It's hard to believe that a year has passed since the last Dontmindme.com Wilhelm Awards. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, and there are a lot of things and people which are, if not very, at least moderately deserving of a Wilhelm Award. Some of the winners were formally nominated during the last year, while others are now for the first time being mentioned in association with this prestigious prize. There are enough worthy winners this time around that the awards are being split over two parts, so feel free to check out the first part here.
If you'd like to learn more about the Wilhelms, visit the Wilhelm Awards Page. There you can find out the explanation behind the name, listen to the actual Wilhelm scream, and see previous winners and nominees. But for now, on with the awards.
Craziest Use of Technology: Some may say that the Large Hadron Collider might be the obvious choice for this Wilhelm. And building an entire billion dollar facility with the purpose of firing streams of subatomic particles at each other does sound fairly absurd. But this isn't the category for Worst Use of Money — there are far too many contenders to narrow that one down far enough to determine a winner. No, this is the Wilhelm for Craziest Use of Technology. And the only winner can be something that we've already featured a rant about, which is crashing a rocket into the moon. Enough said.
Least Appreciated Occupation: Quick question — what's the worst job in the world? Apart from working at a seafood packing plant, doing crime scene cleanup, or producing records for Nickelback, of course. The answer is epidemiologist, and not just because your title is hard to spell. Apart from dealing with viruses and bacteria that, if mishandled, will kill you in unimaginably horrible ways, that's not even the worst part. The job is like being an economist, only instead of forecasting that the economy is going to perdition in a picnic basket, your forecast is sickness with a chance of doom. If you predict a serious epidemic, and it doesn't happen, you look incompetent. But of course, if it does happen, lots and lots of people die. How's that for a lose-lose situation? Epidemiologist wins the Wilhelm for Least Appreciated Occupation.
And on that topic, here's the next winner:
Biggest Disappointment: This is a bit of an odd one. Is it a disappointment if something that you were hoping not to happen, but really expected to happen, doesn't happen? Isn't that a relief? This time last year, no one outside of a virology lab had heard of H1N1 influenza. Then out of nowhere (well, technically Mexico) comes this new strain of flu that was going to be the worst thing since the 1918 Spanish Flu. Let the panic commence. Don't shake hands. Don't touch doorknobs. Do get your vaccine. Do bathe in hand sanitizer 30 times per day. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
Turns out, H1N1 didn't kill us all. It didn't actually kill all that many people, no more than typical seasonal flu. Which is a good thing, of course. But after all the fuss and commotion, despite being a relief, the non-severity of H1N1 takes home the Wilhelm for Biggest Disappointment.
Best Song Cover: Okay, it's confession time. I enjoy Wham. Not that I drive to work every day blaring "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" out the windows of my Honda Civic, but they had some great, if cheesy, songs. When you cover a song, it's a balance between being true to the original and making it your own. Sometimes importing a song from a completely different style can be highly effective — country musicians do it all the time. Last year, Seether, a South African grunge/metal band, did a hard rock cover of "Careless Whisper", primarily as a joke. It turned out to be a reasonably big hit for them, and their use of heavy guitars instead of overwrought saxophone makes for an odd, but surprisingly good, cover. "Careless Whisper" by Seether wins the Wilhelm for Best Song Cover.