I’ve been looking forward to Kylie’s Showgirls show coming on TV for literally months. I missed the last one you see, and for about three weeks afterwards felt like my life had lost a bit of sunshine. Glitz is my hobby: I adore it all, feathers, glitter, high heels and razzle-dazzle – bloody brilliant. The highlight of my teens was being given both a marabou trimmed boudoir outfit and an actual train to sit in while I sang ‘Shuffle Off To Buffalo’. At that point my whole life jumped a very ritzy shark.
“I’m likely to get hyperactive and scream a lot,” I warn my Housemate as we settled down to it last night.
“How am I supposed to tell that from normal?” he says, crushingly. I sulked into my frozen yoghurt Ben & Jerry’s (don’t be fooled, there is one chocolate brownie in the entire tub, this is why it doesn’t make you fat).
After an unnecessarily drawn-out opening during which we are asked to guess who is starring in the show (K…Y…L… ooh, that bloke from Sex and the City, obv) Kylie turns up and stands very still, grinning for about five minutes. “It’s so lovely to be ha-owm!” she beams, another girl the UK has conveniently adopted for their own because our own celebs are mostly gash. Oh well. The reason for her general stillness must surely rest with the fact that she is covered in feathers and looks like Vogue’s Christmas leftovers (see picture). She’s also very delicately but unmistakeably giving the finger to someone. Housemate suggests it’s the one ostrich who escaped the Australian cull in the making of her outfit: “Come back! Kylie needs a shrug!”
Some songs. Hmm. First costume change brings Kylie out in a MIND-BOGGLINGLY awful fright wig that looks like Andy Warhol is trying to commune with her face, and she and her dancers do too many songs in 90s clothing while smiley faces and sunflowers flash up on the screen. It’s horrible. It carries on for ages. Somewhere out there, Gene Kelly is tap dancing his way out of his grave to come and kill the choreographer in his sleep.
“This one’s shit. What an appalling abuse of Kylie goodwill,” says Housemate making judicious use of the fast forward button. I’m too cross with the lack of fat in my skinny bitch ice cream to notice. Some karate kids come out and do some BBC ident dancing while Kylie changes into what Housemate calls her “Tit-off-khamen” outfit. He’s a lawyer, he’s already going to hell. It’s vaguely Egyptian and there’s a respectable lack of material. If the world’s glitter resources were in trouble after outfits one and two, three pushes them over the edge: the poor girl can barely see and one of her dancers has to use the fake-marionette-on-invisible-string method to drag her into ‘Confide In Me’. I loved Kylie’s indie period even if nobody else did, and it’s also clearly her best song, partly because it sounds nothing like the usual trying-to-be-Madonna stuff from the 90s, and also, it’s brilliant.
Kylie goes off for another inch of glitter and a bald man comes on to do some breakdancing, but he is deeply unattractive so we don’t care. There should be a clause that says that only fit people are allowed near capoeira-based activities. Bald man makes aggressive ‘CLAP ME YOU FUCKERS’ gestures at the audience who go “woo” politely. He gets a big stick and waves it about. Still not caring. As a last resort, he rather impressively throws himself down the steps backwards. Mild levels of caring. He rips off his trousers to reveal teeny weeny party pants with a daring Speedo stripe. “Eeurghhhhh!” Housemate and I chorus at the television. All chaos then lets loose when a new set rises out of the stage and a fleet of muscley men are revealed rubbing each other in showers I kid you not. I watched five episodes of Oz yesterday and there wasn’t this much homoerotica. For no apparent reason Kylie then rises out of the stage in the most appalling leopard suit complete with cutesy ears and red boxing gloves.
“Why is she sitting on a black pudding?” asks Housemate dismissively. It’s actually a gym horse – we’re in a gym! Is this not the gayest and least Minogue-flattering scenario you’ve ever seen? – but too obscured with men in tiny pants for that fact to be especially clear. Tiny-panted men then fall flat on the floor, presumably with boredom at her not being Judy Garland or a man, and Ms Kylie takes the opportunity to wail a bit of ‘Wild Rose’. As Nick Cave is too busy being The Shit to come and sing (see also Robbie Williams, replaced by a warbling backing singer on ‘Kids’) it comes to an abrupt halt after four lines, at which point the men in pants wake up and do such a frenziedly absurd dance routine to ‘Red Blooded Woman’ that I temporarily lose the ability to breathe. Imagine Legz Akimbo taking contemporary dance lessons from the Vauxhall Bearlesque and you’re still not even close.
It’s got to be nearly over: please god let it be over. This would never have happened to Madonna. Thing is, while Kylie certainly is both a national treasure and a top popstrel, she is a popstrel. Despite looking like a llama in lycra, Madonna has a back catalogue to kill your entire family for, whereas pre-2002, Kylie only has about three good tunes. While Madonna’s clearly had more sex than you or I will ever get and is totally comfortable with herself, Kylie wobbles a dangerous line between sex kitten (that ‘Slow’ video, Oliver Martinez) and virginal heroic icon (those gold hotpants were adorable rather than shoot your load sexy, see also outstandingly gay choreography and dancers, replace Garland drug battle with Minogue cancer) and tonight she doesn’t make either.
The show’s supposed to be all about her, but she just looks like a horrifically dressed fag hag. The organisers pander so heavily towards her hardcore gay fans that they might as well have beamed a Kylie cut-out onto a screen for all the importance her actual presence is given. It’s all about the dancers and their tiny pants (weights for Chrissakes, they’ve got WEIGHTS) and Kylie isn’t given the opportunity to flaunt herself at all. Fair enough, she’s probably not feeling her topper-most after all that treatment, but the stylist and choreographer should have nursed her through it instead of putting her in such godawful costumes. Glamour people! Glamour! (Note that this does NOT mean seating her in a glittery moon while wearing what appears to be a full-length Hallmark card in order to sing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. If you must rip off Judy, then at least nick a more original song.)
There was another 77 minutes to go, but I lost the will to watch any more. Kylie is sufficiently fabulous to warrant a pigeonhole of her own rather than being shoved into someone else’s so I skulk off to watch Singin’ In The Rain for proper ritz and fun. Minogue might be sweet as the Green Fairy, but she hasn’t got the balls necessary to fill Cyd Charisse’s green dress. No hyperactive gays were used in the making of that number.