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:: Spotlight :: MTV Australia Awards 2008

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

MTV Networks Australia announced plans to world premiere a re-designed MTV Video Music Awards concept, radically changing the format and content of the fourth local version of MTV’s annual awards telecast which will broadcast live exclusively on MTV and repeated on Fox 8.

On Saturday, April 26, 2008, the first MTV AUSTRALIA AWARDS will break the VMA mould by expanding into award categories honouring music, film, television and sporting stars. The MTV Australia Awards will also debut a viewer-winning award category, and will be staged in a revolutionary new format at the Australian Technology Park (ATP) in Sydney.

A first for Australia, MTV viewers will be eligible to win a trophy during the MTV Australia Awards. The “MTV Remake Award” takes interaction to a new level by allowing viewers to upload and submit videos re-enacting some of the year’s unforgettable pop culture moments. The winner of the “MTV Remake Award” will be the first member of the viewing public to receive an MTV award in Australia.

The first-ever MTV Australia Awards will set new standards for the award show concept by creating a truly unique event especially catered to the Australian MTV viewer. With its new home within the Australian Technology Park, the MTV AUSTRALIA AWARDS’ creative design will be blended amongst the refurbished locomotive workshops, combining the industrial design with the event’s glamourous party atmosphere. Instead of resorting to traditional auditorium seating like most awards, the 5,000 guests of the 90-minute show will be treated to an innovative and fast-paced mix of performance, design and staging unlike any awards show to date.

The MTV Australia Awards will feature eight live musical performances and ten awards presented across music, film, television, sport, viewer-generated content and topical popular culture moments. Seven categories will be viewer-chosen with voting to commence early March. The remaining three categories – favourites in sports, film/tv actor and international music act will be selected by MTV Australia as a way of acknowledging those who have had a significant influence on the Australian MTV audience.

The MTV Australia Awards will air live and exclusively on MTV Australia ON Saturday April 26 and will be repeated on Fox 8.

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**Update as at March 11, 2008**

The first lot of talent to participate at this year’s pioneering MTV Australia Awards was announced with Academy Award nominee Juliette Lewis and her band Juliette & The Licks and Grammy award-winning rapper Eve confirmed to perform and present. This never seen before version of the network’s 24 year old award show will be held on Saturday April 26 at Sydney’s industrial entertainment mecca ‘the Australian Technology Park’. The show will broadcast live on MTV with an encore screening on FOX8 from 6.00pm on Sunday April 27.

Rapper and actress Eve will be here for the MTVAAs on her very first visit to Australia. Since breaking onto the scene in 1999, The Grammy award winning starlet has released numerous critically acclaimed albums and films with the much talked about release of her new album, ‘Here I Am’, slated to hit shelves late 2008.

Joining Eve at the MTVAAs will be Juliette Lewis who has been a cult figure amongst fans for her daring roles in films such as ‘Natural Born Killers’ and ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’. Most recently the star has dominated the live music scene with her band ‘Juliette & The Licks’. Already recognised by Rolling Stone for their live performances, critics around the world have praised their dynamic performing persona and their raw gritty style.

The ‘MTV Australia Awards 2008’ will feature eight live musical performances and ten awards presented across music, film, television, sport, viewer-generated content and topical popular culture moments. Eight categories will be viewer-chosen with voting to commence early March. Selected by MTV Australia, the remaining three awards will be recognition awards given to a sports personality, movie star and the international music artist of the year as a way of acknowledging those who have had a significant influence on the Australian MTV audience.

Voting for the MTVAAs starts on Wednesday March 12, and closes on Friday April 25.

Winners will be announced at the MTV Australia Awards on Saturday April 26 2008. The show will broadcast live on MTV Australia with red carpet arrivals from 7:30pm and the main show due to commence at 8.30pm. The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will be accessible to all customers of Foxtel, Austar and Optus platforms. For the first time ever, all subscribers will be able to view the main show when FOX8 airs an encore screening on Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm.

The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will give fans a compelling interactive experience across all platforms. Viewers will be able to interact with the show via the red-button, catch exclusive behind the scenes action online and watch highlights of the show on their mobile phones.

