I stopped watching the Academy Awards almost 30 years ago when I found out that the narcissistic pageantry was rigged and almost everyone knew who was going to win.

Deadline.com‘s writer Nikke Finke wrote: “The Oscars suck every year! And this year the Oscars are gonna suck worse than ever! Because we all know who’s going to win the marquee categories without a single envelope being ripped open.”

Congrats to ‘The Help‘ star Octavia Spencer for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her marketing team did a great job of presenting her to the public as the struggling, overweight underdog for the past few months. None of that was necessary; she would have won just for her acting skill.

But I guess Ms. Spencer’s win can be considered an achievement on a night when rap producer Sean “Diddy” Combs wins a sports documentary Oscar for doing absolutely nothing.

The 84th Annual Oscars ceremony was maligned and disparaged even before the telecast began. The scorn and ridicule was so bad that past Oscar winner Halle Berry — who was supposed to be a presenter last night — cancelled her appearance. Supposedly, her absence was due to her broken leg. But didn’t we see Halle walking without crutches just last week?

Insiders say Halle skipped the event because everyone already knew ‘The Artist‘ director had purchased the Best Picture award, and probably a slew of other categories. So what was the point?

Further evidence that the Oscars were tainted: Kodak — the photo giant — went to court to have its name removed from the Oscars venue just weeks before the Oscars telecast.

Instead of watching the boring Oscars, I watched LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s East team lose another nail biter to Kobe Bryant and the insufferable West team in the NBA All-Star game. As a consequence of watching the All-Star game, I was forced to sit through one of the worst halftime shows ever – the normally reliable songstress Mary J Blige bombed while singing the National Anthem (definitely not a Whitney Houston moment).

Then cartoon rapper Nicki Minaj, dressed in retro 70s Patti LaBelle gear, “performed” a medley of her songs, including “Moment 4 Life” and “Super Bass.” How ironic is it that Nicki’s career just started but it’s over already?

2012 Oscar Highlights: The Best Moments

Nicki Minaj performs during NBA All-Star halftime

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Pitbull – Medley (feat. Chris Brown & Ne-Yo) 2012 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show

Mary J. Blige – National Anthem (2012 NBA All-Star Game)

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Photos: Kevin Winter and Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America