The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have come to an end with a heavily-criticised closing ceremony.
Channel Seven Hosts Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas were “furious” at the ceremony organisers because the vision they provided last night did not include the athletes entering the stadium.
Viewers also missed out on seeing inspirational para-sports veteran Kurt Fearnley carrying the Australian flag into the arena because My Kitchen Rules was airing.
Zempilas was at first diplomatic, telling viewers: “Look, we understand many people have been disappointed by tonight’s Closing Ceremony. I’ve got to say it’s about the only thing they got wrong. They did get it wrong tonight.”
But Griggs – well loved for her typically positive commentary – told Zempilas he was “being too polite”.
“I’m sorry, you’re being way too polite,” Griggs told him, News Corp reports.
“People are thinking that Channel Seven has chosen not to show pictures of athletes or not to show the flag bearer, Kurt Fearnley … We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made the decision not to have athletes enter the stadium. I’m furious.”
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Now, Seven commentator Mel McLaughlin, says Griggs has “every right to be filthy”.
“You’re not always able to be as honest as you like on TV. But those two were, and rightfully so,” she said.
“It’s what the punters are thinking at home … it’s a huge celebration. The athletes want to relax, they want to party, they want to be on show… Jo was filthy and she had every right to be.
“You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera. You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport. We missed out on all of that.”
On Monday morning, Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie admitted organisers had “stuffed up”.
Closing Ceremony; we wanted athletes to be part of and enjoy the Closing Ceremony. However, having them come in to the stadium in the pre show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium, alongside flag bearers. We got that wrong.#gc2018
— Peter Beattie (@SmartState1) April 15, 2018