Gang of Youths vs. Black Eyed Peas & Barnesy: who won the pre-match battle?
The results are in from the long weekend’s grand final events, and the pre-match entertainment battle between the NRL and the AFL has fans divided.
TV Tonight reports that a whopping 2.6 million people tuned in to watch the nail-biting Collingwood v West Coast match, while 2.1 million tuned in to watch the Sydney Roosters take out the Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final.
But while Saturday’s history-making AFL grand final raked in the most viewers from the weekend, it was the NRL’s Gang of Youths who take out the trophy for the most eyeballs on their pre-game slot.
The Peas’ frontman drew criticism for his performance, with a review published in The Australian suggesting he was so disinterested in the set he whipped out his phone mid-song and checked his messages.
The rapper tweeted in response: “Sharing on socials isn’t checking phone mid song.
“That’s me being a performer and camera man, showing the world how awesome Australia is… Sorry if I offended anyone by sharing my love.”
He later confirmed he was live streaming the performance.
“I wanted the world to see Australia from my point of view…& that POV is awesome & lovely…sorry if I offended anyone by sharing my love,” he tweeted.
Sharing on socials isn’t checking phone mid song…that’s me being a performer & camera man showing the world how Awesome Australia is…I wanted the world to see Australia from my point of view…& that POV is awesome & lovely…sorry if I offended anyone by sharing my love https://t.co/kLeUtOenmF
— will.i.am (@iamwill) September 29, 2018
The twittersphere had few mixed opinions of GOY’s performance, taken in good stride by the band.
Former AFL player Brendan Fevola wasn’t a fan, but drummer Donnie Borzestowski was quick to retort, tweeting “Grand Final appearances: Gang Of Youths: 1 – Brendan Fevola: 0.”
Grand Final appearances: Gang Of Youths: 1 – Brendan Fevola: 0
— gang of youths (@gangofyouths) September 30, 2018
“Gang of Youths are relevant, they’re home-grown, they’re contemporary, and they are renowned for producing one of the best live shows going around,” NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said after announcing Gang of Youths as the entertainment.
“This year’s act will showcase the best in Australian music talent and youth culture, with one of a new breed of local artists making significant headway both here and overseas.”
But there were a few who seemed unfamiliar with the ARIA award winners.
Who the hell are Gang Of Youths?? #NRLGF
— Trevor Long (@trevorlong) September 30, 2018
Covering NRL grand final. And Gang of Youths is the entertainment. Sound good but never heard of them! pic.twitter.com/O87o1Izl7G
— Ray Gatt (@Gatty54) September 30, 2018
Despite a few head scratchers, the response was overwhelmingly in support of GOY being the best pick of the weekend.
— Toxteth O’Grady (@FoleyCollidge) September 30, 2018
Gang of Youths are absolutely KILLING it!!! Take note AFL, this is how you put on a performance, unlike washed up has beens like Black Eyed Peas #NRLGF
— Callum Ramsay (@Bombers83) September 30, 2018
Current Aussie act. NRL just nails the pre-game entertainment. So good!
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_M_FOX) September 30, 2018