There she is: Melissa McCarthy, Emmy winner. | GALLERY: Click the image above to view photos from this year’s Emmy awards.

During an Emmy Awards night sprinkled with some genuine surprises, Melissa McCarthy’s win as best lead actress in a comedy — and the beauty pageant pomp that accompanied it — may stand as the most memorable moment of the night.

When Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara began announcing the nominees in the category, they started with Amy Poehler, who dashed onto the stage. When McCarthy followed suit and the other nominated women did, too, it quickly became apparent that the ladies had planned to do a pageant spoof.

As they stood on stage, holding hands and pretending to be tearfully awaiting the announcement of the next Miss Universe, McCarthy’s name was announced as the winner for her work on CBS’s “Mike and Molly.” And suddenly, there were real tears, hugs and the sight of a shocked McCarthy with roses in her arms and a tiara on her head.

The breakout “Bridesmaids” star — whose reaction to her nomination was equally joyful — seemed genuinely moved during her acceptance speech.

“Holy smokes. Wow, it’s my first and best pageant ever,” she said, following a massive standing ovation from the crowd. “I’m from Plainfield, Ill., and I’m standing here and it’s kind of amazing.”

It was pretty amazing to watch, too. See a clip of her acceptance speech after the jump.

(Note: this post has been corected to reflect that Vergara presented with Rob Lowe, not Padma Lakshmi. Apologies for the error.)

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McCarthy, processing her win. (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

McCarthy, accepting her Emmy: