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The Oscars: Ellen DeGeneres shines the second time around

Ellen DeGeneres hosting the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2, 2014 on ABC

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Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres returned to host the Oscars for the second time at the 86th Annual Academy Awards which aired on live on March 2 on ABC.

Ellen DeGeneres Hosting the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2, 2014-slide0
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Emmy winner Ellen DeGeneres has pizza delivered for a hungry crowd of movie stars at the March 2, 2014 Oscar ceremony broadcast live on ABC.
Emmy winner Ellen DeGeneres has pizza delivered for a hungry crowd of movie stars at the March 2, 2014 Oscar ceremony broadcast live on ABC.Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Oscar hosting hat is a daunting one to wear. Previous picks have been panned for off-color jokes or cheesy dance numbers and anemic sketches. We didn’t really expect anything less than excellence from the warm and funny comedienne who clearly has a winning way with words and a knack for working an audience.

In short, Ellen stepped up to the plate and slammed it out of Oscar park. Sure, the broadcast ran long. But this time, it wasn't even tedious. Pink did a beautiful job singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the Judy Garland tribute and Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" was a beautiful finish to the In Memoriam segment. Overall, the entire ceremony was just the right mix of glitz, glamour, humility and humor.

Hollywood Heroes

Who can really lose the hosting game when helming a night themed “Heroes in Hollywood?” Ellen’s opening statement was great:

“Tonight’s theme is ‘Heroes in Hollywood’ and we need heroes now more than ever. People around the world are going through hard times and movies offer us an escape. Movies inspire us. I’m not saying movies are the most important thing in the world. Because we all know the most important thing is youth. No, we know the most important thing is in life is love, and friendship and family. And, if people don’t have those things, well then, they usually get into show business. We’re all big frightened family is what we are. I want you to know that I love you and I think you’re talented.”

She’s so eloquent and funny here. Who can possibly not love Ellen in return?

Dapper Dresser

Ellen looked lovely decked out in both black and white tuxes for the auspicious affair. The Glinda costume for the Wizard of Oz tribute was divine and we’re so glad she was appropriately mimicking the good witch instead of the not-so-nice one!

Pizza Party

Love, love LOVED that Ellen ordered pizzas for the hungry crowd. It’s comforting to know that even glammed up movie stars won’t pass on an opportunity to chow on some pizza. The whole bit was really neat, but especially loved that mommy-to-be Kerry Washington was going to have some. The funniest part was watching everyone fish into their pockets for cash, with Ellen asking Brad Pitt if one twenty was all he was going to give.

Big question: Did Kerry Washington ever get her slice? She held out her plate and Ellen turned away and moved on to someone else.

Group Photo/Twitter Record

It was also great watching Ellen use #Oscars to live tweet throughout the ceremony and the most fun was when she did the huge group photo selfie with Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Angelina Jolie and more.

According to a March 2 tweet by ABC News Ellen earned the distinction of this selfie being the most retweeted tweet ever, first to cross one and two million tweets.

No Mention of Obamacare

Thank God Ellen refrained from talking about Obamacare and many other hot button political topics. Her conversation, once again, was easy breezy style and funny without being disrespectful, politically incorrect or too cheeky.

Plus, she didn’t need a sweeping song and dance number or a movie clip montage to hold our interest. Way to go, Ellen! If they did have an honorary Oscar for hosting, you should be a shoe-in!