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January 24, 2016

Victory Lap: Winners Bask in Glow of 2016 AVN Awards Triumphs

LAS VEGAS—Riley Reid became the surest bet in Vegas Saturday night in what turned into a historic haul at the AVN Awards Show. (photo galleries) The 24-year-old native of Miami Beach captured five awards, including the AVN Female Performer of the Year honor, at the 33rd annual ceremony. Reid took home four AVN statues for her signature movie Being Riley, which was produced by Greg Lansky’s high-end Tushy.com imprint and received the hotly contested Best Star Showcase award. The versatile superstar traversed the stage no less than four times to pick up additional statues in front of the capacity crowd at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “I don’t even know what to say anymore,” Reid said during her fourth acceptance speech of the night—for Female Performer of the Year. She gave a shoutout to her agent and her fellow nominees who “also deserved this award.” “This is so crazy. … Mark Spiegler, I love you,” she added breathlessly. “I wouldn’t be here if not for you. I’m so grateful to all of you. Thank you to all the companies that shot me. Thank you to everyone who voted for me and most of all, thank you, Greg Lansky.” Lansky’s six-month-old, all-anal studio Tushy received five awards including Best New Imprint, while his 19-month-old interracial studio, Blacked, accounted for another six trophies including Best Membership Website in a remarkable night of triumphs for the French shot-caller who also got the Director of the Year nod. The charismatic chief creative officer of Strike 3 Holdings, parent company of Blacked/Tushy, lauded his production team, thanked his significant other Jen and dedicated the award to “the amazing performers I work with every day.” “You are so courageous,” Lansky said. “It’s a privilege working with you. You are artists. What you do is art.” Indeed, the top adult performers in the world joined the industry’s elite producers, manufacturers, retailers and tech professionals for the red-carpet affair that blasted off just after 9:30 p.m. with an electrifying performance by triple-platinum rapper Waka Flocka Flame. Performing on his wedding anniversary, the Atlanta native also known as the “Turn Up God” got the crowd amped with an raucous throw-down of two of his biggest hits—“No Hands” and “Round of Applause”—while a parade of scantily clad backup dancers from Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club gyrated behind him. It didn’t take long after for the sexy comedienne host Kate Quigley to keep the audience lubed with a delightfully dirty, profanity-filled joke-off.  “I’m not just the host. I want you to know I’m a big fan of your work also, because I was married for 10 years,” Quigley explained. “I watched a lot of porn to remember what fucking actually looked like. “Sometimes my ex would catch me. He didn’t watch porn at all but he would catch me sometimes and he’d be like, ‘Kate, what is that girl doing?’ I’d be like, ‘Sweetie, that’s called an orgasm.’” And the leggy host of Playboy TV’s Undercover was just warming up.  Speaking of raising the room temperature, Anikka Albrite, the 2015 Female Performer of the Year, and Joanna Angel, porn’s self-styled punk rock princess and founder of BurningAngel—took the stage next and came with surprises. In one of the night’s numerous gags, the duo claimed they had received word the winner’s envelopes hadn’t been delivered to them. They turned to the jumbo video screens for a live update from the airport, where the X-Art private jet was parked with the all-important winner’s package. “AVN reporter” Franziska gave the audience a peek inside the cabin where about a half dozen X-Art stunners were in the midst of various shenanigans.  