In talent agencies across the globe there’s a little map of Australia with a sign on it that reads: when you start sounding crap, head down under.

With friends like his…

How else can you explain the nasty little import habit we’ve developed over the last five years, acquiring D grade celebrities from the UK and fobbing them off as superstars.

Exhibit A: Brian McFadden. Exhibit B: Mel B. Exhibit C: Seal.

When your last speck of talent was last spotted somewhere around 1991, the most appropriate collective term for this motley trio is not star, it’s has-been. Yet despite this glaringly obvious fact all three have been given a package of promotion and opportunity fit for a younger, better, and actually talented person.

Not only have they each had the privilege of starring on more than one season of a high rating television show, and the opportunity to be the face of some of our most lucrative advertising campaigns; they’re also regular features in our magazines.

But has anyone stopped to actually ask why?

Back in the 1990s when our new found “superstars” actually had talent, British celebrities were only flown out for the Logies, or sometimes a film festival that needed a plummy accent for credibility. But fast forward 20 years and we’re basically offering a full blown repartition program for the desperately talentless. Not only do we fly them in from the airport to waiting paparazzi and better weather than they’ve enjoyed in decades. We give them a couple of jobs, set them up with a house, and throw a couple of great harbourside parties in their honour. Talk about an ego boost.

Brian McFadden’s Australian connection started when he hooked up with “our Delta”. A relationship forged over a duet back in 2004 that quickly saw the Irish national making Australia home. But when the love turned sour, McFadden still stayed, making some questionable acquaintances but no decipherable contribution to Australian life. Unless you count those wedding pictures we were subjected to yesterday as entertainment.

Mel B was the next cab off the rank. Known in a previous life as “Scary Spice” Brown’s last contribution to the British music scene was a solo album, “LA State of Mind” recorded back in 2005 and a workout video, in 2008. Somewhere between then and now she was “talent spotted” and invited to join the hosting panel of X-Factor. More recently, she also became the “new” ambassador for Jenny Craig weight loss commercials. Nice work if you can get it - just like that.

Last, and maybe least, is Seal. His actual singing career was so long ago now that his best claim to fame has to be marrying uber-babe Heidi Klum. No wonder he hot-tailed it over here when things got rocky. But aside from manhandling the talent on the set of his hosting panel, and probably counting the coins he’s pocketed from the revival of his now ancient song, “Kiss From A Rose”, what else has he done for Australia?

Absolutely nothing of value, that’s what. Unless you consider suffocating whatever appetite Australians have left for celebrity-like species with international ex-stars a good thing.

Forget penal colony, we’ve become a refuge for the talentless and over the hill. Imagine the message that is sending overseas! That things are so bad among our own performing monkeys we’ve resorted to digging up bodies of long, lost British stars, with very few redeeming qualities to find them. If that really is the case, we could have at least picked the good ones.

Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk

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    • S.L says:

      05:54am | 04/09/12

      Let’s wait and see what hasbeen the NRL digs up for the prematch entertainment for the Grand Final

    • Stewart says:

      08:09am | 04/09/12

      And thank ........ (insert diety of choice) that Meatoaf (sic) has been asking the US Chapter of over ripe performers to black list Australia after the AFL Grand Final Debacle.
      Can we call Vile Kyle some form of talent to export him to say ... anywhere not here?

    • D says:

      02:47pm | 04/09/12

      I detest making this into NRL v AFL in any form, but here goes… I thought the AFL has been even worse at bringing random has beens out on Grand Final day - Meatloaf & Lionel Ritchie in successive years, ugh. Before that? Barnes, Farnham (that 2009 GF coincidentally marked his 2009th retirement tour) & Hunters and Collectors, from memory.

      Compared to Kelly Clarkson (I know, I know), Eskimoe Joe, The Script & Wolfmother in recent years at the NRL, the AFL looks positively ancient.

    • acotrel says:

      06:21am | 04/09/12

      Whatever became of Rolf Harris ?  He should have been a national hero - must have given the sales of plywood a huge boost ?  ( Probably caused the demise of whole forests ! )

    • Alfie says:

      09:04am | 04/09/12

      They are probably having a similar discussion in the UK - why we Australiians have dumped them with Rolf, Germain and Kylie.

    • Joan of Botany. says:

      09:29am | 04/09/12

      Nice to see acotrel has a sense of humour!
      (I think Rolf Harris continues to inflict himself on the long suffering British public. Better there than here I say!)

    • Greg says:

      09:30am | 04/09/12

      Ahhhh Rolf Harris

      always reminds me of the classic Rodney Rude song

    • Troy Flynn says:

      04:41pm | 04/09/12

      Ahhh, Rolf Harris. The Australian Max Bygraves. Well, just as popular as each other as far as the Goodies were concerned.

    • George says:

      06:24am | 04/09/12

      It’s because nobody has had any talent since the 90s man. I mean our biggest music star is probably Guy Sebastian? But I must admit I did like his latest video clip.

    • Jason says:

      10:46am | 04/09/12

      Gotye is actually Australian despite the Belgian’s trying to claim him, although from what I’ve seen of Wally, I doubt he’d be caught dead being a judge on one of these talent shows…

    • amy says:

      01:28pm | 04/09/12

      guy? no no no no no NO

      he was from a telent show…he had one hit anf now he can sit on a panel and call himself a “star”

      NO

    • Leah says:

      02:20pm | 04/09/12

      Ten Tenors, Guy Sebastian, Keith Urban & Gotye are all relatively recent Australian talent (varying degrees of talent, but still successful).

      It’s just that most current talent is too busy actually making music and being successful that they’re not interested in judging some talent show (aside from Keith Urban who, he says, wasn’t going to take the role either until Nicole said she thought it’d be a good idea. Chances are she just wanted to come home for a few months.)

