It’s been a while since the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards show was anything close to entertaining. As was mentioned in the #ARIAs stream, it’s like they don’t know whether they should make it an awards show for the industry or a concert for the punters. Subsequently, we get the abhorrent mish-mash that was the 2010 Aria Music Awards.

The stage outside in the forecourt for the general public to come along to and enjoy is a great idea. Get the people involved. Make it a live event. Rock out. Having Powderfinger play their (alleged) last TV gig on it to open the show was good too, although the lighting was trying too hard to be a U2 concert. Rebel Wilson just tried to hard, although the Natalie Bassingthwaite/Dylan Lewis same dress thing made more sense of the promo they delivered dressed like that halfway through Junior MasterChef. Also Rebel as any kind of host was a complete surprise – no advertising about her involvement at all. Having watched her “perform”, I can understand why.

He wins

Sadly, the show went south from there. While Dylan & NatBass were the ‘anchor’ hosts, there were a million other hosts/presenters. Awards were handed out to winners in the midst of parties where the guests seemed to not care about the fact a show was on. Bob Katter presenting Best Independent Release with Craig & Andrew from The Chaser. The long-winded graphic pieces introducing each category after the presenters just finished introducting them. Stan Walker had a small flock of seagulls nesting in his locks. Ruby Rose & Kelsey from this year’s ANTM debacle were… unengaging, although Ruby Rose did win for most vagina revealed on air. Lara Bingle was presenting, for some apparent reason. Jessica Mauboy’s “tired & emotional” segment where all ability to speak coherent english left her. What the hell was the ‘script’ that Ricki Lee & Eric Stonestreet had to follow? A pathetic attempt at aneulogy for James Freud – something far more formal should have been arranged & delivered with more sincerity & respect. And so on.

There were some highlights. Just not many of them. Dan Sultan performing with INXS was one. Not only can that man sing, he’s got one hell of a stage presence. And he can sing. And it meant that INXS performed with some credibility.

Also anything by Megan Washington is usually very good. Tonight she was picture & note perfect.

Guy Sebastian‘s closing performance was also very good. Anyone that’s willing to re-arrange their own hit song and belt it out with this sort of passion deserves support.

But three 5 minute performances in the midst of a 2 hour show is not enough.

How do we fix it? Is the ARIAs dead as an awards show? Should it just be a concert of the winners? Should the concert element be ditched & just make it an awards show?

It's OK, Bob doesn't know why he's at the ARIAs presenting Best Independent Release either...

Well, no to all of the above, but elements of all. This year’s show was far too disjointed with so many presenters & so little of the actual hosts. It missed a formality by having the awards announced from the middle of the artist’s party & then seemingly interrupting the winners from enjoying themselves. International talent Carmen Electra & Eric Stonestreet were used so sparingly you could have blinked & missed them (this was a very smart move in Carmen’s case). Rehearsals for the presenters should be much higher on the agenda too. Ditch the award carrying bimbos. Due to the many Apple iTunes sponsored concerts before the event, so many awards had already been handed out – during the show there was just 11 awards presented! Surely if it’s an awards show, we want to see a few more presented? However the event needs to be fixed, just *FIX* it. Please.

I’m an Australian music fan, and I vote for the categories I can when it comes to the ARIA awards. I feel like I wasted my time this year. Please, ARIA, PLEASE… work hard on re-thinking what the awards should be next year. If it’s to celebrate Aussie music (which it should be), then make it that. The fans don’t want to see the party they can’t get into (although we do want to see the effects of the alcohol consumed at said party on hosts later in the night). We want to see an event we can be proud of, and the 2010 ARIA Music Awards were not it. Freemantle Media – hang your collective creative heads in shame.


Image/Video sources: ARIA; Channel 10.