by Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA in
The pre-match entertainment line-up for Saturday's Grand Final between
The revamp also sees this year's Australian Idol finalists being omitted from the pre-match line-up. It is only the second time in the five years of the televised talent competition that its singers have been overlooked. A Channel Ten spokeswoman confirmed the AFL's decision not to include the 12 Idol finalists, claiming the game wanted to "boost" its pre-match entertainment by including "bigger name international acts who may even help flog the game overseas". (Ten have the rights to both the GF and Australian Idol this year) The spokeswoman denied rumours that Idol finalists were upset at not being able to perform at the MCG before an expected crowd of 90,000. "No, they're all excited that they get to perform in Federation Square on the Wednesday before the Grand Final, so they'll still be performing to a crowd of tens of thousands," she said.
The Idol finalists snub comes after the AFL revealed that pop singer and former TV soap star Natalie Bassingthwaighte would sing the Australian national anthem before the start of the match. Bassingthwaighte, lead singer with the Rogue Traders, said from
Bassingthwaighte's performance comes ahead of the release of the band's highly anticipated third studio album Better in the Dark on October 13. The first single from the album, Don't You Want to Feel, will be released on the day of the GF. Bassingthwaighte, who played Izzy Hoyland in long-running soap Neighbours from 2003 to 2006, will share top billing at the MCG with home-grown rockers Jet. Both Rogue Traders and Jet are pushing into the lucrative
A new feature for the GF pre-match this year will be a parade of as many as 100 AFL-VFL premiership cups, collected from the 15 clubs that have won over the years. Essendon great James Hird will be farewelled alongside fellow AFL retirees including Glenn Archer, Luke Darcy, Anthony Koutoufides and Mark Ricciuto. Coaching greats Kevin Sheedy and Denis Pagan will also be honored.
The long-awaited revamp for the pre-match entertainment came after the AFL copped flak for choosing American Irene Cara as a headline act in last year's title decider between
Sources: Herald Sun, Sydney Sunday Telegraph, afl.com.au
Article last changed on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 11:42 PM EDT