursts out in laughter at the mishap. Keep your eye on the ball, Chris.

12. Jetpack Issues in a News Report

One of the coolest ideas that man came up with before being able to make it a reality is the jetpack. We’ve all wondered what it’d be like to drive a machine that we wear as a backpack, driving us up to the sky and helping us fly like a bird. This wish became a reality recently as a water jetpack was created, which only works in the water but it uses H2O as fuel and it can run indefinitely.

Fox 5 News was covering a story in San Diego where a man was slated to demonstrate how the device works. Everyone awaited with anticipation as the man prepared himself to take off. What happened next was pure TV gold – jetpack rider John gets everyone hyped up by stating that his acrobatic skills will “start right now.” The jetpack immediately fails as John turns it on, sending him straight from the dock to the water. Maybe next time.

11. Misguided Family Feud Contestant

Everyone loves Family Feud thanks to the possibility that a contestant will say something outrageous and create a chaotic and tense moment that will forever live on in TV lore. Plus, who doesn’t love Steve Harvey and his professional yet quirky demeanor that makes him one of the most beloved game show hosts in the 21st century.

There are many moments that could’ve made this list, but the one that stands above the rest has by far the highest “cringe” factor of them all. Harvey prompts a man in a family to answer the question: “Name something men love to discuss that starts with the letter ‘C.'” Before uttering the question, Harvey warns the contestant not to say something that rhymes with “corn,” and technically he didn’t do that, but he did something much worse.

A minor pause ensues, and then he says a word that begins with “c” and rhymes punt. Keep in mind that Family Feud is a family show, so you can only imagine how awkward things get after that. The crowd roars and laughs in outrage while Harvey simply walks away. What was that contestant thinking?

10. Martin Short’s Marriage Success

Martin Short is one of the most beloved comedians in Hollywood thanks to his quick wit, easygoing demeanor and trusting face. It’s been decades since he’s been at the top of his game, but we still love him as he has proven to be a good family man, marrying his wife for three and a half decades until her unfortunate passing.

In an interview with Kathie Lee Gifford, he talks about how much he misses his wife and the fact that he’s still in love with her. What she said next was painful to watch as Gifford immediately forgets that Short’s wife is deceased and commends him on his successful Hollywood marriage. She goes on to ask him how long they’ve been together, and he awkwardly notes that they were together for 36 years.

Gifford then asks him why does he still love her, and he replies by saying she’s “cute.” Then she asks if they still make each other laugh, and the rest of us can only watch as she continues to bring up his dead wife.

9. A Super Bowl That Bore It All

Everyone has heard of Michael Jackson‘s legendary Super Bowl performance in which he bided his time before kicking off and performing several of his monster hits. Everyone also remembers a particular Super Bowl that had a decent musical performance, but one thing stood out above the rest that the world was unable to forget.

It was 2004 and Justin Timberlake was at the peak of his powers, beginning his solo career following a successful sting with NSYNC. The youngster added some experience to his show as legendary singer Janet Jackson joined him for a performance that was very revealing of their talents.

The famous, or perhaps infamous, moment that made the world gasp collectively for a moment was when a supposed wardrobe malfunction occurred and part of Jackson’s chest was exposed to the world. Some argue that the move was staged as it looked like Timberlake accidentally ripped her shirt off, but it was a moment that made everyone a little uncomfortable.

8. Kanye

Rapper Kanye West has made a career out of walking off the beaten path, which led to success despite the fact that he dropped out of college and wrote an album about it. Another Hollywood anti-hero that we all love is Mike Myers, a comedian who immortalized the spy parody genre with Austin Powers. Back in 2005, it made sense to put the two together to help the New Orleans families in need following Hurricane Katrina.

The two were asking the public on live television to donate whatever they can to aid those in need who were looking to rebuild their lives. Myers followed the script, giving a speech on how every cent matters and how everyone can make a difference. But Kanye had different ideas, going off-script and issuing a statement that shocked the nation.

West notes that most people who suffered the damages in Katrina are black and he goes on to mention that white people would be getting more help if it had happened to them. He then says that George Bush doesn’t care about black people. Myers simply stared in shock as the statement reached the collective and left people buzzing about it in online forums as this was before the time of Twitter.

7. Crossbow Fail

Daredevil acts are entertaining for a number of reasons. On the one hand, we’re looking for someone capable of staring death in the eye and doing some sort of incredible act that builds tension before releasing it with a superhuman feature. Whether it be throwing knives at someone or jumping through hoops of fire with a motorcycle, there are plenty of acts out there that make our blood boil.

America’s Got Talent is known for having acts that fit this bill, including a strongman moving a car with his teeth. Another such act belonged to a couple who were performing their dangerous crossbow act. The man swallowed a knife that had a target on its end, while his female counterpart would then shoot a flaming arrow towards the target.

