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Seizing on the international and ethnic diversity of nominees this year, DeGeneres drew big laughs by declaring: “If there weren’t blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars . . . or anyone named Oscar, when you think about that.”
Five blacks, two Latinas and an Asian are among the 20 acting nominees.
DeGeneres elicited applause when she drew an ironic parallel between supporting actress nominee Jennifer Hudson, a losing contestant from the TV talent show American Idol, and former US Vice President Al Gore, who lost an election for president despite winning the popular vote.
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“There’s no rhyme or reason to who’s going to win,” DeGeneres said.
“Jennifer Hudson was on American Idol, America didn’t vote for her, and she’s here with an Oscar nomination. That’s amazing.
“And then, Al Gore is here, America did vote for him, and then . . . very complicated.”