Ah, Logies season. Is there any time of year more calculated to rouse the blood, stimulate the senses, and make you cry, “Who the hell are these randos up for the Gold this year?”
Yes, the Logies are the Australian television industry’s “night of nights”, a phrase that brings to mind all the glitz and glamour of show business, as well as the question of how disappointing all the other nights must be. Still, though the Logies aren’t exactly the Oscars, or the Emmys, or the BAFTAs, or the Dandenong District Netball Association Presentation Night, they are all we Aussie telly addicts have, so it’s always fun to run an eye over the field and take a guess at what might transpire on the big night.
Of course, the biggest prize is the Gold Logie, for “Most Popular Personality”, making it that unique thing in entertainment awards: a prize that is awarded neither for excellence nor for exhibiting any particular skill. Decided by public vote, and open to anyone regardless of what they actually do, or indeed whether they do anything – actually being on the air is not a prerequisite for the Gold – the grand prize is all the more hallowed for its complete emptiness. This year’s favourite, Tom Gleeson, is a man who has really embraced that aspect, pushing his #Gleeson4Gold campaign hard on social media. This has irked some of his fellow nominees, who find it quite gauche to campaign for a Logie rather than just sticking pins in voodoo dolls in the privacy of one’s own home, as is traditional: but Gleeson is simply playing the game as it’s meant to be played.
Not everyone finds the tactic objectionable. Gleeson’s rival Costa Georgiadis, of Gardening Australia, has his own hashtag: #GrowforGold. Costa is an underdog in the race, but if he can defy the odds to win, it’ll be a glorious moment – not just because it will be easily the most spectacular beard to ever win the Gold Logie, but because a show like Gardening Australia is the very antithesis of everything the Logies stand for, and therefore the best possible kind of winner.
The other nominees for Gold include Amanda Keller, who could well take out the prize for her work on Dancing With The Stars as well as picking up the diehard Beyond 2000 vote; Eve Morey, whose character on Neighbours has been killed off, making the possibility of her victory somewhat morbid; and Sam Mac, who as far as anyone can tell is a fictional character created by a neural network. So, it’s a question of whether the Gold will be won by the man who’s mocking the entire process, the man whose presence in the process makes no sense at all, the mid-level reality host, the dead woman, or the imaginary friend.
But the Gold Logie is not the only Logie: indeed, on the night itself, there will be up to eighteen hours of minor awards preceding the main event. There are, for example, the Most Popular Actor and Actress categories. Will the public’s abiding affection for Ray Meagher see him take home the statuette for his role as Alf Stewart in Home and Away, a character he has been playing since the arrival of the First Fleet? Will the Most Popular Actress category be taken out by Australia’s sweetheart Asher Keddie, or will Jenna Coleman’s unique ability to be British prove irresistible?
Another hotly contested category will be Most Popular Entertainment Programme, a category not to be confused with Most Popular Comedy or Most Popular Drama or Most Popular Reality Programme, none of which involve entertainment. Nominees in the entertainment category include Anh’s Brush with Fame, Hard Quiz, Gruen and Gogglebox: making the conclusion unavoidable that “entertainment” is another word for “shows that we don’t know what they are exactly”. Our prediction is that Anh’s Brush with Fame will win, following the Logie tradition of the Most Popular categories being won by very unpopular programs. Interestingly, the Most Outstanding Entertainment Programme category does not include Brush with Fame but does include Australian Ninja Warrior, showing that the Logies really do live up to their unofficial motto: “The Awards Show That Just Does Not Care Anymore”.
The greatest mistake anyone could make, though, is in thinking that Logies night is all about the awards. It’s also about the glamour and the pageantry, and most of all, about the frocks. You can expect TV’s brightest stars to turn out in a dazzling array of gorgeous fashion, and some of TV’s slightly duller stars to turn out in spangled offences against God and His creation. At least one hitherto-anonymous soap star will turn up dressed as some species of Amazonian bird, and at least one almost-forgotten reality star will come within a hair's breadth of breaching public indecency laws. All of these beautiful ladies, and all of the men who will be dressed identically, will gather before the show for the Red Carpet, the show before the show that warps the laws of physics by lasting simultaneously for half an hour and three weeks.
Later in the night, there will be highlights such as:
- Musical performances by someone who was on The Voice or possibly The X Factor
- People with no sense of humour reading badly-written jokes
- Bert Newton trying to not to crack his coat of varnish while he delivers fifty-year-old lines that will lead to demands he be cancelled the following morning
- Hot Dogs being inducted into the Hall of Fame
It will be awe-inspiring, it will be cringe-worthy, it will seem to last longer than the Cold War. But even at its lowest points, the Logies is worth watching because, of course, it’s all for charity. In fact, TV’s night of nights is in aid of some of the neediest people in the world: Australian television personalities. Nobody ever needed anything like these people need attention. So please: give generously.