After an 11 hour Sunday night-shift, with 60 hours left this week, I should be off to bed. But I’ll give you a brief cab report on the Australian Idol 2 finale, held last night at the Opera House. Only because I carried the winner in the cab recently. But first...
The City was almost a ghost town early evening, particularly during the three hour broadcast. The suburbs especially so. For all the trendy bad-mouthing of Idol around town, almost everyone stayed home to watch, it seemed.
At 1am Sunday morning I carried an audio visual technician from Bondi Beach to the Opera House. His company had the contract for the outside broadcast on the Opera House forecourt. Working non-stop shifts he couldn’t wait for the end.
As usual, the inevitable disaster associated with such a massive setup occurred. They had everything in place Thursday night and decided to test the system - after removing the weather protection. Of course a rain squall swept in and wrecked vital equipment, necessitating new screens being flown in from the States. Apparently the outside big screens, interlocking panels of thousands of LED’s, cost around $1 million each.
As I was grabbing a coffee at 10.20 pm a huge cheer erupted from a Kings Cross multi-story apartment block, largely inhabited by gays and yuppies. This heralded the announcement of the winner. Residents rushed to their balconies screaming and whistling wildly. This mob had a view of the Harbour and no doubt were also reacting to the fireworks. They did the same thing last New Years Eve, on the stroke of midnight.
Early this morning, Monday, I worked the after-party making for a brilliant Sunday night. For a change. An executive from the production company insisted he didn’t know the voting numbers, citing confidentiality. I suppose it doesn’t really matter what percentage Casey won by, given voting numbers were driven by telephone calls.
Earlier, I had stopped for dinner at a Balmain kebab joint and watched the final 12 perform a strange medley of individual brackets from 12 different songs. As I munched through a chilli beef kebab, I judged this segment as pretty shithouse. Overwrought and overglazed. But the show is obviously not about musicality, per se. Admittedly, that was the only bit I’ve ever seen of Australian Idol, given I’m always working. And I’ve yet to see the final two perform.
However I was more interested seeing the three finalists, including Casey, who I’d picked up in my cab back in September. Watching the television, as they performed their atrocious medley, I couldn’t relate to my cab passengers. Bugger the show biz. My own encounter with the kids is a much better impression, and I’m sticking to it. Good luck to them all.