Considering Lady Gaga is all about her fans, it shouldn’t be any surprise that she managed to sneak in two, not-so-secret Sydney performances ahead of her Wednesday night concert at Town Hall. After landing on Saturday and taping a special A Current Affair episode with Tracy Grimshaw yesterday — where she talked about religion, fashion and politics, and finished off with a medley of songs in a glass box — Lady Gaga made her way to Darlinghurst at night to the clubs Nevermind and ARQ. Thanks to an afternoon tweet that said, “Thinking of going out in Sydney Tonight. How I wish we had a show. NEVERMIND, don't listen to me. Maybe i'll just go for a walk in the pARQ,” fans started lining up at the two venues to get a glimpse of their favourite star. And after telling Tracy Grimshaw on ACA how much she loved Sydney, Lady Gaga had the love officially returned when Lord Mayor Clover Moore declared her an honorary citizen for being a “powerful force for the gay and lesbian community in Sydney . . . We have a rare honour for people whose achievements embrace the ideals and spirit of our city.”
On Sunday night, Channel Nine screened a special episode of A Current Affair in which Melinda O’Donnell, niece of former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes, came out and accused her uncle of molesting her multiple times before the age of ten. This follows on from when his Hey Dad! child co-star Sarah Monahan made the same allegations against him in March last year. Melinda also gave an interview to Today Tonight which aired last night, where she made the allegations again. (She says he “grabbed me, tickled me and touched me inappropriately.”)
Now Robert’s daughter, Jessica, has released a statement defending her father. She said, “I am appalled and outraged about claims made on national television regarding my father and my childhood. To imply I have ever been involved in, or was aware of, these sordid allegations is offensive and completely untrue.” Jessica also believes that the media have been using her father for the sake of ratings, and thinks money is the reason Melinda is only speaking out now. Robert now lives in Singapore. NSW police are still in the middle of their investigation.
Pictured: Robert in a scene from Hey Dad!, and Melinda from her Today Tonight interview.
Matthew Newton started circling the drain back in March when he was thrown out of a Melbourne hotel after causing $4000 worth of damage. During a trip to Rome in August, he proposed to girlfriend Rachael Taylor but then allegedly chased her through a hotel lobby, punching her in the face and causing her to hit her head on the marble floor. He was soon sacked as host of The X Factor and checked himself into a Sydney clinic. Matt’s distraught parents, Bert and Patti Newton, appeared on A Current Affair, while Rachael took out an AVO and scored a guest role on Grey’s Anatomy. Meanwhile, Matt is still receiving treatment and is expected to be released before Christmas.
Last night A Current Affair aired an exclusive at-home interview with Glenn McGrath and his fiancée Sara Leonardi. The couple opened up about their new family life but remained tight-lipped about any upcoming wedding plans, only revealing that Sara is more inclined to choose a simple wedding dress over an extravagant one. She has also moved in with the McGraths; her stepmother duties include overseeing Holly and James’ homework. Of the kids, Sara says, “I couldn’t have asked for better children, really, so I’m blessed.” They’ll debut their new family unit in a very public way, when Sara joins Glenn and the kids in an upcoming ad for Nintendo Wii. And if he faced any criticism for getting engaged only two years after losing first wife Jane to breast cancer, everyone can see now how Sara has brought joy back to the McGrath household. As they enjoy their engagement, Glenn says, “As a family it’s good to be happy again and looking forward to the future.”
Now that the dust is beginning to settle on the whole Australia’s Next Top Model live finale fiasco, Foxtel and the producers of ANTM have said that they don’t blame host Sarah Murdoch for what happened. In a media release, Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said:
“In live television, mistakes can happen and we accept that fact. Sarah was simply not given the correct information at that stage of the proceedings. Foxtel is not blaming any individual, and certainly not Sarah Murdoch, as some reports have suggested. That is not true. Sarah dealt with a very difficult situation with grace, dignity and professionalism.”
Walsh went on to acknowledge how much interest and buzz surrounded the event, but that he hoped “the focus will shift to the new careers of Amanda Ware, Kelsey Martinovich and all the girls who have made this series of Australia’s Next Top Model our most successful ever.”
It definitely seems like everyone has emerged as winners out of this. Amanda won the competition; Kelsey scored kudos for graciously accepting she actually hadn’t won (plus her runners-up prize isn’t too shabby—a trip to New York, $25,000 cash and her own Harper’s BAZAAR cover!); Sarah further endeared herself as Australia’s sweetheart after her ACA interview; and the finale made international headlines—more publicity than they could have ever expected. See, success all ’round!