    • Delta's fault says:

      06:49am | 04/09/12

      This article is absolutely spot on. I will never forgive Delta for bringing McFadden here. It’s like when you’re housemate brings some no hoper ‘old friend’ home, he parks himself on the couch, and you’re housemate’s never home so you have to put up with him. Delta should take some responsibility for the fact that she brought him here, and now we need a crowbar to lever him out of the country because he just won’t go home despite the fact that he annoys everyone while she swans around overseas not having to put up with him. Is that fair? Does Delta think it’s a funny joke?

      I notice Danni Minogue’s ex is still lingering around too, despite the fact that they have split. I suppose she’ll start to do a Delta and jet off OS leaving average Australians to deal with her tossed out garbage. Not good enough, enough is enough.

      Let’s stand up Australia and write some sort of law where if McFadden is to stay in Oz he must spend at least 2 nights a week on Delta’s couch just so she doesn’t get off scott free and has to put up with him like the rest of us do. Same goes for Danni Minogue’s bloke, although we could probably make that 1 night as he’s probably not quite as annoying

    • Cleo Basset says:

      09:19am | 04/09/12

      Delta (where did that name come from?) is a good examlple of limited home-grown talent! How many here have a CD of her in their collection?
      She did have the good sense to jettison McFadden, eventually, though.

    • Cleo Basset says:

      09:33am | 04/09/12

      Re Danniiii’s ex: What is wrong with a bit of eye candy?

    • Wisteria says:

      10:17am | 04/09/12

      She’s got bad form Delta.  She dated The Poo as well.

    • Go home Brian says:

      10:44am | 04/09/12

      LOVE THIS

    • Go home Brian says:

      10:44am | 04/09/12

      LOVE THIS

    • KD says:

      02:09pm | 04/09/12

      I agree with you, Delta’s Fault, about the odious McFadden, but as far as Chris Smith goes, he’s wittier, smarter, and far more tolerable than his ex-wife.  He’s quite entertaining whenever he’s on The Project.  Let’s have an exchange programme - we’ll keep him, and she can go off and live anywhere but here.

    • KD says:

      02:09pm | 04/09/12

      I agree with you, Delta’s Fault, about the odious McFadden, but as far as Chris Smith goes, he’s wittier, smarter, and far more tolerable than his ex-wife.  He’s quite entertaining whenever he’s on The Project.  Let’s have an exchange programme - we’ll keep him, and she can go off and live anywhere but here.

    • KD says:

      02:09pm | 04/09/12

      I agree with you, Delta’s Fault, about the odious McFadden, but as far as Chris Smith goes, he’s wittier, smarter, and far more tolerable than his ex-wife.  He’s quite entertaining whenever he’s on The Project.  Let’s have an exchange programme - we’ll keep him, and she can go off and live anywhere but here.

    • Millie says:

      05:06pm | 04/09/12

      I think you’ll find that Dannii Minogue’s ex is here so that he can stay involved in his son’s upbringing - it’s harder to do that from the other side of the world…..

      Which is quite a nice segue into further questioning Brian McFadden’s staying here - surely he would see his children more often if he actually lived in the same hemisphere??  I think my heart would break if I were on the other side of the world to my littlies.

    • Carz says:

      07:22am | 04/09/12

      Funny how the two American ‘coaches’ or whatever they were from Everybody Dance Now. They are, apparently, current ‘stars’ and were brought here to be a part of a show that is already history. Then there’s Joel Madden, also American, who appeared alongside Seal on The Voice. Or are these Americans okay because they have been in the recording charts in the past decade? Rather than being a little bit snarky about three “has been” imports how about being angry for the Australian talent in general who is being pushed aside or ignored for jobs in their own country. Surely the fact that Dannii Minogue, and Vile Kyle continue to grace our screens is sufficient evidence that we have enough home grown has beens to fill all of these roles.

    • iansand says:

      07:22am | 04/09/12

      Maybe the local talent is smart enough to say “No” when asked.

    • nihonin says:

      08:31am | 04/09/12

      Not really, you get more coverage form all the media here, when you twitter and then complain about the responses you receive wink

    • Martin says:

      08:32am | 04/09/12

      @iansand

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. These “gigs” are sure-fire CLMs !

    • che says:

      10:27am | 04/09/12

      Exactly! These shows are so bad, it’s no wonder only the crappest of the crap will appear on them.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      07:24am | 04/09/12

      Hi Lucy

      Well said and I couldn’t have said it better myself!  And it certainly takes a great person to actually come to terms with what has gone wrong with the idea of true talent and the music industry that we can call our own!  How come the manufactured version of music is being presented as the only alternative as far as being entertained goes!  I just have to say that with our uniquely multi cultural society at hand, surely we can come up with good wholesome and uniquely Australian talent, right? Or is that too difficult to deal with?

      Maybe simply we haven’t been interested in going search of real talent and why?  May be in a way it is not in our upbringing or culture to think ourselves as the uniquely talented bunch. If it is about lack of resources and funding, a bit like our public school system, then it should be fixed that we won’t end up in search of looking for professionals and artists beyond our shores, also assuming that they can do it better.  It is all about having self worth and determination that we happen to be just as good as the others if not better!!  Kind regards to your editors.

    • iMitchy says:

      10:59am | 04/09/12

      There is a lot of musical talent here, it just doesn’t fall into the pop category so gets swept under the rug.

      Australia still produces world class music in many other genres and those artists are worldwide celebrities in the circles they travel in.

      I think it is a matter of culture like you say. Pop culture moves quickly, and pop music isn’t really a genre as much as a viewing glass that hovers over certain types of music and says “This is what’s cool now - buy it Mainstreamers”.

      Look at some of our biggest Australian music stars and imagine if they were coming through the ranks today - INXS, AC/DC, Noiseworks etc. They don’t fit the mold of what is pop in 2012 so they would maybe get some Triple J airtime and an underground following but that’s where it would end.

