"I lean over and it's blank." How Hamish and Andy almost had their own 'Moonlight moment'.


Tasked with presenting an ARIA award at the beginning of their careers, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee opened the envelope that contained the winner’s name to discover it was empty.

The incident happened almost 15 years ago, while the pair were presenting the award for Best Country Album, and honestly, it would’ve ended very badly, if it wasn’t for a series of mistakes.

Speaking to Tommy Little on his new podcast Flustercuck, Hamish said they got a call to present the award and attended rehearsals the day before the actual ceremony.

The best Hamish and Andy moments. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

“Me and Andy, fresh to the entertainment industry, probably about 24, maybe, get the call up to go ‘You guys can announce an ARIA’, and [we thought] ‘Oh my god, this is huge, we’ve made it’.”

Hamish said there were rehearsals the day before the event, during which presenters would run through their announcement. During this, the winner envelopes have fake names – such as Bert and Ernie – in them so the actual winners are not given away.

“We go, ‘The winner of Best Country album is…’ and we open it up and it says ‘Betty Boop’,” Hamish said.

“But then in the auditorium, because they’re tech-checking everything, a video from Keith Urban rolls going ‘Hey guys,’ and he’s holding the ARIA and he’s like, ‘Hey guys, I just want to say thanks for this, this is such an honour.’ And then it quickly stops.”


The video was mistakenly played at the rehearsal, with Hamish recalling “a slight air of whoops, we shouldn’t have done that”.

hamish and andy arias
Hamish and Andy at the 2008 ARIA Awards.

That definitely gave away the winner, so Hamish and Andy considered making some money.

"Me and Andy go, 'Oh my god, Keith Urban definitely wins'... So then we go, 'Should we bet on this?'

"We're frantically trying to get onto different sports betting apps, and I guess because they know someone somewhere knows, we couldn't really bet on it so we were a bit bummed."

The next day, Hamish and Andy were on stage during the actual ARIAs ceremony to present the award.


"Andy opens the envelope and there's a long pause," Hamish explained.

"He's just staring at the card that he's opened up. I lean over and it's blank. There's no name on the card.

"The replay shows me, just then move back and say nothing, going 'Oh, you're the one that opened it mate, this is all on you. Andy's just staring at it.

"My mind's racing, his mind's racing. We're both obviously thinking the same thing which is we accidentally saw Keith Urban's speech play out yesterday, so we're weighing up the probability that they wouldn't have got him to do one if he didn't win."

After a pause, an apprehensive Andy took the plunge and announced Keith Urban as the winner.

Thankfully, his acceptance video started playing and their gamble was correct.

After walking off stage, the pair told producers the card had no name written on it.

"They were like, 'What do you mean? You said the winner?'" Hamish recalled. "We were like, 'Yeah, only because we accidentally found out yesterday when someone played the acceptance speech so we just figured he probably won it'."

"There was a mad scramble backstage as they're tearing open all the cards to make sure they had things written on them, but ours was the only blank one."

Hamish said the incident was a "miraculous escape" that could've very easily been like the 2017 Oscars when La La Land was first announced as Best Picture, when Moonlight was actually the winner.

"Thank you for letting me relive one of the worst nights of Andy's life," Hamish joked.

"And for me, being near him."

Feature image: AAP.