09/21/2004 AT 8:00 AM ET
The most winning moment at Sunday night’s Emmys arguably belonged to Amy Scholsohn from Orlando, Fla., and Bruce Milam Jr. from Joliet, Ill. – the two blindfolded “real people” who to their own amazement were led onstage at the Shrine Auditorium to announce the winner in the reality TV category.
“Oh my God, Jennifer Aniston,” gasped Scholsohn when she finally eyed the crowd before her, “they say I look like you.” (To which Aniston, from her seat next to husband Brad Pitt, seemed to gesture, “Care to switch places with me?”)
As for how the stunt came about, the duo was duped into thinking they were competing on a new reality show, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The hand at work behind the scenes was reality show casting director Marla Brodsky. Scholsohn was found because she had applied for a partial makeover on Extreme Makeover, while Milam had a pal who also applied to be on the show.
Emmy host Garry Shandling praised the pair after they stood onstage with him. “Those two people were so touching, weren’t they?” he said. “And you know that’s the great part about reality programming, they have already been assigned as hosts. For us professionals, this is our last year.”
That could be a portentous statement. Ratings for this year’s Emmycast were lousy – it was one of the least-watched ceremonies in years, according to Nielsen numbers. Preliminary figures show that only 14 million viewers tuned in, 3 million fewer than the low-rated 2001 show on CBS that aired opposite the final game of the World Series.