The sheer squee and fabulousness of it all – I recommend it to everyone. MK has peppered me with all sorts of zany qus, so I shall start at the start. I wore a Korean-style crossover top, with black pants and gold winkle-pickers. I was lavishly rained on, on the way there so the coiff was a little flat, but they foofed it up with hairspray.
I dumped my stuff in the dressing room, and headed to ‘makeup’ for my encounter with a trowel. I can report that everyone had their noses in the Herald-Sun, and when I handed Livinia a copy, which had slipped behind my chair – she thanked me charmingly. Although she is my age, she is half my weight. Ed and Livinia were PARTICULARLY interested in a review of their show. It said something like ‘they seem to have a good rapport, and seem to enjoy themselves.’ They pounced upon this with delight and read it out in braying tones with much punchings of arms. One chap said ‘don’t start up those rumours again!’ They all then proceeded to – and correct me if the term is wrong – talk shop. Ed also seemed to call everyone ‘darlin’, ‘sweetie’ and ‘babes’.
I thought the Amazonian makeup ladies might do something cool with my hair, but they just yanked on a curl and said ‘oooh, it just does its own thing, doesn’t it?’ Then they hauled out the spakfilla and just lobbed it at my face. It took a good 15 mins to apply, which didn’t make me too happy as everyone else got a quick flick with the powder. I thought I looked like Dr Frank-N-Furter, but was assured I’d look normal on camera.
As for the other contestants? All good fun. I overhead the chaps in their dressing room impressing each other – I distinctly heard one say “Well in my spare time I climb live volcanoes”. I know this for a fact as I wrote it down. How to describe the ladies? Nicely – country Mums. From all over. In the loo, there was a long chat about lactation specialists, and photos of bubs from the full spectrum of attractiveness were produced. I cooed at the right moments.
After a briefing session about not making gun-shapes at our heads at the prizes – ho for the studio! All I can say is they must have some incredible wide-angle lens to shoot the show. It looked like a dolls house. They filled up the audience with schoolkids, and kept them entertained with doughnuts and Pete Smith. I think he still gets his jokes from the Coles Funny Picture Book, but the kids thought he was great. The contestant co-ordinator assured us she is capable of just blocking it out now, even the Gary Lyon doll ventriloquist act. Anyway, I think I got on because the co-ordinator (who does what looks like a long and tiring job bloody well) recognised the family similarity. I was only on standby, and when I got on the third show (they tape five in a day), I think a few contestants were miffed – ho!
The makeup girls came over for another go with their shovels, and I got ‘miked up’ (write in if my Industry terms confuse you). An older bloke looked me over appraisingly and strolled over to say ‘thanks for wearing some colour – it makes a change from all the blokes in suits’. I said ‘happy to oblige. I hope the shirt isn’t too lairy for telly!’ After this, the co-ordinator scurried over to ask breathlessly: ‘what did he say to you?’ I told her and she informed me he was At The Top. Like, over the Executive Producer. She even went so far as to say that he was the Head of All Light Entertainment in Australia. I was suitably awed. You may all stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Let me say their stage and podium is the dinkiest thing ever – the back of it is all gaffer tape, black rubber sheeting and scrunched up lolly wrappers. Rather than thinking ‘I am about to be watched by thousands of people’, I thought, ‘am I about to accidentally brush any exposed wires’, which in its way, is reassuring. Calm ensued. So instead of puking over the competition as I was worried I’d do, I was not too bad!
The finer details? Well it airs in a few weeks, so you’ll have to check it out! In a nutshell, I rocked the first round, and won prizes worth nearly $6000. AND NOBODY WILL KNOCK MY KNOWLEDGE OF TRASH EVER AGAIN.