But when one of them emerged holding the briefcase, the countdown to the first award began. Minutes later came one of the night’s signature moments, when Albrite and Angel burst into an outrageous, choreographed song and dance number called “That’s What Porn is All About,” with lyrics and music by Mark Stone. The number even included a brief rap sequence that was written by Angel, who shouted out several of the nominated stars in the audience. “Katrina Jade has a web on her face, Mick Blue’s dick is all over the place!” Angel rapped. “Adriana Chechik, super slut….every girl’s had Manuel in their butt!” They got back to business with the award for Best Girl/Girl Sex Scene, which went to Riley Reid and Aidra Fox for their sizzling performance in Being Riley. “She did all the work,” Fox joked as the girls stepped to the microphone. “No I didn’t,” Reid purred. “I can’t eat my own pussy.” The exotic hardbody Kleio Valentien took home the second award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as super villain Harley Quinn in Axel Braun’s Batman v. Superman XXX parody from Wicked Comix. “Thank you Wicked Pictures and thank you Axel Braun,” Valentien said humbly. “I also want to thank my agents [at Nexxxt Level] Jonathan Morgan and Andre Madness.” Australian star Angela White won the award for Best Oral Sex Scene for her work in Angela 2, which she also produced and directed (AGW Entertainment/Girlfriends Films). White could not attend the ceremony for personal reasons but her publicist—fellow performer/director Tanya Tate—accepted the award on her behalf, sharing classy prepared remarks from White in the event she won. Katrina Jade, Brett Rossi and Rob Piper presented the award for Best Boy/Girl Sex Scene, which went to Abigail Mac and Flash Brown for their tryst in Black & White 4 (Blacked/Jules Jordan). The stylized scene marked Mac’s first interracial performance in an homage to the iconic movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Mac’s tease and scene was a XXX tribute to the Phoebe Cates character. Mr. Skin recently called that famous sequence “the best nude scene in the history of movies.”  “This was the best sex I’ve ever had,” Mac said as she accepted the trophy, before calling out to her director Greg Lansky. “Greg, I fucking love you.” Brown, a 6-foot-6 former pro basketball player who is one of Blacked’s exclusive studs, also was gracious in his remarks. The next award went to Being Riley for Best Star Showcase. When Lansky took the stage he was missing his star. “Where’s Riley?” he asked. “I’m comin’!” Reid squealed as she hurried to the stage, raising her arms in victory. “This movie was about a wonderful human being, a real artist and someone I have tremendous respect for,” Lansky said. The Fan Award for Most Epic Ass went to Alexis Texas, but she didn’t make it to the stage in time so Jesse Jane and Nikki Benz accepted on her behalf and Texas joined them backstage to celebrate. Reid and Mick Blue won the Best Anal Sex Scene award for Being Riley, and Blue hoisted her up and carried her up the steps.  “This is amazing,” Reid said. “I want to thank my best friend Anikka [Albrite] for letting me have my first anal scene with her husband.” The excitable and curvaceous Abella Danger won the Best New Starlet award, accepting the crown from last year’s winner Carter Cruise in an AVN tradition. The visibly moved Danger, her voice shaking, called herself “lucky” and thanked “all the Spiegler Girls, Jules Jordan, Airerose … Evil Angel,” and all the companies that have hired her. “I will not let you down. This is only the beginning, I promise,” Danger declared.  Backstage, she was overcome with emotion as she spoke with host Allie Haze. “I wanted this so bad, from the moment I started,” Danger said as she fought back more tears. The Best Actor award went to last year’s AVN Awards co-host Tommy Pistol for his title role in Digital Playground’s Stryker, which is about a half-assed spy who’s more interested in getting under the covers with various women than actually doing any undercover work.  Pistol was not at the show, but his close friend Small Hands, a fellow performer, accepted the award, calling Pistol “a legend” with transcendent acting talent.  