- READ MORE: Robbie Williams on Damon Albarn, Morrissey and the dark side of Take That: “I have a cannon-full of quotes”
The former Take That singer confirmed the news in-person at a private event held yesterday (September 22), welcoming Goodrem out with the declaration that she’s “the loveliest person, both inside and out – beautiful and incredibly talented”.
Goodrem walked out to cheers on the field of the Melbourne Cricket Ground – where the Grand Final will be held tomorrow (September 24) – punting an AFL-branded football over to the media crew before taking to the podium. Once she made it to the mic, The Age reported, she espoused a feeling of excitement: “It’s an absolutely full-circle moment coming to play at the Grand Final with Robbie Williams, who is a history-making, incredible entertainer”.
She also quipped that her punt held a significant meaning, saying: “Like all us Aussies, we give it a go. We grow up playing AFL, it’s what we do in the backyard… So, thankfully that came in handy today.”
— AFL (@AFL) September 22, 2022
This won’t be Goodrem’s first performance in this year’s AFL season: a few weeks ago, she performed the Australian national anthem at the semi-final match between Brisbane and Melbourne.
She and Williams will perform together during the Grand Final’s program of pre-match entertainment, running for 30 minutes before the umpires enter at 2:11pm on Saturday. Williams’ set itself is expected to run for 19 minutes, and per the singer himself, will feature “a song that isn’t a Robbie Williams song”.
The half-time show, on the other hand, will feature a line-up of all-Australian performers including G Flip, The Temper Trap, Budjerah and Ngaiire, alongside Goanna (performing with Shane Howard), Christine Anu, Emma Donovan, Tasman Keith, William Barton and The Australian Girls Choir.
Yesterday’s news comes after Williams teased that Kylie Minogue could be his special guest at the Grand Final. Just last week, he invited the pop-star – who’d previously liked up with Williams on the 2000 hit ‘Kids’ – to join him live on-air with Melbourne’s FOX FM: “Kylie, please come and sing with me. I’d love it if you did.”
The AFL Grand Final will mark Williams’ third performance in Melbourne this year, having completed two sold-out shows at Rod Laver Arena in May. In a press release announcing his appearance – which itself made waves after Williams turned down a $1million offer to perform at the 2014 event – the singer said he was“so excited to be performing for all the fans”.
Also announced yesterday was an Australasian leg of Williams’ ‘XXV’ world tour. He’ll return to Australia next November, delivering stadium and winery shows in Sydney, Mount Cotton, Melbourne, Geelong and the Swan Valley.
Williams’ ties to Australia have been a key aspect of his year, with his biopic Better Man being filmed in Melbourne. The film is being directed by Michael Gracey, best known for his work on The Greatest Showman, whom Williams’ songwriter Guy Chambers has described as “a bit of a genius”. In a recent interview with NME, Chambers said: “The only thing I know about [the film] so far is that the songs will be reimagined.”