2017 AVN Awards Show Lights Up Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS—Adriana Chechik admits falling short of the top prize was beginning to feel normal.

“I honestly thought that I would finish porn being the Leonardo DiCaprio of it, so I’m so happy to be recognized not only by AVN, but by co-workers and my fans,” Chechik said with tears rolling down her face backstage after winning AVN Female Performer of the Year at the 2017 AVN Awards Show.

Now entering her fifth year in adult entertainment, Chechik had been nominated for the industry’s highest performing honor in 2015 and 2016 before breaking through on Saturday night.

“I honestly really thought it was a lost cause,” she said. “I put in 92 scenes this year and it’s really awesome to know that those counted and were more than just the feelings and gratification I got from it. I’m so happy right now.”

The 25-year-old anal queen became one of the night’s big winners at the 34th annual ceremony sponsored by MyFreeCams and Chaturbate at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Chechik also won Best Oral Sex Scene for her explosive blowbang in Adriana Chechik: The Ultimate Slut; and Most Outrageous Sex Scene for her three-way with Markus Dupree and the newly crowned AVN Best New Starlet, Holly Hendrix, in Holly Hendrix’s Anal Experience, both of which were produced and directed by Jonni Darkko and distributed by Evil Angel.

A native of a suburban Philadelphia who racked up 300-something movie credits since her debut in 2013, Chechik’s Twitter bio reads “Nastiest Holes in Porn.”

“Holy cow guys,” the sexy brunette said upon taking the stage to accept the Female Performer of the Year trophy presented by Asa Akira, Eva Lovia and Chad White.

“Oh my god, first Donald Trump and now Adriana Chechik, Performer of the Year. I’m so happy. … Thank you to all the performers who have been there and kept me going strong in this industry and the fans for keeping me going; the team over at LA Direct for pushing me and supporting me so much. [LA Direct president Derek Hay], I obviously love you so much…This is amazing. I’m going to remember this forever.”

Adult superstars Riley Reid and Aspen Rae co-hosted the sold-out, red-carpet gala with comedian Colin Kane and rapper Flo Rida, who opened the show with an adrenaline-filled performance of his quadruple platinum hit “My House.” Gina Valentina and Uma Jolie were the official Trophy Girls.

Kane peppered the tough crowd with a rapid-fire series of raunchy jokes such as, “I tried to put it in this girl’s ass one time and she goes my ass is an exit only. Oh wow, we have a lot in common, so is my fucking apartment!”

“You guys are so filthy, I love it,” he cracked before later asking, “Did you ever shove your fingers so far in someone’s ass you have no idea what body part you’re touching still?

“You guys are like is this her vertebrae, what the fuck is this?”

The New York native, who performs for the US troops whenever possible through the Wounded Warrior Project, closed his monologue with a message to adult performers.

“You get a lot of shit sometimes for what you do and I gotta say this honestly, you guys do exactly what you want to do with your life and that’s fucking respect,” Kane said, drawing cheers.

Producers Greg Lansky, Axel Braun and Wicked Pictures joined Austrian star Mick Blue in continuing their dominance Saturday night, taking home multiple awards. 

Blue became the first man in porn history to win the AVN Male Performer of the Year award three straight times and he is one of only four guys—along with Manuel Ferrara, Lexington Steele and Rocco Siffredi—to receive the honor at least three times.

Wearing a black tuxedo and red-striped bowtie, Blue gave one of the classiest acceptance speeches of the evening.

“Thank you so much to everybody. I’m the most lucky man in this universe. The reason why I say that is when I look back four of five years, maybe six or seven years, I definitely had the wrong woman in my life. And then I met Anikka Albrite, the most amazing, loving woman you can just imagine. She gave me the biggest support ever and she turned my life around and that’s the reason why I’m standing here now,” Blue told the audience. “I also want to say every single man in this category I love you all. Like Greg Lansky always says, you’re all artists and you’re amazing at what you do and I wish we all could win.”

Blue was also one of 15 performers and a dozen executives to be inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame this year—each of the inductees were shown on the big screens at the start of the show.

Axel Braun’s sensational Suicide Squad XXX: An Axel Braun Parody added to his own gaudy record, marking the seventh straight year he has directed the AVN Award-winning Best Parody. His latest comic-book send-up also won Movie of the Year in the last award of the night as well as earned him yet another Best Director-Parody trophy, Best Screenplay-Parody and Best Art Direction.

This is very unexpected and it’s kind of crazy,” Braun said as he accepted the Movie of the Year award, surrounded by his cast. “This is the third year in a row that a parody wins Movie of the Year. I remember four years ago when most people said parodies are dead; I think they’re alive and well.

