‘Closing ceremony deserved backlash’: Guy Sebastian
GUY Sebastian has broken his silence on the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony debacle, saying the show deserved the backlash.
However, he said the anger directed at the performers was unwarranted as they did not "run" or "organise it" and sang for free because "I love my country".
Nearly a month after athletes were snubbed and performances widely panned at the closing ceremony, the Battle Scars singer and four-time ARIA Award winner told the Gold Coast Bulletin:
"I think it's deserved (the backlash), but none of us performers got paid for that.
"I had paparazzi accosting me outside my hotel the next day saying 'Why'd you make it all about you?' I'm like 'dude, I didn't run it. I didn't organise it, I'm here for free'.
"We thought we were serving the Commonwealth. For me, it's a prestigious opportunity. I love my country, I wanted to contribute to a great Games.
"As performers, it was a bit disheartening that something we were involved in didn't have a lot of positivity attached to it."
Sebastian, one of Australian's most successful artists, performed his latest single, Bloodstone, at the April 15 ceremony.
Along with other songs at the show, it was criticised for having little relevance to the sporting event and stealing the spotlight from the athletes.
Others in the spotlight included Kira Puru singing Kate Ceberano's hit Bedroom Eyes, Kate Ceberano performing The Divinyls' Boys In Town, Samantha Jade singing I Need Your Body, the reprisal of Olivia Newton-John's Xanadu, and Katie Noonan, Emma Donovan, The Veronicas, Kate Ceberano and Samantha Jade's portrayal of feminist anthem Sisters are Doing it For Themselves.
Sebastian, who will be back on the Coast on July 6 for his Then & Now 2018 tour at The Star, said he had no idea how badly the ceremony would play out.
"There's a company that was paid a heck of a lot of money to put on an event that was meant to reflect the Commonwealth Games, reflect the spirit - reflect a lot of things," said Sebastian, a former Australian Idol winner and X Factor judge.
"I had meetings about the event beforehand with the guy who was heading it up and their focus was really on the volunteers.
"And there was a lot of focus on them, but I always assumed the actual stars of the Games (the athletes) would be there, too.
"I assumed there'd be athletes walking around, cheering, waving flags with their countries.
"We were in a kind of bunker in the basement while it was playing out. We had no idea what was playing out or that there was people filing out of the stadium."