      Once again it comes down to culture though. Australians by and large don’t make the sort of Americanised music that is popular right now. Of those who do, 99% seem laughably ingenuine while the other one percent just don’t do it as well as the artists who actually make it into the charts. The odd successful artist will pop up from time to time but they usually don’t last too long due to that speed of change in pop culture.

      In most cases, an artist just has to be true to their genre and wait for that “pop viewing-glass” to make it’s own way to them, then the kids who have always been different can say “l liked them before they were ‘cool’” and “they have sold out” then they’ll find something else to listen to and the cycle will continue.

      ...and tall poppy syndrome.

    • Audra Blue says:

      12:51pm | 04/09/12

      iMitchy, you are so right.

      I can walk down Queen Street Mall any day of the week and hear supremely talented musicians with original songs that take the breath away.  Whenever I can, I buy their CDs from them and also try to catch up with them when they do the pub circuit.

      I’d much rather hear genuine original music than the manufactured dreck that’s out there in radio land.

    • iMitchy says:

      01:36pm | 04/09/12

      Audra,

      if you like good underground original stuff, check out Marcus Blacke. He has just released his debut album and is at around number 43 (indy) on Triple J Unearthed. Chasing Ghosts’ album “Confessions from a Phonebooth” is a cracker too.

      These guys have real talent but they know what damage a talent show could do to their career and brand and so avoid them.

    • Audra Blue says:

      01:41pm | 04/09/12

      Thanks iMitchy, I’ll do that

    • Clownshoes says:

      03:08pm | 04/09/12

      Tame Impala - need I say more?

    • Markus says:

      03:57pm | 04/09/12

      @Clownshoes, saying when their damn second album is finally going to come out would be nice.

    • pete says:

      07:25am | 04/09/12

      Maybe its payback for Kylie minogue and Jason what’s his face ?

    • Gramps says:

      07:30am | 04/09/12

      Thank heavens somebody has at last echoed my thoughts and put them into print.
      The no-talent judging the mostly talent-less screamers and shouters.

    • Gianna says:

      09:46am | 04/09/12

      Agree with Gramps.  The glitsy productions that are called talent shows, are a complete farce.
      Most of the ‘contestants’ sound the same.  Now to top it all off , they turn the wretched shows into soap operas, with the obligatory tears, and shocked looks on judges’ faces, shown in dozens of promos.

    • gobsmack says:

      07:30am | 04/09/12

      In any competition where you are unearthing the best mediocre talent, you need mediocre judges.  We should be proud that Australia has become a centre of excellence for mediocrity, attracting the the very best in mediocre talent from around the world.

    • Null and Void says:

      08:34am | 04/09/12

      :slowclap:

      This brought a tear to my eye. I’m so proud of our lack of real talent. :stifled sob:

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:39am | 04/09/12

      But has anyone stopped to actually ask why?

      I might be a thick-bricked public servant, but I would guess it’s the cheapest way to make the most cash.

      By the way, most of us who are over 30 reckon those three - whatever you think of their music - are more talented than anything to come out since about 2002.  That includes Delta.

    • Al says:

      08:41am | 04/09/12

      Those 3 actualy made music?
      Thats news to me, but then I also don’t think Delta is a ‘star’.
      I just don’t care about celebrity status and whether it is actualy current or valid…

    • SZF says:

      10:01am | 04/09/12

      As one of the “over 30” crowd…er, no Mahrat. You’re seriously saying McMuppet et al are more talented than anything from the past decade? Dial down the hyperbole champ, or check the meds…you’re in the statistically insignificant minority.

      I’ll grant you that Delta’s music is that of the Devil and can only be cleansed by fire (LOTS of fire), but even I can acknowledge that she has a decent voice. Same with Guy Sebastian. Good voice, he just uses it for evil.

      But a boy band reject, an auto-tuned caricature and has-been soul singer can’t hold a candle to the myriad of local talent that have achieved success through hard work (and not mugging for a reality/talent TV camera) in the past 10 years.

      Think Presets, Jet, John Butler, Art vs Science, The Herd, Cat Empire, King Cannons, etc…

    • Mahhrat says:

      10:54am | 04/09/12

      @SZF, I’ll give you the Cat Empire, and Jet’s first album was almost but not quite good enough to be a Beatles rip off, but I’ll pass it because hey, jingles are cool.

      As for the rest, don’t know them, don’t care to - and that’s fine.

      But still, +1 for trolls, eh? smile

    • Audra Blue says:

      12:54pm | 04/09/12

      I have to disagree with SZF.  John Butler is complete and utter shite.

    • Anubis says:

      01:24pm | 04/09/12

      Is some one implying that Delta has talent?  Where did that come from?

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:51am | 04/09/12

      “But has anyone stopped to actually ask why?”

      Has anyone challenged the vacuous half-wits that watch these so-called “talent” shows?

      If you can’t develop a following all by yourself in pubs, clubs and the internet then you clearly have no talent. This is the way rock-stars have been doing it since the beginning. Appearing on a manufactured pop machine to try to get fay-marsss is pathetic and lame.

      Leave your singing/dancing to karaoke clubs and Wii games at home. You don’t have enough talent to make it yourself.

    • Cynicised says:

      09:20am | 04/09/12

      “If you can’t develop a following all by yourself in pubs, clubs and the internet then you clearly have no talent. This is the way rock-stars have been doing it since the beginning. Appearing on a manufactured pop machine to try to get fay-marsss is pathetic and lame”

      And if you weren’t so lame yourself Tube you might realise that having a “following” in pubs and clubs and  even on the internet is often not enough these days for musos to keep bread on the table. That is why many of them who have been struggling to keep body and soul together take the opportunity to go onto talent shows, for exposure to heighten their profile. Having 50 or 500 people who love your  extremely talented work and follow you from small venue to small venue is lovely, but it’s hardly a living. And please, forget the idea of A&R guys discovering you in those clubs these days. Doesn’t happen. Case in point: Diana Rouvas from The Voice. Great  blues/jazz singer who has been doing the rounds for 15 years. Now she gets the chance to record and gig more widely to a larger audience

      I see no reason to import the judges however. It’s just an attempt to create some interest. The only judge worth a damn  on The  Voice was Keith Urban anyway.

