Perhaps it was gatecrasher Rhonda Burchmore belting out Silver Bells? What a trouper!
Though, to be honest, and while we all love an encore, I did have to pull the plug on her microphone (she carries one around in her purse EVERYWHERE) when she started on the 14th rendition.
Poor Rhonda, though. She was clearly enjoying the spotlight, and why shouldn’t she? Especially after being so rudely snubbed by the Mean Girls at Carols By Candelight, and – yes – she’s dirtier than the Yarra about it too.
Anyways, I’m sure it was just the eggnog talking when she said those things about perennial sweetie pie Marina Prior, though someone ought to warn Marina to watch her step in those glass slippers and check under her giant ball gown before she goes on stage … just in case. And maybe leave the pumpkin carriage in the garage this year.
James Packer Zoomed in from his superyacht for a bit, but the Wi-Fi was a little patchy and he wasn’t in much of a party mood, unlike his niece Francesca who arrived with a scary-looking entourage and proceeded to get the doof doof cranked up.
That’s when I got busy in the kitchen. Catering is always such a dilemma when there are so many dietary requirements, brand endorsements and contracts to consider these days.
You can imagine how embarrassed I was when I realised I had completely forgotten about Samantha Armytage having been a Weight Watchers ambassador, though her $500,000 contract quietly expired midway through the pandemic, just after she admitted to piling on the COVID-19 kilos during iso (who hasn’t?).
So, no hot chips or greasy chipolatas (Kyle Sandilands wolfed those down anyway) for our celebrity fat-fighter Sam, but what alternative could I possibly offer?
My deviled eggs and Manu Feildel’s bottomless French onion dip were not going to cut it and dear old whippet-thin Pete Evans looked like he could do with a steak after he dragged a sack filled with his dreaded almonds down from Byron Bay.
I tried to be obliging, but no matter how long I roasted them under Pete’s magic COVID-19 killing lava lamp, they failed to activate. The lamp eventually came in handy to light the dance floor, but at $15,000 a pop it’s an expensive mirror ball – although Rhonda and Francesca loved it.
After rummaging through the back of the pantry, I managed to unearth a slightly dusty pack of Limmits slimming biscuits (yes, wishful thinking on my behalf from the summer of 1983). Sam gobbled them down guilt-free, but things got a little awkward when freshly minted size zero Rebel Wilson, a late arrival, turned up looking for calorie-controlled nibbles.
Hangry comedians are not that funny, though I suspect Rebel could have been missing her immaculately preened new beau, the beer heir Jacob Busch, who opted to stay at home in his Gucci loafers to binge on RuPaul’s Drag Race (again). Apparently it was his “face mask night”.
Remind me never to invite social media influencers over again. Apart from draining the courtesy bar dry and mistaking my grocery shopping for complimentary goodie bags on the way out, the selfie wars between fashionistas Nadia Fairfax and Pip Edwards were next level, and almost ruined the party vibe with everyone getting Insta notifications all night. Talk about tedious.
Then I had to contend with rival candle designers Kyly Clarke and Roxy Jacenko plugging their products around the house, but to be fair I can see why Kyly would be a little on edge, given her ex-husband Michael Clarke was busy directing his new squeeze Pip’s selfies in her latest tracksuit – ahem – “couture”.
And Roxy, I’m not sure signing up Pete Evans as a brand ambassador for your new range is such a wise idea after the year he’s had, and – to be frank – open flames in teepees are a recipe for disaster, even though yours apparently work better when they aren’t lit?
But it was great to see Pete and his old mate and fellow COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Alan Jones getting along so well, though I do think Alan’s “assistant” Jake Thrupp could have been a little kinder when he started making fun of Pete’s inactive nuts.
Well, everyone was out by midnight and no real breakages to report, apart from a few bruised egos, but it wouldn’t be much of a party without a little punch, right?
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.