Rating the Music Awards: Our Best in Show
BEST SEATING PLAN: I (your correspondent and the sole judge of these awards) was seated between Metro’s Catherine McGregor and New Zealand’s Rachel Hunter.
BEST USE OF A STORAGE FACILITY: Flight of the Conchords may have only won one award, Highest Selling Single, but Bret McKenzie (OMNZ) now has four trophies dating back to the 2008 International Achievement Award.
BEST ADVICE: Shona Laing used much of her Legacy Achievement award speech to give Lorde the benefit of her experience, including: “Y’know, there are as many good people as dodgy. Should I say, there are as many dodgy people as good.”
BEST COMPLIMENT THAT DIDN’T QUITE COME OUT RIGHT: Shapeshifter’s Devin Abrams acknowledging fellow nominees the Phoenix Foundation: “My missus is so sick of your album”.
BEST LORDE SPEECH: I’d love to be a contrarian here and go with the third or fourth speeches, but I cannot deny that the first speech was the clear winner. It came across as the most earnestly appreciative and the audience responded with the only sincerely unreserved full-house standing ovation of the night.
BEST HISTORICAL COINCIDENCE (OR WAS IT?): The sample and footage of JFK in Ruby Frost’s cover of Shona Laing’s ‘(Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy’ nearly 50 years to the day after the president was assassinated.
BEST RECIPIENT OF A PR AGENCY BACKROOM DEAL (OR LEAST RELEVANT PRESENTERS OF A LOCAL MUSIC AWARD): Zoe Marshall, Australia’s Gwyneth Paltrowesque celebrity lifestyle blogger, and her husband/co-presenter, rugby player Benji Mashall, were formally introduced to New Zealand last night. I look forward to their (probably forthcoming) reality TV show.
BEST BITE OF THE HAND THAT FEEDS: Lawrence Arabia, who noted the “karmic irony” of beginning recording his album The Sparrow (for which he won Best Male Solo Artist) the same morning he clawed his eyes out with embarrassment as he watched a live-stream of the 2010 VNZMAs from halfway around the world.
BEST SPEECH BY THE WINNER OF AN AWARD THEY ALSO PRESENTED: Stan “Ain’t nobody got time to be skinny” Walker, AKA Stan “I honest-to-God cannot stand this song, eh” Walker. The guy is a quote machine. #jealous
BEST VIBE: Aaradhna. Her low-key speeches and pajama-party performance were among the most genuine and heartening moments of the evening. While there was no escaping Lorde’s dominance of the proceedings, Aaradhna walked away just as many awards including Best Album for Treble & Reverb and Best Pacific Music Album.
BEST LOGIC: Lawrence Arabia won Best Male Solo Artist for his album The Sparrow, beating Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s II. Yet, UMO won Best Alternative Album for II, besting, among others, Lawrence Arabia. Was Lawrence Arabia better at being single while UMO was better at being alternative? It kills me when award shows do this but I should probably just get over it.
BEST PLAYING TO THE CROWD: Lorde opened the show to a sober arena with her hit ‘Royals’ but Stan Walker closed the show in a more socially lubricated environment, bringing the house down in patriotic splendour backed by a digitally animated New Zealand flag.
BEST IN SHOW: Lorde. Unequivocally and undeniably, this was Lorde’s night. Eyes followed her everywhere. When she sung or spoke, everyone listened. Calling her a star is as obvious as calling the sun one.
OVERALL GRADE: B+