Don’t we have enough home grown has-beens?
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.
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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