Gold Rush: Inside the Winners Lounge at the AVN Awards

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Jules Jordan, Alexis Amore, Kay Brandt, Bob Christian, Mick Blue, Kayden Kross, Jenny Blighe, Kendra Sunderland, Ricky Johnson, Kelly Madison, Andy Zane and Cherie DeVille

LAS VEGAS—The AVN Awards have more than 100 categories, most of which are announced as a group near the end of the show. Beginning last year, AVN started a new tradition: the Winners Lounge. Located adjacent to the after party in Vanity nightclub at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, the lounge is where all winners can come by and get their already-engraved awards, nestled in gold boxes, after signing a receipt. Then they can hang around, enjoy some celebratory champagne and snap selfies in front of the photo wall.

We stopped by to check out the scene and talk to some of the winners.

Leya Falcon, Most Outrageous Sex Scene winner with Ophelia Rain for “Well, There’s ONE Place You Can Put an AVN Award” in Viking Girls Gone Horny from Desire/Girlfriends, was one of the first to pick up an AVN Award at the lounge. "I screamed and I cried. Now, I'm going to do a d.p. with awards,” Falcon said. “My mommy is so proud of me. I called her."

"We feel fantastic," said Michael Guilfoyle of XR Brands, winner for Best Fetish Manufacturer. "Our team has done some amazing things over the last several years, and we're really excited to see our efforts be recognized by the AVNs."

Kendra Sunderland and Ricky Johnson picked up their AVN Awards for Best Three-Way Sex Scene – Boy/Boy/Girl in Kendra’s Obsession from Blacked/Jules Jordan. "I just want to say thank you for recognizing it," Sunderland told AVN. "The showcase meant a lot to me.” Smiling at her co-star, she added, “Ricky was really great too."

"That [scene] was the first time I met Kendra," Johnson said.

Ryan Wayne from Best Web Retail Store winner said, "I'm really proud to be here. This is our 20th anniversary this year."

Jason Brown, the third member of that Best Three-Way Sex Scene – Boy/Boy/Girl in Kendra’s Obsession, picked up his AVN Award a few minutes after Sunderland and Johnson: "This is my second win. I've been in the business for almost 14 years and I'm finally getting people who start to recognize me and understand what I do for a living. I appreciate it so much. I love my fans, all of the people who actually believe in what I do, because it's been a lot of hard times. You wonder if people like what you’re doing. When you get validated at the end of that, it's such an amazing thing. I can't put it into words."

"It's so heavy. I can do bicep curls with this," said Kay Brandt, director of Best Polyamory Movie winner Adventures With the Baumgartners from Adam & Eve Pictures. "Winning is great. Wonderful. The best feeling in the world. This is the second winner in a row."

Producer/performer Kelly Madison picked up AVN Awards for Best Soundtrack for Altar of Aphrodite and Best Taboo Relations Movie for Dysfucktional: Blood Is Thicker Than Cum, joined by Altar director Andy Zane and performer/director Ryan Madison. "What's amazing is having people win that I get to help win," Kelly Madison said. "It's more satisfying. I'm a better cheerleader."

"This is my biggest haul of all time," producer/performer Kayden Kross said, hefting three boxed AVN Awards for Sacrosanct from Trenchcoatx/Jules Jordan. Kross won for Best Anthology Movie and Best Director – Non-Feature. "I didn't win Best Cinematography—I just told him what to do. I'll pass this one along. Winning feels unreal. Really, really good. I wanted this one to win. I cared about it a lot. Every scene was a lurking fantasy in my own mind."

MILF Performer of the Year Cherie DeVille said, "I'm insanely, insanely excited. It's my first AVN Award, and it's for the award that really meant the most for me. It's really emotional. Every other MILF in that category is even more extraordinary than the next, and to even be listed among them is an honor. To win ... is unbelievable."

Will Ryder picked up his AVN Award for his screenplay for Bad Babes, Inc. from Adam & Eve Pictures. "This is a very meaningful award for me because I've been concentrating more on writing. This is right up there with when I won for Best Music. It's personal and means something to me. Wish we would have won Best Comedy—I thought we were going to, but apparently Jews do love black cock, and congrats to Joanna [Angel]. It's always nice to win something at AVN and something of substance like screenplay is important. I'm happy."

New AVN Hall of Fame member Alexis Amore said, "After being in this business for so long, since November of 1999, I think I deserve it. I'm very honored to be acknowledged for all the work that I have done and will continue to do."

"Hall of Fame is amazing," said new inductee Aiden Starr. "I'm incredibly honored for getting Hall of Fame tonight. I was not expecting it, so it was an incredibly pleasant surprise. I will put this trophy on my desk so I can look at it every single day."

"It's always great to win," Jules Jordan said after collecting AVN Awards for Best Anal Movie for Anal Savages 3 and Best Anal Series for the Anal Savages line. "It's fun to see what you come away with. Every year it's a little different. It was an anal year for me. We also won for Best Anal Sex Scene [in Anal Savages 3] with Markus Dupree and Lana Rhoades. I always like to win for individual scenes, because those are the most competitive categories if you ask me. There's so much good stuff out there. I like winning those better than winning for whole movies."

Speaking of Dupree, the 2018 Male Performer of the Year winner picked up two more awards in addition to his two wins on stage. "My hard work is being recognized," Dupree said when he picked up his trophies. "People told me before that it was impossible because 'You are not American. You will never be successful there.' Through hard work, you put your best work forward, and you can take whatever you want. The people accept me here, and respect me. This is the most important for me."

Perennial AVN Award winner Mick Blue came away with three trophies. "It's fantastic every year. It's one thing to get the nominations, a huge honor, and when anything you do wins, it's just phenomenal," Blue said.

Tom and Honey from 19honeysuckle won the Fan Award for Favorite Camming Couple. "We're very excited," Tom said. "We put a lot into it, and we really tried to get our fans motivated and keep them voting every day. We couldn't be happier. Overjoyed."

Jenny Blighe won Favorite Indie Clip Star. "I feel incredible. This is my sixth nomination, I've been in the industry for almost six years, and this is my first win. I'm still kind of shaky about it."

Makeup artist Dusty won for Best Makeup for Justice League XXX: An Axel Braun Parody from Axel Braun/Wicked (one of six awards given to the movie). She said, "It feels amazing. This is my first year in makeup so to get an award after my first year is, like, AAAH! I got into makeup about a year and a half ago and started in the adult industry in November of last year. I did the glamour makeup and the character makeup for the female characters, depending on what scene we were doing."

Bree Mills was in the Winners Lounge as well. "It’s a tremendous honor," said the writer and co-director of the Movie of the Year, Pure Taboo’s Half His Age: A Teenage Tragedy. "When I think about this group and where we are creatively, six months later it's a real coup to know that the first one we made was honored with Best Drama and Movie of the Year. I've already got the idea for the next one."

AVN Awards co-host Angela White accepted three awards on stage during the show, but she was amazed when she was told at the lounge that she had won a total of 14 AVN Awards. "It really hasn't all sunk in. I'm definitely in shock. I'm probably going to cry later. I can't actually take it all in. I'm overwhelmed and incredibly grateful. This is the best night of my life."

Pictured below: Leya Falcon, Jason Brown, Tom and Honey (aka 19honeysuckle).


For additional coverage of the AVN Awards Show, click here.