Katie Morgan, Janice Griffith and Alex Grey presented the Best Actress Award to Penny Pax for her career performance as the title character in The Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries (New Sensations), a compelling film about a BDSM relationship that also won Best Screenplay for Jacky St. James’ nuanced dialogue. In the movie, Pax reprises her role as a full-time submissive in the sequel to the AVN Award-winning original in 2013. She receives a new contract from Mr. Frederick (Richie Calhoun), who is also the boss at her office job, and follows a set of extreme ground rules that test her mental and physical limits. “I’m just really shocked,” Pax said, her eyes welling up on stage. She thanked her agent Mark Spiegler “for giving me a shot when I was really new.” She also thanked her significant other, Alex Legend. Mick Blue won his second straight Male Performer of the Year Award, becoming the sixth man in adult film history to win it more than once, joining Manuel Ferrara, Lexington Steele, James Deen, Rocco Siffredi and Tom Byron. The dapper Austrian, clad in a black tuxedo with gold-and-black bowtie, hopped onto the stage and said, “Wow.” “Ok, ok. Yeahhh!” he screamed as his wife Anikka ran up and kissed him. “Thank you so much. You guys are all phenomenal.” He thanked ImLive, which bestows a special gift upon the top three performer winners, and the show’s presenting sponsor Chaturbate, along with his wife. “You rock and I love you.” Shyla Jennings took home the All-Girl Performer of the Year honor for the second time in three years since the award was created. The recently named Girlsway Girl of the Year is a five-year industry veteran from Texas. She thanked her “LVLZ crew, Girlsway and Girlfriends Films.” Last time she won the award in 2014 she wasn’t in Vegas to accept it. “It’s awesome to hold this trophy,” Jennings said backstage. “Wow.”  The award for Best Parody went to Axel Braun’s sensational Peter Pan XXX from the Wicked Fairy Tales line. The silly sendup starred British stud Ryan Ryder in the title role along with Keira Nicole in the role of Wendy, Steven St. Croix (Captain Hook) and Riley Steele (Tinker Bell). Braun’s porn version of the J.M. Barrie tale followed Pan’s magical trip to Neverland with Wendy, Tiger Lily, and two mischievous mermaids as they help Peter fight the villainous Captain Hook and rescue Tinker Bell. For Braun, one of the winningest directors of all time, it was his sixth straight year claiming the top parody prize. In the final award of the night, Peter Pan also captured Movie of the Year. “Everybody is so fuckin’ great in this movie,” Braun said as he was surrounded by his cast, including Ryder, who even showed off his singing talent in an impromptu moment.  Braun, who also won Best Director-Parody, had successfully mined the erotic fairy tale genre before, releasing Snow White XXX, Sleeping Beauty XXX, and Cinderella XXX during his tenure at Wicked. The Italian shooter also shared a win with co-writer Mark Logan for Best Screenplay-Parody for Batman v. Superman; the spoof collected awards for Best Special Effects and Best Makeup (Cammy Ellis & May Kup) as well. Stormy Daniels’ passion project, Wanted, emerged victorious in the Best Drama category, marking the first time a porn Western has won one of the industry's most coveted awards. A joint production between Stormy’s exclusive home Wicked Pictures and Adam & Eve, the period piece set a new bar for porno Westerns and is perhaps the greatest achievement of the 2004 AVN Best New Starlet's glittering career. Wanted featured a superb ensemble cast led by Anikka Albrite, Amber Rayne, Allie Haze and Wicked superstar jessica drake, while perennial Best Actor Steven St. Croix and fellow award-winning performer Brendon Miller delivered terrific performances as leading men. Stormy playfully stuck her tongue out as she sashayed to the stage with her posse behind her. “Thank you to AVN, Wicked, Adam & Eve and Steve Orenstein and my amazing cast and crew,” she told the audience.  Backstage, an exuberant Brendon Miller jumped into Jack Vegas’ arms. Amber Rayne cried, and Kylie Ireland had watery eyes as they huddled together and reflected on the colossal effort of 20 days in the desert heat to complete principal photography. Stormy thanked Axel Braun for editing, Andy Appleton and Kylie for their detailed art direction and Brad Armstrong for his outstanding period wardrobe.   “This was eight years in the making,” Stormy revealed. She gave Allie Haze credit for helping to "save" the movie as a late addition to the cast.  But it was Daniels herself who not only called the action and penned the script for Wanted she also recorded what arguably was the best performance of her career. Her character Dani becomes the badass leader of this band of lady outlaws that takes on crooked Sheriff of Diablo City (St. Croix).  