Lady Gaga, used to dominating music award shows, was expected to sweep through the Golden Globes in her flowing blue Valentino gown and matching hair colour and leave Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close and Troye Sivan in her wake.
It did not work out that way.
Another titan from the music world stole the show from his grave.
Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic about the late British rock god and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, won the top Globe of the night - best film drama - ahead of Gaga's A Star is Born.
Rami Malek, who played Mercury, also trumped A Star is Born's Bradley Cooper for best actor in a drama.
"Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime," Malek told the A-List crowd inside the Beverly Hilton on Sunday.
"I love you, you beautiful man."
Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor came on stage after Kidman announced that Bohemian Rhapsody beat A Star is Born, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk for best film drama.
There were plenty of other surprises that shook up the race toward next month's Oscars with Close, for her performance in The Wife, upsetting Gaga and Kidman for best actress in a drama.
Kidman was nominated for her stark portrayal of an alcoholic Los Angeles detective in Destroyer.
"I just don't believe it," a stunned Close said on stage.
Gaga did score a win, but it was at Perth singer-songwriter Sivan's expense in the best song category.
Gaga won for Shallow, her song from A Star is Born.
Sivan was nominated for Revelation, co-written and performed with Iceland's Jonsi for the Joel Edgerton directed and Kidman co-starring drama Boy Erased, about the son of Baptist parents forced to undergo gay conversion therapy.
Yvonne Strahovski, nominated for her supporting performance in the TV drama series The Handmaid's Tale, added to Australia's barren night when Sharp Objects' Patricia Clarkson claimed the prize.
The Globes are one of the major award shows ahead of the Oscars, but they can also muddy the race by offering separate drama and comedy/musical categories.
Warner Bros, the studio behind A Star Is Born, appear to have erred in submitting the film as a drama for the Globes despite its numerous songs and concerts throughout.
On the flipside, 20th Century Fox's gamble to enter Bohemian Rhapsody, also centred around concerts and Queen's iconic music, as a drama will prove to be a masterstroke if it uses the Globes momentum to win the best picture Oscar.
Green Book and Vice, films with humour and dramatic storylines, benefited from the absence of A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody in the comedy/musical categories.
Green Book won best comedy/musical.
Green Book's Mahershala Ali, who plays African-American pianist Dr Don Shirley who confronts racism while performing in America's Deep South in 1962, claimed the supporting actor Globe.
Green Book also won best screenplay.
Christian Bale, who plays former US vice president Dick Cheney in Vice, won best comedy/musical lead actor ahead of Green Book's Viggo Mortensen.
Other Globe winners were: Alfonso Cuaron (best director for Roma); Olivia Colman (actress in a comedy/musical film for The Favourite); Regina King (supporting actress in a drama for If Beale Street Could Talk); Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (best animated feature film).
Australian Associated Press