Dress stress a Lo­gie bogy

The Lo­gies cre­ate anx­i­ety for even the big names, writes Erin McWhirter

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

SO YOU Think You Can Dance Aus­tralia host Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte is used to the anx­i­ety that ac­com­pa­nies a Gold Lo­gie nom­i­na­tion.

Bass­ingth­waighte, nom­i­nated in 2006 and again in 2009, says there’s noth­ing like be­ing in the ball­room, cam­eras trained on you for a re­ac­tion, when the names of nom­i­nees are read out.

‘‘I think the mo­ment just be­fore the award is an­nounced (is the most stress­ful),’’ Bass­ingth­waighte says. ‘‘You just get so sick and ner­vous be­cause every­one’s made a big deal about it in the lead-up. It’s al­most like brain­wash­ing that goes on be­fore the award — get­ting asked, ‘Are you ner­vous? Are you wor­ried?’ But you’re gen­uinely chuffed to be nom­i­nated.’’

Bass­ingth­waighte is up for gold as well as Most Pop­u­lar Pre­sen­ter. She will also per­form her sin­gle 1000 Stars on the night.

This year’s nom­i­na­tions are all the more sat­is­fy­ing be­cause Bass­ingth­waighte drew scorn for her pre­sent­ing style on the first sea­son of So You Think You Can Dance.

‘‘I’m over­whelmed,’’ Bass­ingth­waighte says. ‘‘I went into this (Dance) want­ing to con­quer my fears and get bet­ter at it. That’s how I live my life. I don’t want to play it safe, I want to dive in.’’

The most ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ment of Lo­gies night for 30-year-old Kate Ritchie will hap­pen be­fore she has even en­tered the ball­room.

Ritchie, who af­ter winning gold in 2007 and 2008 is looking for a Lo­gies hat-trick, says her con­cerns are cen­tred on mak­ing it out of the limou­sine and on to the red car­pet without a wardrobe mal­func­tion.

‘‘That’s the most stress­ful mo­ment,’’ the for­mer Home And Away star says. ‘‘There are so many un­flat­ter­ing pho­tos of peo­ple get­ting out of cars.’’

Ritchie and Bass­ingth­waighte join An­drew Den­ton, Re­becca Gib­ney, Adam Hills, Sim­mone Jade Mack­in­non, Rove McManus and Ian Smith as gold nom­i­nees.

Ritchie could score her third gold, but feels no pres­sure.

‘‘The past 18 months have been a pe­riod of tran­si­tion and it was a lit­tle on the tur­bu­lent side this time last year,’’ says Ritchie, who felt pres­sure to cap her 20-year stint as Sally on Home and Away with a sec­ond Gold Lo­gie.

‘‘I just felt un­steady about where I was and what I was do­ing. I had a new job and felt I was caught be­tween two worlds on Home and Away and ra­dio (she co­hosts a Syd­ney break­fast show with Mer­rick Watts and Tim Ross).

‘‘I was all over the place and I could see that when I watched the Lo­gies back. Just look at that poor girl on stage. I feel for me. But I’m at a good place in life now.’’

Ritchie and Bass­ingth­waighte agree that be­ing nom­i­nated along­side a list of TV heavy­weights is in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘As a young ac­tor I watched Re­becca on TV and thought that when I grew up I wanted to be an ac­tor like her,’’ Ritchie says.

‘‘I’m nom­i­nated with An­drew Den­ton . . . I mean, that’s just stupid,’’ Bass­ingth­waighte says with a laugh.

One of the ma­jor talk­ing points this year has been the ab­sence of Un­der­belly stars from the gold nom­i­nees list. Though the orig­i­nal un­der­world se­ries was a crit­i­cal suc­cess and a hit with view­ers, it seems odd no cast mem­ber is in con­tention for the top award. And it’s re­mark­able that Mack­in­non, from the axed McLeod’s Daugh­ters, is Nine’s only nom­i­nee.

Gy­ton Grant­ley, who played Carl Wil­liams in Un­der­belly, is up for the Most Pop­u­lar and Most Out­stand­ing Ac­tor awards. Grant­ley, how­ever, tells how eas­ily he could have blown his au­di­tion for the role of the un­der­world fig­ure.

Grant­ley looked like the typ­i­cal gang­ster at au­di­tion. He wore a sleek black suit with his hair slicked back and had an air of im­pen­e­tra­ble con­fi­dence — un­til Un­der­belly pro­duc­ers took one look and shook their heads.

‘‘I re­mem­ber the au­di­tion re­ally well,’’ Grant­ley says with a smile.

‘‘They said, ‘Can you screw all that up in a ball and throw it on the floor be­cause he (Wil­liams) isn’t that smart’.

‘‘Com­ing from Bris­bane and liv­ing in Syd­ney, I knew about the 10-year war, but didn’t know Carl that well. I did a quick search on the in­ter­net the night be­fore (the au­di­tion), but it wasn’t un­til I got the job that I dis­cov­ered him.’’

Un­der­belly has changed Grant­ley’s life — for good and bad.

‘‘I’m recog­nised a lot as Carl and peo­ple like to call me Carl,’’ he says. ‘‘Some­times it gets frus­trat­ing and you think ‘Well, if they liked me that much they could maybe learn my name’.’’Sun­day’s 51st Lo­gie Awards will be hosted by Gre­tel Killeen.

Star at­trac­tions: Kate Ritchie and Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte. Pic­ture: BOB BARKER

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