WHAT’S AGE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
The day after a reality TV show finishes always has a post-coital feel.
Winner of The Voice Karise Eden with runner-up Darren Percival.
No matter how white hot with longing and urgency we were only seconds before the result is announced, now that we’re sated we’re looking at our watches and wondering how long before we can politely leave.
So I won’t take up much of your time.
But even though I genuinely loved The Voice, and am thrilled for winner Karise Eden who knocked it out of the park when it counted, something about the show niggled me. No, not Seal’s three-quarter-length white tuxedo pants, or that, by the end, Rachael appeared to have been calved from Delta, like a tiny blow-dried cloning experiment.
It wasn’t even that the word “journey” was repeated so often I expected Steve Perry to appear and reprise Don’t Stop Believin’.
It was the way that Darren Percival, who took out the silver medal, was discussed in the media – both social and the cremains of print.
I ended up wanting to punch our culture in the face.
Don’t get me wrong, Percival got a lot of support, which he should because the man is a joy machine, but during the past couple of weeks, whenever his chances of winning were being assessed, he was universally dismissed for being ‘middle-aged’, as though being ‘middle-aged’ is a repulsive and contagious disease which shouldn’t be allowed out ‘in public’.
“If you haven’t made it big by 40, there’s a reason,” said one commentator, who I won’t name because they don’t deserve the oxygen. Others kindly pointed out there’s no ‘commercial’ market for Percival, saying the best he could hope for is RSL clubs, an album for Mother’s Day, and corporate gigs.
How horrifying for Percival, to be in demand with, excuse me while I gag, mothers.
To ‘at best’ have to resign himself to performing for 30 minutes or so for 10 grand minimum a pop to a room full of bankers on a team bonding weekend.
For one thing, that says more about the dire state of the music biz than it does about Percival. And, at the risk of being Captain Obvious, these are extremely lucrative commercial gigs. No, not ‘cool’, but where is it written that a career has to be ‘cool’? Unless you’re Nick Cave, ‘cool’ lasts you 10 minutes in this industry.
It was even said that if he got over the line it would be ‘The Mummy Bloggers’ who got him there. Talk about invalidating a support base with one or two supercilious strokes of the keyboard.
Can’t have that. Women with children, opinions, and access to the internet, championing someone whose music they like. How dare they?
Why is that kind of support, that kind of career, not valid? What the hell is wrong with being able to shift tens of thousands of units for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and even – shudder – Valentine’s Day? It hasn’t hurt Michael Buble. Or Harry Connick Jnr.
Cards on the table, I effing love Darren Percival, who’s already been in the biz for 25 years. I know him on a cordial ‘how you doin’?’ basis, because we often appear at the same festivals. I’ve seen him perform many times around the country as Mr Percival, often at folk fests such as Woodford in Queensland, where he is already a star.
People adore him, for the same reasons they took to him on The Voice; he’s got a heart that makes Phar Lap’s look like last year’s walnut, and when he sings a direct current opens to happiness land. I’m pretty sure that’s why he nearly won The Voice despite being ‘middle-aged’.
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