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**Update as at March 13, 2008**

THE VIEWER VOTED CATEGORIES FOR THE MTV AUSTRALIA AWARDS 2008

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Fergie - Clumsy
Mika - Happy Ending
Delta Goodrem - Believe Again
Foo Fighters - The Pretender
50 Cent feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland - Ayo Technology

AUSTRALIAN ARTIST MUSIC AWARD
Sneaky Sound System
Silverchair
Delta Goodrem
The Veronicas
Operator Please

NEW ZEALAND ARTIST AWARD
Opshop
Scribe
The Mint Chicks
Atlas
The Checks

MTV LIVE PERFORMER AWARD
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Tour
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveShow Tour
P!nk - I’m Not Dead Tour
Lupe Fiasco - Snow Jam
Juliette & the Licks - The Lair

TELEVISION MOMENT AWARD
Chaser’s War on Everything - APEC 2007 Stunt
Corey Worthington - The ‘A Current Affair’ Interview
Jake Brown - X Games 45ft stack & stand
A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila - Brandi and Vanessa’s fight
Snoop Dogg - MTV Citizenship campaign

MTV GOOD KARMA AWARD
Bliss n Eso - South African fundraising efforts, including ‘Bullet and a Target’ charity single
Sea Shepherd Crew of the Steve Irwin - Trying to keep whales on the planet a little longer
Young People of Australia - For believing saying sorry was something worth voting for
Earth Hour - Engaging Australia and the world to act against climate change.
Movember - Raising awareness and funding for male health issues

BAD KARMA AWARD
Kevin Andrews - For refusing Snoop Dogg entry into Australia
Kevin Andrews - For saying “He doesn't seem the sort of bloke we want in this country”
Kevin Andrews - For defining ‘bad hair day’
Kevin Andrews - For all of the above, especially the hair, and the Snoop Dogg thing

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Comments from some of the nominees

The Veronicas: "We’re very excited to be nominated again this year for the MTVA Awards, the MTVA Awards are probably the most fun awards show out of them all, for us. To be nominated for the Australian Artist Award is a great honour; being proud Aussies we are honoured to be nominated alongside such other awesome acts. We can't wait to get back here to attend and party it up, we'll fly back especially for them as they are so much fun. Thanks MTV - Lisa

Delta Goodrem; “I am really honoured to have my video for Believe Again nominated for a MTVA Award. It's the song on my record that means so much and the video was a labour of love with Michael Spiccia. It's great to also be nominated for the Australian Artist Award be in such good company with my fellow Aussie Artists!"

The Chaser’s Chas Licciardello: “I really hope we don't beat Corey Worthington, exposing a flaw in APEC security is much easier than exposing the humanity of a current affairs show host.”

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**Update as at March 16, 2008**

With a hit list that just keeps on growing, MTV Networks Australia announced that rap mogul 50 Cent as the latest star to join the award-winning list of performers and presenters announced so far. The newly styled show has already announced Oscar nominee and indie cult figure Juliette Lewis who will perform with her band Juliette and The Licks and Grammy Awards winning rapper Eve as both performers and presenters at the MTV Australia Awards 2008 on Saturday April 26.

With this year’s nominees already causing ripples amongst the press, 50 Cent is sure to stir up added excitement as he makes way down under with G-Unit for the first time since his latest album “Curtis” was released. MTV Australia will also ‘present’ the 50 Cent and G-Unit Australia/New Zealand Tour 2008. MTV Australia Awards 2008 will broadcast on MTV Saturday April 26 from 7:30pm with an encore screening on FOX8 Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm.

MTV Networks Australia is not only welcoming the rapper and entrepreneur’s attendance at the MTV Australia Awards 2008 as a performer and presenter, but the network will back the artist as they ‘present’ the 50 Cent and G-Unit Australia/New Zealand Tour 2008.

