From Joel Madden's endearingly sincere speech, when accepting the mysteriously classified new talent Logie, through to Michael Buble sounding great in the room, but terrible on television, let alone Hamish & Andy's great material while literally sat in the middle of a shameless cross-promotion, the 2013 Logies had more than their fair share of hits and misses.
HIT: Brian Henderson
Melbourne viewers were preparing their Green Guide letters after the introduction portrayed “Hendo” as the voice of Nine news, and Hendo himself caused a few worried laughs himself when he began his speech in 1953 - "it's going to be a long speech isn't it," he chuckled. The host of Bandstand and Sydney’s news anchor showed his class though with a witty, warm speech that would have convinced the coldest audience he belonged in the Hall of Fame and left us all glad that just like the old ditty, Brian had told us, one more time.
"Some of you are surprised that I'm still alive. I'm a bit surprised myself,” he quipped, before thanking his wife Mardi, as well as "all those I worked with, even those who plotted to take my job."
MISS: The Logies leak like a room full of media people
The Logies is a marathon and its full of people who would like nothing more than to to duck straight to the finish. In this case though, performance enhancement doesn't require the medical team of Lance Armstrong, just a phone.
Some time around when Nine was broadcasting David Campbell pointing out that the Most Outstanding Children’s Program was being presented long after its audience went to bed, the winner was announced in the room. Long before that, media knew the winner thanks to embargoed press releases. See a problem coming?
This was a long, LONG Logies. Bert didn’t emerge from the voice over booth to take the stage until well after midnight. Yet it could have ended earlier by either starting earlier, or being edited to cut out the dead air. Neither happened.
With the continued insistence that the Logies delay their coverage to suit the Nine Network schedule, it is ridiculous to hope for no leaks in the digital age. Last night the Gold Logie was published by a news website before it was even announced. Many with phones at the ceremony were soon spoiled, many at home switched off.
Despite this, Asher Keddie was genuinely surprised, but only because her colleagues protected her. A human shield kept out the news.
"I heard!” she said afterwards of the leak. “And I was like 'what?! I didn't know'. Everyone in the room kept it quiet"
Perhaps the Logies can finally move to a live-to-air ceremony? It would end at a reasonable time, allow Twitter to become its best friend and as far as the press goes, embargoes tend to be respected more when they affect shows that don’t already feel contrived.
HIT: The Veterans prove hosting is an art form
It feels a bit strange equating Adam Hills and Bert Newton as veterans, but these two showed how presenting is done last night, managing to be funny, topical and edgy – and doing all three better than their peers. Hills was good. Newton was in another class.
Hills presented two awards, including the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor. In a two-spot routine he skipped from referencing his daughter, to his leg, to politics “so why are we changing governments? That's like watching Arnold Schwarzenegger shagging the nanny - not that I'm comparing Tony Abbott to a Latino housekeeper.”
He then gave a great monologue about the fact that "actors truly are a breed apart", explaining that “I have no idea why people get so upset when an actor in Hollywood does something bonkers. They're all mental."
Bert was like the dessert wine at the end of a long, long ... long meal. Sweet and bound to cause trouble. After an entire industry of television personalities had laid out their wares as presenters, he hobbled in on a walking stick and swept the floor. In between flirting with the assistants and flirting with the Gold Logie winner, he took glorious digs at Molly, Hendo and everyone else down the ladder. This was how presenting should be done. What a pity you had to wait until after midnight to see it.
MISS: Everyone is a comedian
With no designated host, it seemed like every presenter was asked to do a full stand-up set. Some were less successful than others. This contributed to the ridiculous length of the evening, and meant that every award seemed to go on forever before it was even announced. The worst was Shane Bourne who shoe-horned some utterly off-topic Alzheimer’s material in, which was tactless, tired and certainly irrelevant.
Others had more success, but was it the place? Dave Hughes riffed on The Biggest Loser then surfed the tact line himself, referencing the death of a contestant on the French version of Survivor, saying the show shouldn’t have been cancelled. "The show, it's called Survivor! He's just not the winner."
