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Ernst & Young’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Entertainment Cheaps Out a Bit on Special Effects

Did anyone get an invite to the Ernst & Young Global Entrepreneur of the Year Awards? Yeah, me neither.

In case you don't have a Google alert set up, Dr. James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director of Kenya's Equity Bank Limited was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Monte Carlo. EY CEO Jimbo Turley gushed, "Over the past 26 years, entrepreneurs have done more than any other group to stimulate innovation, job creation and prosperity during both periods of growth and in challenging economic conditions. James epitomizes the vision and determination that set entrepreneurs apart and is very worthy of the title Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012."

That's fantastic.

Anyway, apparently Uncle Ernie's entertainer of choice had austerity in mind for their big show according to the City Diary at the Telegraph:

The EY Global Entrepreneur of the Year Awards took place at luxury venue, the Salle des Etoiles, last week, but behind the scene some cost cutting has been underway.

According to my man on the yacht, the entertainment – Cirque du Soleil – has been scaled back this year and it seems the acrobatic troupe and the accountants encountered some artistic as well as financial differences. Who would have thought it?

Much to EY’s horror, the Cirque du Soleil budget version included a woman bursting out of a large white balloon in a scene “reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien.” And a little person floating on a helium-filled inflatable.

Needless to say, the whole thing went down like a lead balloon with the onlooking, open mouthed entrepreneurs.

Wow. This sounds nothing like the "truly magical experience" EY bragged about in their press release earlier this year about their new 3-year Cirque du Soleil sponsorship deal in Canada.

Cirque has performed for the awards since 2007 after Cirque founder Guy Laliberté was named 2006 Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Canada and, subsequently, Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. Fun fact: he was the first Canadian to win the prestigious title.

What's on tap for next year's Entrepreneur of the Year Awards? Shelter cats performing trapeze tricks? I can't wait!