LOS ANGELES: Show Bits brings you the 85th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists.
QUICK QUOTE: OCTAVIA SPENCER
"I'm good now. Now I can go play!" — Octavia Spencer, backstage after presenting the night's first Oscar.
BASSEY HITS IT OUTTA THE PARK
For all the sparkling young starlets and the edgy new host, it was none other than Dame Shirley Bassey who truly set the joint on fire early in the Oscar telecast.
The 76-year-old singer's rendition of the theme from "Goldfinger" — or, as she sang so memorably, "GoldfinGAH" — was a feel-good moment that won what was at the time the biggest ovation of the night.
Bassey, who recorded the song in the '60s to great acclaim, reprised it as part of the Academy's 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond franchise.
On social networks, as people were debating vigorously how the telecast was going, there was no question as to how Bassey did: She was an unqualified hit.
Minutes after the performance, the singer and her song were trending on Twitter.
Adele, who was to perform her "Skyfall" theme later in the show, had her work cut out for her.
WALTZ PULLS OSCAR UPSET
It didn't take long for the first big upset of Oscar night.
Christoph Waltz claimed the first statuette, winning best supporting actor for his role as a refined bounty hunter in "Django Unchained."
Waltz briefly found himself in a bizarre moment in the backstage interview room when actor David Arquette popped up and asked if he was excited about the possibility of a black man being chosen as the next pope.
"It would be an exciting thing," he said. "I'm an adamant non-racist. I don't care whether the pope is black or white or whatever color. If we are non-racists then we have to stay non-racists all the way."
QUICK QUOTE: CHRISTOPH WALTZ
"Quentin writes poetry and I like poetry." — Supporting actor winner Christoph Waltz of "Django Unchained" about working with writer-director Quentin Tarantino.
MAYBE IT LOOKED EASY ...
Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were one big bundle of nerves before they took the stage for their opening song-and-dance numbers.
Radcliffe danced by himself. Theron dabbed at her eyes and Gordon-Levitt stood silently as Oscar host Seth MacFarlane delivered the Oscar show's opening monologue.
Then it was time to hit the stage.
"Thank God!" Theron said afterward as she let out a sigh of relief.
"You stepped on my dress," she told Tatum.
Radcliffe and Gordon-Levitt bear-hugged after their dance routine.
"We did all right! We did all right," they told each other.
"It felt good! How did it look?" Gordon-Levitt asked.
"Well done," Radcliffe told him. "See you later!"
QUICK QUOTE: BEN AFFLECK
"We don't expect to depart with anything but our integrity." — Ben Affleck, shunning the nominations his film "Argo" received.
AND THE FANS SAY ... 'ARGO'
However it fared with Academy voters, the clear fan favorite among fans in the Oscar bleachers was "Argo."
The bleacher crowd forced actor-director Ben Affleck to stop an interview with their loud chants of "Ben! Ben! Ben!"
They gave the film's producer, George Clooney, similar treatment and lavished applause on supporting actor nominee Alan Arkin.
Perhaps the strongest sign of fans' love for the CIA thriller was when the group was polled for its choice for best picture before any actors hit the red carpet.
While the chanting was spirited for "Les Miserables" and some other films, it was clearly loudest for "Argo."
It's always fun to hear what Jennifer Lawrence has to say — even if you have to lip read because she's being bleeped.
The bleeping started early for the charmingly blunt Lawrence, a best actress nominee for "Silver Linings Playbook," as ABC silenced her cheeky red carpet response to actress Kristin Chenoweth.
The two were bonding over "Dance Moms," the Lifetime reality series, when Lawrence asked Chenoweth if she liked it too.
Chenoweth: "Is the pope Catholic?"
Lawrence: "... ?" (We can't print her reply here, but the reference was to something a bear does in the woods.)
And the night, as they say, was still very young.