Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Chelsie Hightower rushed over from Dancing With the Stars rehearsals, a vacationing Kaley Cuoco drove up from Palm Springs, and the Supernatural trifecta of Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins flew down from their show's set in Vancouver. But it was Yvonne Strahovski who took the prize for longest distance traveled to participate in TV Guide Magazine's 2011 Fan Favorites Awards photo shoot.
Chuck's leading lady hopped a flight from her native Australia, where she'd attended a close childhood friend's wedding, and landed in Los Angeles a scant few hours before showing up at Smashbox Studios. "I'm in a total daze," admitted the jet-lagged Strahovski, who won both Favorite Actress and Couple Who Have, an honor she shares with on-screen fiancé Zachary Levi. "But I wanted to be here. That our fans did this — it's a bit special. It really is."
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That sentiment was echoed often throughout the shoot in mid-March, even if the winners — which were determined by more than 2.5 million online votes — couldn't yet express their gratitude publicly. (The results were a closely guarded secret until the publication of this issue.) "If there was a way I could hug every single fan," said Mark Ballas of Dancing With the Stars, which waltzed away with Favorite Reality Show, "I would."
With plenty of reason to celebrate, the stars did exactly that, enacting a raucous party scene for photographer Adam Olszewski.
Levi grabbed a microphone to lip-synch along to Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" — just one of the many tunes spun by an on-set DJ — while Favorite Villain costar (and onetime James Bond) Timothy Dalton gamely pelted him with maraschino cherries and even drank champagne out of a Giuseppe Zanotti stiletto. And not even a pesky flu that had swept the set of Favorite Drama Castlecould keep Stana Katic from busting a move on the runway — or curling up in Nathan Fillion's lap for photos that exude the crackling chemistry that won them Couple Who Should.
The mood was just as playful away from the camera. When Chmerkovskiy wasn't giving good bud Ballas a hard time for walking around shirtless, he was challenging him to a game of Ping-Pong. "I'm better at everything," Chmerkovskiy taunted, to which Ballas quipped, "Who has two mirrorball trophies?"
Both Padalecki and The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki — who went barefoot most of
the day — were amused to find that, besides a catered lunch of bacon-wrapped maple pork and wild mushroom polenta, a variety of drinks were being served. (Padalecki went for a mojito, while Galecki opted for a beer.)
Meanwhile, Galecki's costars brainstormed where they should put their Favorite Comedy trophies. Jim Parsons decided his would be displayed on the same living-room bookshelf as his Emmy and Golden Globe, while Cuoco planned to find a spot in her dressing room. "That way I can remind myself every day that we're a favorite," she said, before giving Galecki a goodbye peck on the cheek. "That's a good confidence booster right there."
Dalton had high hopes for what his award might mean as well. "Maybe," he said with a laugh, "I'll get a parking space now!"
Click here for the complete list of Fan Favorites Awards winners, and for scoop on every show, pick up this week's issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, April 14.