Friday: Soap Stars Revealed!

Last week we explored the murky depths of the pop world, where old soap stars come to die. You were asked to name the following ten soap stars and their songs:

How did you go? Answers after the jump…

Congratulations to Glenn from Stale Popcorn who did extremely well on this (although you’ll be kicking yourself over number 9, Glenn). As Glenn points out on his site, he comes from the birthplace of Portia de Rossi and therefore may have an innate understanding of trash culture. Check out his site, it’s grouse. Mr Fabulous correctly filled in the blanks, and we all had a good time.

So, without further ado, the answers are:

1. Bec Cartwright (Home & Away) – All Seats Taken

I’ll admit I had never heard this song before last week, and I suspect I’ll never hear it again. It certainly has the strangest lyrics of any song on the list – Bec appears to be using “dinner in a restaurant” as a metaphor for sex, but muddies the water with lines like “don’t need no ticket, don’t need no reservation” and “the DJ can take a hike”. So it’s not one of those restaurants you need to buy a ticket for, or has a DJ. Where the hell has Cartwright been eating? To add bewilderment to be-injury, the video clip takes place in a roller skating rink, and for a song that stresses there’s no room for your friends – “it’s a private invitation” – it features a lot of friends. And a DJ.

The worst lyric, however, is “I skip my entree, and stick to table water, I’ve got my main course for dessert”.

Table water? Is that an expression anyone uses? It sounds like a particularly disturbing euphemism.

“How was the date?” “Well it started OK but then when the DJ left… oh, no, I don’t want to… she said she wanted her main course for desert and suddenly there was table water. Everywhere“.

2. Melissa Tkautz (E Street) – Sexy (Is The Word)

Oh Melissa, bless your precious heart. She had three big hits off her 1991 album Fresh“Read My Lips”, “Sexy (Is The Word)” and “Skin To Skin”, and they were all poptastic. Since then she’s followed a fairly traditional route: various cover versions, performances at gay bars, and – according to Wikipedia – “Tkautz has finished filming the new SBS comedy The Couriers, which will be shown on TV late 2008″. And I’m sure will be just as hilarious as all those other recent Australian comedies. She also tends to release new versions of her hits every few years – here’s a slightly sad clip of Melissa performing “Read My Lips 2008” on The Morning Show.

3. Stefan Dennis (Neighbours) – Don’t It Make You Feel Good

As pointed out by Janet, this is probably the most mocked of all soap-stars-go-pop productions. It’s quite amazing how early-80s this is. The musical production, the synth hits, the vocal style, the mannequins covered in gauze, the filming through a chain-link fence, moody Stefan walking down a dark alley before descending into a moody warehouse lair (or possibly just the David Jones window display storeroom), the lingerie models, gauzy Stefan having a dream-sequence… Everything about this screams “1984”. So it’s a shame it was released in 1989.

4. Holly Valance (Neighbours) – State Of Mind

I quite liked this when it came out, and I quite like it now. An amazingly accurate rip-off of Garbage, it was the only single off Valance‘s album of the same name. While the song went top ten in the UK, album sales were considered disappointing and Valance has since “retired” from music, focusing on acting. She also reportedly signed a £3 million deal with Schwarzkopf to promote hair dye, so don’t expect to see her begging for change on Smith Street any time soon.

5. Stephanie McIntosh (Neighbours) – Tightrope

Not only had I never heard this song, I’d never heard of Stephanie McIntosh before last week. In fact, I’ve since read her Wikipedia page, and I’ve still never heard of Stephanie McIntosh. She apparently played “Sky Mangel” on Neighbours, which I’m presuming is a character and not a prop.

6. Delta Goodrem (Neighbours) – I Don’t Care

Isn’t the guy in this clip the most pathetic looking “bad boy” ever? Delta complains that people don’t understand how good they are together, and why won’t people let them be? I’m not sure that any parent would be too concerned about their daughter going out with this man – the amount of time he spends conditioning his hair every day wouldn’t leave him much opportunity for corrupting your daughter… Oddly I’ve just finished reading a Sweet Valley High novel for an upcoming Great Literature feature, and it had pretty much the same plot as this video. Only the boyfriend was a vampire.

7. Toni Pearen (E Street, Home & Away) – I Want You

A slice of classic pop from Dancing With Who’s That Then? star Toni Pearen.

8. Jason Donovan (Neighbours) – Nothing Can Divide Us

Strangely uncomfortable clip from Jason Donovan. It’s odd that – for an actor – he seems ill-at-ease with the acting parts of this video. And the singing parts. I suspect I’m not alone in liking grown-up Jason a lot more than young Jason. Now Jason is a good actor who did a great job in MDAThen Jason had a mullet. Case closed.

9. Kylie Minogue (Neighbours) – I Guess I Like It Like That

I was worried this might be too easy, but I may have gone too far the other way… and possibly also proved the Outland Institute demographic didn’t spend a lot of time dancing at Three Faces in 1991. This song was officially the B-side to “If You Were With Me Now” and comes from an interesting period in which Kylie was attempting to move to a more adult contemporary sound with her A-sides, while the B-sides were gay-boy-friendly rave-esque dance numbers. As such, no-one really remembers “Give Me Just A Little More Time” these days, but you can still hear “Do You Dare?” at The Peel.

10. Natalie Imbruglia (Neighbours) – Torn

Two whole choruses were included here, so this one was a little easy. From The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2006, here’s Natalie Imbruglia performing with Johan Lippowitz, an “Austrian interpretive dance artist” (aka UK comedian David Armand). She is currently working on her 4th studio album and has sold more than 10 million records worldwide. So she’s doing OK.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg – I didn’t include Bruce Samazan or the Blakeney Twins, for example. Go on, thank me. I recommend looking at this article from Pop Trash Addicts, where you can read about 14 more artists… It would appear the days of the soap-star-goes-pop may be over, as Australian Idol has now taken that niche. In fact, two Australian Idol finalists have since become actors in Neighbours, so perhaps the whole world is changing in ways both new and frightening. Or just rotating in the opposite direction, like at the end of Superman The Movie.

