At Teen Choice awards, she dedicates her hottie award to an unrequited love
High School Musical 2 stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens took home a bevy of surfboards at Sunday night’s Teen Choice awards, but Jessica Alba had the last laugh on her own grade-school tormentor.
“I would like to dedicate this award to a young man who has been on my mind for the last 19 years: Ross,” Jessica Alba, 26, told a rapt audience as she accepted the female hottie award. “Ross didn’t love me. I was pigeon-toed, I had a sway back, I was slightly cross-eyed, buck-toothed, I sucked my thumb.” She added, with a laugh: “Look at me now, Ross! Look at me now!”
The actress elaborated in the press room that Ross “promised that if I kissed him he would choose me for baseball … I was still chosen last. I never trusted men again.”
Held at the Gibson Ampitheatre at Universal Studios and broadcast live on FOX, Teen Choice 2007 was hosted by Hilary Duff and Nick Cannon and brought out a slew of stars, from Dane Cook to Miley Cyrus to Lauren Conrad. Musical performers included Shop Boyz, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne.
High School Musical 2 won best TV movie, Efron was dubbed male hottie, and Hudgens was honored as music’s female breakout artist.
Several of the film’s actors enthused to PEOPLE about their co-stars’ newfound success and budding romance.
“They have an unspoken connection that you can’t really describe, and it shows,” said Ryne Sanborn. Added KayCee Stroh: “I’m overwhelmed with watching Zac work sometimes. He’s such a professional. He can be big kid when he wants to, and he can snap right into it. And Vanessa is such a little songbird, and I think she’s going to go so far. I love them both.”
Sophia Bush and Shia LaBeouf were named breakout stars. Bush also won additional acting honors for John Tucker Must Die and The Hitcher; LaBeouf won for Disturbia.
The other big movie winner of the night was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which surfed off with the action adventure film honors, and stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy won acting awards.
PEOPLE also caught up with Nikki Blonsky, who said her role in Hairspray reinforced what she already believed about beauty. “I was always taught as a young girl from my parents that I was beautiful, I was who I was and I should be proud of it,” she said. “It kind of worked with the character of Tracy, because that’s her message too. … I think it’s a message that needs to be spread, to be comfortable with who you are and to love yourself.”
• Reporting by SHAYNA ROSE ARNOLD and JED DREBEN