Most of the stars were all smiles onstage -- which fans can see for themselves 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. But in the narrow production passageway behind the scenes at Saturday's taping, some celebs still needed to learn their lines, some wanted to socialize, while others were in a hurry to escape to the afterparty.
Then there was D12. Costumed as various stars of yesteryear, the Detroit rap crew passed the time before their performance by taunting glamorous and beautiful passers-by.
"Sharon Stone! I'm Rick James," shouted D12's Kon Artis, who was dressed as the funky singer. He stopped the stunned "Basic Instinct" star in her tracks and caressed her hand. "I love your movies," he purred.
She forced a smile. "I ... love your music ...?" she said with uncertainty, before her entourage hustled her out a side entrance.
D12's Bizarre ogled her as she walked away. "Sharon Stone ..." he growled.
When Halle Berry passed by, Kon Artis shouted: "Halle! We love your music!"
The Oscar-winning actress, who doesn't record music, did her best to ignore them.
Eminem, dressed as Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose, remained out of sight for most of the hijinks, shrouded behind a small, curtained room.
He missed Christina Aguilera (search), a longtime musical foe he once famously mocked in song, as she sneaked past the D12 crew. She giggled "Nice!" to a friend, cocking her head at the ridiculously costumed guys. They were too busy cavorting in front of an MTV camera to notice.
Eminem emerged in time to cross paths with "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake star Jessica Biel. He looped his arm across her shoulders and escorted her to the exit, then -- in the shadow of his massive bodyguard team -- pretended to pick a fight with her in front of the crowd outside.
"You and me -- after school!" he taunted.
Biel was happy to play along. "3 o'clock!" she yelled back.
For the less rowdy, the dimly lit hallway was just a place to hang out. Tom Cruise, who presented an award with his "Collateral" co-star Jamie Foxx, was adjusting his sunglasses to hang from the neck of his T-shirt before being confronted by a fan -- Vin Diesel.
By far the biggest star on the show, Cruise didn't mind mingling or greeting the occasional admirer. Once onstage, Cruise threw his sunglasses and leather jacket to some screaming fans, leaving him just a small T-shirt for the rest of the night.
Would he need the jacket back?
That question caused a look of alarm to cross his face. "No," he said, as if the last thing he needed to do was reclaim a fan's souvenir. "They can have it. Let them keep it."
One star who spoke to no one was host Lindsay Lohan (search). The "Mean Girls" star was always running back and forth from the stage to her dressing room for quick changes into six glitzy outfits.
Others, like Queen Latifah, lingered as long as possible, creating mini-blockages in the corridor as their celebrity colleagues stopped to chat. Jake Gyllenhaal and girlfriend Kirsten Dunst hugged and kissed at the end of the night, further tying up traffic.
At one point Paris Hilton and her Backstreet Boys beau Nick Carter squeezed through the crowd. The hotel heiress/reality TV star/reluctant Internet porn icon leaned back and smiled, "Do I look cute?" as if she already knew the answer.
Carter responded with a kiss to her cheek. Then they went outside so she could smoke a cigarette.
Since the talent wasn't required to show up for rehearsals, some stars showed glimpses of panic as their presentations neared. Dunst was preparing to hand out the final award -- best movie, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" -- but she had a problem.
"I have no idea what I'm saying!" she said. "I don't know my lines."
Minutes before she went onstage with her "Spider-Man 2" co-star Tobey Maguire, she huddled with the production crew to glance over the scripted patter. Her objective: to escort a person in a pajama-looking Spider-Man suit out to the podium. Then Maguire would come out later as a surprise.
Then the phony Spider-Man showed up. It was Ellen DeGeneres (search).
"Sex-y! I love it!" Dunst said, hugging DeGeneres, who looked unconvinced. Later, DeGeneres winced as a photographer snapped her photo in the formfitting suit.
"Nobody wants to see me in this," she warned playfully.
With that, the show was over. Lohan, 17, bid the audience farewell and promised to drink only "nonalcoholic" punch at the afterparty.
She won the breakthrough female award for "Freaky Friday," and made a brief appearance in the adjacent press room for photographers.
But Lohan still wasn't talking, perhaps due to some family controversy. The teenage actress has dodged reporters since her father was arrested last week for physically assaulting her uncle during a dispute two weeks ago in New York.
When she disappeared from the photo room, some reporters complained that they had been promised "two questions" with the young actress. But by then there was nothing they could do.
She was gone -- presumably to get some of that punch.