For all the sparkling young starlets and the edgy new host, it was none other than Dame Shirley Bassey who truly set the joint on fire early in the Oscar telecast.
The 76-year-old singer's rendition of the theme from "Goldfinger" _ or, as she sang so memorably, "GoldfinGAH" _ won the biggest ovation of the night so far, and was a feel-good moment of the evening.
Bassey, who recorded the song in the `60s to great acclaim, reprised it as part of the Academy's 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond franchise.
On social networks, as people were debating vigorously how the telecast was going, there was no question as to how Bassey did: She was an unqualified hit. Minutes after the performance, the singer and her song were trending on Twitter.
Adele, who was to perform her "Skyfall" theme later in the show, had her work cut out for her.
_ Jocelyn Noveck _ Twitter http://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP
EDITOR'S NOTE _ Show Bits brings you the 85th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.