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What’s the Deal With Ties at Awards Shows?

The Oscar race between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga just got even tighter

An unusual event occurred at the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards last night: a tie. And not just one, but two. Lady Gaga and Glenn Close tied as winners in the Best Actress category, for A Star is Born and The Wife respectively, and Amy Adams and Patricia Arquette tied for Best Actress in a Limited Series, for Sharp Objects and Escape at Dannemora respectively.

We haven’t seen a tie at a major awards show in many years, but it turns out it’s not quite as rare as one might imagine. In fact, it’s not even Adams’ first tie. At the 2006 Critics’ Choice Awards, she tied (for Junebug) with Michelle Williams (for Brokeback Mountain) as Best Supporting Actress. According to Yahoo Entertainment, “The CCAs have now featured at least a dozen ties, but this is just the second time that there have been two ties in one night: In 1996, A Bug’s Life and Prince of Egypt tied for Best Animated Feature, and Joan Allen (Pleasantville) tied with Kathy Bates (Primary Colors) for Best Supporting Actress.”

Adams and Arquette took to the podium together, taking turns to alternatively do their thank-yous in a combined acceptance speech.

Later in the evening, Close and Gaga accepted their awards, each one getting her own moment in the spotlight.

“I was thinking that, you know, the world kind of pits us against each other in this profession and I know that from all the women in this category, and I think I can speak for all the women in this room, we celebrate each other,” Close told the audience as she accepted her award. “We are proud to be in this room together.”

Later, as Gaga was announced as the co-winner, she said to Close, “I am so very happy that you won this this evening.”

With her win at the Globes the previous week, Close emerged as the possible frontrunner in a category many were betting was Gaga’s to win, but a Critics’ Choice tie between the two just made the Oscars race even tighter. It seems like a good time to mention that the Academy, too, is no stranger to ties. According to the Huffington Post, there have been six ties in Oscar history, most notably in 1969, when both Katharine Hepburn (Lion in the Winter) and Barbara Streisand (Funny Girl) won for their performances. The most recent tie was in 2013, the award for Best Sound Editing going to both Paul N.J. Ottosson (Zero Dark Thirty) and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers (Skyfall).

Given how close the race for Best Actress seems this year, 2019 might just join the list of historic Oscar ties.