Ads feat. Cindy and Lorde – Behind the 2017 New Zealand Music Awards

First up: With no sign of tickets, I had to watch the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards from my couch.

Exquisite, I know.

Location aside, I knew I was in for a good night of television-watching (Modern Family on just before it) and I enjoy bits of Jono and Ben too.

So I sat down, and the show started with Lorde being decapitated in Jono’s Uber, rapper Scribe missing court (again), a performance from the songwriters of Moana, and our Prime Minister Aunty Cindy taking photos of the hosts.

Jono also had hair, which defeats the best joke ever used about him.

Hosts Jono and Ben kept things ticking over at Spark Arena.

First up was Best Solo Artist; a category with Lorde in it… the first Tui goes toooo! She then struggled along with her microphone during the speech, but it all turned out great because hey – it’s Lorde.

Ladi6 won the RnB award, forgetting her speech after claiming on The Project that she was only going for the free food and drinks. Theia then took to the stage to perform her song Roam. I didn’t really rate her performance, but then again, I was still really focused on Jono having hair, which honestly was the weirdest thing – until he took his clothes off.

Laura Daniels, one of my favourite comedians, and Guy Williams, my not so favourite, presented Highest Selling Album, which is a bit of a fluff award and went to The Koi Boys. Then onto Highest Selling Single, which went to Kings and the song “Don’t Worry Bout It”, his third Tui for the song, and then a fourth for Most Airplay.

After a short ad break, which I was loathing as I am almost certain the people at Spark Arena didn’t need to sit through them, the action resumed with the last half of the best classical artist, so missed that, but I certainly did not miss some random kid bashing up a guitar for ‘not winning’.

The next set were awarded by the night crew on The Edge. First up, Lorde won Best Pop Artist and it turns out the random kid was Mitch James, who was nominated for the same award. Lorde’s second speech was much better, as she had finally worked out how the mic worked. Swidt won Best Hip-Hop Artist, which was well deserved, before a performance by Teeks, one of the best for the night.

After yet another ad break (woo-hoo), Jono and Ben fired National Party t-shirts and a couple of crappy jokes before the next bunch of awards came along.

Best Group was up, with Swidt taking out the Tui. As they gave their speech, I cut my lip on a Strepsils package. But I was back in time, with tissues, to see Best Alternative Artist go to Aldous Harding. Ben then got stuck with Lorde’s signature written on his neck and tattooed to his arm… “let’s watch some bad life decisions happen” said Jono, still with hair, as Swidt took to the stage to perform Player of the Day in an electrifying display before another ad break (Seriously Aaron, getting bored of these).

Funnily enough, I only knew one of the bands for Best Rock Artist, and they went on to win the award. Devilskin took the Tui before Kanoa Lloyd stepped up to present the next one, recognising Best Maori Artists. The nomination list was short but stacked, with Alien Weaponry, a young metal band who use the Maori Language and events in Maoridom throughout their music, coming runner-up to Teeks.

Another ad break came and went, and my lip continued to bleed. But I was in luck, Devilskin was next to play their song Pray, which made me forget about being on the couch for a little while. Next up was Single of the Year, a highly contested award between David Dallas, Lorde, Ladi6, Maala, Swidt and Theia.

But… surprise, surprise: Lorde won again. Number 4 for the night.

Now seems like a good time to say that I don’t hate Lorde, like some of my writing may suggest. I actually love Lorde’s music, but was just saving my excitement for the fireworks of last year’s Urban/Roots fiasco.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year was next, with Aldous Harding taking her second award of the night. Also in the mix was Fazerdaze, who is one of my favourite New Zealand artists. Then – another ad break, but with the promise of a performance from Lorde afterwards! Three was sure keeping me on my toes.

As the end of the awards neared, and the ad breaks got longer, I started to wonder where last year’s controversial Urban/Roots award was.

Turns out, Aarahdna’s stand last year had the award split into seperate Hip-Hop and RnB awards. 

The wee smoko finally ended with shot of errr.. Lorde on a table singing Green Light. And wow, no wonder she’s one of the best artists our country has ever seen. So good they even let her use a confetti machine!

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made quite the entrance.

Aunty Cindy walked up on stage to to present the People’s Choice Award: “The nominees of the people’s choice award, voted on by the majority are…” was how Jacinda introduced the award, dousing it with a bit of political spin. Lorde was in the list and won, of course, before dedicating her speech to the Prime Minister and getting all starstruck over Jacinda.

Another ad break followed, with hopes it would be the last.

And finally, after becoming one with my couch, groaning before every ‘after the break’ and watching Lorde walk up countless times, drumroll please for Album of the Year.

Lorde faced Swidt, Fazerdaze, and a few others, so she got up once again, on this occasion with her younger brother.

Following was probably my favourite moment of the night: Stellar performed for the first time in 6 years.

Then it was all over – I could finally leave my couch. Not quite sure whether it was relief or fatigue that drove me straight to bed.

Ultimately, the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards were quiet. Lorde was the big winner on the night, taking home 6 Tuis and more importantly, learnt how to use the mic by the end of her sixth speech.

However, we know the real hero was Jono Pryor, who can in fact, grow hair.

Now it’s to catch up on those three hours I’ll never get back.