2019 AVN Awards Show Rocks Vegas

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2019 AVN Awards Show Rocks Vegas

LAS VEGASAngela White knew what it felt like to win, but she had yet to experience The Walk.

The Australian star added to her own AVN history Saturday night, becoming only the second woman to capture back-to-back Female Performer of the Year trophies at the 2019 AVN Awards Show, presented by MyFreeCams.

By the time it was over, the native of Sydney, Australia, won a total of 10 awards at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to go with the record 14 she lifted in 2018when she also co-hosted the ceremony.

“And you know what, this is actually the first time I walked from the crowd to the stage—even though I won all those awards,” White explained. “Because the first one I won [in 2016] I wasn’t able to be here. And then obviously hosting, I was coming from backstage.

“It’s a very special moment to win Performer of the Year and to get a chance to walk from the crowd to the stage. … It’s really special. I’m very grateful.”

White enjoyed plenty of company in the winner’s circle, as Italian sharpshooter Axel Braun took home an armful of AVN gold as well. The veteran filmmaker produced and directed the 2019 winner of Movie of the Year and Best Action/Thriller, The Possession of Mrs. Hyde, a passion project 30 years in the making that bridged three generations of pornographers and also received awards for Best Boy/Girl Sex Scene, Best Screenplay and Best Director-Feature.

Kayden Kross savored her own momentous evening, winning Director of the Year – Body of Work, while her movie After Dark—the first full-length feature from executive producer Greg Lansky’s Vixen label—received Best Drama. Kross also was inducted into the Video Branch of the AVN Hall of Fame, while her significant other, Manuel Ferrara, hoisted his sixth Male Performer of the Year statuette on an emotional night in which the all-female lineup of hosts and entertainment—an AVN first—commanded the sellout crowd at the legendary venue.

Adult star Romi Rain and MFC model Bailey Rayne joined comedian Esther Ku to co-host the 36th edition of the AVN Awards, while superstar rapper Cardi B opened and closed the show with a pair of electrifying performances for the 3,500-plus in attendance and the tens of thousands watching the live-streamed broadcast from around the world.

Dressed in a glittering blue corset with green-and-blue hair and flanked by 10 backup dancers, the Grammy-nominated MC from The Bronx threw down an opening medley of “Bickenhead” and “She Bad” before returning to end the night with another booty-shaking set that started with “Bartier Cardi,” launched into her mega-hit “Bodak Yellow” and then blasted into her newest track “Twerk” as about hundred porn stars and cam models climbed on stage with her.

Cardi next will perform at a Super Bowl 53 kickoff party this Saturday at Oak in Atlanta before attending the 61st annual Grammy Awards on February 10. She is nominated for five Grammys, including Album of the Year for Invasion Of Privacy and Record of the Year for “I Like It.”

Cardi will also compete for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance (“Be Careful”) and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her Maroon 5 collaboration “Girls Like You.”

After wrapping her opening number, she addressed the AVN audience that was still standing to get a better view. “I am so excited for these awards!” Cardi shouted. “More than the Grammys—I don’t know why!”

The Joint erupted as Cardi, the former stripper who has gotten three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, pranced off stage. Cardi’s presence raised the stakes for media access to the adult industry’s most anticipated annual event, which will make its world premiere on a major cable network in the coming months.

News outlets from Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Japan requested credentials to cover the red carpet, where staples such as Access Hollywood, E! News, Comedy Central, Vice, Buzzfeed, Daily Beast, GQ, Naked News, Getty Images and WENN were camped out hours before showtime.

Executive produced for the 31st straight year by Gary Miller, the AVN Awards beamed with star power as a parade of adult stars brought a mix of style and elegance to the red carpet and The Joint stage, along with the official trophy girls for the night, Gianna Dior and Athena Faris.

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The trophy presentation kicked off with Charlotte Stokely—one of the official red carpet hosts along with Christiana Cinn—accepting the first award for All-Girl Performer of the Year.

This is my first AVN win in my 14-year career so I’m really fucking excited!” Stokely screamed. “Sorry! Time to be classy. … I just want to dedicate this to pussy—so for the pussy!”

