15 Award Show Facts About How The Winners Are Actually Chosen

Elizabeth Spina
Billie Eilish
youtube | Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

As a viewer, we merely tune in on the night of any given Hollywood award show and watch events transpire. Not a care in the world. The inner workings and the process of how the nominees and winners are chosen have remained a mystery to many.

So, without further ado, here are 15 BTS facts about award shows that you may not know.

1. The Academy Awards winners are selected by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences panel, which has upward of 6000 members.

Jennifer Lawrence
YouTube | Oscars

All members are required to vote for best picture, and the nominees for the remaining categories are determined by the balloting of the academy’s various branches. A separate committee selects the foreign-language film nominations.

2. The ballots are typically submitted online, however, members can request a paper ballot instead if they prefer.

Unsplash | Element5 Digital

Members are asked to submit five nominations for each of the four categories, ranking them in order of their preference.

3. The candidates who rank first place on the most ballots are then named as the official nominee for the respective category.

Giphy | The Academy Awards

For the grand finale — the final vote, members across the board vote online for their preferred winner in every category, not just for their branch.

4. Up until the moment the envelopes are open and read onstage, only two people are informed of who the winners are.

Movie poster
Unsplash | Steven Lasry

Those people work for the company who tallies the votes, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

5. To be considered as a possible Emmy nominee, the potential candidate must submit themselves, and so long as it's not their first time, it comes at a cost.

Giphy | Emmys

The first application is free of charge, after that it's $425 for a whole program and $225 for an individual candidate.

6. After the submission deadline, the Television Academy votes for their preferred project nominees in categories including Drama Series and Television Movie.

Red carpet
Unsplash | Amir Hosseini

For performance awards, typically given out to actors and directors, nominees are voted by small, peer-groups.

7. Nominees are then subsequently required to submit a number of episodes that the voters can watch on a secure online platform.

Giphy | Emmys

For the final vote, the process is repeated, and of course, no one can vote for themselves.

8. The Golden Globe voter committee is much smaller than that of other popular award shows.

Unsplash | The Climate Reality Project

It only consists of members of the Hollywood Foreign Press — a group of US-based entertainment journalists who provide coverage for publications outside of the US.

9. As of 2019, the Golden Globe voter committee only consisted of 87 people.

Golden Globes
Giphy | Golden Globes

Many have criticized the panel and have alleged that they have accepted gifts and other incentives provided by studios, in exchange for their votes.

10. The members were recently required to sign a new code of conduct due to the accusations and backlash.

Unsplash | Felix Mooneeram

"Members are prohibited from corruptly accepting, agreeing to accept, demanding, or soliciting anything of value in exchange for an action taken by the member in his or her HFPA capacity," the new code of conduct reads.

11. BAFTA nominations are determined by the members of the British Film Chapter.

Giphy | BAFTA

The members rank their 20 favorite British-made films of the year. The top five are then automatically selected as nominees, and the remaining 15 candidates are moved to the long-list.

12. In the second half of voting, a jury of voters votes for the best five films of the remaining 15 nominees.

Seth Meyers
YouTube | NBC

In the third and final round of voting, all BAFTA members take a vote to determine the final winner.

13. For the Grammys, the entire body of members of the Recording Academy vote for the general categories.

Giphy | E!

These categories include Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

14. After that, it's broken down to a 20-person committee that is responsible for choosing eight nominees for each category, from a list of the top 20 candidates.

YouTube | Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

For genre-specific categories, nominees are chosen by a smaller panel of members who are experts in the genre. They listen to the 15 finalists and choose the top five of them to move on.

15. The Recording Academy's committee members can only participate for a three-year term. After that, they are required to take a year off before choosing to return.

Unsplash | Tadas Mikuckis

And if there are any potential conflicts of interest between committee members and candidates, including financial or familial ties, they aren't allowed to vote in that candidate's respective category.

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