Social media exploded on Sunday night during the broadcast of The Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony as what was supposed to be a celebration of the eleven days of competition limped to a disappointing conclusion.
Channel 7 Commonwealth Games hosts’ Basil Zempilas and games medal winner Joh Griggs slammed the organisers for failing to put the athletes at the heart of the closing show. Organisers had brought the athletes into the Carrara stadium before broadcast began, denying watchers the traditional spectacle of the flag-bearers parade.
“We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made the decision not to show the flag-bearers. I’m furious. Actually wrecking a tradition that is so important,” Ms Griggs said.
“There’s no athletes in here. I’ve never seen the stadium so empty.”
— 7CommGames (@7CommGames) April 15, 2018
Thousands of viewers were very vocal on twitter, expressing their opinion on all aspects, from the numerous, lengthy speeches to the musical performances as well as the disappearance of the athletes and the half-empty stadium.
— Dan Oliver (@danwaterski) April 15, 2018
That commentary from @JohGriggs7 and @BasilZempilas (@JaseRicho too) after the #ClosingCeremony is sensational. Never ever heard such honest and brutal criticism on a broadcast, deservedly so too after arguably the most embarrassing night in Australia’s cultural history #GC2018
— Andrew Hawkins (@AndrewNJHawkins) April 15, 2018
Where are the athletes?!! Disrespectful not to have them the focus of tonight & especially not to show Kurt carry the flag..so disappointing #ClosingCeremony
— Janene (@Nenie71) April 15, 2018
Many watchers pointed out that at the end of most games, athletes would be dancing, taking candid closing ceremony selfies and there would have been a party atmosphere in the whole stadium.
the highlight of the closing ceremony is always seeing the athletes partying and having a good time after the stress and pressure of the past few months and we haven't seen a SINGLE SHOT OF THEM what the hell are you doing @channel7?!?! #GC2018 #ClosingCeremony
— sarahj (@nonaearp) April 15, 2018
The musical performances during the ceremony were difficult to watch. Australia’s biggest musical ‘stars’ like Guy Sebastian, Anthony Callea, Rikki-Lee, Samantha Jade, Dami Im, The Veronicas as well as legend Kate Ceberano all took the stage but bizarrely not one of them performed their own songs. The strangest performance was Kate Ceberano singing a cover song when literally moments before was another singer (Ceberano look alike?) covering Ceberano’s song.
— Nez (@fraggle73) April 15, 2018
Song choices were also poor. The slow paced songs killing the mood of the people who decided to stay through to the end.
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
With the ceremony being broadcast globally, these local artists had the opportunity to share their own music through televisions across the globe and put Australian music on the global stage. However, it was really disappointing to hear cover songs of Aussie hits, highlighting the fact that those major artists with the huge world-wide hits couldn’t be brought down to close the games.
Apologies to overseas guests. Australia DOES have some great performers but they weren’t available for the #ClosingCeremony
— Dave (@sportluvr64) April 15, 2018
Again, it came down to the organisers of the ceremony, it’s not the fault of the artists, it’s the decisions made by the organisers on how the show should run.
Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie took to twitter on Monday morning to take responsibility and apologies for many of those decisions.
It was a disappointing end to what was a huge fortnight for Australian athletes. Regaining the Commonwealth Games number one spot, Australia smashed its competition. 80 gold medals and 59 medals in each shade of silver and bronze totalling of 198, they smashed their runner up and rivals, England by a huge 62 medals.
Hopefully viewers across the globe will remember the inspirational stories and the records broken when they look back on the Gold Coast 2018 games and not allow the letdown of the closing ceremony fog that memory.
All everyone wanted to see…
— Kurt Fearnley (@kurtfearnley) April 15, 2018