“We love Elton. He's amazing. And his commitment to charity is incredible,” said Mariah Carey, as she made her way inside the 24th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar viewing party. The legendary songstress wasn’t the only one eager to see the host in action. Sponsored by Bulgari, the viewing party has become the spot where the hottest stars in music, TV, and film gather under the roof of an enormous tent in West Hollywood Park, to not just view the 88th Academy Awards and support the cause but to also enjoy the epic musical performances.
Throughout the four-hour broadcast, guests like Sheryl Crow, Hilary Swank, and Lana Del Rey enjoyed a decadent five-course dinner by Chef Gordon Ramsay while toasting the day’s victories with a glass of Hatt et Söner champagne. “I love this party because we get a little wild in here,” said Dita von Teese in a red dress by Zac Posen, who was also her date for the night. “It's kind of the misfits that aren't at the Oscars [who are here]. We drink, we yell things at the screen, and it's fun!”
Once the more formal portion of the night was over, the lights were dimmed and the real party got started. As the host himself took the stage for a 10-song set, former Dancing with the Stars partners Kym Johnson and Carson Kressley boogied to “Looking Up” while new couple Ed Weeks and Bellamy Young shared a kiss (or two) to “Tiny Dancer.” By the time Elton got to “Rocket Man,” Dave Grohl had made it from the Oscars, where he performed the In Memoriam segment, to the party.
“This is a wonderful crazy night," gushed Elton as he closed the show with party favorite “Saturday Night’s Alright.” Let's just say the party was such a rousing success, the entire crowd was on its feet. And it wasn't just fun that was had: The event raised $6.2 million for the cause, up $400,000 from last year. Even after Elton and his husband David Furnish made their way to the Vanity Fair after-party, his guests lingered, making it one late, late night. “As it should be, right?” Girls’s Andrew Rannells, in a white J. Crew tux, rhetorically asked InStyle. We couldn’t agree more.