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Another year, another out-of-her-league Hollywood babe tapped as ringleader for the geeks scientific and technical achievers at this year's techie Oscars.
Jessica Biel has been tapped to host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards taking place Saturday at the Beverly Wilshire.
Biel follows in the hot-ingénue hosting footsteps of predecessors Rachel McAdams, Scarlett Johansson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Garner and, most recently, Jessica Alba.
The Sci-Tech Awards will not be televised, but if tradition holds, Biel-presented portions of the show will air during the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22.
Which means going into the ceremony, Oscar viewers will know exactly one presenter booked for Hollywood's biggest night.
In an attempt to bolster the ever-dwindling ratings of the self-congratulatory, Hugh Jackman-hosted bash, Oscar producers are keeping quiet on nearly every aspect of the often all-too-predictable show.
While producers already announced that they would not be confirming this year's A-list presenters ahead of the show in an attempt to pique viewer interest, more teasing tidbits about the production were unveiled during yesterday's annual nominees luncheon, including the way in which awards are doled out, how the Best Song nominees will be rolled out and the possibility of a nonexistent red carpet.
Academy President Sid Ganis said yesterday that this year's Oscars is "going to be a show that takes some risks" and went on to issue a cryptic warning to the assembled actors.
"Your categories are being presented in a completely different way. Heads up," he warned. "Cinematographers, editors, composers. All of you guys. You're in for a big surprise."
Among them may be the presentation of the nominated songs, which, per the New York Times, may this year be combined into one giant (and no doubt Bollywood-friendly) production number.
Another floated rumor is that producers are toying with the idea of cutting out the arrivals section at the Kodak Theatre in an attempt to parlay the would-be preshow, fashion-policing audience into actual show watchers. Unlikely, but certainly fodder enough for the industry masses.
Meanwhile, longtime awards-show banter writer Bruce Vilanch also let slip to the Times this week that the "grouping" of the awards handed out on the big night would be undergoing a shift, though to what, as expected, he refused to say.