By Jennifer Wren
September 04, 2006 12:00 PM

TOP 5

Awkward Moments

Between exes and punch lines, the night delivered more cringes than junior high school

1. At their first event since their breakup, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson avoided a run-in on the red carpet (Nick waited 20 minutes in an idling SUV). At the podium, he remarked, “Awkward? A little bit.”

2. Chad Michael Murray came with fiancée Kenzie Dalton (left); ex-wife Sophia Bush presented. “It’s all anybody wants to talk about,” said Bush. “We both moved on.”

3. When Dane Cook joked he had dated Paula Abdul, Simpson asked, “Did she realize that you weren’t [an American Idol] contestant?”

4. Despite a teleprompter reading “Please Wrap It Up,” an effusive Brooke Hogan (left) chattered about her Choice Grill award as Simpson, foot tapping, waited to spoof the look.

5. Cook thanked skinny Nicole Richie, who wasn’t there, for “posing” as a model for the microphone. He also handed Mischa Barton a sandwich.

COURAGE AWARD

Autistic student Jason McElwain (above, left, with Ashton Kutcher), 17, was feted for his show-stopping performance on the basketball court: In February he hit six three-pointers and a two-pointer in the final minutes of a game. “The sky’s the limit,” a joyful McElwain told the crowd.

K-Fed in the Spotlight

Kevin Federline sounds off about making his public debut as a rapper. Britney? She’s ‘proud’

Anticipation was high. “Everybody’s waiting with bated breath,” said actress Sophia Bush before Kevin Federline performed his new single “Lose Control.” Afterward, Britney Spears‘s husband talked to PEOPLE.

How do you feel about your performance?

“Man, I’m happy. You know, it’s a first time. I think that I got a lot of people’s jaws dropped.”

What did Britney say?

“She was proud. I think she was more nervous than me. Everybody was more nervous than I was.”

What have you heard other people say?

“Everybody’s calling after that night. People that looked at it as a first-time show, [they] were happy. And then I think that everybody that hates on Kevin, the worst thing that they could say is that it was okay. When they see the video [launching Sept. 5], I think a lot of people will start seeing that I am an artist.”

What’s next?

“You’ll see a lot more in October [when my album drops]. [Before that] I’m really going to kick back and wait and see when this baby is going to come, spend my time with my family. There’s a lot of good things going around here.”

For more Style Watch see page 147

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