The native of Salt Lake City performed in several high-profile scenes in 2018, including four for Girlsway Network, two for Girlfriends Films and two for Wicked Pictures. One of the Wicked encounters was in Axel Braun’s The Possession of Mrs. Hyde, a scintillating hookup with lead actress Avi Love.

Still amped from her acceptance speech, Stokely did arm curls with her trophy near the winner’s circle at stage right, wondering aloud how much it weighs. It’s about 10 pounds.

“Do you know how many pussies I licked to get this? So many pussies,” Stokely joked. “It just makes me really proud of myself because I always thought I was doing a good job but maybe I need to try a little harder. And so every year I was nominated I would try harder. And then I wouldn’t win and so I would try even harder.

“So it just shows you that for one, you don’t have to fuck someone to get a trophy. It’s off of merit. And I’m just proud of myself because I worked really, really hard for this.”

Seth Gamble knows the feeling. The versatile stud, who has long been considered one of adult’s most talented actors, received his first AVN Best Actor award for his role as the superhuman title character in Axel Braun’s Deadpool XXX from Wicked Comix. Gamble’s performance helped catapult the meta-porn blockbuster to victory for Best Parody.

Gamble’s nuanced turn as Wade Wilson—the skilled mercenary whose incredible regenerative abilities come second only to his hyperawareness and raunchy wit—entailed him projecting emotion using only his voice and body language because he spent the movie wearing a mask and heat-inducing costume.

The humble native of Florida delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech, thanking his agents from OC Modeling, publicity team Rising Star and girlfriend Kenzie Taylor, among others. Gamble also pointed to someone who was there for him at a low point.

“Two years ago I had a little life change and the person I have to thank for that is a man named Mark Davis,” Gamble said, referring to the former A-list performer. “I’m telling you now that I know what hopeless is like and I’m telling you standing here today that you don’t have to feel that way anymore. … You come from the ashes.”

Backstage, the same performer who won 2011 Best Male Newcomer admitted, “I can’t believe it.”

“I became my character because of his similarities to the demons I’ve lived with my whole life,” Gamble said. “It was weird. When I first heard I was playing the role this song ‘Ashes’ came out by Celine Dion. And I just felt a connection with Deadpool as a character from everything he’s been through.

“I did a lot of research on the comic book and that’s why I thought Ryan Reynolds did well. But I tried to make the cadences my own. So I really tried to go into that character, but also Axel and me just work very well together. I had everybody on the cast working with me so well.”

Gamble also headlined as charming attorney Edward Hyde opposite Avi Love in Braun’s The Possession of Mrs. Hyde, which was shot using black-and-white CinemaScope 2.35:1 by Braun and his director of photography, Hank Hoffman—an undertaking unheard of in modern porn.

In what will be remembered as a historic screenplay, four-time AVN Director of the Year Braun co-wrote the story with his late father, Golden Age filmmaking pioneer Lasse Braun, and his now 26-year-old son, Rikki Braun, starting in 1988.

They set out to expand the narrative of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, while remaining true to the original characters.

When the guy in the green leather racing jacket stepped out of the winner’s circle with his cast, the enormity of what had just transpired was almost too much for him to bear.

“I’m so happy about it,” Braun said, his voice shaking as he fought back tears. “Even talking about it makes me choke because it’s such a personal thing for me. It’s something that … It’s really hard to talk about.

“It’s not about the award; it’s about knowing that I was able to bring to life something that my father wanted to make.”

On Sunday morning, he elaborated.

“It was a magical night,” Braun told AVN. “Winning Best Parody for the ninth consecutive year and watching Seth win Best Actor for Deadpool XXX was absolutely amazing! But winning for The Possession of Mrs. Hyde was beyond special. … This is a movie that took 30 years to make and was truly a labor of love for me, my dad, and my son.

“Being able to bring it to life in the most uncompromising way was already incredibly rewarding, but being recognized by AVN made it such an emotional experience that I could barely hold back the tears on stage.”

