A Star-Lit Controversy
by Nobody Special
Back when Paul Fishbein owned AVN I used to joke with him that the worst job in the state had to be working for AVN on the Sunday after a Saturday night AVN Awards Show. For a long time the conventions used to be Thursday-Sunday, but they always held the Awards Show on Saturday nights. Sundays tended to be very sparsely attended, particularly in the morning hours. The winners would all show up with their trophies, of course, although in all honesty a good percentage of them had probably not been to bed yet. Still, the winners were happy, and proud, and they wanted everyone to know it.
The much larger percentage of people/companies that did not win, however, that percentage tends to be rather surly. Invariably some commotion or another arises about people that “bought” trophies. This year that focus apparently falls on Mia Malkova and her Best New Starlet victory.
Unless AVN has substantially changed the way the voting works, though, it would be fairly difficult to literally pay for an award. As a rule, if a strong “few” contenders reign at the top of everyone’s list, it can easily be another person entirely that takes the prize — and this goes for movie awards as well as the individual ones.
You see the voting may not work exactly as you think it might: They do not simply pick the person with the most “#1” votes. Any awards system that we know about uses a ranking system that determines the winner. They put all the nominees in a list, and then each judge ranks them from one to whatever, all the way down. Then they add the numbers together for each candidate, and the lowest number wins. If everyone votes for the same “#1” then obviously that person or movie has the lowest total, but if “groups” get involved, sometimes it can lead to what seem like unusual results. Sometimes a judge will want “their candidate” to win so much that he or she will not rank the other “top contenders” very high at all — specifically because they understand the lowest total number concept.
It might be easier just to give an example. In a simple case, let’s assume three judges are voting on five nominees, and there happen to be three “top” candidates. If each judge picks “their” favorite with a “1” and punishes the favorites of the other two judges with a “5” … well, then all three “top” people end up with a total score of eleven. They’re tied before they start, and they may all be screwed — and in this case not the fun way. If all three judges pick the same “#2” person, for example, that nominee ends up with a score of SIX! … She wins!