(Not so) Grand Final entertainment
The NFL Superbowl halftime spectacular has featured performances from The Who, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, U2 and Bruce Springsteen. In contrast the AFL/VFL punters have been ‘treated’ to musical performances from the likes of Rolf Harris, Slim Dusty, Olivia Newton-John, Killing Heidi and a parade of Australian Idol contestants. And, all code rivalries aside, let’s not pretend for a moment that the NRL has fared much better.
Last year the fans at the MCG got an earful of a JD Fortune fronted INXS and and Lionel Richie, while rugby followers suffered through a bizarre lip-synced performance by Jessica Mauboy. This weekend football fans get a double-dose of imported acts who you might know from their exploits in reality TV – Meatloaf (at the Cats and Magpies match) and Kelly Clarkson (at the Sea Eagles and Warriors game). Sure, they can both sing but we’re hardly expecting memorable or exciting performances.
Oh well, at least it won’t be the worst pre-match entertainment we’ve endured.
The granddaddy of hilariously odd Grand Final entertainment is obviously the Batmobile assisted performance of Bound For Glory by Angry Anderson at the 1991 VFL Grand Final.
Surely you’ve seen this masterpiece – you know how it goes: the music starts, Angry takes the mic and screams out “MELBOURNE! LETS SHOW THE WORLD WHAT WE’RE MADE OF… BOUND FOR GLORY!”, then you start praying that no one overseas ever watches the footage.
Back in 1987, well before he botched an attempted comeback with a black face fiasco, Daryl Somers donned a fetching white suit and a dashing open-necked shirt to sing Waltzing Matilda at the 1987 VFL Grand Final. Who did he think he was? Kamahl?
Why oh why was Jessica Mauboy booked to perform Get em’ Girls at last year’s NRL Grand Final? Then again nothing quite says “Hey you! Are you ready to watch large men attack and maul each other for premiership glory?” like the sight of a pop wannabe blatantly lip-syncing and struggling to remain upright as she waddles about in her ‘Get em’ Girls’.
Ever wondered what it would look like if Pauline Hanson had decided to sing as warm up entertainment at Grand Finals instead of entering politics? Neither have we, but this clip of Jackie Love performing a melody of footy classics (with a few rewrites) to a chorus of wolf whistles at the 1983 SANFL Grand Final does give you a glimpse into that strange alternative reality. (In fact Jackie Love is nothing like Hanson and can still be hired to perform at your next function, apparently she’s “an accomplished linguist [who] manages to incorporate into her act, at least one song in the native tongue of whichever country where she is visiting.” So basically nothing like Hanson.)
The cast of Neighbours
The cast of Neighbours including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pierce and a series of incrediable mulletty 80s hair-styles were entrusted with the hounor of performing the national anthem at the 1986 Grand Final rugby league Grand Final between the Eels and the Bulldogs.
Jersey Boys is a perfectly enjoyable musical; how could you argue with the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons? However the scrotum tugging high notes delivered when the cast of the musical performed the national anthem at the 2009 AFL Grand Final were misjudged at best.