While watching the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night, audiences were likely prepared to see a number of things typical of award season: cheesy jokes from the host, triumphant acceptance speeches, and red carpet gowns so stunning, it was hard not to audibly gasp. But one very unique occurrence happened when it came time to award the trophy for best actress in a movie made for television or limited series — it was a tie!
Presenters and Schitt’s Creek costars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara opened the envelope to reveal the winners and took a moment to look appropriately shocked before O’Hara excitedly yelled out, “It’s a tie!” No, this wasn’t another awkward Moonlight/La La Land situation — Amy Adams won for her role in Sharp Objects, while Patricia Arquette also won for Escape at Dannemora.
What could have easily been an uncomfortable moment for everyone involved ended up being a heartwarming one, instead. Adams refused to start her acceptance speech without Arquette on stage. “I actually can’t think of a more beautiful thing than a tie because there really isn’t a winner when we get to do such great work when you have such wonderful opportunities,” Adams said, before Arquette joined her on the stage. The two then thanked their respective friends, families, and costars. Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time the Critics’ Choice Awards have had this happen.
Back in 2009, the best actress category saw a double win for Meryl Streep in Doubt and Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married. The same thing happened six years before that, in 2003, when the best actor category saw Daniel Day-Lewis win for his performance in Gangs of New York as well as Jack Nicholson for About Schmidt.
The awards are decided by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), who honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Written ballots are submitted by members during a week-long nominating period, then those nominees are typically announced in early December. The winners are narrowed down by another round of voting, with the actual award show airing in January. Luckily, there’s no such thing as a tie-breaker at the Critics’ Choice Awards, which has made for some exciting — and seriously unexpected — moments over the years.