50 CENT AND G-UNIT AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND TOUR 2008 TOUR DATES

April 23 - Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney
April 25 - Vector Arena, Auckland
April 27 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

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**Update as at March 21, 2008**

Australian beauty and US based MTV VJ Lyndsey Rodrigues has confirmed that she will return to Australia to present at the world premiere MTV Australia Awards 2008. Lyndsey will take time out of her current duties in New York as the host of TRL and The Big 10 for the first time since moving to the US. Having worked on the MTV Australia Video Music Awards in 2006 and 2007, MTV Australia welcomes Lyndsey back to the newly styled awards show as a guest and presenter and will broadcast the show on MTV Saturday April 26 from 7:30pm with an encore screening on FOX8 Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm.

Lyndsey said, “I am so excited to come home and be a part of the world first version of the MTV Australia Awards. Attending this year’s awards as a presenter is going to be so surreal - I’ll probably have to fight the urge to start interviewing people backstage!”

MTV Networks Australia and NZ Managing Director Dave Sibley said: ‘Lyndsey’s a class act – it will be a treat to have her back. Don’t be surprised if her passport goes missing & she’s forced to stay a little longer’

After three years as a VJ for MTV Australia, Lyndsey Rodrigues made history as the first Aussie to ever be signed on as a host with MTV US’s flagship music video countdown show, TRL (Total Request Live).

In her years with MTV Australia, Lyndsey worked across a number of projects including the MTV Australia Video Music Awards, the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, MTV Snow Cave, MTV Beach House, MTV Full Tank and MTV News.

Since relocating to New York City only four months ago, Lyndsey has become a star in her own right co-hosting Tila Tequila's New Year's Eve Masquerade 2008, hosting The Real World Sydney Reunion Special and finding herself sharing the same stage as Kate Hudson, Foo Fighters, Chris Brown, Maroon 5, Fergie, Natasha Beddingfield, Stereophonics, Good Charlotte, Jennifer Aniston and Will Smith.

Lyndsey added, “I’m absolutely loving my new gig and life in New York, but I’m dying to come home to see my friends, family and the gang at MTV Australia.”

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**Update as at April 7, 2008**

MTV Networks Australia announced Hip-Hop legend Wyclef Jean as the host of the new ‘MTV Australia Awards 2008’ (MTVAAs). He joins a growing list of talented performers and presenters including 50 Cent, Juliette Lewis, Eve and ex-pat Lyndsey Rodrigues who are set to launch the first ever reversion of MTV’s flagship awards show. The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will broadcast on MTV Saturday April 26 from 7:30pm with an encore screening on FOX8 Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm.

MTV Networks Australia Executive Producer Ean Thorley said, “Wyclef’s charismatic flavour is sure to make the first year of the MTV Australia Awards one for the history books. He is an innovative, amazing artist who has been an integral part of the creative formation of the show. Wyclef will definitely bring an unprecedented element of style, humour and unquestionable talent to his role as host.”

The Haitian-born Grammy Award-winning artist is known for many things: musician, rapper, producer, social activist - and his list of artistic endeavours will no doubt grow as he does. With a career that has seen him join forces with some of the biggest names in the business including Lauren Hill (fellow Fugees member), Destiny's Child, Timbaland, Cypress Hill, Missy Elliott, Bono, Mick Jagger and Tupac Shakur, Wyclef is on the top of everyone’s wish list.

The former Fugees member’s new album Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant was released in US to critical acclaim and is set to hit the top of the Australian charts when it is released in Australia on April 19 2008. Wyclef collaborated with a huge array of talent on this album including Paul Simon, Norah Jones, Shakira, Mary J Blige and Akon, who also features on the first single ‘Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)’. The single has already created a huge buzz amongst viewers since its debut on MTV Australia in early March.

Wyclef said, “Look out, I am bringing the Carnival down under for one whirlwind MTV ride. You already know that MTV Awards Shows around the world know how to bring the house down….and with me who knows what will happen!”

The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will feature eight live musical performances and eleven awards presented across music, film, television, sport, viewer-generated content and topical pop-culture moments. Eight categories will be viewer-chosen with voting open from now until April 25, 2008. The remaining three categories – favourites in sports, film/tv actor and international music act will be selected by MTV Australia as a way of acknowledging those who have had a significant influence on the Australian MTV audience and are yet to be announced.

