It’s not often that you see TV anchors openly aiming barbs at the content being broadcast on their channel. But so atrocious was the execution of the 2018 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony that Jo Griggs and Basil Zempilas of Australia’s Channel 7 pulled no punches on air.
The pair – understandably given the fare offered – wasted no time in distancing themselves and their station from the rather cringe-worthy ceremony. Griggs stated, “People are thinking that Channel 7 has chosen not to show pictures of athletes or not to show the flagbearer, Kurt Fearnley or other flagbearers. We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters.”
The organisers had somehow seen fit to lay on a poetry slam, 40 minutes of speeches and a ‘reimagining’ of Olivia Newton-John and ELO’s hit song, Xanadu – yet didn’t deem it worthwhile to make the athletes part of proceedings. As Zempilas alluded to, how did such a well-run sporting event end up with such a poor closing ceremony?
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#ClosingCeremony glad because we are all discusted!!!! pic.twitter.com/RzwiTBtV0s
— Jacqui (@Jacqui_Drescher) April 15, 2018
Long before the end, spectators in the Carrara Stadium began to stream out, presumably bored out of their minds.
Hahaha! Do yourself a favour and look at the #ClosingCeremony. So funny. It’s so bad! Everyone is leaving pic.twitter.com/yg3R5wHn7Q
— Dan Oliver (@danwaterski) April 15, 2018
Not being inside the #ClosingCeremony I thought the show had ended judging by the stream of people leaving. Apparently not pic.twitter.com/nWaCMD2Kd1
— Lachlan Kennedy (@lachlan_kennedy) April 15, 2018
Predictably, social media reaction was brutal.
#ClosingCeremony I'm guessing this is the mastermind behind tonight's event?? pic.twitter.com/9WOF40H0Bo
— Ms Cinders of Sweary (@SwearyCinders) April 15, 2018
#ClosingCeremony It started out shit, then it got worse, now it’s entering uncharted territory.
— Watchmefly99 (@Watchmefly999) April 15, 2018
This closing ceremony is proudly produced and choreographed by a middle aged drama school teacher, experienced in fancy school pantomime’s & whose greatest form of inspiration was the first season of Australian idol and Carols in the domain? #ClosingCeremony
— TaniaThamae (@TaniaThamae) April 15, 2018
A smart tv would have turned itself off by now #GC2018 #ClosingCeremony
— Amelia Turner (@familiajade) April 15, 2018
There have been two marathons today. One by the athletes, the other by viewers who have made it to the end of #ClosingCeremony
— ⭕️ Reuben Skewes (@reubenskewes) April 15, 2018
Sooo where are the inspirational and uplifting songs with meaning to celebrate ATHLETES? This whole ceremony makes no sense and has no relevance to the athletes achievements over the last 11 days??? Pitiful and embarrassing … sorry world #ClosingCeremony
— Kylie Exelby (@KylieExelby) April 15, 2018
We'll never make fun of this bloke again after tonight ?#closingceremony #GC2018 pic.twitter.com/znyzx03XOO
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) April 15, 2018
Still, at least the next hosts, Birmingham, improved the tone of proceedings. Er, sort of:
Birmingham already in cost cutting mode ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games #brum #ClosingCeremony pic.twitter.com/JzrFt5xkND
— Dan Howe (@howedan) April 15, 2018
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Gold Coast: we're putting on the most cringeworthy closing ceremony imaginable.
Birmingham: hold my beer#ClosingCeremony
— Nez (@fraggle73) April 15, 2018