Citizens, bow down before your new golden overlord Carrie Bickmore, who has come before you to receive your Golden Logie.
She did so in the coolest blue beanie that has ever been worn on television, dedicating her award to anyone who is “going through a really sh*t time right now” and launching the #BeaniesForBrainCancer hashtag to huge prominence. It was an impressive, if serious, end to an impressive but mostly surreal night (more on Bickmore later).
It is a world where Jules Lund can have an unchallenged decade as a red carpet host despite calling it the “red rug” and confusing Grammy nominations with wins, in which Big Brother is even nominated as the Most Popular Reality Program, and where Seven decide to keep the Sunrise team in Sydney in order to be prepared to cover “breaking news” (because Melbourne hasn’t got the internet yet) or just to avoid having to watch Melissa Doyle pick up a Logie.
It is Planet Logies. And on Planet Logies, this stuff matters. This is genuinely the night of nights. Welcome, humans of Earth, to Planet Logies.
You are welcome … to watch … from your homes.
So what did we learn from our annual trip into the mental vacuum of space this year? Other than that cleavage is seriously hot in fashion right now.
Lee Lin Chin is officially the coolest person on television
The groundwork was laid in the procession of earrings over the last decade or so reading the news on SBS.
The first real clue of Lee Lin Chin’s awesomeness came with her role on The Feed on SBS2, in particular her starring role in the Anchorman-style news rumble that lit up the internet at the end of last year.
On Sunday night it was a status cemented for all time as Lee Lin walked the ironically beige red carpet at the Logies working her best Sia-style giant headpiece.
Yes, that mystery person under the Flemington-sized black fascinator was Lee Lin.
It hid the earrings, but it finally changed the question from ‘who are you wearing?’ to simply: who are you?!
It was Lee Lin, with points to Marc Fennell for being a fun date.
— #TVWEEKLogies (@TVWEEKmag) May 3, 2015
Elsewhere on the carpet, Jules Lund had apparently lost his hair due to the stress of his hosting role, there was a man wandering around in a naked body suit with TV Week logos covering his rude bits, while a memo had gone round the Logies fashion providers of choice to say that boobs are definitely in – or rather out – this year
As is Channel Nine self-promotion – but then, that’s been the fashion at the Logies for more years than anyone dares to count.
The fashion of the year though seemed to be Rose Byrne as everyone with a hint of brunette tried to dress as though they were Australia’s favourite actress – except Conchita Wurst who was probably the most beautiful girl on the carpet.
It’s a Dave Hughes kinda logies
It turns out the man you want to open the first live Logies in aaaaaaaages is Dave Hughes.
Warming up with a bit of “I look good in this suit” stand-up, he geared up with a bit of gentle Karl-bashing, before really setting out his stall by not only mentioning but examining the fight a year ago between Jamie Packer and David Gyngell, or in his words: “The guy who owns this venue and the boss of the network this telecast is on.”
They copped Hughesy’s “crack head” treatment.
It was followed by a dig at Red Foo’s glasses as X Factor judges copped an inspection that saw Dannii Minogue contemplate life as an amateur improviser.
Sure it wasn’t quite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but this was at least a short burst of digs at TV on TV’s “night of nights.”
The result was a strange sense of people actually paying attention in the room. Live might just work it seems.
It was a trend that continued for much of the evening. Hamish and Andy’s rose ceremony for the reality nominees was genuinely funny. The tribute to Richie Benaud was touching. Shane Jacobsen kept the Gold Logie nominee interviews amusing. Though presenting was returned to the style of Logies past when Jennifer Hawkins demonstrated just how good Julia Morris was at working with Dr Chris Brown.
Live can bite
Morris soon afterwards proved just how good she is at working with an entire room – though possibly at not reading out nominees.
Frankly Julia’s error in not reading the nominees for Outstanding Entertainment Program was a little technical glitch but a giant success and proof that bumpy live television is incredibly more entertaining than smooth pre-recorded television.
Julia’s ad-libbed post-nominees was quite frankly, hysterical.