    • M says:

      09:43am | 04/09/12

      Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

    • Cynicised says:

      10:41am | 04/09/12

      “If you can’t develop a following all by yourself in pubs, clubs and the internet then you clearly have no talent. This is the way rock-stars have been doing it since the beginning. Appearing on a manufactured pop machine to try to get fay-marsss is pathetic and lame”

       Tube, do you realise that having a “following” in pubs and clubs and  even on the internet doesn’t earn enough for many musos to do much more than have a little pocket money? That is why many of them who have been struggling to keep body and soul together take the opportunity to go onto talent shows, for exposure to heighten their profile. Having 50 or 100 people who love your extremely talented work and follow you from small venue to small venue is lovely, but it’s hardly a living. And please, forget the idea of A&R guys discovering you in those clubs these days. Doesn’t happen. Case in point: Diana Rouvas from The Voice. Great singer who has been doing the rounds for 15 years. Now she gets the chance to record and gig  to a much larger audience. And no longer has to be a fruit packer in her non- performing hours.

      I see no reason to import the judges however. It’s just an attempt to create some interest and it is lame. The only judge worth a damn  on The  Voice was Keith Urban anyway - and he’s an expat.

      By the way, some people, including me,  enjoy hearing who’s out there, even on the telly.  I can’t get to every pub and club in the country.

    • Markus says:

      10:55am | 04/09/12

      @Cynicised, and the contract she signs with the producers of The Voice will guarantee that any profits made will go straight back to covering the costs of the show and their promotion.

      After her 15 minutes of fame selling shows to a bunch of people who don’t actually like blues/jazz, she will come out with less money than when she started and won’t even have a small hardcore group of indie-hipster jazz fans to fall back on - they all think she’s too mainstream now.

      For further info, see: every talent show contest winner since Bardot.

    • Cynicsed says:

      11:03am | 04/09/12

      If you’re addressing me, M. No, I don’t. Nor do I see the problem in using an example I’m familiar with to illustrate my point.  Sorry if that upsets you.

    • M says:

      11:24am | 04/09/12

      I meant Tubesteak. The punch has been a little slow with comments today eh?

    • Cynicised says:

      12:30pm | 04/09/12

      @Cynicised, and the contract she signs with the producers of The Voice will guarantee that any profits made will go straight back to covering the costs of the show and their promotion.

      After her 15 minutes of fame selling shows to a bunch of people who don’t actually like blues/jazz, she will come out with less money than when she started and won’t even have a small hardcore group of indie-hipster jazz fans to fall back on - they all think she’s too mainstream now.

      For further info, see: every talent show contest winner since Bardot.

      As far as I’m aware, Markus, the profits from recording largely go to Universal music, the show’s music company partner. She won’t earn much from that source, I concur. However, it gets her music out there.

      As for not having any more money than when she began after gigging  for a few years, that’s isn’t necessarily so. Several  talented people (not just GS) have managed to make quite good livings from having been on talent shows, ie Idol, and although not hitting international heights, or success being immediate, have worked hard since and are now relatively comfortable financially. Better than fruit packing!

      As for losing hipster fans who dump anyone who is perceived as mainstream, well, wankers will be wankers. 

    • Cynicised says:

      12:33pm | 04/09/12

      @Cynicised, and the contract she signs with the producers of The Voice will guarantee that any profits made will go straight back to covering the costs of the show and their promotion.

      After her 15 minutes of fame selling shows to a bunch of people who don’t actually like blues/jazz, she will come out with less money than when she started and won’t even have a small hardcore group of indie-hipster jazz fans to fall back on - they all think she’s too mainstream now.

      For further info, see: every talent show contest winner since Bardot.

      As far as I’m aware, Markus, the profits from recording largely go to Universal music, the show’s music company partner. She won’t earn much from that source, I concur. However, it gets her music out there.

      As for not having any more money than when she began after gigging  for a few years, that’s isn’t necessarily so. Several  talented people (not just GS) have managed to make quite good livings from having been on talent shows, ie Idol, and although not hitting international heights, or success being immediate, have  worked hard since and are now relatively comfortable financially. Better than fruit packing!

      As for losing hipster fans who dump anyone who is perceived as mainstream, well, wankers will be wankers. 

      @M. Yeah, lightning quick. Not.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:53pm | 04/09/12

      Cynicised
      It’s a hobby. You do a job during the week and rock up to the pub on the weekend and play there. You don’t need it to make you a living because your job does that. You do it because you enjoy doing it.
      If you want to sell out and star on The Voice just to get fay-marss then you’re not a musician. Kurdt Kobain would be rolling in his grave at the fact you decided to become an auto-tuned sell-out.

      M
      Occasionally I’ve thought about starting a blog but I know it wouldn’t last very long and would be sporadic. I have a day job that earns money so it could support my blogging activities at night wink

      Markus
      Nailed it

    • Cynicised says:

      01:14pm | 04/09/12

      Let Kurt roll I say, Tube. I like to see musos making a living from their talent, instead of it being merely a hobby. Only dilettantes think like you.

      And if you think Diana needs autotuning you’re tone deaf ! LOL!

      PS. Bugger these multiple posts. What’s going on today, Punch team??

    • Tubesteak says:

      03:07pm | 04/09/12

      and I’d like to be paid for my golfing hobby but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

      Couldn’t say whether Diana needs to be autotuned. You couldn’t pay me to watch The Voice. Just seems to happen with all the performers (note, *not* musicians) on those sorts of shows. Same pop melodies and themes, too.

      Real musicians don’t do it for the money. They do it for the music.