“Look, you don’t get to be up here without standing on the shoulders of a mountain of people and on top of the mountain is a man that I really love and respect like crazy for his guidance. I can tell you this accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without him. Thank you [Wicked Pictures founder], Steve Orenstein. This is for you.”

The stunning Kleio Valentien won Best Actress for reprising her AVN Award-winning role as Harley Quinn in addition to Best Three-way Sex Scene - Boy/Boy/Girl for her sizzling encounter with Tommy Pistol and Charles Dera who played The Joker and Batman, respectively, in Suicide Squad XXX, the fourth release from the Wicked Comix imprint.

Last year the movie occupied the number-one spot on AVN’s Top 150 Sales & Rentals chart for three consecutive months. 

Valentien, who won Best Supporting Actress in 2016 for her role as Harley Quinn in Braun’s Batman v. Superman XXX parody, placed her hand over her mouth at the microphone, overwhelmed by the moment.

“This is amazing. Thank you AVN. Thank you Andre [Madness] and Jonathan [Morgan from Nexxxt Level Talent]. I love you guys, you’re amazing. I don’t know what else to say, thank you guys so much,” Valentien said.

Born and raised on a farm in Texas, Valentien said she grew up a fan of Batman.

“I was a longtime fan of Batman. I read the comics and everything so getting to be part of something that I actually love from whenever I was a young kid was really amazing,” Valentien said backstage. “The fucked-up relationship that Harley Quinn and Joker had was something that I remembered in my head. It was just surreal that I actually got to do something that I grew up reading.”

Valentien added, “I remember texting with Axel and asking him what he wanted for the character, if he wanted the same character that I played last year or if he wanted something completely different. He gave me the outfits and he kind of told me to kind of run with it and see what I could do and I showed him what I wanted to do with it and he tweaked things and that’s what happened and led to this.”

The incomparable Tommy Pistol, the 2016 Best Actor winner, told AVN Suicide Squad XXX was special.

“Being I was playing such an iconic comic book character, honestly this year this one meant the most to like really give my A game and do the best I can,” he said. “And they were long days but obviously it paid off. It’s just awesome. I’m so happy. Coloring, bleaching my hair, wearing horrible contacts and mouth guards, whatever. That was nothing. It was all worth it. I had a great time.”

Greg Lansky, meanwhile, claimed his second straight AVN Director of the Year award and the companies he oversees as chief creative officer—Blacked, Tushy and Vixen—combined for a whopping 12 other awards.

Those trophies include Best Director - Non-Feature; Best Boy/Girl Sex Scene (Kendra Sunderland & Mick Blue, Natural Beauties, Vixen/Jules Jordan); Best Anal Sex Scene (Megan Rain & Manuel Ferrara, Anal Models, Tushy/Jules Jordan); Best Three-Way Sex Scene - Girl/Girl/Boy (Alex Grey, Karla Kush & Christian Clay, Anal Beauty 4, Tushy/Jules Jordan); Best Anthology Movie (Natural Beauties, Vixen/Jules Jordan); Best Anal Movie (The Art of Anal Sex 3, Tushy/Jules Jordan); and Best Anal Series (Anal Beauty, Tushy/Jules Jordan).

His studios also captured Best Interracial Movie (My First Interracial 7, Blacked/Jules Jordan); Best Ethnic/Interracial Series (Black & White, Blacked/Jules Jordan); Best Marketing Campaign – Company Image (Blacked/Tushy/Vixen); Best New Imprint for Vixen; and Best Membership Website for Tushy.com.

The 34-year-old native of Paris thanked his wife Jennifer upon taking the stage in a passionate speech.

“Without you none of this would be possible,” Lansky said. “My brother Mike Moz, so much love for you. My partners Steve and Mike. My team inspiring me to be better every day. And my performers. The adult performer. You guys are artists!

“They’re going to try to tell you it isn’t art. It is. Art isn’t a painting. Art isn’t something that you hang on the wall. … They do not define what we do. We define what we do! 

“This is our time guys. Now is the time to take the respect that you all deserve. Don’t let them shame you. I am proud to be a part of this industry…I have so much love and respect for you. You guys are artists. What you do is art. Do not let them shame you!”

Lansky’s heartfelt words brought at least two performers to tears—Kissa Sins and Carter Cruise.

“You made me cry,” Sins, who was getting ready to present the next award, told Lansky backstage. “Your speech was beautiful.”

Cruise, the 2015 Best New Starlet, tweeted, “I’m not usually an emotional person but @GregLansky brought me to tears with his acceptance speech. Thank you for respecting us as humans.”

Lansky, whose studios won a combined 16 AVN Awards in 2016, now has collected 29 trophies in two years.

“I think it’s all about competing with yourself,” Lansky said in the interview room. “When you’re looking at it it’s how can I beat last year? That’s what I tell the team.