Axel continued, “I am so thankful for [Wicked Pictures owner] Steve Orenstein and everybody at Wicked, a company that keeps leading the industry not only with great movies, but with absolute class, loyalty, and integrity. And I am so beyond proud to see my talented son Rikki become something that always meant a lot to me: an AVN Award winner.”

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The lead of Mrs. Hyde, Avi Love, picked up the Best Boy/Girl Sex Scene award for her steamy encounter with Ramon Nomar in the back of a limousine. Of the 130-plus categories in the AVN Awards program, it was Best Boy/Girl that generated by far the most pre-nominations this past year as more than 1,000 scenes received consideration. Love and Nomar went toe-to-toe in a cramped space on a 100-degree day in Los Angeles—without AC—and their bodies glistened with perspiration by the climax.

“I mean I just wanted to work with him,” said Love, the 23-year-old native of Las Vegas who used to be a lifeguard at Mandalay Bay. “I was already turned on. I wasn’t even thinking about the heat.”

The Spanish heartthrob, who also was a 2019 AVN Hall of Fame inductee, agreed.

Whenever I have the luck to be with a performer like her it doesn’t matter what,” said Nomar, who is entering his 24th year as a professional deal-closer. “I’m going to do the scene because I love her. … We have very good chemistry. It was tough because it was a very hot situation. But when we started having sex we forget about that.”

Speaking of being able to rise to the occasion under any conditions, the incomparable Frenchman Manuel Ferrara graced the industry’s biggest stage once again as the Male Performer of the Year for a record sixth time.

Ferrara last won gold in 2014, following triumphs in ’12, ’10, ’06 and ’05. In 2004, the former physical education student from Gagny, France, tasted his first major victory, claiming the Foreign Male Performer of the Year award. Not bad for someone who used to consider porn a “hobby.”

“I just wanted to fuck girls and then when I would get my diploma to be a teacher I would be done with porn,” recalled Ferrara, who had women swooning backstage as he worked the room in his burgundy suit.

“And then right when I finished—when I got my diploma—I met Rocco Siffredi and he was like, ‘Listen, don’t waste your life. You are meant for this. You should be doing this all the time—like for the rest of your life.’ … And what a great advice it was.”

Now established as one of the winningest performers of all time, Ferrara said this latest honor caught him by surprise.

“Listen, to me I never thought I would win it again because I’m not as active as I used to be,” Ferrara confessed. “I mainly work for myself and [Jules Jordan] and I do scenes here and there for my friends. But I don’t work like some of those guys that work all the time. It’s always a weird feeling to win it, man.

“You know I can play the guy that’s like, ‘Yeah, I don’t care about these awards.’ And it’s true that if I don’t win it, I’m happy for whoever wins it. But it’s always awesome to win it. I’m a competitor, too.”

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The 22-year-old Ivy Wolfe, a native of Washington, managed a Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop in Portland, Ore., before getting into porn. On Saturday night, the free-spirited beauty won Best New Starlet—the most coveted award for a new female performer—as well as Best All-Girl Group Sex Scene for her performance with Eliza Jane and Jenna Sativa in “A Flapper Girl Story” for Girlsway.

In what has become AVN tradition, the reigning Best New Starlet Jill Kassidy presented the trophy to Wolfe.

“I’m honestly flabbergasted,” Wolfe said backstage. “I feel so grateful.”

Kassidy added, “I’m happy for her. I haven’t worked with her yet but I’ve heard really good things about her. I never got to work with [2017 Best New Starlet Holly Hendrix], so hopefully I’ll get to work with her.”

In addition to performing in almost 100 sex scenes since her debut in 2017, Wolfe last year added a handful of monthly honors that underscored her impact on the market. She collected titles such as Twistys Treat (September), Penthouse Pet (October), Girlsway Girl of the Month and Vixen Angel (December).

Wolfe revealed she was “trembling, but weirdly calm” while giving her acceptance speech. “I did not expect it at all,” said Wolfe, who is the first Best New Starlet represented by Motley Models. “I was rooting really hard for Alina Lopez. I adore her so much and she’s one of the most sweet, genuine people and I was just really flabbergasted that I got it.”