As was Sonia Krueger’s Robert Allenby joke, though how much it was fuelled by the live show or her admitted “dirty martinis” is open to speculation.
Live also felt like it added to one of the best speeches of the night.
Miranda Tapsell, taking out the Most Popular New Talent delivered a brilliant call for more “outstanding actors of colour” to be used on Australian television in a speech so heart-felt, entertaining and excellent that it earned a genuinely spontaneous standing ovation … from the half of the room which was listening.
Even if it left her struggling for a repeat performance when she backed up to win the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer.
Stars were also kept on their toes by the clever decision to consistently use out-takes or faux pas takes as the clips from shows when they were announced as nominees.
Home and Away really is the Logies
Amanda Keller and Eddie Perfect had a hair-off of questionable motivation when presenting the second award of the night which was when the Logies shifted into a more traditional and predictable fashion: young and lower-brow as the Most Popular Show was awarded to Home and Away over the likes of the final season of Offspring, Love Child, House Husbands and INXS: Never Tear Us Apart.
And of course they should. Based on ratings, Home and Away is the most popular show on television … except for the INXS series which doubled the soap’s best ratings, but who cares about the number of people watching when gauging popularity, hey?
This really was the sign of what the Logies are. While votes are no longer collected via magazine cut-out coupons, this is still a celebration of the views of a loud niche of television watchers that baffles many others.
And they’ve been baffled often as the show has picked up 42 Logies “so far” as Ray Meagher pointed out.
In later being inducted to the Logies Hall of Fame, Home and Away (aka Refuge) joined three other programs – Neighbours, Four Corners and Play School – 27 men and one woman (Ruth Cracknell). Denise Scott made an apt joke about the gender disparity early in the evening, which is terrible, but it’s hard to slight Home and Away taking this out. While it’s slightly older rival Neighbours has slinked off to Eleven, Home and Away remains a top-10 rating show on a near nightly basis and in an age of TV supported almost solely by news, sport and reality programming that is an outstanding achievement.
“Thank you for keeping so many people off the streets for so long,” said Meagher accepting the award. It’s the sort of self-effacing joke that plays up to the image of populist fluff, but this is the one occasion when we should acknowledge the extreme skill and dedication required to produce … this populist fluff.
Asher Keddie Vs Carrie Bickmore
Despite The Block winning Most Popular Reality and Stephen Peacocke winning the Most Popular Actor Silver Logie, it felt from early on that the Gold Logie was a race between the two blonde bombshells.
After five years running as the Most Popular Actress, new mum Keddie took a sixth announcing that “even I myself thought it should be someone else this year”. Frankly, she’s a better actress than her delivery of that line would indicate, but who can blame her for feeling she deserves everything she gets.
Moments later, The Project host Bickmore finally picked up the Most Popular Presenter award after years as the bridesmaid.
The even newer mum delighted the audience with her recognition of her co-stars and real world family, they were laughing and loving her and one suspects that was the moment she cemented her status as audience favourite.
If she wasn’t the favourite by then, she was from the moment she took the stage to accept the Gold Logie three-and-a-bit hours later. Recognising that she had a mere two minutes to talk to the nation – and to the people who will be talking to the nation for the coming days, weeks and year – Bickmore chose to set aside her moments of false modesty and genuine peer gratitude to make a statement. And what a statement it was.
“Brain cancer,” she began, and for the first moment in more than an hour the background noise in the auditorium noticeably hushed.
“Every five hours someone is diagnosed with brain cancer,” she continued. “Eight out of 10 people who are diagnosed will die.” Funding is minimal and that’s insane.
Bickmore then donned a blue beanie and followed up with a request that everyone on television on Monday wear a beanie. That kids wear beanies to school. That everyone take a picture of themselves and use the hashtag #BeaniesForBrainCancer.
That was the moment that Planet Logies crashed down to Earth. It was extraordinary, it was exactly the moment that explains why this is so much better as live television and, just maybe, it might make a difference.
In the real world.
Let’s talk about brain cancer.