Excitement mounts for Hollywood's 85th Oscars


George Pennacchio has been on the red carpet for more than 20 years, covering Hollywood for KABC-TV. And he's the host of Sunday's On the Red Carpet Show.

"If there is one red carpet you want to be first on, it's the Oscars," Pennacchio said. "And we are first. So when the stars come out, they come to me first."

And then begin the long walk down this red carpet. It's still being patched up with paint touchups and statues getting ready to be unveiled. That place will soon be jammed with women in gowns that will make headlines, men in tuxes, and dreams in the visions of the nominees.

This is a big deal. 10,000 passes have been issued. There's media from around the world. Movies are big business in places like Germany.

"We love American movies," said Lena Gercke with Pro 7 German TV. "We have all the films you do two months later in our theaters."

Rehearsals are underway; but, without the big stars.

"We're rehearsal actors on Stage 1 over there," actor Keith Anthony said. "Kelly Rowland is the host, so what we're doing are mock interviews to rehearse the preshow, the red carpet show."

And it won't end when the final winner is announced. "Live with Kelly and Michael" has a big post-Oscar show Monday morning with an audience of 3,000.

"Michael Strahan will be on the red carpet the night before," said show producer, Michael Gelman. "We have Kelly in a position backstage as the winners come off. We're going to be there with another camera."

Ultimately movie success is about the fans. And they've shown up here to get a touch of magic.

"A lot of my friends back home said take some pictures for us because they never get out here and never get to see any of this excitement," New Orleans resident Laurie Lee said.

Seattle resident Marilyn Thompson chimed in, "It's just the feeling of being here. It's fabulous."

With the nominee announcements released, Oscar.com is inviting the public to play My Picks, an interactive and social Oscar ballot that allows users to pick who they think will win the Oscar in each award category. Fans can see the nominees their Facebook friends have picked to win. During the Oscar telecast, users will be able to compete with their friends to see who made the most accurate picks. The My Picks experience will live on the Oscar.com, the Oscars App, Facebook, ABCNews.com, OTRC.com and gma.yahoo.com." Play My Picks right now!

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