She continued, “Because I’ve had some physical issues. I have a weakening system and a few different things going on, so it’s just hard for me to shoot as much as the other girls. So I feel really blessed that I’m getting so much recognition.”

Alina Lopez did not leave empty-handed, winning the fan-voted AVN Award for Hottest Newcomer.

The Best Male Newcomer award went to Jason Luv, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound pipe-layer who used to be a sniper in the Marine Corps, where he served for seven years.

“Genuinely and wholeheartedly, winning this just shows me that people care about my craft,” Luv said. “It shows my hard work has paid off. It’s pretty good. I really love it.”

An exclusive performer for Greg Lansky’s interracial juggernaut, Blacked, the charismatic native of New Orleans is also a former fashion and fitness model with credits such as Calvin Klein on his résumé.

“I love having sex and to be able to get paid for it and the ability to prove myself sexually,” Luv said. 

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The influential live-cam sector made its presence felt at the show as MFC’s tight-knit community of models occupied the entire second level of The Joint, where the MFC Share blimp supplied aerial footage throughout the broadcast.

Elise Laurenne, the leader of the notorious “Butt Freckle Cult” on MyFreeCams, won the fan-voted award for Favorite Camming Cosplayer and accepted the trophy from AVN Media Network CEO Tony Rios and Female Performer of the Year nominee Whitney Wright.

Laurenne, who is a former welder and popular Suicide Girl, first logged onto MFC in 2015, building one of the most loyal followings on the internet from her home in Toronto. She said winning an award for something she is so passionate about was special.

“I’ve been cosplaying for so many years and this is the first award I’ve ever won involving cosplay, so it means a lot to me,” Laurenne said backstage as she regained the voice she had lost during a hectic AVN week. 

Laurenne’s most popular cosplays without question are Spiderman-related. Her Mary Jane cosplay became a sensation after a Spider-Verse Flash Mob Prank went viral on YouTube in 2015. The four-minute video has exceeded 438 million views to date; Laurenne’s Anti-Gwenom—which she based on artwork by Jamie Tyndall—gained a lot of popularity on Reddit. 

“Now I definitely want to do more videos, more like high-production cosplay videos and more intense costumes,” Laurenne said.

The cam world witnessed its first three-peat Saturday as the force of nature known as Kati3kat won her third straight fan-voted award for Favorite Cam Girl.

“It’s K3Peat—that’s what you gotta call it,” the 24-year-old native of Portland, Ore., who cams from Washington, told AVN backstage.

Kati3kat raced to the Miss MFC title four times in 2018—including three straight from September to November. MFC awards the elusive crown to the model who accumulates the most tokens. For the Kati3kat Crew, aka the “KKC,” the support for their leader is “genuine,” she said.

“I know that a lot of people just like watching sexy girls online, but it’s so much more than that,” Kati3kat reasoned. “People are signing on for who I am and my personality—things I love to do. And even things I don’t like—I will rant about feelings that I have in the day.

“I’ll play video games online with people. On a Friday night I’ll be like, ‘Let’s just hang out. Let’s bring the bar to us.’ On Sundays we do lazy oldies songs just to chill and listen to good tunes and do random stuff—like laundry day.”

Kati3kat likes to keep it “as real as possible” in her cam room.

“Those people who watch me for me, I validate them as humans,” she added. “They’re not just anonymous faces. These people know me and I know them. They come and support me in Vegas every year.

“I have a huge group of people I hang out with. My Crew is like my friends. They’re not just random people. They’re my ‘cam-ily’—like my cam family—straight up …”

Even though Kati3kat tends to not go out a lot, “I make sure I’m here in Vegas every year because this is the big one and I love seeing all of the performers each year.”

“To win this … I hate them for it because I have to be up on stage, but I love them to death,” she said, revealing that she got “K3” tattooed on one of her fingers months before coming to Vegas.