    • KH says:

      04:42pm | 04/09/12

      I get what you are saying, but when I was a teen / young adult there were pubs and clubs everywhere - thanks to gentrification of once inner city bohemian suburbs, a lot have closed thanks to constant complaints about noise or restrictions that effectively have shut down live music…. These days a lot of venues pay a DJ, or they are those huge soulless venues that only “established” acts play…... In some ways, the Internet has brought back the intimacy…..doing it the time honored traditional way isn’t really possible these days. . Also the Australian versions of these shows are shite - if you watch the us or uk versions they tend to have higher quality…...

    • Cynicised says:

      04:44pm | 04/09/12

      Rubbish. Real musicians do it for both, if they can. Diana writes originals as well, so yes, she’s a musician, not just a singer.

      Don’t watch it then, your choice. However, if you’ve never watched it, how can you judge?

    • Cynicised says:

      05:23pm | 04/09/12

      Not necessarily higher quality, IMO,  KH. Much depends on your taste, as does everything in music. Personally, I’ve preferred the variety I’ve seen on Australian shows. The American versions tend to have too many belters, country singers and screaming divas for my liking…and many of them are just plain awful.

      I agree about the intimacy of the Internet, but I still prefer a live gig anyday, for the audience participation and the unpredictability of the performance. It can assist an artist to get started though, no question.

    • asunder says:

      08:11am | 04/09/12

      Just highlights our obsession with celebrity, no matter the quality of it.  Similarly, the cheap, over-the-top screaming and hooting at the live version of these shows comes across as contrived and ridiculous.  Really quite vacuous. 

      I totally agree that they are disproportionately worshipped and marketed, but referring to them condescendingly as you do is a bit mean.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      08:12am | 04/09/12

      2 words…Leo Sayer…shudder

    • Pommie Pete says:

      11:25am | 04/09/12

      You need to see the clip of (the great, great) Linda Rondstadt singing (she was) with Sayer. The withering LOOK she gives him is better than words. She never, ever did a second number with him.

    • Audra Blue says:

      01:01pm | 04/09/12

      Linda Ronstadt was classically trained and can actually sing.  Leo just got lucky in the disco era.  Not surprised she gave him withering looks. 

      That’s almost as blasphemous as Michael Bolton singing Ave Maria with Placido Domingo.  If that’s not a slap in the face to Domingo, I don’t know what is!

    • LaDiva says:

      06:32pm | 04/09/12

      Leo Sayer rocks on The Wiggles.

    • Woodsy says:

      08:23am | 04/09/12

      Australia has always had a ridiculous obsession with using overseas talent in some sort of attempt to gain credibility. How many times have we had to tolerate some D-grade celebrity at the Logies? I can guarantee that any person on a rickety boat south of Jakarta would offer a ridiculous amount more to our country than bloody McFadden.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      08:24am | 04/09/12

      I cannot stand Brian McFadden. Anyone who offers a tweet that doesn’t fawn all over him, and he gets personal and mean. I would question the intelligence and personal standards of anyone who voluntarily hangs around with Kyle Sandilands.

      Total loser.

      We should start a campaign to get Louis Walsh to take him back.

    • Cobbler says:

      08:25am | 04/09/12

      It’s reality TV.

      Who cares who’s on it?  Maybe Australias talent is actually chasing roles worth having?

    • dibatag says:

      08:31am | 04/09/12

      This habit we have of importing has beens be they UK or US has been going on since TV started, mostly we had US hasbeens or mediocre talented guys Bob Dyer Tommy Hanlan Jr etc come to mind came out here and stayed , i bet they could not beleive there luck in being given a chance they would never have got in there own country.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:32am | 04/09/12

      We used to watch the talent shows and in hindsight would think that the earlier versions were better produced but we don’t watch anymore as to our opinions now are that the shows are too Americanized for us. The constant barrage of ads for these shows are driving us crazy so all we do is put on the mute button when they come on. Look, if we want to be crazy Americans then why don’t we join up as one of their states and we know that as Obama or any other President has become the President of the World regardless of what people think in the negative about it then we can become raving mad along with them.

      Another thing is, ” where do these so called talented kids end up after the sun sets on it all.” What talent apart from Guy Sebastian has come out of those shows and been enduring and helped them make it on the international stage. Well, we don’t see many do we.? The music business is a hard core thing and most of them end up on the scrap heap and not going forward.

      It is like the saying that,” there are better dogs in back yards than have ever been bred.” So the whole talent thing is sensational, Americanized, and fruitless. And yes there are better singers in kitchens and at Karaoke parties than on the TV. I sound great in the bathroom which is where my talent for singing is recognized by only me. ha!.

      But seriously some of the kids on there have good voices but in the world of entertainment it is very difficult to come out of it and move forward to some great international recognition. And as far as Mel B and the others go, ie, the Judges well i don’t really know their value, but they have been moderately successful as \\artists in their own countries but as one person wrote on her pertaining to the bands of the 70s and 80s who were greatly talented and went on to world recognition i think it all fades away in the light of that. Yes, that was when Australia really had talent in the rock industry.

    • Alfie says:

      08:34am | 04/09/12

      We have always been a dumping ground for talentless and burnt out has-beens..Foxtel has been a godsend for me. I (thankfully) miss all the rubbish shows that my neighbours keep talking about. Yesterday they were talking about some X Factor stars at a shopping centre, I didn’t have a clue - sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    • Rose says:

      12:05pm | 04/09/12

      Wow, you pay to watch repeats and rubbish, some people have money to burn!! If you want to watch decent stuff, use the internet to download what you want, when you want it. I’m not sure why anybody still relies on TV programmers to tell them what they want to watch and when they should watch it!

    • Eric T says:

      08:38am | 04/09/12

      ...........not only that. Australia is a stomping ground for the has-beens. Notice that wig wearing, bespectacled guy (guy?) has been making regular visits? Biff Pritchard next?

