Empty chairs, a live snake and rimming jokes: The 9 most cringeworthy moments from the ARIAs.

Yesterday, the who’s who of the Australian music scene (and reality TV community, let’s be honest) settled in at Sydney’s Star Casino for a day of performance, award giving and… awkwardness.

Poor ARIAs. With fancy award nights comes big personalities and alcohol… lots of alcohol. Mix that in with being the poor cousin of the Grammys (we’ll expand on that in a sec), and it’s the perfect recipe for a whole lot of weirdness.

One thing that wasn’t cringeworthy was this amazing performance by Tones and I. Post continues after video.

Video via Nine

Look. Nothing is going to beat that time in 1995 when Silverchair’s drummer knocked himself out on stage, or that time Axle Whitehead flashed his peen in 2006. Or even that time Bob Katter pronounced Aria…  ‘Ariaria’ on stage.

Wonder why that was the last time the event was held at the Sydney Opera House. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But the 2019 ARIA awards certainly did deliver some gold to add to the history books.

1. Everyone left… early.

Nothing gets past Twitter fans.

During a particularly long camera shot while British pop singer Dua Lipa announced Album of the Year – they noticed a hell of a lot of empty rows.

It was towards the end of the night to be fair, but who leaves right before the most important award of the night?

Arias chairs
There were a lot of empty seats. Image: Nine.

Everyone. Apparently, everyone.

2. Guy Sebastian tried to compare us to the Grammys.

Guy, we bloody love you.

Guy asked American pop band Why Don't We how we compare to the Grammys and the response was giggling, smirking and a very awkward, "well, it's different".

Honestly, that's so sad for us.

Guy tried to save it by saying "they don't have eskies in the aisles," and the Americans, just, looked at him.

Why Don't We
Why Don't We weren't having any of it. Image: Nine.

3. Guy just casually mentioned rimming.


So Guy was backstage checking out the spread for the performers - fruit, M&M's etc - when he said this...

“And next door we've got Flume's catering table, which is just a normal table except you eat it out the back.”


It was obviously a dig at Flume, who performed oral sex on his girlfriend while on stage at Burning Man in September. (If you are only just learning about this, welcome. It's a lot, we know. )

Guy Sebastian
Guy Sebastian backstage casually referencing oral sex. Image: Nine.

It's safe to say a small pocket of the internet got the ever so slight reference, and then proceeded to lose their s***t.


To make the whole Flume situation even weirder, he wasn't there. He opted to go to the opening of Louis Vuitton's Sydney store instead, which seems a strange choice for a musician whose industry is celebrating their craft, but okay.

Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, discuss everything that went down at the ARIAs... Post continues below.

4. The Jeffrey Epstein moment.

So, the Hilltop Hoods won the first award of the night (Best Live Act) and when they got on stage for their acceptance speech, Matt "Suffa" Lambert said this:

“Thanks to our wives, our children, and Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

Which is of course a reference to the death of Epstein in prison, who is accused of organising a child sex trafficking ring.

There's conspiracy theories going around that the billionaire didn't kill himself, but was in fact killed by someone else.

Saffa Hilltop
Saffa talking about Epstein was....very awkward. Image: Nine.

5. Sophie Monk singing Britney Spears with a snake.

A snake and Robert Irwin hopped up on stage to present an ARIA award, and nek minute Sophie Monk is holding it around her neck and asking Robert: "Can I sing, it'll probably be my only opportunity" before breaking into I Am A Slave 4 U.

Then mid-way through she had a freak out about there being a snake around her neck, and things got weird for a minute.

Sophie Monk
Sophie Monk, Robert...and a snake. Image: Nine.

Sophie later went on to sneak in a little rendition of Nutbush City Limits while presenting the award for Best Country Album.

Nobody joined in.

6. Agro was there.

Agro the puppet was there leaning on shoulders and stuff, and we can't quite decide if that's cute... or creepy.

arias red carpet
Agro on the red carpet. Image: Mamamia.

7. Human Nature.

Human Nature had a lot of matching dance moves, and their matching fluorescent purple jackets were... also a lot.

They also got one of those tribute video things after being inducted into the Hall of Fame which always feels like something that should be played at a funeral.

33rd Annual ARIA Awards 2019 - Show
Human Nature at last night's ARIA awards. Image: Getty.

8. A wrong name got read out, and we died inside.

Veronica Milsom and Lewis Hobba were on stage to announce Best Independent Release and they were... given the wrong envelope.

How? How is this something that still happens in 2019?

So Paul Kelly was accidentally read out instead of Tones and I and when someone came up to give them a new envelope they turned to the audience and said "the winner is Moonlight" referencing an almost identical incident at the 2017 Oscars. And frankly, nice save.

Wrong person
Awkward. Image: Nine.

9. The Veronicas mentioned their own cringe-ness.

Not only did Guy Sebastian rib them about that whole Qantas debacle in his opening speech, but the twins went on to call themselves "Australia's most controversial siblings" when they presented Best Female Artist.

Jess and Lisa were escorted from a Qantas flight recently after they "refused to follow crew instructions". It was something to do with their carry on being put in the overheads, and it all turned into a fiasco with allegations being flung around that they might've been stirring up media to promote their new MTV reality TV show.

the veronicas
The Veronicas made themselves the butt of the joke. Image: Nine.

Did we miss anything? What did you cringe at while watching the ARIAs? Let us know in the comments below.

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