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In one of the most hotly contested categories, Eliza Jane emerged with the the Best Actress award for her compelling performance as the title character in Anne: A Taboo Parody from Bree Mills’ boundary-pushing Pure Taboo imprint.

Jane plays a wayward girl stuck in a morally bankrupt transition home who gets caught up in a seedy web of manipulation in one of the most powerful breakout roles of the decade.

“It was really tough and I truly had to go to dark corners of my mind, but I was so willing to do it because I just completely believed in the vision of what we were doing with this and it was just worth it,” Jane said. “But crying was hard. Crying was hard when you’re surrounded by such funny, amazing people that I had to think of some weird stuff—I won’t lie—but I got there.”

Before making the leap into porn in 2016, the now 25-year-old native of Michigan was studying to be a psychologist, while also working part-time jobs.

“I’ve been a bartender. I’ve been a baker. I’ve been a room inspector. I used to run background checks. I’ve dabbled in a lot,” Jane said.

Chanel Santini was so taken with her win for Transsexual Performer of the Year that 10 minutes later she was almost speechless.

“It’s insane,” said Santini, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., who debuted in 2016. “I don’t know what to say. … This is all really overwhelming still. … It’s just a blur.”

One of Santini’s signature scenes in 2018 came with none other than Angela White in her AVN Award-winning Best Star Showcase, I Am Angela, a docu-porn epic helmed by Evil Chris, who is also the chief creative officer at Evil Angel and received his first AVN Award for Best Director-Non Feature. The tangle with Santini marked the first time White had done a sex scene with a trans performer. It was all part of a remarkable encore year for White, who matched Tori Black’s record of two straight Performer of the Year honors in 2010-11.

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White grabbed another 2019 gold statuette for Best Anal Sex Scene for I Am Angela, which was produced and distributed by the ultra-premium division of the studio founded 30 years ago by industry icon John Stagliano.

Her triumphant anal date with Rocco Siffredi marked the first time she got naked with the renowned Italian Stallion, who in late August traveled from his compound in Budapest, Hungary, to Beverly Hills, Calif., with the sole purpose of drilling her in the ass.

White also appeared in this year’s AVN Award-winning Best Group Sex Scene—a Last Supper-themed orgy that powered Kayden Kross’ After Dark. She joined After Dark star Tori Black, Jessa Rhodes, Mia Malkova, Abella Danger, Kira Noir, Vicki Chase, Ana Foxxx, Bambino, Mick Blue, Ricky Johnson, Ryan Driller and Alex Jones in the star-studded scene.

Kross told AVN that White was the final missing piece.

“The Last Supper orgy was something I was so fucking excited about,” Kross said. “The whole movie for me was about that Last Supper scene. From start to finish we didn’t take a ton of coverage. There was just no time. There was so many people by the time it got to it, it just flowed so well. I couldn’t believe I got the cast we got. Until the night before we were not sure if we had all those people.

“And I remember Angela White was the last one that we were not sure of and we were trying to get her if she was available. And I was like, ‘Whatever it takes, get her in there.’ And they called me late at night and they were like, ‘We got her.’”

What made the quality of After Dark that much more impressive was that Kross shot the movie on the heels of Abigail, the ambitious 2018 star showcase for Abigail Mac.

“It killed me,” Kross said with a smile. “We were already planning After Dark as we were wrapping Abigail. I told them it was impossible. They’re like, ‘No, no, you can do it.’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s impossible.’ Apparently, it was possible. We did it.”

Kross, who rose to stardom in the late 2000s as the only performer to sign exclusive performance contracts with three major studios, in 2018 achieved a new level of excellence behind the camera while directing for Greg Lansky’s Vixen Media Group, where she been exclusive since last April.

“It’s a helluva transition,” Kross cracked, still wiping tears away after coming off stage. “This doesn’t feel real.”

She told AVN last year “I’ve never been so tunnel-visioned in my life.”

“That Abigail movie, I literally brought my mom down to stay with us and anything that was not Abigail was not being done,” Kross continued. “I just blocked it off and was just like eat, sleep, breathe Abigail all the way through.

