It was supposed to put the Gold Coast on the map, but last night’s Closing Ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has left many Australians furious.
Viewers have flooded social media with their disappointment in the event, while commentators have also slammed the dismal ceremony live on air. Many were angry that footage of the athletes entering the stadium was not broadcast. Given they were the ones who put their blood, sweat and tears into their various sporting events, viewers thought the athletes deserved a bit more respect. Others slammed the Ceremony as “boring”, criticising everything from singing performances and formalities.
During last night’s broadcast, commentators Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas vented their frustration at the two-and-a-half hour Ceremony. Given the backlash it was causing online, the pair didn’t have much choice.
“Look, we understand many people have been disappointed by tonight’s Closing Ceremony,” Zempilas explained as the show wrapped. “To be perfectly honest Jo, so have we. It hasn’t really lived up to expectations. I’ve got to say it’s about the only thing they got wrong. They did get it wrong tonight.”
While the Closing Ceremony and the Games were broadcast on Channel Seven, Griggs said that it wasn’t the network’s decision not to air athletes entering the village. Many believed that the station chose to air cooking show My Kitchen Rules, but Griggs noted this wasn’t the case.
“People are thinking that Channel Seven has chosen not to show pictures of athletes or not to show the flag-bearer Kurt Fearnley or other flag bearers,” Griggs said. “We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made decisions not to have athletes enter the stadium. They made the decision not to show the flag-bearers.”
Given that she is a former swimmer for Australia, she said she wasn’t happy about the decision.
“You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera,” Griggs continued. “You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport. We missed out on all of that. There’s no athletes in here. I’ve never seen the stadium so empty halfway through a ceremony.”
Viewers at home were also quick to vent their frustration online.
One person wrote: “Woah. You know things are bad when the commentators are ripping into how terrible the ceremony was and what bad decisions the organisers have made. Never seen that happen before #ClosingCeremony #CG2018”.
Another comment read: “Apologies to overseas guests. Australia DOES have some great performers but they weren’t available for the #ClosingCeremony”.
A third added: “There have been two marathons today. One by the athletes, the other by viewers who have made it to the end of #ClosingCeremony”.
It wasn’t just the Closing Ceremony that disappointed the nation. The Opening Ceremony was also slammed by viewers, with Alan Jones calling it “rubbish” and “insulting”. Meanwhile, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was spotted flicking through a magazine and looking bored when she was in attendance.
Still, it was one of Australia’s best results at the Commonwealth Games. Aussie athletes took home 80 gold medals, 59 silver and 59 bronze for a total of 198 medals. England finished in second place.