“For me it’s about reinvesting energy, money and passion into the adult industry. That’s what I want to do. I want to reinvest the money we make, the power we get. Anything we get I want to reinvest it into the industry.” 

Wicked Pictures sharpshooter Brad Armstrong, one of the winningest feature directors of all time, is no stranger to the AVN Awards stage, and he climbed up the steps once again Saturday night to accept the award for Best Drama for The Preacher’s Daughter.

The intimate love story kept the coveted Best Drama award firmly entrenched in the Wicked camp, following last year’s victory for Wanted.

Mia Malkova played the title character opposite Xander Corvus; Armstrong wrote the screenplay with the versatile Corvus in mind. Jessa Rhodes, Blair Williams, Mercedes Carrera and Alexis Fawx round out the stellar cast.

“I’d of course like to thank Steve Orenstein from Wicked Pictures who every year gives me the opportunity to do the things that I do,” Armstrong said at the podium. “AVN for recognizing the project for what it was.”

He also thanked his “better half, jessica drake for all her help with me on the project.” Armstrong used his time on stage to point out the important work of the Free Speech Coalition, lauding Executive Director Eric Paul Leue, as they continue to work on the industry’s behalf.

Corvus won Best Actor for his role as Billy, the town bad boy who seduces The Preacher’s Daughter and clashes with her father played by Armstrong.

“I want to thank everybody from Wicked that put this movie together, Brad,” Corvus said. “Thanks for casting me man. All my friends that support me and everything. My beautiful girlfriend Lily Lane. Thank you so much, thank you AVN.”

AVN Media Network CEO Tony Rios introduced the 2016 Best New Starlet Abella Danger, who as part of AVN tradition, took the stage to hand off her crown to the excitable 19-year-old Holly Hendrix.

Looking gorgeous in a long red evening gown, Hendrix couldn’t believe she was the winner.

“Oh my god. Holy shit,” she said as she stepped to the microphone. “I love my job more than anything. I mean fuck, I fuck for a living, what could be fucking better?”

Hendrix, who was born in Indiana and raised in Savannah, Georgia, where she now resides, started her porn career in late May 2015 at the same time she was working as a bartender. 

Overcome with emotion, she thanked her agent John O’Byrne from East Coast Talent and director Jonni Darkko, who shot her incredible showcase Holly Hendrix’s Anal Experience and “all my favorite directors.”

Backstage, Hendrix cried tears of joy.

“This is a huge honor for me,” Hendrix said, adding that accepting the Best New Starlet trophy was surreal.

“I instantly felt like I was in a dream. I instantly felt like nothing was real anymore. I felt like reality was all shut down. I didn’t see anyone in the crowd. All I could think about was Jonni Darkko. All I could think about was how hard I worked. I didn’t think it was real. I was thinking about Elsa [Jean]. I was thinking about Gina [Valentina]. I was thinking about the girls I knew were going to get this. … I’m going to show you guys. You haven’t seen anything yet. Nothing.”

The Fan Award for Favorite Cam Girl went to Kati3kat from MyFreeCams.

Sporting flirty blue hair, the 22-year-old Kati3kat told AVN backstage, “I honestly enjoy what I do.”

“I sign on every day. It’s a place for people to be happy and me to be happy. And I’m comfortable being 100 percent myself. But I love everything about what I do,” Kati3kat said, noting she has been camming for two years. “I have an amazing fanbase that really cares about the person behind the camera instead of just a pretty face or all the usual things. So that’s ultimately what it is. I try to be as me as possible and I guess it worked.”

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, she now cams from Washington, where she recently moved. 

Co-host Riley Reid, who won seven AVN Awards in 2016, added another to her collection, taking home the fan-voted Favorite Female Porn Star trophy.

Holy smokes,” Reid said on stage. “I was kind of hoping I wasn’t going to win anything because I won so much last year. But hell yeah! Thank you so much to everyone. Thank you to my fans. Thank you to AVN for letting me host and letting me win. My mom is here, my god mom.”

Reid also shared the Best Girl-Girl Sex Scene award with Reena Sky for their tangle in Missing: A Lesbian Crime Story for Girlsway/Girlfriends.

“It’s an insane scene,” said Sky, a 10-year porn veteran from Vallejo, Calif. “It’s so different than anything I’ve ever done, so it was crazy to be nominated because I played an insane person and I like went crazy on her and she was supposed to be kind of a little weirded out by me. I remember her being amazing and helping me to make the character more genuine.”

Abella Danger took home Best Star Showcase for her spectacular collaboration with director Mason and Hard X, Abella.

“I didn’t think I was going to win because that category was so high that every girl in it had an epic showcase,” Danger, who wore a stylish tuxedo with a red bow, said backstage. “I was just like there’s no way. I even started walking away so if I started crying no one would see me. And I’m like walking away in the corner and I hear my name. And it was just ahh, a dream true. I wanted to win it for Mason because she took the chance on doing this for me. I’m so glad I did this. I’m so happy.”