“And I think you have to be in that space to really get there. I worked so hard that there were days where I thought I wouldn’t make it through. I remember looking at the schedule and just thinking this is going to happen and then wondering how I was going to get out of it.

“There were so many days where I just didn’t think it was possible. And I was just like, we’ll do what we can.”

One of the most beautiful sexual liaisons of 2018 without question unfolded in Abigail—when Kissa Sins and Mac engaged in a sensual session that received the trophy for Best All-Girl Sex Scene on Saturday night.

“It was epic,” Mac told AVN after picking up her statuette with Sins. “And they were telling us to calm down because we were talking the whole time.”

“We’ve always had chemistry,” Sins said. “I feel like we had chemistry before we even had sex.”

Mac agreed. “It was just like a spark,” she replied. “I just wanted to fuck you.”

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Angela White can relate. She squared off with Kissa and Markus Dupree in the winning Best Threeway Sex Scene – Girl/Girl/Boy for Jules Jordan’s The Corruption of Kissa Sins. A Spiegler Girl who only performed in girl/girl scenes for the first eight years of her career, White completed her first boy/girl sex scene in 2011 and first anal and DP scenes in 2014. 

In the four years that have followed, White has become a world-class sexual athlete and executive producer who collaborated with four of the industry’s most sought-after producers in 2018. She wrote and starred in “The Weight of Infidelity” along with Karla Lane and Tommy Pistol, for Bree Mills’ Pure Taboo; wrote and starred in “I Waited for You,” an intimate boy/girl scene with Manuel Ferrara for Lansky’s Vixen; and produced two showcases—a AGW co-production with Jonni Darkko called Angela By Darkko that was distributed by Evil Angel Films; and I Am Angela.

“I always want to do my best work and I always want to push myself to be better and better, so I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do even better work than the previous year,” White said. “And I feel like this year I really made my work more important, impactful, meaningful. I tried to make my work more inclusive. It’s so hard to take it all in.

“I was much more nervous on stage this year than last year and I think that being sick and then hosting [in 2018] was such a big distraction.”

White also triumphed in the newest category for 2019, Best Actress – Featurette, for her role in “Who’s Becky” from Games We Play that was produced by Kayden Kross’ Trenchcoatx and distributed by Jordan. The fans spoke for White, too, as she collected awards for both Favorite Female Porn Star and Most Spectacular Boobs for the second year in a row based on the results of the 10-week online fan-voting period.

In addition, White snagged Best Oral Sex Scene for her eight-man blow-bang in Angela By Darkko, breaking her previous record of seven guys in Angela 2

Meanwhile, White’s AGW—a studio she founded in October 2014—produced the Best All-Girl Movie winner, Angela Loves Women 4, which was distributed by Girlfriends Films. She has won an extraordinary 24 AVN Awards in the past two years—the most ever by one performer/producer in a two-year span.

It took I Am Angela just six weeks after its release in September for it to become the best-selling movie of 2018 for Evil Angel; White also was the top-selling star of 2018 on AdultEmpire.com.

Wearing a sparkling red evening gown designed by Alexandre Vauthier, she described how challenging it was to manage her schedule in the past year.

“To be honest, I made a lot of sacrifices,” White said, noting it was a life-changing decision to move to Los Angeles in August 2016. “Obviously, moving over here I sacrificed my friendships in Australia, seeing my family. I do sacrifice my social life. I put a lot of things on the line, but to me it’s all worth it.”

She continued, “I love what I do and I gain so much. I learn so much about myself through performing. And I know that even meeting fans over the last four days I’m able to bring joy to their lives. And so any sacrifice I make just seems like nothing when it’s all worth it. So I’m not the best example of a balanced schedule. But it’s a schedule that works for me.”

White added, “This is the first time I’m wearing this designer. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with it. I had to have it and I’m really happy that I won in this dress.”

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Stage photography by JFK/FubarWebmasters & Dan Miller; Winner’s Circle by Jeff Koga.

For the complete winners list, click here.

For more photos, click here.

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