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In what is set to be the biggest comeback in 2008, MTV Networks Australia announced that Australian rock band The Vines will take to the stage at this year's awards. In a world first television exclusive, the band will perform the first single off their new album to a legion of fans at the MTV Australia Awards 2008. Joining The Vines as part of the award show’s killer local line-up are The Potbelleez and Kisschasy. The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will broadcast on MTV Saturday April 26 from 7:30pm with an encore screenings on FOX8 Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm and Saturday May 3 from 7:30pm.

Lead singer Craig Nicholls said, “It’s great to be playing again and we’re really looking forward to playing our new single at the MTV Australia Awards.”

The band recently completed recording their highly anticipated (yet to be titled) 4th album in Los Angeles , and their first single is set to take the charts by storm. In a world exclusive, The Vines will launch the first single from the album when they take to the stage on Saturday April 26 for the MTV Australia Awards 2008

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**Update as at April 13, 2008**

MTV Networks Australia announced UK rap icon, Dizzee Rascal as the latest performer set to blow the roof off at the MTV Australia Awards 2008. In what will be a whirlwind 48 hours for the rapper, Dizzee will touch down in Australia after being the star performer on the MTV NZ Mile High Gig. Rockin’ the skies at 37,000 feet, the gig of a lifetime will leave Auckland for Sydney on Friday April 25 and will see Dizzee perform alongside New Zealand’s hottest performer, Scribe.

The award show’s list of celebrity presenters will now also include fellow, New Zealand Mile High Gig performer Scribe, UK songstress Leona Lewis, Brian McFadden and MTV’s very own ex-VJ and Getaway host, Jason Dundas. The MTV Australia Awards 2008 will broadcast on MTV Saturday April 26 from 7:30pm with an encore screening on FOX8 Sunday April 27 from 6.00pm and Saturday May 3 from 7:30pm.

MTV Networks Australia Executive Producer Ean Thorley said: “Our star studded line-up of guests, performers and presenters is hotting up by the minute, with a list that already includes Wyclef Jean, 50 Cent, Juliette Lewis, Eve, The Vines, Lyndsey Rodrigues, Kisschasy and The Potbelleez. Our latest additions to the crew: Dizzee Rascal, Leona Lewis, Brian Mc Fadden, Scribe and Jason Dundas will ensure this show has the (star) power to keep the city charged all night.”

After winning a Sidewinder Award for ‘Best Newcomer MC’ in 2002, Dizzee Rascal’s debut album, Boy in Da Corner was released to critical acclaim in August 2003, in that same year he had the honour of being the first rapper to ever be awarded the Mercury Prize. In 2004, Dizzee won The NME award for Innovation and his second album, ‘Showtime’, proved to the industry that he was there to stay. Upon its release in 2007 his third album, Maths + English earned him another Mercury Prize nomination, with the album’s success continuing to grow around the world. Dizzee will take to the stage at the MTV Australia Awards 2008 with the style and finesse of one of the industry’s greats.

UK singing sensations Leona Lewis and Brian McFadden will join Dizzee in flying the UK flag for the awards show. Since winning the UK’s 3rd series of The X-Factor, Lewis’s career has gone from strength to strength. Her debut single, “Bleeding Love”, was the biggest selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom and since its release here in Australia, it has remained in the top 10 for a staggering 15 weeks. It may be an easy prediction; but Leona Lewis is sure to have more than a few fans screaming for her as she walks this year’s red carpet.

Some may know him as a former member of the UK boy-band Westlife, others as Delta Goodrem’s hubby-to-be, but Brain McFadden has worked tirelessly to release his second solo album ‘Set In Stone’. The first single off the album ‘Like Only a Woman Can’ has received an amazing response from fans and critics since its Australian release in March.

Jason Dundas’s days on MTV saw him snort wasabi, snowboard naked and co-host the red carpet at MTV Australia’s first ever awards show. Since leaving the channel in 2007 for the hugely envied post as Getaway’s resident daredevil, Dundas has travelled the globe, visited the places we only dream of and landed himself the tile of Cleo Magazines Bachelor Of The Year. MTV welcomes its former VJ back with open arms – even if it is only for one night!