Aubrey Kate made it a clean sweep, winning the Fan Awards for Favorite Trans Porn Star, and Favorite Trans Cam Star and the Transsexual Performer of the Year award.

Born and raised in Orange County, Calif., the 26-year-old Kate worked at a tanning salon, went to college at UNLV and also earned her cosmetology license before entering porn four years ago.

Walking on stage in front of thousands of her industry peers, “I felt like I was having a panic attack,” she said.

“I just couldn’t get everything out that I wanted to say. It was the happiest moment of my life,” Kate said. “I’ve never been accepted for anything and I’ve never gotten to the top of anything. I’ve always quit. And I was really about to quit.

“I just want to go out like a bang. I just want to work harder.”

Punk rock princess Joanna Angel got back in the winner’s circle again for her terrific performance in Cindy Queen of Hell, a BurningAngel comedy that co-written and directed by Angel and Xander Corvus.

Angel seemed genuinely shocked by the win for Best Supporting Actress, giving special thanks to Leigh Raven, who plays her 21-year-old daughter Lucinda (Cindy) in the movie.

Kat Dior and Ariana Marie presented the first award of the night, All-Girl Performer of the Year, to 24-year-old Jenna Sativa.

Thank you so much AVN, the recognition means so much to me,” Sativa, clad in a sleek black pant suit, told the audience before giving a shoutout to her agent Mark Spiegler. “Mark, thanks so much for making me your first all-girl performer…and all the Spiegler Girls, and some of my best friends they showed me so much love—Shyla Jennings, A.J. Applegate, Riley Reid and Skin Diamond. And all of my fans who’ve been amazing to me.”

The Miami native, who more than 100 credits since her 2014 debut, later thanked “all the directors, the makeup artists, the people behind the scenes.”

A pair of hot couples accepted major sex scene awards—Kendra Sunderland and Mick Blue picked up Best Boy/Girl Sex Scene for their work in Natural Beauties (Vixen); and Megan Rain and Manuel Ferrara took home Best Anal Sex Scene for Anal Models (Tushy).

Sunderland, who went viral in 2015 with her naughty cam session she shot for MyFreeCams in the Oregon State University library, won an award for her first-ever sex scene and the first DVD from Vixen.

“Oh my god, I’m so happy to be part of this industry. I love it. I love all you guys. Thank you Tucker for being such a good boyfriend. Thank you Greg Lansky for believing in me,” Sunderland told the crowd.

The 21-year-old phenom, who on Friday was named Lansky’s first Vixen Angel of the Year and received a gold & diamond ‘V’ necklace, said Lansky “didn’t believe me that it was my first time” performing.

“And I was like I’ve done my research, I’ve watched a lot, so I know what [Mick] likes,” Sunderland said near the photo booth backstage. “And I did what I normally do when I have sex and I guess people liked it.”

Blue said, “she was fucking amazing.”

“It’s really rare to see a performer like she is with such natural, positive sexual energy that she has,” he told AVN. “That you can literally just let go and enjoy the scene to its fullest and just go with the moment and that’s what we did. We just let it go and Greg did the rest. He captured it and made a masterpiece out of it.”

Not unlike what Rain and Ferrara threw down in Rain’s first scene for Tushy and first AVN Award.

“Here’s the thing: Greg’s my friend but how he shoots is not so much my style but he got me to go do that scene because it was Megan,” Ferrara, the only five-time winner of Male Performer of the Year, told AVN. 

Ferrara looked at Rain and repeated what he said on stage, “it’s your butthole not mine, so I shouldn’t get an award for this.”

The night began with a memorial reel in memory of those industry members who have recently passed away. This year a special tribute segment went to Mark Stone, the longtime producer and musical director of the AVN Awards Show. Stone, whose younger brother Gary Miller is the executive producer of the AVN Awards Show, was the leader of the AVN Orchestra in addition to writing and directing numerous comedy bits that have become a signature part of the production.

The red-carpet arrivals snaked around the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for more than four hours before showtime as porn stars and the industry's finest made various fashion statements and worked the crowd. Nominee Jason Brown came in an immaculate white suit wearing a shiny stormtroopers' helmet; one couple came dressed as clowns; and the notorious Ivan wore a red-and-black, horned Lucha Libre mask with a gold Best Web Director world championship belt slung over her shoulder. 

But it was Wicked Girl jessica drake who wore perhaps the most memorable gown, a flowing version of the American-flag with several holes burned into it. She completed the look with a red handbag with the hashtag #NotMyPresident on one side. 

For a complete winners’ list, click here. For photos of the show, click here.