    • summerblink says:

      08:46am | 04/09/12

      Come on!!!  We get Brian McFadden - they get Peter Andre.  We get Mel B - they get Jonathan Coleman.  We get Seal - they get Germaine Greer.  Seriously - who got the better deal?

    • thatmosis says:

      08:53am | 04/09/12

      Every time we have a big gig in Australia we have to import some overseas clown as the head liner. It doesn’t matter that we have our own talent, no we have to import some has been to open the show and if we run a talent show we have overseas judges instead of Australians doing the job. What’s the matter with our talent or is this cultural cringe on an national level.

    • Markus says:

      09:07am | 04/09/12

      Sadly, this phenomena is not just limited to pop music hacks posing as judges and producers.

      Remember that band from the early [insert your decade here] that had that one song that was pretty catchy and you loved during your final year of high school? They are currently touring Australia, charging over $100 a ticket.
      And their shows are selling out.

      Australia: where music comes to die.

    • Alan Pevie says:

      09:12am | 04/09/12

      Whenever I read people like you having a cheap shot and criticizing others, I think to myself what talent do you have. Perhaps you are the talentless has been. Alan Pevie

    • Timinane says:

      09:28am | 04/09/12

      I like Mel B but only when she is in Britian doing something like never mind the buzzcocks, or other panel show that rarely ends up on our shores.

      I think it’s revenge for sending Peter Andre over who eventually dated some awful e-grade celebrity called Jordan (Katie Price). The Minogues and Jason Donovan. Who if you had pay TV you would’ve seen been humiliated by the wonderful Tim Minchin on an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. (Britian’s version of Spicks and Specks just with more internationally know artist and random guest hosts. It was first though)

    • Graeme Lamb says:

      09:42am | 04/09/12

      Could also be that Brown, McFadden, Seal, and Keating (who was not mentioned in the article?), have been working with some of the best people in the music biz for 20 plus years and know what they’re talking about…....or it could be the Oz dollar is strong right now wink

    • AdamC says:

      09:43am | 04/09/12

      To me, sadly, it suggests there is something of a shortage of Aussie talent that is perceived as ‘world class’. It does seem a long time ago since a break-out Aussie act really bothered the global charts. (Obviously, Gotye has recently, but he isn’t exactly exactly ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ material.) The last mainstream pop or rock act from here to hit it big internationally, at least that I can think of, was Savage Garden in the late 1990s/early noughties.

      They split up around the same time as the careers of McFadden, Ronan Keating and Mel B took a turn for the worse. Frontman Darren Hayes proceeded to make a string of commercially unsuccessful (but not necessarily awful) pop albums and finally came out of the closet. (Shock!) Maybe they could bring him back for the next series of the Voice to replace sleazy, one hit wonder Seal? There’s a thought. Would that satisfy our Lucy?

    • Arnold Layne says:

      09:43am | 04/09/12

      The saddest thing about it is how it’s a return to the club circuit days of the 60s and 70s when every “star” was a relative nobody in the UK or USA who ended up here.  “Ugly” Dave Gray, Don Lane, Chelsea Brown, Johnny Pace, Marcia Hines, Tommy Hanlon Jr, Stuart Wagstaff & pretty much anyone else who got their mug onto a game show or variety show.  We’ve come full circle.

      Is it the fault of the entertainers themselves though or the times?  We don’t have much live entertainment anymore thanks to the pokies, there’s precious little local TV other than lifestyle & reality.  Where are the genuine stars going to come from?

    • Audra Blue says:

      01:06pm | 04/09/12

      You can tell who is a nobody in show business - they end up performing shows at Twin Towns on the Gold Coast!

    • Bill says:

      09:47am | 04/09/12

      Thankyou Lucy Kippist. A long overdue plea for Australia to watch out for its own dignity, lest it slip out the same gate that these international D-graders entered

    • Craig says:

      09:48am | 04/09/12

      These faux celebrities (and as celebrities are faux stars that’s not saying much), clearly are what we get when overseas migrants come in some form of queue.

      Australia is being overrun by hordes of mediocre B-grade ‘talents’ who can not make it overseas. They are economic migrants, simply seeking more limelight and to be on plasma TVs at Aussie taxpayer expense.

      We need more hardworking queue jumpers prepared to do what it takes to succeed in Australia, not these TV star rejects, who are simply seeking handouts from Australia’s TV industry.

      Did you know there are over 9 million wannabe actors and singers in the US alone. Around the world there are over 45 million of these talentless chumps, crammed into union-run Green rooms hoping for a better future.

      There are more than 180,000 in India in our region alone, all seeking a better life and a bigger entourage.

      Australia does not have the resources to sustain this kind of load, however with the excesses of the TV industry and the easy routes available through talent smugglers (also known as ‘agents’ - pimply-faced mobile-wielding hustlers), they all want to come to Australia and luxuriate on TV under our uncultured eyes.

      Stop the celebs! Now that’s a slogan I could get behind.

    • baddog says:

      10:05am | 04/09/12

      Great article. But I believe it goes deeper than has-been ‘celebrities’ looking for easy gigs and shines a spotlight on the Aussie Cultural Cringe that’s still very alive and kicking. As Aussies we don’t feel validated unless foreigners think we’re awesome. “Phew”, people sigh, “look how great our nation is, these American and British celebs like us so we must pretty snazzy, right?”

      As Aussies we still don’t believe we can produce celebs of international calibre, and the ones we do all hot-trot away from their Aussie heritage faster than you can say Singing Budgie. Who can blame them, we really are a small Western backwater and our culture seems to be in no rush to change that.

    • H B Bear says:

      10:09am | 04/09/12

      People laugh at me when I play my Melissa Tkautz CD in my discman.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      12:20pm | 04/09/12

      hopefully you’re not surprised when they laugh

    • Mike says:

      10:10am | 04/09/12

      I met Delta a few years ago, and I can assure you that “little miss sweet and innocent” routine is purely a carefully orchestrated media game… the reality is that she is an arrogant little bitch with a temper to make even King Kyle proud

    • M says:

      10:39am | 04/09/12

      I’m shocked.

