The AFL had American rock band KISS, the NRL had Tina Turner … the musical.
Thirty years after she stole the limelight at the 1993 Grand Final, the NRL turned back time with a tribute act to headline the pre-game entertainment.
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The cast from Tina – the Tina Turner Musical took to the big stage at Accor Stadium with a special tribute to the iconic singer who passed away earlier in the year.
Before the tribute got underway it was Northern Territory rock band King Stingray who took to the stage in a performance that divided fans.
One fan wrote: “What a hatchet job by King Stingray. Woeful. Meatloaf 2.0.”
“How bad are King Stingray, would struggle to fill a local RSL,” one user wrote.
Another infuriated fan wrote: “Surely you can get someone better than King Stingray ffs for a game that costs over $100 a ticket.”
“I’ll take King Stingray over KISS any day,” one wrote.
Another added: “King Stingray, awesome version.”
The band only performed one song before they departed the stage with audio issues also being raised by fans online.
Then it was time for the main act with the Tina Turner Musical taking over the main stage as the sun went down.
And for those watching on from home it didn’t get much better.
Fans slammed every aspect of the pre-game entertainment from the fake Tina wig to the fact the league couldn’t stump up anything better than a tribute act.
One user wrote: “The AFL had Kiss and the NRL has a Tina Turner tribute band.”
Another added: “That hair (wig?) is absolutely criminal. For a Tina Turner impersonator, they should have done a better job!”
A third wrote: “Is this an NRL grand final or a Tina Turner funeral?”
NRL great Wendell Sailor was particularly scathing of the decision, saying while he was a fan of Tina Turner, the game had “droppped the ball” by not finding a headline act for Grand Final day.
“I’m disappointed to be honest… look I love Tina Turner, I met her a couple of times, but I think we as the NRL should do better, our fans deserve better,” Sailor told Triple M.
“We could get someone from around the world. The AFL has got KISS and we got a take-off of Tina Turner.
“They need a headline act, they need to go all in, they dropped the ball again.”