The other part of daredevil acts that excites us is the fact that they could go horribly wrong, and this is exactly what happened in this show. The woman misses and the arrow hits the man’s throat, opening a wound and resulting in a collective gasp from the crowd. Awkward.

6. 50 Cent’s Smooch

50 Cent has plenty to be proud about as he became one of the top rappers in the industry between the early and mid-2000s. However, not much went well for the rapper and actor after that as he suffered a series of tragedies and failures that caused a lot of his fans to lose respect for him.

There was the fact that he squandered most of his money and went bankrupt, the movie in which he lost enough weight to look like a skeleton in which his performance and the film itself were widely panned, as well as rumors of 50 not being the best of fathers. Unfortunately for him, live television caught a glimpse of the man he now is.

The rapper was at a NASCAR event where Erin Andrews spotted him and asked to interview him. 50 doesn’t even hesitate as he goes straight for Andrews’ mouth for a kiss, causing her to fumble around before receiving a kiss on the cheek. It was hard to watch to say the least.

5. The Bachelor Has a Change of Heart

The Bachelor continues to have a massive following after two decades, with many fans calling it their guilty pleasure. There is something about reality TV that hooks people in as they get to see real drama from real people. Season 13 is probably the season that had the most dramatic and awkward moment in live television as the bachelor changed his mind.

Jason Mesnick picked Melissa Rycroft at the end of the show, fulfilling the expectations of many fans, while crushing the hopes of others. However, he reveals that he actually loves Molly and he can’t stop thinking about her, admitting he made the wrong choice. Melissa breaks down in tears and asks Jason to never contact her again.

The story does have a happy ending as Molly shows up unexpectedly and Jason proclaims his love for her. The two got married in 2010 and they’re still enjoying their fairy tale life together.

4. Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus Beef

Another guilty pleasure that many of us have is watching two major celebrities feuding. We often see pop stars and actors as these larger-than-life characters who can do no harm, and we strive to find a vulnerability in them in order to make them feel human. Fighting with someone else helps to show the human side of them and we love watching two celebrities go at it.

Tension had been building in 2015 between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj and it all came to a head during the year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Both female sensations performed during the show, winning over more fans with fabulous performances. There were inklings of a feud that night as Taylor Swift joined Minaj to sing “Bad Blood.”

Minaj then won an award for her song “Anaconda” and used up her minute on the mic to call out Miley, calling her a “b*tch” on live TV and causing shock, horror and a large amount of entertainment for all of us. Miley comes up and congratulates Nicki and claims that words in interviews sometimes get twisted.

3. Two Pop Stars Win at a French Award Show

There is no footage of this next one readily available, but it involves another awards blunder that took place in France. Katy Perry and Rihanna were both up for an award at the NRJ Music Awards, which is the country’s answer to the Brits. The Best International Single award was granted to Perry, but the show’s presenters soon had to backtracked.

It appears as if they gave an award that was designed for Rihanna and her song “Disturbia” to Perry by accident, and chaos did not ensue this time. The show continued and everyone was happy, but host Nikos Aliagas had learned that a mistake had been made in handing Perry the award.

At the end of the show, Aliagas noted that the award belonged to Rihanna and not Perry, leaving a dumbfounded Katy Perry empty-handed while her friend took home the gold.

2. Kanye 2.0

All the controversy in the world would not be enough for Kanye West, who often feels like he has to be the center of attention. It has been a rough time for the rapper lately as he was hospitalized following a series of bizarre comments at a show in San Diego. However, if there is one career-defining controversial moment that everyone remembers, it’s the 2009 VMAs.

Taylor Swift walks onstage to receive her award for her hit song “You Belong With Me.” As the country star was beginning to give her speech, Kanye ran onstage and took the mic from Swift. He then said those magical words: “I’m really happy for you, Ima let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”

He then gives the mic back to Swift, shrugs and walks away as everyone in the audience boos him off stage. It’s funny now, but it was awkward as hell then.

1. Miss Universe

Steve Harvey makes this list once again, and this time it’s for the wrong reasons. Everyone saw it coming, but it’s the one moment in TV history that we are able to watch over and over again without wearing it off. The time was 2005 and the event was the Miss Universe pageant.

As the crowd eagerly anticipated the results of the pageant, Harvey looks at his envelope and names Miss Colombia as the winner of the event. Thunderous applause and cheers envelop the arena as Miss Colombia is crowned the winner, receiving the crown and the bouquet that belongs to the rightful winner. However, Miss Colombia was not the rightful winner.

Harvey appears back onstage and tells everyone he has to apologize, causing plenty of commotion. He admits to messing up, reading the wrong part and saying that the first runner up is Miss Colombia. He then crowns Miss Philippines as the winner, and the rest is history.

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