    • Black Dynamite says:

      12:42pm | 04/09/12

      You’ll have her checking into hospital posting things like that…

      BD

    • Audra Blue says:

      01:13pm | 04/09/12

      Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.  All you have to do is watch the clip from her latest song “Sitting On Top Of The World”.  It’s a catchy pop number that I actually like.  But her attitude in the clip is, I’m not going to bother even trying to realistically mime to my own voice, I’ll just jiggle around in insanely high heels and not even bother to learn decent dance steps.  I’ll pretty much just show up, collect my fee and go home.

      Bad form, Delta, bad form.  On a positive note, I like the way her voice has gotten stronger and more mature.

    • JamesH says:

      10:21am | 04/09/12

      Given the state of his career and his desperate attempts to revive it, next we may get Jean Claude Van Damme…I imagine him as a fitness coach on “The Biggest Loser”.  And trolls before you start, a part in Expendables 2 does not count as a career comeback.

    • Testfest says:

      12:06pm | 04/09/12

      I think a role in The Expendables 2 counts as the final nail in your career coffin.

    • Bernice says:

      10:27am | 04/09/12

      Hear hear. McFadden go away!
      And I tremble now it’s AFL finals time at the mere thought of Meatloaf!

    • Traxster says:

      10:35am | 04/09/12

      OK,I’ll bite….........
      Who,what, where or when is ‘The Poo’ ???

    • Bernice says:

      11:37am | 04/09/12

      Mark Philippoussis, has been tennis player,presently being used by Bernard Tomic as a role model( oozing sarcasm)

    • Big G says:

      11:53am | 04/09/12

      Mark Philipoussis the tennis player

    • Stephanie says:

      10:56am | 04/09/12

      “When your last speck of talent was last spotted somewhere around 1991, “

      Releasing an album is not a talent . Singing is a talent . Talent doesn’t disappear just because you don’t release factory-pop-useless albums every 5 seconds ....

      My take on all this - McFadden can sing , and makes pleasant enough music that I’ll listen to it, but he’s a whiny little brat , Mel C could never sing - but she’s certainly entertaining to watch - Delta has a great voice but makes shitty-factory-pop-music . Seal has talent, and he can still sing like a superstar.

      In my book , they can bring Seal out anytime they want and I’ll watch .... the rest of them , well ...meh .... (!)

      If you hadn’t included Seal , I would probably have agreed with you all the way ...

    • M says:

      11:05am | 04/09/12

      Dey turk err jerbs!

    • Daniel says:

      12:25pm | 04/09/12

      Dirka Durrrrrr!

    • M says:

      02:19pm | 04/09/12

      You have no idea of how many times it took to submit that before they’d publish it.

    • Stephanie says:

      05:35pm | 04/09/12

      dag nabbit! wink

    • Toby says:

      11:45am | 04/09/12

      Celebrity status is not what it used to be. There are people who have you tube accounts that often get over 3 million views each time.
      The fact is, there’s over 6 billion people on the planet and everyone can like who and what they want. Just get over it and live your life.
      It’s not like these show’s are going to pull in the likes of Angelina Jolie or Prince Harry. Be a bit realisitc for once. For the record, I can’t stand McFadden either.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      11:53am | 04/09/12

      It may not be a good idea to get rid of talent shows completely because they will probably serve us up more cooking shows. More cooking shows as if we need any more. God, i’m not a bad cook myself mostly but i don’t think that it takes much brain power to cook good food. Please save us from cooking shows and fishing shows as well.

      Well, soon we’ll have to change the name of our country to Ozmerica. Get rid of Julia and Tony Budgie smuggler and whack Obama in. And i write all that while i live in East Auckland. Nothing against Kiwis but Jesus if you go to Kiwi there’s no one home. So much for the Patriotism they expound. On the good side is that you can drive over the Auckland Harbour bridge and there is no traffic. Maybe they need an injection of boat people or Aussies escaping our growning lunatic political regimes we have here. Good thought that. Let’s go over and take over NZ. Way to go, peace and quiet and the beer and food is great. Fush and chups highly recommended. And, get yer chilly bin out and fill it up with Monteiths Black and drink said liquid with great gusto. Hey, we can buy it at Dan Murphys, good hey.!

    • Bomb78 says:

      01:11pm | 04/09/12

      Monteiths Black is the best thing to ever come out of NZ. Everything else would just be better off staying at home.

    • iMitchy says:

      12:01pm | 04/09/12

      I’m gonna go against the grain a bit and say that when Delta Goodrem’s first album came out, it was refreshing. Good music, good voice. I give her full credit for her piano skills and the fact that the performs her music with a band. No dancing, no background track, no lip-synching. I think you’re all being a bit unfair to her.

      As for the others, Seal is a has-been, Mel B was incredibly famous as a member of the spice girls and we cannot forget that, but still a has-been and not much good on her own. Her workout video is really good though. Brian Mcfadden is just a tool.

      On the other hand, it’s not a completely bad thing to have people like Ronan Keating, Mel B and Seal, and Keith Urban and Joel Madden involved in these productions. If any truly talented person does come out of one of these shows, it really is the best thing for them to have these people offer their mentoring and knowledge, rather than get it from some of the current “successful” Australian artists.
      It’s also bleedingly obvious that artists who are not yet has-beens are simply too busy focusing on their own music careers to partake in these shows. They are out there writing and recording music and touring and have far better opportunities in front of them than being a judge on some poxy reality show in a country of less than 30 million people.

    • Stu Clegg says:

      12:17pm | 04/09/12

      Perhaps these celebrities should note the immortal words of another has-been who has recently graced our shores, Ronan Keating: “You say it best, when you say nothing at all…”

    • Carolyn says:

      12:35pm | 04/09/12

      Don’t forget Ronan Keating. Is he another has-been boy band judge on one of those cringe-worthy ‘talent’ quests?

