Axle Whitehead, Aussie Legend

I have a principled objection to watching Australian Idol and Video Hits, so I haven’t previously been familiar with the work of Axle Whitehead. But I now know two things. Firstly, he exposed himself and got intimate with the ARIA trophy. And secondly, I wish I’d been at the ARIAs to see it. I’ve been to the odd awards night in my time as someone who works with B-grade celebrities, but I’ve never seen anything that good at a Logies or AFIs. And it’s high time we did. Because like another man with an identical-sounding first name, Axle is rock. And we should be thankful for his antics: if it wasn’t for his antics, the big story of the ARIAs would have been Bernard Fanning.

It hasn’t yet been explained why he did it. I don’t know what particular combination of chemicals was swirling around in his cerebellum, telling him that what the crowd were really hanging out for was a bit of hanging out. It may have just been 100% pure, unadulterated Axle. But whatever it was, his unzipping and flopping will go down in ARIAs history. Personally I reckon they should get him to host the ceremony next year. Nude. You can’t tell me it wouldn’t be more entertaining than Rove.

I particularly loved his statement. He reckons he’s taking a short break from television? The guy’s not going to be allowed near a camera in a decade. He’s going to “put all the experience of the past three years to positive use going forward?” How are his video-introducing skills going to be of any use In the Centrelink dole queue?

And as for “focussing on his music”, Idol‘s viewers obviously didn’t want him to stick around until the end, and it was clear that Ten figured the closest he was going to get to singing was introducing other people who do it.

No, the career direction for him is clear: penis puppeteer. That show has gone the world over – it’s been playing in Argentina, and Norway, Belgium and Holland are on the way. And although those guys have been flogging their dead horses for over a decade now, imagine how they could reinvent the format by adding a puppeteer who likes to get it on with respected industry awards.

There are other self-exposing opportunities in the entertainment besides that, of course. If Snoop Dogg can release his own adult video, why can’t Axle? And given his surname, the pun name opportunities are endless.

But the real question arising from the incident is exactly what Channel 10 does to their Video Hits stars on award nights. Kelly Cavuoto got sacked after just a few months for swearing at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, which might have seemed like the bottom of the barrel for bad behavior, given the involvement of children, until Axle got going.

Axle is probably feeling a bit down about all this in, shall we say, the sober light of day. He’s lost a plum television gig that he could have had for ages, based entirely on being someone teenage girls find moderately pretty. But he should cheer up and bounce back. Dropping his daks didn’t spoil Malcolm Fraser’s career, and Alan Jones – actually, sorry, let me clarify for the lawyers that there’s no analogy to be drawn with him whatsoever. This might look like it’s broken Axle’s career, but if he plays his cards right, this could be the making of it. Look at Tommy Lee. Actually, don’t, it’s a bit sad.

But if nothing else, Tommy proves that you can be a rock star after flopping it out. Well, on Rock Star: Supernova, anyway.

Dominic Knight