Tall poppy syndrome (noun): A desire to diminish in stature those people who have attained excellence . . . continues to reign in Australia.
—The Macquarie Dictionary
An exceptionally tall poppy myself, I vowed some time ago to never fall prey to TPS—to never look upon any high Aussie achiever with anything less than positive-flowing vibes. My heart-sworn duty, then, is to uncynically present to you fresh produce blooming in my home country. I introduce Bardot—the down-under answer to the Spice Girls, comprising three longhaired brunettes, a saucy blond surfie babe named Sophie Monk, and cropped/dyed redhead Tiffany—whose sportiest secret is losing a toenail from going off hard (um, dancing a lot) on New Year’s Eve. The five hot chicks were plucked from 2000 applicants for Channel 7’s new “docu-soap” Popstars: an intimate insight into the creation and manicure of a commercial pop group.
Bardot’s EP and self-titled album are full of rocking goodies like their chart-topping Australian hit “Poison,” wherein their, yes, womanly voices shake fingers at burly blokes amid a drum-machine arrangement tricky enough to assert any budding young flower’s hips and emotion. The even dancier B side, “Empty Room,” sets electric wind chimes atop hit-me-baby-one-more-time beats sure to inspire schoolgirls surrounded by unattainable males to choreograph jumps and turns and thigh slaps in their knee-high socks.
In true TPS style, certain sad editors across Oz have spent recent months pathetically paying these tall poppies out—splattering headlines such as “Just Add Instant Celebrity” and “Popstars or Puppets?” and so subtly revealing info about Bardot’s favorite pastime being “this stupid game . . . They say, ‘Have you seen my keys?’ . . . and you turn around and the keys will be hanging off their ears or something.” Hardly justice for sassy wonders who’ve proved resilient and spicy through hard times, such as when one now-former member was asked to quietly nick off after she allegedly nicked money from the other girls’ luggage. The “shocked” band were “devastated,” crappy mag New Idea reported. “After weeks of nail-biting television . . . it was a major disaster.”