Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is Jessica Mauboy the Next Jennifer Hudson?

Does Rachel Perkins see something in Jessica Mauboy that others do not? The director of indigenous-themed movies such as Radiance and One Night the Moon - very good, both of them - has cast the Australian Idol runner up from two years ago in her new Aboriginal musical adaptation Bran Nue Dae (which hasn't, as far as I'm aware, gone a name change to Brand New Day like one unedited Sunday newspaper reported). The singer who, since losing the top prize, became a member of Young Divas and has since released her debut solo record Been Waiting - surprisingly quite good - and had a top three single with "Running Back". Despite being a fan of the song and now the album, I can't exactly claim that Mauboy exudes personality like Jennifer Hudson, whose story Mauboy mimics quite a lot, does.

And while it's true Hudson's performance in Dreamgirls has its detractors, it did win the Oscar and you don't win them by being universally disliked. So I wonder what will become of Mauboy. Her album is already charting higher than Kanye West's on the iTunes charts, and - heaven forbid - maybe her popularity could get a young audience to see an Aussie film for once. And a musical co-starring Deborah Mailman, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins and even Geoffrey Rush at that!

In the end, however, Mauboy does what she does and says what she says* so we'll see if all works out in the end.

"I do what I do! I say what I say!"

*Don't bother trying to understand this unless you are Australian and have a penchant for watching Australian Idol contestants making fools of themselves in sponsor commercials. Bless.

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