It will go down as one of the darkest moments in Australian history.
October 11, 2004. The night we saw – no, caused – Ricki-Lee Coulter‘s eviction from Australian Idol.
We’d blocked it from our minds to avoid the sting of shame and self-loathing. But comedian Joel Creasey has resurrected that national embarrassment as a timely warning for Americans ahead of Tuesday’s general election.
In a prescient Facebook post shared by more than 5000 people, the 26-year-old writes:
“Please don’t be complacent on election day!
“About a decade ago we Australians faced a similar situation. To find a leader that could inspire millions. To find the voice of a generation. To find our next Australian Idol.”
Joel Creasey: "Ricki-Lee was the Australian Idol we deserved." Images: Facebook and Getty.
It looked from the outset like that would be Coulter. With those powerful pipes and adorable laugh, she was by far the most popular contestant on the show.
As the I'm A Celebrity contestant writes, "We didn’t even care that she was actually from New Zealand or the fact she auditioned in a pair of ugg boots. She was the Australian Idol we deserved."
We all know what happened next. We got lazy - we assumed the other millions of viewers would dial 19 10 10. It was a textbook case of "She'll be 'right, mate."
But she wasn't. She wasn't 'right at all.
Instead, "Ricki-Lee Coulter was unceremoniously dropped from the competition while a bald guy called Marty was safe to sing another week," writes Creasey.
We could have changed the course of history, but we sat Idol (sorry). And Creasey doesn't want our closest ally, our big brother, to make the same mistake when it goes to the polls to pick its president.
"We haven’t forgiven ourselves, America. And you won’t either," Creasey appeals.
"Don’t let what happened to Ricki-Lee Coulter happen to Hillary Clinton.
"You must vote."
Listen: Mia Freedman, Amelia Lester and Rosie Waterland deep dive into the US election in this special No Filter episode.