Silvie steals the show at Carols

Traditional vocalists upstaged pop stars and a Gangnam Santa at Nine's Carols by Candlelight.

sylConsummate singer Silvie Paladino stole the show at Carols by Candlelight.

It was the ‘traditional’ singers who were best at the annual Carols event (although David Hobson momentarily forgot the lyrics to Jerusalem).

But it was Paladino whose pitch perfect performance showed the most class. What a shame television has no room for her skills until the next Carols.

Marina Prior and Denis Walter were also amongst the best acts, proving that the audience loves these favourites with good reason.

‘Newcomer’ Darren Percival got the crowd on its feet with his soulful enthusiasm proving infectious. This man is a true performer. Somebody get him to a Baptist Church, pronto.

Anthony Callea again showed what a standout vocalist he is, but he needs to work harder on his humility for what is essentially a community event.

It would have been lovely to see him duet with Tim Campbell, a gesture afforded to Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahu Rhodes. In fact both duetted as far back as 2008.

Santa, ably assisted by actor Terry Gill, turned on the Gangnam Style, joined by Hi-5. In a week of retirement, two members, Casey and Tim, also gave their final performance. But those tighty-whitey pants were very distracting…

As expected, Humphrey B. Bear was nowhere to be seen here.

Delta Goodrem donned bling as she appeared to be pitching herself as a country singer. Protege Rachael Leahcar seemed to struggle with the range of the material but was a fitting inclusion for Vision Australia.

Such is the prominence of this annual event, that these days it is accompanied by a savage Twitter commentary throughout, with online derision aimed at all the performers.

Brian Mannix added a dash of humour but led some Twitter users to ask whether Rod Stewart had entered the building. Few of them noticed Tottie Goldsmith as one of three Chantoozies getting down on stage. You don’t get that at Carols in the Domain.

Karl Stefanovic couldn’t resist a nod to his post-Logies night (how many years ago was that again?) and Lisa Wilkinson got in all the plugs for her outfit.

Once again the talented John Foreman was the backbone of the music.

I still find it unacceptable that Nine does not bring Humphrey B. Bear to the fore on screen. This is a family event and he is an iconic children’s character and yet he bear-ly makes it to the curtain call. We had cross-promo plugs for other Nine content, and even though Nine no longer owns the Humphrey brand anymore, it must do more to make this a reality.

Nine now has 12 months to achieve this and resolve whatever stumbling blocks are in the way.

However, as so many people are giving of their time, including choirs, musicians and crew, it’s great to see a Christmas tradition reaching 75 years.

Here’s to another 75 more. But maybe not with a Gangnam Santa….

Nine repeats Carols by Candlelight from midday today.

24 Responses

  1. The Melbourne carols are always so much better than Sydneys – the Channel 7 event was just one big commercial.

    Sylvie was outstanding, as was Anthony Callea and David Hobson.

    My vote for the best moment was Karl mentioning the chemistry between Lisa and Teddy!! I actually found their performance a bit awkward and I thought the audience applause (or lack of!) was a telling sign.

  2. Sylvie always outshines them all 🙂
    She’s a brilliant, beautiful performer 🙂

    I love David Hobson, Denis Walter & Marina Prior.
    That’s how it should be done.

    Sorry, but I didn’t like any of the younger performers. Including Delta. They all need to learn how to sing a Carol. (Try listening to it, then sing it like that! Duh!)

    I did catch a glimpse of Humphrey at the very end, when everyone was on stage.

    No offense to Karl & Lisa, but, since it is Melbourne’s show, couldn’t we at least have some Melbourne hosts? 😉

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas 🙂

  3. Loverly to see Sylvie blow Delta away. I don’t mean to hold a grudge but I never forgave Delta for insisting on replacing Sylvie at singing the National Anthem at the AFL grand final earlier this century. Delta had previously refused the gig , but changed her mind when her team ( Sydney Swans ) made it to the grand final.

    My other beef with Carols is the sound or the way its mixed. The audio engineer treats the massive choir as backing singers as if it’s a traditional band based variety show. It would be nice that the choir could be given much more prominence in the mix ( for at least a couple of songs ) . The sound design of the Christmas Choral shows on the ABC gives a much better aural experience.


  4. Remember that Humphey B. Bear just barely survived the great ABT (now ACMA) purge of children’s TV characters and shows in 1991 and 1992. Sadly shows like Romper Room and Fat Cat and Friends and characters like the dog that was on with Simon Townend’s “Wonder World” did not and most famously that four episodes of “Skippy” were refused a “C” rating.

    I suspect that since 1992, Humphrey B. Bear has been on the outer all along, replaced by many new characters and shows.

    If you are not aware, Fat Cat was found guilty in 1992 by the ABT (now ACMA) of “having a ill-defined character, his show not being educational enough and for this, he and his show would confuse a pre-school audience”.

    And Humphrey B. Bear just survived the fate of Fat Cat. To this day, I still don’t see how he did it.

  5. The highlight was the moment after deltas performance, Karl referred to deltas headgear as ‘on trend’ then deltas death stare because it was supposed to be an indie-chic accessory.

    I’d be happy to never see Humphrey again, let go people, he is something of the past, the kids don’t know who he is, he’d only be there for the adults.

  6. Carols by Candlelight is a long standing Christmas Eve tradition in our family and always gets us into the festive spirit. This years was no exception.
    I do agree however that Humphrey is sadly missed. I’d have much rathered Humphrey sang Amazing Grace last night than Delta. Her performance was terrible. I’m no singing expert but it’s like she didn’t understand what the song was about. Absolutely the low point of the night.
    That Amazing Disgrace aside, the rest of the show was great. Dennis, Sylvie and Marina never fail to shine.

  7. I didn’t watch, but did see the tighty- whiteys. Joy to the world.

    It’s a pity that people feel the need to criticise the performers on social media. Especially when so many donate their time and services to raise money for a good cause.
    Just the way of the world, sadly.

  8. What abut Karl’s tongue in cheek comment after Lisa and Teddy sang when he said they have good chemistry.

    I thought Humphrey should have been on with Santa. I mean he was there at the end.

    Marina Prior was great agin as well as the old favourites. David Hobson bought it home beautifully even if he did miss a word or to.

  9. I’m just glad Dennis Walter found time away from his hectic funeral insurance commercial schedule to be there, he’s an icon!
    Gangnam Santa was the low light..
    It’s an easy event to pan, but Xmas eve wouldn’t be the same without it!!

  10. ‘tighty-whitey pants were very distracting’…oh dear yes…thought it was just ’cause I am old..
    Marina Prior is the epitome of a star in all categories….beautiful voice..gorgeous frock..immaculately groomed…just class personified.

  11. I had carols on in the background so I wasn’t really paying attention to what was happening on screen. I quite like anthony calleas song, still in my head this morning and I thought david hobson made a good recovery after he forgot the words. Missed silvie palladino’s performance, may have to check out on the replay.

  12. Sylvie sent chills when she sang..the best performer there..Callea didn’t have the real emotion when he sang..all head..Goodrem was just plain weird looking and her version of that song was woeful…she can’t compete against Prior and Paladino

  13. Sylvie was definitely the standout performer, I also thought Anthony Callea was amazing. David not sure what you mean about Anthony needing to find some humility. Christie Whelan was great. Delta was all over the place and I am sure she forgot words at times. And Shane Jacobson was very bad as well. I don’t get the need for Humphrey. A much better carols than Sydney though.

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