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**Update as at April 16, 2008**

MTV Networks Australia announced that Australian pop/rock princesses The Veronicas will take to the stage to announce internationally acclaimed music mogul, Timbaland, as the first ever recipient of the ‘International Music Artist Of The Year’.

In an MTV Australia Awards first, Grammy Award - winning record producer, composer, rapper and singer Timbaland, will be recognised as the ‘International Music Artist Of the Year’. 2008 has been another busy year for Timbaland, which has seen him collaborate with music queen, Madonna, on her new album Hard Candy and on Ashlee Simpson’s new album, Bittersweet World. He is also gearing up for the release of his second solo album: Timbaland, Shock Value II.

Lisa and Jess will ‘do the honours’ on behalf of their friends at MTV when they jump on stage to present Timbaland as the ‘International Music Artist Of The Year’ to a legion of fans and admirers at the MTVAAs.

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**Winners**

It was time for a big party in Sydney recently when Australian Technology Park hosted the first MTV Australia Awards (as it is now known). It was glitz, glamour, dance and rock & roll as an international line-up of guests assembled in front of over 600 music fans. Amongst the performers and guests were Wyclef Jean (host for the night), 50 Cent, Mischa Barton, Juliette Lewis & The Licks, Eve, The Vines, Kim And Khloe Kardashian, Dizzee Rascal, Leona Lewis, Brian Mc Fadden, Lyndsey Rodrigues, The Veronicas, Kisschasy, The Potbelleez, Scribe, Rogue Traders, Amy Pearson, and Vanessa Amorosi.

The Winners of the Awards:
Sports Award: Mick Fanning
Movie Star: Matt Damon
International Artist Of The Year: Timbaland
New Zealand Artist Award: Scribe
Australian Artist Music Award: The Veronicas
Music Video Of The Year: Delta Goodrem - Believe Again
MTV Live Performer Award: Pink - I’m Not Dead tour.
Television Moment Award: Chaser’s War On Everything - APEC 2007 stunt.
MTV Good Karma Award: Earth Hour - engaging Australia and the world to act against climate change.
Bad Karma Award: Kevin Andrews (ex-Liberal Federal Minister)

Technology Park came alive with the performances and the massive venue took on the look and vibe of a big dance room. Afterwards, many partied long and hard at various levels of the Hilton Hotel and it was good to catch up with some of the Sydney music and fashion folk. Well done to the organisers for a well organised Red Carpet event. The ceremony itself was not your usual sit-down auditorium style, which some people may take a disliking to. MTV set out to cater for its young audience by bringing the fans close to the musicians in a very big room. I haven't seen the ceremony on television as yet but I presume it comes up fresh and lively. Though it might take a little while to fully establish itself, some positive steps were taken in setting a point of difference and attracting international names.

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**Red Carpet pictures**

50 Cent
Eve
Juliette Lewis Brian McFadden
Lindsey Rodrigues Kim Kardashian & 50 Cent
Kim & Khloe Kardashian Khloe & Kim
Wyclef Jean Wyclef & promo girls
Mischa Barton Rogue Traders
Leona Lewis
The Potbelleez
Seany B The Veronicas
Amy Pearson
Kim Kardashian, Darren McMullen, Khloe Kardashian & Ruby Rose
Kisschasy
Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose
Krystal Forscutt
Ian Thorpe Tim Cahill
Darren McMullen & promo girls
Anthony Mundine & daughter Jada Israel
Killaqueenz Lee Furlong (right) and friend
Tiffani Wood Jaime Wright

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**Pictures from the After-Party**

The Potbelleez and friends
MTV's Darren McMullen joins The Potbelleez for more fun
Israel and girlfriend
The Vines' Craig Nichols and friend
Ruby Rose (right) and friend
Krystal Forscutt (left) and friend
Susannah Murray
Susannah Murray (left) and friends
Chad Canterbury (right) and friend
guests
guests
guests
guests
guests
For more information, visit

www.mtv.com.au/awards