Last weekend the annual wardrobe malfunction that is the Eurovision Song Contest provided a question and an unintended insight. The question was obvious - why did SBS bother sending Julia Zemiro overseas so she could be unfunny in Moscow when Thank God You're Here has proven conclusively she could be just as unfunny in a Melbourne studio - meanwhile, as the ebb and flow of performers washed across the stage, I started to understand why Tina Arena is popular in France.
There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of competition.
Even weirdly compelling also-rans Marko Kon & Milaan or Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy didn’t have the sort of die-in-a-ditch-to-sell-this-shit stagecraft that a few years in the Johnny Young talent gulag imparts. Of course, at 32, Arena was a mere baby when she picked up stumps and moved to Paris.
I know this thanks to Damien Brown who, in Saturday's Hobart Mercury, memorably described Libbi Gore as a, “44-year-old wildchild, also known for her alter-ego Elle McFeast who hosted a sports-comedy program 20 years ago”. I’m assuming Damien is either (a) immensely elderly or (b) a 12-year-old who likes the phrase ‘wild child’ because it rhymes. To be fair he could’ve gone with “erstwhile slightly amusing comedian, now an attention deficient media tart, who used to tout for Jenny Craig” and still hit the sweet spot in terms of accuracy.
Two further factoids floated to the surface. While bogans are regularly pilloried for their use of creative spelling when naming their offspring, the chattering class can be just as naff. Case in point, the fruit of Libbi’s loins goes by the unlikely moniker of Ché Rodin Gorr Burchmore*.
Equally surprising, these days Gorr can be heard on ABC radio Hobart. I wonder if she’s managed to sign Tim Cox up for some Jenny Craig replacement shake goodness.
*Possibly named in honour of that other