As we prepare to say good riddance to 2021, Spy editor Ricardo Simich hands out his annual awards.
Kiwi director Taika Waititi and British singing superstar Rita Ora hanging out in Australia, had fans wondering if she's about to make her Marvel debut in Waititi's latest Thor movie.
Waititi, 46, was in Sydney filming Thor: Love and Thunder and Ora, 31, was there filming as a judge on The Voice Australia.
In April, Ora shared a photo of herself with Waititi's arms around her, both wearing matching Gucci outfits.
While Waititi's face was partially covered by a cap, he was tagged in the photo captioned: "Good times, memories, random things on my phone and the ones I love".
The world went crazy at a rumoured romance.
Stories emerged of the new couple seen leaving a private jet alongside Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon in Sydney after returning from the Gold Coast.
Not long after, photos of Waititi kissing both Ora and Thor actress Tessa Thompson went viral on social media. The Daily Mail, which published the photos, reported the images were snapped at Waititi's house after a party. A storm brewed in a tea cup, but things calmed down.
Several months later after being regularly papped in Los Angeles, the couple did it on their own terms when they posed together at Ora's Fourth of July rooftop party to celebrate her new song, You for Me.
In September they arrived at the Met Gala in New York in a silver co-ordinated look.
Last month the pair were spotted enjoying a night out together in London, where they were seen rugged up walking the city's streets arm in arm and grabbing dinner together at the Queen's Pub in Primrose Hill.
Ora has taken Waititi to her home turf, this week the pair were on the red carpet together in Sydney, back where it all began. Could Waititi be bringing his Pop Princess home to Godzone to meet the family for the holidays?
Best baby boom
The year has seen a bumper crop of A-list babies with more than 20 new arrivals of note, including six possible future All Blacks and a Black Fern or a Black Stick.
In June, former All Black captain Richie McCaw and wife Black Stick Gemma welcomed their second child, a girl named Grace — a younger sister to 3-year-old Charlotte.
A week later McCaw's former team-mate Dan Carter and wife Honor welcomed their fourth child — a boy named Cruz, with the proud father saying that the baby's older brothers Marco, Fox and Rocco adored him.
Current All Blacks have had a busy time either side of the world tour.
Sam Whitelock and wife Hannah welcomed their third child, Penelope, at the end of August and Richie Mo'unga and wife Sophie welcomed their second child, son Marley in September.
Aaron Smith and wife Teagan had their second child, a boy, Leo, in November, and Scott Barrett and wife Hannah followed suit weeks later with the birth of their first child, a boy named Dougal.
The 2021 baby boom was not limited to sports stars. In August, Westside stars Antonia Prebble and her fiance Dan Musgrove had Augustus, a little brother to 2-year-old Freddie.
Newshub anchor Samantha Hayes and fiance Jeroen Blaauw welcomed their second child, Amaya — a sister for 2-year-old brother Marlow in September and a month earlier, The Project's Kanoa Lloyd and husband Mikee Carpinter celebrated their first child, a girl named Nikau.
Last month, Celebrity Treasure Island co-host Matt Chisholm and wife Ellen welcomed their third child, a girl named Bree, a sister to brothers Bede and Finn.
In radio-land, Laura McGoldrick-Guptill and her husband, Black Cap Martin Guptill, started off this year's A-list baby rush with the addition of son Theodore (Teddy) in February — a brother for their daughter Harley. Radio showbiz couple Sharyn and Bryce Casey, had their second son, Reuben, in November a brother for 3-year-old Tyson.
In Hollywood, KJ Apa, who celebrated filming his 100th episode of his Netflix show Riverdale this week, welcomed his first child with partner Clara Berry in September, a boy named Sasha. Former Go Girls star Anna Hutchison and husband Mike Gillespie, welcomed a baby brother for 2-year-old daughter Joanie Pearl. In New York, FBI: Most Wanted actor Keisha Castle-Hughes had baby Matilda in June with her new husband Donny Grahamer, whom she married in January.
And in Sydney, top model Georgia Fowler and partner Nathan Dalah welcomed baby girl Dylan in September, while recently retired rugby league star Benji Marshall and wife Zoe welcomed their second child in June, a girl named Ever, a sister for 3-year-old Fox.
There was also happy news for The Bachelor's most famous couple, Art and Matilda Green, who welcomed their second child, Autumn, in June a sister to 2-year-old son Milo.
Best secret romances
It seems like a lifetime ago that Auckland was celebrating Team NZ winning the 36th America's cup in March — and during the regatta, several romances were also revealed.
Around the America's Cup Village, whispers started that Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling was dating Lucinda Nelson, who was a fixture at partners' functions and on support crews throughout the racing. It wasn't until September, from the SailGP in Saint-Tropez France, that 30-year-old Burling went public and posted pictures to social media of Nelson and himself, writing "Happy Birthday" with three love hearts.
Another romance that had whispers blowing through the Viaduct was between Luna Rossa grinder Nicholas Brezzi and TVNZ's Emily van Velthooven — the younger sister of Simon, a grinder for Emirates Team NZ.
Sources around the village told Spy the pair had been dating and were often seen out and about together. On Valentine's Day, van Velthooven posted on Instagram, a beautiful bouquet of flowers that she had received, without telling her followers the sender but we were told they were from her Brezzi.
On another romantic note, American Magic Sailor Nick Dana proposed to girlfriend and fellow American, country music singer Caroline Jones in Raglan a few weeks after the racing.
During the regatta, Jones performed the American national anthem at the American Magic base, a moment of which Dana was very proud.
Best surprise relationship
In June we revealed one of New Zealand's gems had found happiness once again — former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes, 57, and businessman Glenn Cotterill, 58 — nicknamed The Grocer for his success in supermarkets — were an item.
Downes, a leading figure in the fashion and beauty industry, looked the happiest in years since the passing of her husband, cricket legend Martin Crowe.
After a few months dating, the pair changed their Facebook status to "in relationships" but did not mention with whom. Friends told Spy the pair were introduced through close friends and family and, before the Auckland lockdowns, they enjoyed a picturesque holiday in Queenstown.
In sad news, high-profile media power couple Anika Moa and Natasha Utting separated. The couple met in 2013 and created a blended family after marrying in a romantic ceremony at Bethells Beach in 2017.
Best demolition job
Last year we revealed that former All Black Ali Williams and billionaire Zuru Toys' sibling Anna Mowbray had moved into a multimillion-dollar love nest.
The lovebirds moved into a stunning two-storey home on the water's edge in Westmere, splashing $24 million to make one of the most expensive house purchases of the year.
Mowbray, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Zuru, the billion-dollar Kiwi toy company, told Spy at the time that it was their forever home. The pair celebrated the blending of their families with bubbles.
We think Mowbray meant their forever property — in October the couple showed off a demolition site after bowling the property with plans for a new three-storey home on the half-hectare waterfront site.
Some in the neighbourhood are not popping champagne. The Herald reported late last month that neighbours were worried about the noise of the new construction and unhappy about plans for a helipad.