It’s been three long years since Australians have felt the dizzying power that comes with our democratic right to vote. Three years of waiting patiently, wondering who will eventually come out on top after a gruelling campaign. Three years of missing the Gold Coast.
We refer, of course, to the return of the TV Week Logie Awards, which are returning for the first time since 2019. With their return comes the most important decision we face as a nation: who will win the Gold Logie award, the prize for the most popular personality on Australian television.
Hamish Blake is the host of LEGO Masters and the hot favourite to win his second TV Week Gold Logie.Credit:Nine
This year’s field of nominees represents a mixed bag, with two first-timers in Melissa Leong and Julia Morris and two previous winners in Home and Away star Ray Meagher and Today’s Karl Stefanovic. Also in the running; ubiquitous TV host with the most (shows on air) Sonia Kruger, as well as the last person to win the Gold Logie in Hard Quiz taskmaster, Tom Gleeson.
Unfortunately, all this counts for very little as Hamish Blake is also nominated, which means Hamish Blake will win the TV Week Gold Logie Award.
Now, if we’ve learned anything in recent years (See also: Brexit Upset, The Unlosable Election, Trump 2016), being overly confident heading into an important vote can be a bad omen. But given the Gold Logie is awarded to the most popular personality on Australian television, and Blake is easily the most popular personality on Australian television, I’m prepared to go out on a limb with this one. In the interest of fairness, we’ll look at how all the nominees measure up, but given only someone with Blake’s star power could turn a show about Lego into a massive ratings success, this one feels in the bag.
Hamish Blake, Lego Masters, Channel Nine
A previous winner in 2012, the host of Lego Masters (which airs on Nine, the owner of this masthead) is already the hot favourite to take home his second Gold Logie according to the bookies. But the more important figures are his Instagram followers: all 1.2 million of them.
With voting predominantly carried out online, social media muscle is increasingly crucial in the race for Gold, and none of the other nominees come close to his reach.
Blake boasts a highly engaged fan base online, the kind of people who will stay up until 5am to watch his Instagram stories as he battles through another intricate birthday cake for his children. The fact that Blake’s cake-making efforts have become a trend at all speaks volumes of his power. The proof is literally in the pudding.
Blake (third from the left), alongside Karl Stefanovic, Julia Morris, Tom Gleeson, Sonia Kruger and Ray Meagher.
Factor in Blake’s broad demographic appeal (you don’t become the face of Tourism Australia accidentally) plus his weekly podcast, and the 40-year-old is in a prime position.
Julia Morris, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Network 10
It’s been seven years since a woman last won the Gold Logie, with The Project’s Carrie Bickmore taking out the honour in 2015. Don’t be surprised if Network Ten campaigns hard for first-time Gold Logie nominee Julia Morris, a stalwart of the industry and a performer who has long been a favourite with viewers.
Tom Gleeson, Hard Quiz, ABC
Speaking of campaigns, it was Gleeson who proved that sometimes being the loudest voice in the crowd nets you a Gold Logie, indirectly. The Hard Quiz host staged a highly visible #Denyer4Gold campaign in 2018, pushing for that year’s nominee Grant Denyer to win the Gold Logie (he did). The following year, Gleeson ran a mocking campaign for his own win, and got it in the bag – should he go back to back with a win this year, he would be the first nominee to do so since Home and Away’s Kate Ritchie in 2007 and 2008.
In 2019 Tom Gleeson stunned everyone – himself included – by winning the Gold Logie. Could he do it again?Credit:ABC
The Dark Horses
Melissa Leong, MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef, Network 10
This year’s other first-time nominee is Melissa Leong. As well as vying for Gold, the 40-year-old is nominated for the all-new Bert Newton Award for most popular presenter for her judging role on MasterChef Australia. A win for Leong would represent another step in the right direction for the TV Week Logie Awards. She would be only the second person of colour in history to win the Gold Logie after Waleed Aly in 2016.
MasterChef judge Melissa Leong is a first-time Gold Logie nominee.
Sonia Kruger, Big Brother, Holey Moley, Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars, The Voice, The Voice Generations, Seven Network
Kruger would be a shoo-in if the Gold Logie were given out for most hours spent on TV. In fact, it’s probably easier to list the shows the 56-year-old didn’t host this year. Having anchored Big Brother, Holey Moley, Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars, The Voice, and The Voice Generations, Kruger isn’t a surprising nomination given how prominent she is, but a win would still represent an upset.
Perhaps what’s more surprising is that despite having been found by a NSW Tribunal to have “vilified Muslims” after making an on-air comment supporting former US president Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, is that Kruger is seriously in the running for the biggest award in TV in the first place.
Perhaps what’s more surprising is that despite having been found by a NSW Tribunal to have made “vilifying remarks” about Muslims after making an on-air comment supporting former US president Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, Kruger is still seriously in the running for TV’s biggest award in the first place.
The Long Shots
Karl Stefanovic, Today and 60 Minutes, Channel Nine
File this one under “it’s nice to be nominated,” as it seems unlikely Stefanovic will double down on his Gold Logie success from 2011. A lot has changed for Stefanovic since the last time he won Gold; he’s divorced, remarried, and left Today (in 2019) before triumphantly returning a year later. While all that upheaval hasn’t dented his popularity, the bookies don’t give him much hope, with Stefanovic a long shot at $11.
Ray Meagher, Home and Away, Seven Network
We can all agree that Ray Meagher should be given an annual Gold Logie simply for making Alf Stewart’s catchphrase, “Stone the flamin’ crows”, an essential part of our cultural lexicon. The 77-year-old previously experienced sweet golden success in 2010, but don’t expect lightning to strike twice for the Home and Away star.
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