Wigglegate

In 1975, Australia’s Governor-General sacked the Prime Minister at the culmination of a constitutional crisis.

That was big.

This week, there is Wigglegate.

This is bigger.

I once had an *ahem* adult dream about Jeff, the purple Wiggle.
I’m baffled too.

I’ll explain. The Wiggles are a children’s group and Australia’s top-earning entertainers. To give you some idea, they earn more than Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. A Wiggles DVD can turn the most feral moment into a singing and dancing free-for-all, or it can bring calm and quiet into your home. For that, I think they earn every cent. They also do a lot for children’s charities. Got a young child? Show them this:

Their concerts are legendary. They sell out all the big venues, and they also perform in local, smaller clubs. When tickets would go on sale near where we lived, a group of us would form a “calling bee” where we were each allocated times to sit on the phone and redial the phone number for tickets, over and over. Otherwise you risked not getting tickets. That, my friends, is too big a risk to take.

Their lead singer was Greg. He wore the yellow jumper and had big eyebrows. Everyone loved Greg and rightly so. Five years ago, Greg fell ill. It wasn’t life threatening, but he could no longer perform. He quit the band and was replaced by the lovable Sam, who had been one of their backup singers and dancers. The big question was: could Greg actually be replaced? Could Sam do it? And the answer was a joyful and resounding YES. Sam was, and is, amazing. We love Sam, just as we loved Greg.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

Happily, Greg is now better. Snaps for Greg! The group asked him to re-join, and he accepted. Happy days. But the big question was – what about Sam?

It was announced that Sam had “graciously stepped aside.” Hmmmm. After five years? Really?

Sam handing over the yellow jumper to Greg.
Or rather, Sam looking like he just ate a lemon, while Greg is positively chuffed.

One very awkward interview later, and it’s clear Sam had no choice. The Wiggles’ manager tried to quell the frenzy by likening it to the Rolling Stones – because they are so similar. He made the point that if Mick Jagger was replaced, and then able to re-join, he should be allowed to. Well, yes that’s true. But surely after five years, whoever replaced him is no longer filling in, but a real member of the band. Just as Sam was no longer viewed by fans as Greg’s replacement. And I think that’s where they stuffed up.

There’s been lots of talk about what Sam has been paid. Personally, I don’t think that is anyone’s business but theirs. There is also more going on than we could know.

So why should any of us care? Well, maybe you don’t and that’s fair enough. But I do. I’m not crying and tearing the clothes from my body (it’s too cold for that anyway) but my children adore The Wiggles, so I do too. I care that Sam, who is so likeable and talented, has been shafted. And I have to ask, what could be better than four Wiggles? That’s right – five Wiggles. Why couldn’t Greg have joined the group without replacing anyone? Why wasn’t I asked to be a Wiggle? Yes, I am asking the important questions here.

Again, I know there is more to it than that. We probably have no idea of the real story.

On the flip side, their Facebook page has livened up. There are thousands of comments, mostly expressing happiness for Greg and sadness for Sam. But there are some doozies along the lines of “I will never, EVER let my children watch you again!!” and “I will no longer wear yellow!!”

Yeah. Don’t wear yellow.  That’ll teach them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s