Wanted also won Best Soundtrack, thanks in no small part to Brendon Miller, who is also a musician and performed the catchy title track, “On the Run,” with The Wicked Outlaws.   The show rolled on with the award for Transsexual Performer of the Year going to Venus Lux, a native of San Francisco who debuted in 2012 and held the statue for the second straight year. Lux, who also owns her own studio, wants to do more than perform and direct. She has set her sights on affecting positive change on a larger scale, launching TransGlobal Magazine last year in that spirit. She said to defend her title is “thrilling.” “I’m so flabbergasted. I’m fulfilling so many goals,” Lux told AVN backstage. “This just helps me move forward and make some exciting new changes in my industry.” AVN’s new CEO Tony Rios introduced the Visionary Award, which this year was bestowed upon the founder of AVN. “In 1983, a young man from Philadelphia named Paul Fishbein and two partners contributed $300 each to launch Adult Video News, which started out as an eight-page newsletter,” Rios began. “That newsletter went on to become the monthly trade magazine now known as AVN that is still published every month, and laid the foundation for the annual event that you’re all a part of here tonight.” Rios asked the audience to watch a tribute video recapping Fishbein’s achievements, but instead the video was a no-holds-barred roast of the enterprising former leader of AVN. “It’s quite humbling and a little embarrassing to accept the award that I created five years ago before I left AVN, but I am truly thankful,” Fishbein said when he took the stage. In a thoughtful five-minute address, he recounted a brief history of the trials and tribulations the porn business has survived and underscored the importance of standing up for freedom of speech in an industry that is always subject to government scrutiny. He thanked all his AVN partners, including the original co-founders Irv Slifkin and Barry Rosenblatt, Stuart Franks and Darren Roberts, “who helped bring AVN into the technological age and is my partner in my new television production company Plausible Films.” “Thanks to all the great AVN staff over the years, past and present,” Fishbein continued. He also thanked “Mark Stone and Gary Miller, who helped make this awards show the industry’s biggest night.” Then Fishbein shared his gratitude for the irreplaceable Christian Mann, the late executive “who was one of my best friends in the world,” and his wife, Amanda, calling her “my rock.” The show began with a memorial reel of those individuals who the industry had lost in the past year. A tribute to the AVN Hall of Fame Class of 2016 followed with photos of each inductee gracing the video screens. Jules Jordan Video won Best Gonzo (Eye Contact), Best T/A Movie (Bra Busters 6), Best Anthology Movie (Oil Overload 12), Best POV Sex Scene for Jillian Janson, Aidra Fox and Jules Jordan (Eye Contact); the namesake owner also collected a Best Director-Non Feature trophy for Jesse: Alpha Female. Paul Deeb received the Best Director-Feature honor for his work on the ambitious Lionreach/Adam & Eve co-production Marriage 2.0, which also won the first-ever award for Best Polyamory Movie. Another multiple winner was Hard X, which won Best Ethnic Movie (Latin Asses), Best Oral Movie (Facialized 2) and Best Orgy/Gangbang movie (Gangbang Me 2), Best Anal Series (DP Me), Best Group Sex Scene for the gangbang starring Keisha Grey, Mick Blue, James Deen, Jon Jon, John Strong & Erik Everhard (Gangbang Me 2). Presented by live-chat heavyweight Chaturbate under the direction of executive produced Gary Miller, the AVN Awards attracted international media coverage from outlets such as CNBC, Fox News, Buzzfeed, Vice, French TV, Canadian TV, Spanish radio and other outlets. Miller taped the show for broadcast on Showtime later this year. For a complete list of 2016 winners, click here. For photo galleries, click here. Pictured above: Riley Reid carried on stage by scene partner Mick Blue to accept the award for Best Anal Sex Scene from presenters Vicki Chase and Jessa Rhodes.

 
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