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Later, John referenced his own British roots, plus British film “The King’s Speech” winning best picture, when introducing British band Florence and the Machine as the night’s performer. With her fiery red hair and sheer white hooded robe, belter Florence Welch looked every inch a mysterious rock star. She danced and twirled on stage while singing into a microphone decorated with red roses.

“I’m so psyched,” John told the crowd. “It was a great night for the Brits at the Oscars, and it’s a great night for the Brits here.”

The Governor’s Ball, the Academy Awards’ official after-party, at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, was the first official stop for most guests at the Oscars.

Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Portman and other Oscar winners enjoyed a bite to eat, including veggie paella and layered cheesecake, at the Copacabana-themed bash. Other guests included Billy Crystal, Russell Brand, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Justin Timberlake, Helen Mirren and Mark Wahlberg. Waitresses wore custom-made turquoise dresses while Tito Puente Jr. performed throughout the night.

Back at John’s bash, though, Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley voiced his own preference.

“When I’m not nominated, I’d rather be here, at this party, than be in that room, at the Kodak,” said Kingsley. “Here, at Elton’s party, you can hopefully have a decent conversation instead of the ritualized blah blah blah.”


AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.