Helen Razer’s Reality Recap : Monday Night Television
Blame it on the boogie. Blame it on the rain. Heck, blame it on the evil reptile overlords who live at the centre of the planet in a luxury bunker with nuclear warheads and a gym. Wherever the blame, the case is clear: this week, television is the best part of life.
We pause now only to give thanks to all the gods. And what they wore.
Anyone who did not watch and enjoy Eurovision on SBS this past weekend is either (a) unwell or (b) so lacking in joie de vivre that a non-stop joy carnival staffed entirely by naked angels made of climaxes and candy floss would leave them unmoved. HOW GOOD WAS IT? It was as good as anything featuring an ensemble of Russian senior citizens singing songs about baking in national dress could possibly be.
The all-rocking, all-Granny outfit Babushki took out second prize in the world’s campest singing competition and seemed as happy as anyone who has just been freed from a Gulag labour camp and/or narrowly saved from execution by Putin’s personal army. The outright winner, on the other hand, appeared as though she was just about to feast on human flesh. Loreen of Sweden has a look that is best described as Zombie Cher and a sound that is best enjoyed at a club at 2am entirely populated by well-formed young men called Lachlan. How camp is the song Euphoria? It is camper than Christmastime, amyl nitrate and rainbow unicorns on roller-skates performing a choreographed tribute to the Broadway outfits of Barbra Streisand.
Perhaps we have Eurovision to thank for a week that has, thus far, been full of outrageous camp.
If we don’t count Barry Humphries (who actually made a tit of himself later that night on ABC1’s Q and A; more of that later) Mr M Preston is the nation’s foremost dandy and he did not disappoint Monday with his ongoing commitment to quality neck-wear. But, this upside-down cake elimination challenge was to be one of those episodes light on quips and lavender cravats and heavy on human folly.
If you missed it, you need to know two things: Kath the whiner who refuses to follow recipes is gone and even Maggie Beer makes shit desserts sometimes. I mean, I would probably sell a kidney for that woman’s icecream but what she was thinking putting verjuice in a cake is completely beyond me.
Maggie wore her signature white shirtwaist no-nonsense chic and M Preston made a brief appearance in sundry shades of purple that would have made a lesser man look like a lavatory ornament. Apart from that, it was all just more whining and aprons.
While the MasterChef contestants were stuffing Maggie’s savoury cake with pig liver, The Leveson Inquiry continued on ABC New 24. This investigation into the practises of British press following the News International phone hacking scandal featured one of its biggest stars on Monday. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair looked as though he had just stepped out of a fabulous vacation. Bronzed and wearing what may have been a bespoke navy suit, he described a meeting with Rupert Murdoch at Hayman Island. Just as I was wondering if Rupe and Tone took a marine exfoliating scrub at the day-spa, a protestor surprised all by accusing Blair of war crimes. This may be entirely true. But, damn, can that boy work a Tuscan tan.
Which is more than we can say for Delta. After her excellent work in style last week, it seems she turned the tan-hose to eleven once more. And, again, she paired this baine-marie orange with extensions. Why, Delta, why? And why did she sing Born to Try with her team while wearing what looked like a week-old crayfish on her head? And why did Diana Rouvas made another appearance in her directional tangerine cut-off tux? If ever there was a “statement” costume, that was it and seeing it again not only diminished its power but made a girl think, “Did someone take that to the dry cleaners and is it smelling less than femme fresh?”.
Sartorial instant of the night goes to Keith Urban who was “beamed in” from Los Angeles, I missed what Urban was doing that made it impossible for him to be in the studio but I can only presume it was some sort of Mullet Bayalage conference such was his over-worked hairdo. Anyhow. If you missed it, you dirty pervs, Keith flashed his dacks and a few centimetres of his snail-trail to the nation. Yes, he wears Calvin Klein and, yes, it would appear that Nicole is a fan of man-scaping.
We can only hope that Nicole was not a fan of Monday’s performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Anyone born before 1980 heard the death rattle of their relevance as Viktoria Bolonina took Cobain’s lyric, doused it in strawberry body spray and served it up on a bed of bloodless teenage ignorance. She wore an aquamarine fish-tail bedspread and trampled on all my dreams. I mean, FFS, I was once injured in a MudHoney stage-diving incident AND Courtney Love has personally threatened to beat me up. As you can imagine, I take this leak on my generation quite personally. Why is it even legal to cover Nirvana? And shouldn’t it be a serious offence to do so in sequins? And why was Delta moving sensually and anxiously in her swivel chair like a slow-loris in heat? After this, I really felt like I needed to have the menopause. I was old.
But, happily, not so old as the participants on Monday’s Q and A who were not dressed in anything resembling fashion but were, instead, clothed chiefly in hate.
I have always found it difficult to utter the respect I have for public intellectual David Marr and comic absurdist Barry Humphries; they are two of the nation’s better minds. But on Monday, they both deserved to be baked into a Maggie Beer savoury dessert. I shan’t go into detail but let’s just say that the only thing missing from this smug, sexist, self-serving dinner party was a fish-bowl containing the neighbours’ car keys. And perhaps a fondue set. We were back in 1972.
If only they had dressed the part.