'Bit of a joke' as actor turns to web for Logie tilt
Jordan Raskopoulos (left) in Underground: The Julian Assange Story.
Rig the Logies? Is nothing sacred in Australian television?
Actor and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos seems to think so.
The 30-year-old has launched an online campaign to tilt the voting for the 55th annual TV Week Logie Awards in his favour.
His name has been included on the pre-nomination form, along with 102 other actors, because he had a role in the Ten telemovie, Underground: The Julian Assange Story.
He played Trax, Assange's hacker mate. (The chappie with the beard and the baseball cap.)
Raskopoulos then posted a call to arms in an online forum, hoping to generate enough votes to win, largely, it would appear, as an exercise in embarrassing the awards.
"I want the internet to help me win," Raskopoulos said in the post. "I'm a no-name actor who played a very minor role in a telemovie. In return, I will let the internet write my acceptance speech."
In fact, his first obstacle isn't winning, it's actually landing the nomination that most media outlets seem to think he has already secured.
The pre-nomination list is arbitrarily assembled, by publicists and journalists at TV Week magazine. Those who score well on it make the shortlist for actual nomination in a given category.
Those nominees are not announced until March.
As a result of the post, however, the media is now buzzing about the story, thanks largely to an appetite for headlines which involve rigging Australia's oldest television awards night.
But in covering the story, the media are also playing the role Raskopoulos clearly intended them to play.
An obscure online forum is unlikely to garner enough momentum to upset the applecart. That result requires national coverage on media websites and TV current affairs programs, such as Today Tonight.
"I now have a platform to publicly campaign from," Raskpolous wrote in an update to his original post. "There'll be a story on Today Tonight ... and other interviews should trickle out over the next couple of days."
But the reality is that Raskopoulos's campaign is unlikely to deliver the desired result.
Nor is it likely to ruffle feathers at TV Week.
The magazine has not yet officially responded to the campaign, and the silence from TV Week's Park Street headquarters suggests they are not likely to soon.
While the online voting mechanism does not prevent multiple voting, TV Week does monitor voting patterns looking for warning signs the system is being manipulated.
"I'm trying to run a legitimate campaign to get people to legitimately vote," Raskopoulos told Fairfax.
"I don't want people to run scripts to break the system or anything like that. It's a joke campaign. It's a bit of fun. We want to see if the power of the internet is more powerful than the establishment," he said.
"It's a bit of a joke and a thought experiment, not a genuine protest or anything like that."
Raskopoulos said his campaign was no different to any ordinary "fan" campaign.
"I'm conspiring to rig the Logies in the same way Guy Sebastian's fan forums are, or [in the same way as] fans of The Voice are calling for votes for Joel Madden on Twitter."
Despite his humility, Raskopoulos isn't quite a "no-name".
He has a high profile in the comedy world, with gigs on The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, The Squiz, Thank God You're Here and other TV programs, and as the lead singer of the "comedy rock group" The Axis of Awesome.