After last year’s ARIA Awards, which were more on the underwhelming side despite moving the location to the iconic Sydney Opera House, the event went back to basics this year and aired from Allphones Arena at Olympic Park. Leading up to the night, the biggest drawcard seemed to be the induction of Kylie Minogue into the ARIA Hall of Fame, as well as the first TV performance of “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye and Kimbra. While the three-hour broadcast on GO! probably could’ve been tightened, some sweet moments and the presence of Aussie music legends meant the awards were back on song this year. Here are some of our highlights:
No host: As the first presenter of the night, Adam Hills had the duty of welcoming the crowd and reminding them that the night’s proceedings would take place without one main host at the helm. It didn’t seem to matter as the night still ran pretty smoothly.
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Hamish and Andy as presenters: Their TV show Gap Year may have had mixed reviews, but Hamish and Andy still brought the funny to the ARIAs last night when they took to the stage to present. From Hamish using a recorder to announce an award (and Andy translating from him), to their acceptance speech for their own Best Comedy Release win, where they acted as though they were being inducted into the Hall of Fame, the boys made sure guests had a bit of a laugh on the night.
Kasey Chambers’ double win: Kasey Chambers beat her husband, Shane Nicholson, for Best Country Album, and as a result also won a sleep in this morning! She told the crowd that she and Shane had a bet going, and that whoever lost would have to wake up with their six-week-old baby today.
Molly’s tears: Molly Meldrum introduced Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Kylie Minogue before the Aussie singer was inducted into the Hall of Fame. As Kylie gave her speech, Molly started tearing up, and Kylie rushed over to him to wipe his tears!
Kylie’s speech: After a video package that played some of her career highlights, Kylie acknowledged that there were too many people to thank for such an honour. Her speech was filled with references to her youth, when she was nicknamed a “singing budgie,” shout-outs to her family, long-time manager, and boyfriend Andres Velencoso, who she said “is in love with this country.” She even called out X Factor winner Reece Mastin, with whom she sang a duet last week.
The Maddens love Australia: Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden were presenters last night, and told the crowd that they had wanted to come to the ARIAs for 10 years.
Gurrumul and Missy Higgins: Their performance together was a really sweet touch to the ARIAs. Their voices sounded great together, and the song took us away (for a moment) from what is usually a noisy awards ceremony.
Gotye and Kimbra: After the success of their hit song on the airwaves this year, it was kind of surreal to see Gotye (real name Wally De Backer) and Kimbra singing “Somebody That I Used to Know” on TV. One of the treats of the night.
The Living End: Put simply, they proved why they’re still among our best rockers after seven years in the biz.
Delta’s performance: Delta Goodrem took a seat at the piano on stage to sing Wendy Matthews’ “The Day You Went Away” for the in memoriam section of the ceremony. No denying she’s a great performer, but I couldn’t help but feel it was more about her than the memories of the music artists we’ve lost over the past 25 years.
The Wiggles in the Hall of Fame: I have to admit that I thought David Wenham was an odd choice to present The Wiggles before their induction into the Hall of Fame, but his introduction was great. Also great: seeing that The Wiggles had original Yellow Wiggle Greg, as well as Captain Feathersword, on hand for receiving their honour. It was also cute that as Murray’s speech continued, Jeff ‘fell asleep’ and had to be ‘woken up.’
Did you watch the whole ARIAs broadcast? What were your highlights from the night?