Shane Jacobsen as host, and Julia Morris as recipient showed that off-the-cuff, even prepared off-the-cuff is perfect awards style. Even Molly's "accidental" Argo brought the house down.
HIT: A phenomenal night for indigenous Australia.
So said Shari Sebbens, on winning the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent, and how right she was. "I'm still getting over the fact that Redfern Now just won best drama. That's amazing," Sebbens said. "What a phenomenal night already for indigenous Australia."
With Deborah Mailman also taking out Most Outstanding Actress for Mabo, joined on stage by Bonita Mabo, it was a night for the Logies and indigenous Australians to both be rightly proud of. What talent, what a trifecta.
MISS: An awful night for Ten
Ten are a lame duck in the ratings this year and last night the dogs had the scent.
Sonia Krueger suggested singer Olly Murs could use his 10 pounds 15 pence winnings from Deal or No Deal in the UK to buy Network Ten. Bert reacted to his doctor’s warning that the chances of danger from a quadruple bypass were 15% with a “well if it’s good enough for Channel Ten, it’s good enough for me” before declaring his thirteen years there “two of the best years” of his career.
It was almost hard to see Russel Howcroft cringe when the camera cut to him. Almost.
HIT: The emotional speeches
It’s corny but they are the best parts of the show: The winners who are genuinely overwhelmed. Deborah Mailman’s long embrace with Bonita Mabo after winning Most Outstanding Actress was captivating. Brenna Harding in tears declaring "I'm so lucky" upon winning Most Popular New Female Talent before thanking her mums was superb.
Even Keddie was emotional, or in her words “discombobulated.” While it made for a speech that ran towards rambling, her joy and shock were wonderful to behold. When Bert came to her aid, it was a sight to behold:
Asher: I'm feeling particularly discombobulated right now so I may not be with you entirely. But I'm trying.
Bert: I'd like to be with you entirely, let me tell you that.
He then transitioned into a glorious final joke for the night:
Bert: I've got to say, and I don't mean this to you personally, but as the result of the exercise and all the stuff I've done to get back to 100% [health] I'm now able to enjoy a normal sex life. Which is terrific And if Pattie finds out I'll be in real trouble.
Before adding to Keddie:
Let me just say. The only person in Australia and beyond who doesn't really know just how good you are is you yourself.
That's how to end a show.
MISS: Red Carpet - look don’t talk
Red carpets are often a minefield for those who want interviews with substance ... or insight ... or words used correctly ("Everyone is going to look uniquely beautiful” Brooke Satchwell said at one point). While we all enjoyed the irony of Nine using the song Thrift Shop under the Myer Fashion Montage, the stars and hosts were caught in a cross fire of trying to talk about fashion without anyone actually being critical, and trying to talk about their shows and awards chances without actually saying anything.
"I've been acting since I was nine years old and this is my first lead." Anthony Hayes on winning Most Outstanding Actor.
Shelley Craft carried a diamante Princess Charlotte clutch purse with elaborate finger loops. "It's a bit of a knuckle-duster, so don't mess with me at the after party," Craft said.
Matt Preston wore two striped cravats, one from Italy and the other given to him by the Collingwood football club, while Calombaris echoed his choice with spotted black and white socks. "George is mini-me", Preston said.
"Who else do you call on when you need a dress?" SBS Dateline host Anjali Rao said of last-minute wardrobe assistant Danni Minogue. "It's great to have such a close friend, with great taste in fashion whose clothes I fit in to, it's very lucky. The wardrobe is as big as the house!"
Julia Morris to Chris Brown on “discovering” he was a real vet: "I've got a couple of puppies I'd love you to take a look at."
Hamish Blake explains to Andy Lee why he has his Gold Logie with him on stage: "Couldn't get a sitter for little Bert. Can't just lock him in the car downstairs. It is his birthday."