Where next for the rainbow on Australian commercial television?
I don’t watch much television (the WWE network keeps me well occupied in my spare time 😊). Occasionally, however, all humans and some/all 4-legged critters at our place gather around the box while dining and watch what is on offer and for the last 10-14 weeks or so that has, on occasions, included “Dancing with the Stars.”
Now as someone who was thrown out of the Peter Garrett dance academy in the 1980s, I’m sure as heck not going to comment who was best placed to win.
I want to focus on Courtney Act (who ended the season as runner-up). Courtney has certainly pushed up rainbow positivity through the run on this season’s show. I’m not aware of any homo/transphobia from the show (although I saw an idiotic comment on Gogglebox from someone watching the show). I think it’s been pretty good overall.
Thing is, where next? When I watch the vocal type of reality TV shows, in around 90% of cases the males do songs where a male sang lead (either solo or in a band) and 90% of females doing songs sung by females. Further, it’s a pretty cis-gender-hetero-normative approach re song choice e.g. blokes doing Barnesy and females doing Rhianna etc This percentage applies whether the singers are citizens e.g. The Voice or celebs (there was the show a while back where a celeb was paired with a top singer called “It Takes Two.”). The pairs overwhelmingly appeared as cis-het doing cis-het songs.
So, there’s the next frontier post-Courtney. I’ll throw a hypothetical out there. Let’s say someone in the mould of the late Chrissie Amphlett (Divinyls, bless her memory) went on one of these shows today. I wonder if she would get more than 15 seconds at audition. Would a female-identifying person, cis or trans, go forward if she turned up in low-cut frock and heels – and covered AC/DC in a natural voice at the lower end of the vocal range? Or male identified in a higher voice range in plaid shirt singing to Spice Girls? And a non-binary person?
Food for thought. I’m off to find my karaoke backing tracks of Guns’n’Roses “Paradise City” and Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast.” Well, tomorrow morning anyway…