As always, feel free to leave your comments below and if you want to see what people had to say last week click here.

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15 Responses to Friday: Soap Stars Revealed!

  1. Janet says:

    Bruce Samazan! Xmas 1994 I stayed in Portsmouth overnight and asked the landlady to point me in the direction of the local restaurants. On my way there I passed a theatre that was advertising a Pantomime (of course, it was Xmas!). I forget now what the panto was (Aladdin, possibly?) but the ‘star’ (I use the term euphemistically) was Bruce Samazan. The only other person on the bill whose name I recall was Lynda Baron who played the big breasted Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in ‘Open All Hours’.

    Do the soapie stars still do the panto circuit in the UK? There’s a good dose of humiliation for you. Who needs Australian Idol? If you don’t believe me watch ‘Extras’ series one, the episode with Les Dennis.

  2. Louise says:

    I’ve learnt through our Australian soap star/pop star heroes that you should always follow your dreams, even if it means being horribly, ruthlessly mocked for decades after most people have forgotten who you are.

  3. outlandinstitute says:

    That’s very true. Although you do need to have hit a level of fame to allow the mockery afterwards – no-one makes fun of Rueben from Breakers, do they?

    And Janet, have you noticed that all the comments have started to run together? Tim mentioned Lynda Baron over on the pirate thread, and all threads tend to end up as conversations about Cauliflower Cheese…

  4. Narrelle says:

    I really liked the Imruglia song, even without the very funny interpretive dance. Supremes eat your heart out. The Goodrem song… I heard a song I liked at my hairdressers the other day and realised it was her, and that I obviously like her more than I thought. And then I listened to this and thought, oh, maybe she just got better.

    What a lame-ass badass boyfriend she’s got here. “They tried to keep Romeo and Juliet apart”. SPOILER and then the star crossed lovers COMMITTED HORRIBLE SUICIDE. I do wonder why people keep quoting them as a symbol of beautiful love, because they are a symbol of youthful impulsiveness and parents beings dicks. But anyway.

    You have that Sweet Valley High book??? I’m going to have to read it after you if I can. If I ever have anything like real money, I’m going to have to pay you as being my research officer. Seriously.

  5. Narrelle says:

    I’m sorry. I’ve just realised I failed to work Cauliflower Cheese into that comment at all. Mea Culpa. I of course meant to say that Delta Goodrem’s song “I Don’t Care” was not unlike Elizabeth Sladen’s Cauliflower Cheese recipe – not exactly bad, but not quite right.

  6. outlandinstitute says:

    There was a hilarious line in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where the Doctor is giving dating advice to Seven Of Nine – “Even Romeo and Juliet hit a few snags at first”. I desperately hope that was a joke, as it’s very funny, but it’s possibly a bit too sophisticated for the standard of writing on that show…

  7. Narrelle says:

    A great depends on whether he actually *liked* Seven of Nine…

  8. Narrelle says:

    that should of course read ‘a great deal’.

  9. Dan Cardone says:

    the lyrics for “All Seats Taken” are so mind-bogglingly awful, I feel they need to be printed here in full. They make “Yummy Yummy Yummy I’ve Got Love In My Tummy” look like Dylan:

    Dont need no ticket
    Dont need no reservation
    I’ve got my table set for two
    Don’t bring no money
    Just your imagination
    for all the things that we can do
    I skip my entree
    n’ stick to table water
    I’ve got my main course for dessert
    I dim the lights
    the DJ can take a hike
    cause we don’t need no chaprone tonight

    Cause all i want is what you got
    All seats taken
    And all i don’t is what you’re not
    no mistaking
    And all i want is what you got
    All seats taken
    So don’t you bring a crew
    I’m all booked up for you

    So come on closer
    this ain’t no business meeting
    so you don’t need a shirt and tie
    and tell your friends
    i don’t really mean no offense
    it’s a privet invitation
    this place has got a lock out tonight

    Cause all i want is what you got
    All seats taken
    And all i don’t is what you’re not
    no mistaking
    And all i want is what you got
    All seats taken
    So don’t you bring a crew
    I’m all booked up for you

    All booked up
    and nothing’s gonna change my mind
    cause no one is gonna waste our time
    So come and make my dreams come true
    I’m all booked up for you

  10. Dan Cardone says:

    Please take note that it is a ‘Privet invitation’, not a ‘private invitation’. So I assume some kind of hedge trimming will be involved (snicker, guffaw..)

  11. Louise says:

    Man. I live such a sheltered life. I really feel quite dirty after watching the modern clips here. Funny and ludicrous on one hand. Horrific cultural study of sexual objectification on the other hand.

  12. Glenn says:

    The strangest part about “All Seats Taken” – and there are many strange parts – is the line about not needing a chaperone. Like… I didn’t go on dates when I was younger (ew girls!) but I can’t imagine, especially these days, anybody actually having a chaperone.

  13. outlandinstitute says:

    Also, she’s suggesting the DJ is usually the chaperone at the restaurant that sells tickets. Where the hell is that place?

  14. outlandinstitute says:

    And meanwhile, Delta Goodrem is on Letterman, she’s surprisingly good live… did her teeth always look so American?

  15. Dan Cardone says:

    They’re the secret to her success. And now she’s marketing it: ‘Delta Goodrem’s American Teeth’. I’m watching the infomercial right now, as she explains in animated fashion to Victoria Principle how they changed her life.

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