George Michael & The Olympics “Controversy”

These days, everyone’s an expert on “song choice.” Or at least they think they are.  Of course their expertise, such as it is, comes from watching X-Factor and American Idol, which are just glorified karaoke competitions.  In the worlds of X-Factor and American Idol, the idea of singing new music is unheard of. You must sing a song that as many people as possible know and love, to win votes from the public.  That’s fine, but really, that’s nothing to do with art. Entertainment, yes. Art, no.

When putting together opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, organisers hired artistic directors to create the shows. They didn’t hire Simon Cowell’s production company.  The artistic director and his/her team decide what the content of the shows will be.  If the artistic director doesn’t want something in the show, it doesn’t go in the show.

So, when people cry, “How was George Michael allowed to sing his new song (White Light) at the Olympics?” the answer is really very simple – because the artistic director wanted him to sing it.   When they cry, “How was it appropriate to sing a new song at the ceremony when it was about classic music?” The answer is, the artistic director wanted him to sing it and the ceremony wasn’t about classic music – you failed to understand what the show was about. There is no rule that says you have to include only old music in artistic performances. This isn’t X-Factor or American Idol.

But I can see you don’t believe me. You think that George Michael insisted on singing his new song and that the artistic director was powerless to refuse.  Well, that’s not how it works.  If the artistic director didn’t think the song choice was appropriate, it wouldn’t have been in the show.  Of course, George could have refused to perform if he wasn’t allowed to sing the new song – that would have been his choice.  However, that’s not what happened. George wanted to sing his new song, and the artistic director, Kim Gaven, wanted him to sing it. Here’s what a spokesman for the ceremony had to say about this “controversy”…

“One of the themes of the ceremony was endurance and physical endeavour, and Kim decided this song was appropriate,”

That’s right, artistically speaking, the song fitted in with the ceremony. In no way, shape or form was it “inappropriate.” The artistic director wanted White light in the show, and on the soundtrack album for the show.

Of course, it’s fine for you or anyone else to not have enjoyed the ceremony; and it’s fine if you didn’t enjoy George’s performance of his new song, White Light.  Really, though, if you seriously think it was inappropriate, you’re just a fucking idiot… which is probably why you weren’t hired to be the artistic director of the ceremony.

8 thoughts on “George Michael & The Olympics “Controversy”

  1. Would that be the only reason why?😉

    Seriously though. I agree that it wasn’t an “inappropriate” gesture. Trouble is, for people who don’t give a fuck about George’s recent struggles (let’s face it, most people in the world won’t even KNOW!), the song just didn’t leave a lasting (enough) impression. People are “outraged” because, quite frankly, they don’t like the track. That’s the nitty gritty of it. Had it been a track that hit everyone between the eyes, appealing to their heart strings or whatever, then you can be sure there’d be no complaints at all – just pure praise for George, his songwriting skills and his amazing voice (had he sung live of course).

    Branding it as “inappropriate” is just making it more of a big deal than it is, and overshadowing the real reason for the big outcry when the bottom line is as simple as; People-just-don’t-like-it. That’s why they complain.

  2. And I suppose it is just a coincidence that a remastered Running Up That Hill is being released…and that Emili Sande has a new album coming out….The fact is the director would have refused to let George sing White Light if he didn’t want it. George is not so stupid that he would have knocked back singing at the Olympics Closing Ceremony. The director gave him his chance to say thanks…and he took it – simples.

  3. It’s interesting that the media chose to single out George, I think.

    I mean, when I looked at the public reaction to the opening ceremony, the consensus was that it was amazing. The public reaction to the closing ceremony, however, was much more mixed. Lots of people were pointing out the terrible sound and out-of-tune singing from many artists, and the bad miming from One Direction, and complaining about Russell Brand and Kate Moss being part of the show, and that the whole ceremony was weak in general. Lots of people loved it, too, of course. It’s just that the reaction was very mixed.

    Also interesting that some artists and creative professionals (mostly associated with Sony at a cursory glance ), however, singled out George. Very weird, IMO.

    I have a feeling that this will feed George’s general paranoia that lots of people are “out to get him”. On this evidence, I’d have to say he’s not wrong😉

  4. Pisses me off to think that people think he did just to plug his album when other artists i.e Jessie J starts her tour this Saturday, the spice twats have their new musical in London soon & the who have a tour starting soon if that ain’t plugging what is it then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So why pick on George he was just thanking his fans for his support if people don’t like it then they can just jog on!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST SAYING

  5. George Michael was the only artist who performed at the closing ceremony who could sing from 30 years and still have new songs to sing. No other artist was able to do that as they didn’t have the back catalogue or able to write new music.

    I just wish everyone would do one and get on.

    Unfortunately we live in the Simon Cowell era of music and so many people are influenced by him and his singing karaoke stars, who can only do bad covers.

    George was amazing on Sunday and was the highlight of the show for me.

  6. its always the same when it comes to George the haters just saw another chance to pick on George I think unfortunately it will never stop its a bloody shame!
    George came to twitter to defend himself he didnt have to do that because all he did was a beautifull gesture to his lovelies/fans to all people who stood by him when he came so close to death! I dont know a more beautifull and generous and humble man than George so many can take an example after him his honesty kindness and caring nature.
    we his lovelies and other people who love George will always be right beside him because he is not only the best singer/songwriter but also a wonderfull man in many ways so the haters can try and try and try but they can never ever do anything about our love for George and his music!

    yvonne one of his dutch lovelies xxx

  7. Nothing else to add to what already written.
    I think in the case of important artists, the press and critics want to create controversy even when not needed.
    If another artist had presented the new song which was the problem?
    George Sunday has proven to be a great artist, a hymn to life and he wanted to thanks all his fans.
    There’s always time to become a fan of George but simply must have the desire to know him and his music.

  8. Some people can’t seem to handle the fact that George is a happy gay man, who is not afraid to try out new avenues and still remain successful, and now that he has this new zest of life, he is even more powerful and people don’t like that, they don’t like change or people who do what’s different and that’s why George is a constant target, and they always use his past to aim at him.

    I think it would take someone to know exactly what George went through or to have had a near death experience to understand why George did what he did. It just a shame that the press and idle gossips with their opinions and theories had to spoil that.

    As a fan I am glad he done that for us and all those who wished him well, I got the message loud and clear and therefore can’t wait to see him on tour, it’s going to be a blast, if it’ll be a tearful one.

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