Bollywood & Tampa = The IIFA Show at Raymond James Stadium

One thing that must be stated upfront – they sure know how to put on a show. The Tata Motors IIFA Awards at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium,

as part of the videocon d2h IIFA Weekend was simply unforgettable. Yes, it started 100 minutes late. Yes there were missed cues, technical snafus, and other mistakes – but damn, this was one thrilling show.

The Green Carpet Walk (which was supposed to start at 4:30 but didn’t) hit a high point when Deepika Padukone hit the greens just a bit before 8:00 PM. The crowd ate it up.

Following her was Kevin Spacey – yes the very same Kevin Spacey who also is recognized the world over as Francis Underwood of the Netflix Series House of Cards. Later, Spacey would don a lungi and dance with Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor.

There was Priyanka Chopra, and Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan on the carpet too. Let’s not forget Anil Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, and John Travolta either.

When the show finally kicked off – it began with a pirate ship. Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar were decked out as cousins of John Depp’s pirate captain Jack Sparrow.

They engaged the Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, seated in the audience, in a dialogue about getting the keys to the city.

He refused unless they guaranteed to entertain everyone. So a deal was struck – and while this pirate ship didn’t have to hit the high seas of Tampa Bay – the rest of us got a great show.

Music, song, and dance – plus the awards. This show had it all. I can’t recreate it all for you, but some highlights will certainly do.

Songs – Parineeti Chopra and Priyanka Chopra rocked the house. Check out the images above (Parineeti) and below (Priyanka).

How about that Deepika Padukone. She was nominated for Best Actress in three separate films – Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela, and yeh Jawaani hai Deewani.

She won for Best actress in Chennai Express. Beyond that Deepika also walked off with Best Entertainer of the Year. She’s a true triple threat – singing, dancing, and acting.

Can you spell bankable? Wow! Check her out hoofing it with John Travolta.

Or thrilling the crowd in her featured number. And speaking of Travolta , he still has his dancing genes. Check him out with Hrithik Roshan below.

Shatrughan Sinha, a long time veteran of Indian cinema – he has 211 credited roles to his name going back to 1967 – was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by his Sinha’s daughter, and current film star Sonakshi Sinha

Dhanush won for best Debut Performance as the obsessed guy in Raanjhanaa.

The biopic film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag won 9 Technical awards.

But tonight, this film swept away with 3 of the top 5 awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Rakeysh Om Mehra), Best Actor (Farhan Akhtar). The film also garnered Best Story (or screenplay) for Prashoon Joshi, and Best Supporting actress – Divya Dutta.

We should also mention another film veteran – Rishi Kapoor. who has 142 screen roles credited to him. Rishi walked off with an award entitled Best Negative Role which really means Best Villain for his role in D-Day. Rishi jokingly commented, In my young days, when I danced like Travolta and acted well, I was never given any award. But, now when I have turned a bit naughty I am getting awarded.

(l-r) Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kappor

(l-r) Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor

Before I shut this down – let’s have a few more folks from the weekend. Here’s pair of pics with Kareena Kapoor and husband Saif Ali Kan above and below.

Vivek Oberoi and his wife Priyanka (above).

I have the DVDs of a number of the top Bollywood hits of 2013 that I’ve not reviewed yet. I was just waiting for the IIFA. Watch for reviews of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Raanjhanaa, yeh Jawaani hai Deewani, Kai po che, and Shudd Desi Romance in the near future.