Dress stress a Logie bogy
The Logies create anxiety for even the big names, writes Erin McWhirter
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