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The surest bet at Sunday night's Golden Globes? Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
For the second year in a row, the dynamic duo will lead the annual glitzy Beverly Hills banquet, where stars gather for a boozy dress rehearsal to the Academy Awards. Poehler and Fey last year brought the Globes telecast to a six-year ratings high of 19.7 million, winning universal praise along the way for their irreverent cracks that playfully punctured Hollywood's veneer.
On the red carpet, the “Saturday Night Live” alumnae played it cool when asked about how much work they’d put into prepping for the awards show.
“We’ve been preparing this week,” Poehler quipped, as Fey emphasized that fans would be shocked by how little time the two put into getting ready for show.
But their close friend Andy Samberg said they would bring the house down regardless.
“They’re gonna crush,” he said. “They are coming in hot and they are looking to top last year, which was huge.”
As stars began arriving at the Globes, overcast skies parted to let the sun shine on the red carpet though that didn't keep some of the red carpet from getting drenched when a lighting rig set off a fire sprinkler, soaking on section of the carpet a few hours before show time.
A video posted by Los Angeles Fox affiliate KTTV, showed the sprinkler dousing an area that crews later used wet dry vacuums to clean up. The incident happened a couple hours before the first celebrities set foot on the carpet.
Upon hearing about the sprinkler incident, Taylor Swift—who found herself in feud with Fey and Poehler after last year’s Globes —tweeted: “Apparently the Golden Globes red carpet flooded. Let's just go in our jammies this year! -@austinswift7”
With Fey and Poehler signed up for next year, too, the 71st Globes show finds itself on the upswing. While the more prestigious and meaningful Academy Awards ceremony wrestles awkwardly with updating its brand, the Globes telecast has thrived as a more comic, unpredictable affair, free of Oscar's self-regard and musical dance numbers.
Yet there's nothing unpredictable about this year's favorite nominees: David O. Russell's con-artist caper "American Hustle" and Steve McQueen's unflinching epic "12 Years a Slave." The films and their much-nominated ensemble casts lead with seven nominations each, but they will be kept mostly separated by the Globes' split between comedy-musical and drama categories.
Still, the broadcast holds plenty of intrigue, with several other films prominently in the mix, too.
Alfonso Cuaron's space odyssey "Gravity," a worldwide hit starring Sandra Bullock, is just as much a front-runner, only with a more limited cast.
Support is also strong for the Coen brothers'1960s Greenwich Village folk tale "Inside Llewyn Davis" (three nominations), Alexander Payne's father-son road trip "Nebraska" (five nominations), Spike Jonze's futuristic romance "Her" (three nominations) and Paul Greengrass' pirate thriller "Captain Phillips" (four nominations). All have found various honors in an awards season that has seen critics groups and guild organizations often make divergent choices.
Those films and others will bring a room full of famous faces to the Globes show, including nominees Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Bruce Dern and many others.
One celebrity not likely to attend is Woody Allen, the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. The director famously disdains award shows and his "Anne Hall" star Diane Keaton is expected to accept on his behalf.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.