Here's something I found about this year's Logie Awards in Australia:
The Logie Awards this year were destined to be big and they didn't disappoint. In its 46th year, the event was held inside the stunning Crown Casino in Melbourne - the crowds went wild and despite not winning any major awards, Neighbours' singing sensation Delta Goodrem absolutely stole the show.
Before the awards, there are the red carpet arrivals - such a big event that it gets its own hour-long show. To be there is absolutely magic. The atmosphere is electric as fans wait patiently and excitedly for their favourite stars to appear in front of them to chat, take photos and sign autograph books, shirts and even mobile phones.
Courtesy of Maybelline, two Neighbours stars were made over especially for the event. Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy) and Jacinta Stapleton (ex-Neighbours' Amy), who both looked gorgeous already, underwent a stunning transformation. Jacinta had deep, moody eyes, shimmering lips, slicked back hair and a long flowing red backless dress. Natalie had a fabulous backless green dress (with tape in all the right places!) and was draped in beautifully expensive jewellery.
The Neighbours stars' arrivals were staggered and the girls and guys of the show all looked absolutely beautiful in some outstanding outfits - perhaps with an eye towards winning the publicly voted Best Dressed award. They were all very happy to meet their adoring fans and spend some time with them, despite the tight schedule and ever present security. Kyal Marsh (Boyd), Carla Bonner (Steph), Alan Fletcher (Karl), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy), Kym Valentine (Libby), Patrick Harvey (Connor), Jay Bunyan (Jack), Stephanie McIntosh (Sky), Lara Sacher (Serena) and Janet Andrewartha (Lyn) were all very friendly, going over and above the call of duty to take time to make sure they got around to as many of the fans as possible.
Then, finally, came Delta. Her entrance was like nothing else. The TV coverage missed out on the amazing moment when she appeared in front of the crowds on the red carpet and the room erupted with screams, chanting and absolute insanity. With boyfriend Mark Philippoussis, Delta cut an amazing entrance dressed in a stunning, black, off the shoulder dress and sporting dark hair with curls - a look that, later in the evening, won her the Best Dressed gong. Beauty just shone out of her and despite the surrounding craziness, she took the time to talk to every fan that she could as if they were having a one-to-one chat over coffee.
Now onto the awards. There were shocks all round when Lisa Chappell picked up the Most Popular Actress award, pipping Delta Goodrem to the post and planting probably the first seed of doubt that Delta may not win Gold. In tears, Lisa herself looked surprised and a little overwhelmed. Neighbours missed out on Most Popular Australian Drama and Most Popular Australian Programme to McLeod's Daughters, but that wasn't a big surprise. Later, Stephanie McIntosh missed out on the Most Popular New Female Talent to Isabel Lucas from Home & Away - who gave an emotional acceptance speech, watched adoringly by her fellow cast including Kate Ritchie.
Pop legend Anastacia was the special guest of the night and she spoke fondly of her 'angel' Delta, or 'D' as she called her, as she spoke frankly about cancer and their own brave fights against it. Earlier, while meeting fans, she said she couldn't wait to meet Delta and 'give her a squeeze'. Delta presented the Silver Logie awards and told the audience she was glad to be back and is working on her new album while also playing the lead role in the upcoming kids flick, Hating Alison Ashley.
The most eagerly anticipated moment of the evening was the announcement of the Gold Logie winner. Delta was up against tough competition from Lisa Chappell, Rove McManus, Georgie Parker and John Wood. Most people thought it was in the bag for Delta who, since winning the Most Popular New Female Talent award last year, had continued to enjoy a highly successful music career despite being forced to temporarily retire from the scene to focus on her fight against cancer. However, in another surprise result, Delta lost out to last year's winner, Rove. The reception Delta received showed that even without the award, she had clearly captured the hearts of the nation.
Aside from the Neighbours stars and nominations, it's very hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the event - even if you don't have a clue who you're rooting for. My motto was get the autograph now, find out who they are later! Australian legends like Bert Newton, Rove and the comedy duo Kath & Kim (set to take the UK by storm) all contributed to making it one of the biggest and best Logie nights ever. Footy Show and Millionaire host Eddie McGuire did a great job compering the huge event.
And so the ceremony closes and the after parties begin. The stars dash between the main party, which was held on the banks of the Yarra River just outside the casino, and other private parties held by their television stations. Some stars leave early, while others party on. Presumably - or perhaps, hopefully - the ones that stayed may not have had to get up for work too early in the morning! Kyal Marsh, ever the gent, escorted Neighbours' Associate Producer, Jan Russ to her taxi before returning inside to continue meeting his fans. What was most apparent, amongst the Neighbours stars at least, was the positive air between them all. Laughing, chatting and helping each other out. Talking to and making time for the fans. There didn't appear to be room for anyone with an ego.
So next year, why don't you make the Logies even more special by actually being there? It really is a magical experience.
Delta should have won, although she couldn't do much acting.