As we get ever-closer to triple j’s annual Hottest 100 countdown we’ve received something of a statistical insight into just who might take out the top spot, with Warm Tunas putting it forward that The Wiggles might be well-placed to make a bit of history.
Having been ‘spoiling the fun’ since 2016, Nicholas Whyte’s Warm Tunas is a rather simple project that aims to predict just who might top the annual poll. By analysing social media posts related to the Hottest 100, Warm Tunas is able to effectively tally up the votes which have been publicly shared by music lovers in an attempt to construct what the upcoming countdown could look like.
Of course, the main issue here is the matter of the sample size used. As of 9am this morning (just three hours before voting closed on Monday, January 17th), 23,078 votes have been counted, which sounds pretty good until you remember that over 3.2 million votes were cast in the 2019 countdown, making the current sample size of about 0.91% seem a tad small.
However, the Warm Tunas list does historically follow relatively closely with what the final countdown looks like, with the correct #1 song being predicted in 2020, 2018, and 2017.
So what does this year’s countdown look like so far? Well as it stands, the top ten is both heavily Australian, and relatively pop-influenced.
While big names such as Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish appear with “good 4 u” and “Happier Than Ever” at #4 and #8, respectively, the #3 spot is currently held by The Kid LAROI’s Justin Bieber-featuring “Stay”. Meanwhile, the likes of RÜFÜS DU SOL, Ball Park Music, Amyl and The Sniffers, and Spacey Jane also help round out some Aussie representation.
Gang of Youths’ “the angel of 8th ave.” currently sits at #2, the same position they reached with “Let Me Down Easy” back in 2017. However, the most interesting takeaway is the fact that The Wiggles currently occupy the #1 spot thanks to their Like a Version cover of Tame Impala’s “Elephant”.
While “Elephant” initially charted at #7 when it first appeared back in 2012, The Wiggles have never made an appearance, likely due to the traditionally kid-focused approach. However, their March cover version has since become a massive hit (with over 1.2 million streams on Spotify, and almost 3 million views on YouTube), and has the potential to make Hottest 100 history for a number of reasons.
The most obvious way in which the track could make a bit of history is by way of it having the potential to be the highest-placed cover version in the countdown to date. Back in 2019, questions raged about whether or not Denzel Curry’s “Bulls on Parade” cover could be the first time a musical tribute has topped the poll.
Ultimately, it only hit #5, making it the fourth cover song to reach this peak (along with Björk’s cover of “It’s Oh So Quiet”, Spiderbait’s rendition of “Black Betty”, and Boy & Bear’s take on “Fall At Your Feet” at #5), but the highest-placed Like a Version to date.
Meanwhile, it could also be a rare instance of a cover song charting better than the original. This was previously done by Gang of Youths when they covered The Middle East’s “Blood” (#41 vs. the original #64) and Owl Eyes, when her version of “Pumped Up Kicks” reached #28, four places higher than Foster the People reached with the original the previous year.
Additionally, it could also see The Wiggles become the first artist since The Rubens in 2015 to have their only song be the #1 track. This was also previously done by the likes of Augie March in 2006, Spiderbait in 1996, and Denis Leary back in 1993. Incidentally, considering that only one of their songs feature on the voting list, The Wiggles could also be the first artist since Denis Leary to make their debut appearance in the countdown at the #1 spot.
While it all remains to be seen what will happen when the countdown kicks off in a couple of weeks, it’s all rather interesting timing, especially considering The Wiggles have a national tour taking place in February, just weeks before the ReWiggled tribute album drops in March. Could 2022 be the year of The Wiggles? We’ll have to wait and see.
The Wiggles 2022 Tour Dates
Daytime shows from newly-expanded lineup, evening shows from the OG lineup
Saturday, February 12th
Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Saturday, February 19th
Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart, TAS
Saturday, March 12th
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, April 9th
RAC Arena, Perth, WA
Saturday, April 23rd
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW
Saturday, April 30th
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday, May 7th
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA