Somebody should do a comparative background study checking out the genesis and history of things that appear on public view at the same time. Can it be entirely coincidental that Australian Princess (on Channel Ten) and Mark Latham Answers Your Questions (on crikey) debuted on the same day? Both brought to mind the early dumpee from last year's Australian Idol who was 'not a fuckin' diva'. The main difference is that Latham knows a lot while the aspirant Princesses' general ignorance is truly breathtaking.
Australian Princess is unintentionally hysterical, with not one of the contestants recognising their own sisterhood with Kim Craig nee Day ('It's pronounced kardonnay, you pack of shunts'), or registering the difference between royalty and celebrity. Princess Diana, Bill Clinton, Madonna, it's all the same to them.
Apart from the pretty, bolshie Tasmanian stripper ('Of course I wiggle when I walk -- I'm a stripper! I've got booty!'), whose clothes and makeup are better than any of the judges', they were also all gobsmacked by what they saw as the classiness of their judges and tormentors: the hatchet-faced 'expert' in grooming and deportment whose bad 'blonde' hair, visible patches of orange-based blusher and densely black pantyhose all clashed nastily with her candy-pink suit; the ex-butler to Princess Diana and dollar-grabbing tabloid telltale Paul Burrell; and the rude, horsy sister of toe-sucking Fergie, who fronted one of the petrified contestants at the 'Cocktail Party Challenge' with the extraordinarily bad-mannered question 'What do you think of my sister?'
Then of course there's the show's hostess, the self-styled Jackie O, who presumably thinks an unimaginative appropriation of the real Jackie O's tabloid tag confers upon her a bit of extra class -- oh, doesn't she wish. Four girls were eliminated last night amid painful scenes reminiscent of Australian Idol. Do viewers watch this stuff in the spirit of the mobs who used to turn up at public hangings?
And speaking of public hangings, there's Iron Mark on crikey, answering subscribers' questions with a great deal more measured serenity than he has ever evinced in public life so far. Must be all that time at home loading the washing machine and wiping the egg and porridge off the floor.