Photo supplied by FOXTEL
The Australia's Next Top Model saga continues as Sarah Murdoch appeared on A Current Affair last night to explain her side of the story. The gist of the stuff up? The last piece of information Sarah was given was that Kelsey was in the lead ("Kelsey, one") and Amanda was behind ("Amanda, two"), moments before the winner's announcement was to be made. Relying solely on her ear piece, Sarah waited for the final confirmation to be fed through to her, only to be left hanging with silence. Instead of calling for technical help or waiting until the feed came through, Sarah assumed that Kelsey was still in the lead and announced her as the winner. This, it seems, is why the term "miscommunication" has been thrown around by Sarah and Foxtel to explain the mishap. As much as I'm on Team Sarah, I do question her instincts on this one. Announcing the winner is the sole reason for the live finale, so why did she leave it to chance to announce who she thought was the right girl? Wouldn't you double, even triple check (a la Gretel Killeen on Big Brother)? And if the ear piece did go blank at the crucial moment, shouldn't she have made the crew aware of the problem? I hate to say it, but it seems a little like a bad judgement call to me. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!
She held her silence for most of yesterday, but last night Sarah Murdoch—along with finalists Amanda Ware and Kelsey Martinovich—gave an exclusive interview to A Current Affair to give her side of what happened at the Australia’s Next Top Model live finale, when she mistakenly announced Kelsey as the winner before correcting herself and saying it was actually Amanda. The incident has made headlines worldwide, and while she was on live TV Sarah said the information had been “fed to me wrong.” Then Foxtel’s publicity director Jamie Campbell said it was miscommunication, a sentiment Sarah echoed on ACA.
When Karl Stefanovic asked Sarah what she heard through her earpiece, she admitted that at the time of the announcement she heard nothing, but that moments before the last thing she had heard was, “Kelsey, one, Amanda, two.” She made a judgement call and announced Kelsey as the winner, only later realising what had happened. Sarah told Karl, “We had to clear this up in that moment. We had to make it right.” So in the end it all came down to a technical glitch—something that could’ve been avoided if they gave Sarah a card with the winner’s name, though they deliberately avoided it. What does Sarah think of live TV now? She laughed, saying, “Don’t know if I love live TV so much anymore. Might go for pre-recorded.” You can watch the full interview here.
Hmm. So when Sarah Murdoch accidentally announced Kelsey Martinovich as the winner of Australia’s Next Top Model, even though the actual winner was Amanda Ware, she claimed on live TV that the information had been “fed to me wrong.” While Sarah has been unavailable for comment today, Foxtel’s director of publicity Jamie Campbell contradicted her statement when he appeared on Sky News this morning. While he admitted that there had been miscommunication between Sarah on stage and the directors in the control room at the back of Luna Park, he denied she had been given the wrong information through her earpiece. He said:
“Look, as it turned out she was given information that was written on a card in front of her off the stage and at the time she’d previously been given the name Kelsey because earlier on in the night Kelsey was the first person to be put through after Sophie was eliminated. So in the heat of the moment in live TV with 2000 people in the audience Kelsey’s name was read out and it was just the wrong name.”
It seems like there were a lot of things pointing to possible complications on the night. Why was Sarah still holding a card with Kelsey’s name on it? Why did the network leave voting lines open so late instead of closing it early for a certain result? Or does it all come down to Sarah’s nerves getting the better of her? Apparently she’s due to appear on A Current Affair tonight to share her side of the story, but for now, who do you think is responsible for what has been dubbed “reality TV’s most shocking moment”?
Photo supplied by FOXTEL
Rachael Taylor is reportedly unhappy with Bert and Patti Newton for airing ex-fiance Matt Newton’s dirty laundry on A Current Affair. The distraught couple appeared on the show last Monday to talk about their troubled son and their fears for his safety. According to Woman’s Day, Rachael was astounded that they would go on TV to tell the world about his mental instability without his knowledge or permission. One of Rachael’s closest friends spoke to the magazine saying, “She feels Matthew’s very public family life—from birth and not of his choosing—is the key to his anger issues.” Rachael’s parents have also spoken out, telling the Sunday Telegraph that they are “angry” and “bitter” at Matthew and were shattered by revelations that he allegedly assaulted their daughter at least five times during their turbulent relationship. Friends say Rachael will not be pressing criminal charges regarding the incident in Rome, which allegedly left her with a sprained jaw, concussion and bruising, but will seek legal action for incidents that happened in Australia. According to Rachael’s father, Nigel, the actress is back in Los Angeles, adding, “She’s doing auditions because there’s no point moping around. She’s too strong for that.”
A Current Affair’s Tracy Grimshaw is certainly having a good week, first she scored an interview with Bert and Patti Newton and last night she sat down with Aussie icon Paul Hogan. The Australian Taxation Office believes Hoges owes millions in unpaid taxes and won’t allow him to leave the country. Meanwhile, he says that he never used offshore accounts as tax havens and actually "paid too much" in taxes. Hogan said he will fight until his name is cleared and that doesn’t want special treatment because he is a celebrity. What do you think—should Hoges be allowed to go back to California to his wife and son while the tax issue is sorted?