    • Eloise says:

      12:38pm | 04/09/12

      What I would like to know is this….if Australia’s Got Talent, why on earth is it being judged by people who have none????

    • Fanta Pants says:

      12:54pm | 04/09/12

      What do you expect? Turn on the ABC pretty much any time of an evening and all you’ll see are British Soaps or sitcoms. If the National Broadcaster isn’t interested in promoting local talent why on earth would the Commercial broadcasters be interested.

      Taking a look at the most recent additions and attempts by the Commercial Broadcasters in developing talent and platforms leaves you scratching your head. I think Management at all broadcasters have been spending farr too much time in the ‘green room’ to be taken seriously.

    • Sniff says:

      12:56pm | 04/09/12

      Mcfadden??? I thought that was Burt & Patties boy

    • Chucker says:

      01:02pm | 04/09/12

      Reminds me of the old Comedy Company line

      Singer .....................  someone who cant act
      Actor ......................... someone who cant sing
      Celebrity….................someone who cant act or sing

    • Captain Awesome says:

      01:12pm | 04/09/12

      I have only skimmed these comments, but has it struck anyone out there that Danni Minogue is deciding who is talented enough to get signed by a record label, tour group, whatever their talent is, yet the age-group that she is appealing to has never heard of her, outside of being Kylie’s little sister?  Danni’s singing career was hardly long-lasting or exceptional (can anyone name a Danni song?).  The last I heard of her before she started ‘talent judging’ (and can anyone honestly believe that the ‘judges’ aren’t hand-fed which acts to pick?) was being in the Grease stage-show. 

      TLDR: Danni Minogue’s “talent” is being related to someone famous.

    • pete says:

      01:16pm | 04/09/12

      I believe I’ve asked this question regarding McFadden on the punch before. How is he still in the country?

    • cityboy says:

      01:24pm | 04/09/12

      Same with the Melbourne Cup: they always import some non-entity to sit around guzzling nice champagne!  Beyond pathetic!

    • Emily says:

      01:32pm | 04/09/12

      I for one LOVE Mel B on X Factor.
      So much more character and personality than the other judges, and isn’t afraid to speak the truth. She’s hilarious!

      Plus when she was pregnant it was guaranteed she’d ask the hot young men to take their tops off during their auditions smile

    • Carolyn says:

      01:34pm | 04/09/12

      A contestant on either X Factor or Australia’s Got Talent had a go at one of the ex-boy banders….Brian or Ronan, I can’t recall which one (they are both interchangable). The contestant was a solo singer/guitarist, and after he performed, one of the boy-band imports made a comment. The contestant replied that it “was not my goal to be in a boy-band, chief”.  A massive “oooohhhhh” from the live audience - the boy-band import judge was neither happy nor impressed. It was great to see somebody call these boy-band has-been tossers out on what they actually are!! The down side was that the performer came back and apologised for his comment. Damn!!

    • MB says:

      02:17pm | 04/09/12

      What a pointlessly bitter and nasty article. I think there is enough negativity coming from all the comments on this site and those it is affiliated with; Do we really need that sort of garbage from the bloggers as well?

      Ok so the imported talent on these shows are no longer at the height of their fame - if they were, they wouldnt be panalists / judges on TV shows in *any* country, including ours - but most of the people you have referred to have achieved a greater level of success in their time than 99.99% of any of the artists this country has produced (im not saying thats an indication of their talent level because it obviously isnt). Furthermore, they wouldnt last for more than 1 season if people didnt enjoy watching them.

      I think we should be more concerned with how dismal our entertainment industry is that we do not support emerging artists sufficiently to give them the opportunity to become as big stars as Mel B, Kelly Rowlands etc have been during their careers.

    • the cynic says:

      02:55pm | 04/09/12

      Why stop at the entertainment industry has everyone forget there is an import sitting in Parliament that definitely lacks talent, integrity, moral fibre, kills the speaking tone and lies to boot. The only thing in her favour is she can act and fool about 50% of the population, makes the other 50% look good.

    • Brett says:

      03:51pm | 04/09/12

      Basingthwaite? Keating? Imbruglia?

    • J.D says:

      04:12pm | 04/09/12

      Note to Lucy Kippist: those shows, still being run overseas also, have other countries talent appearing as judges, has-been or not, appearing on them.

      Outside the box…its a far better place to be if you’re going to be a columnist..

    • Jimson says:

      04:45pm | 04/09/12

      All the talented people died years ago, now we have TV commercials pushing the Great Mass of un-talented has-beens into our faces, trying to con us into believing how good/BAD they are….and even the ads are sickening…!
      Guy .... urkkkk…...Sebastian, Mel Bgone and other judges…..obviously have never encountered TALENT in their boring lives.

    • D says:

      05:41pm | 04/09/12

      You forgot Ronan Keating: Television’s most annoying man.

    • Stephen Clowes says:

      07:16pm | 04/09/12

      After reading your article about “D” celebrities I now know why you are a writer and I’m not. You’ve said exactly what I have been thinking but have been unable to articulate as well as you so thank you, although Britain could probably make similar comments when they consider the truly awful no-talent Dannii Minogue having been inflicted on them.
      On an unrelated subject, which nobody seems to have commented upon, the Governor-General. What is this dreadful woman doing swanning around refugee camps in Jordan? I thought she was supposed to be Queen Elizabeth’s representative. How long have Jordan and Syria been part of the Commonwealth? She is apparently such a tyrant as a boss that she can’t keep staff. She had the same problem apparently when she was the Governor of Queensland. How are these people appointed?

    • Km says:

      07:38pm | 04/09/12

      The ‘ex stars’ are playing corporate gigs. Saw Marcia at one recently and that girl rocked.

 

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