We were staying in this beautiful vacation spot called Apollo Bay, located on the southern coast of the continent. We were in a caravan park. On our first night there, I volunteered to stay in the caravan while our daughter, Olive, slept, so Jen could go and spend some time with her family. I was content to have the alone time.
I had the TV on. Watching TV in a hotel/motel/caravan is never fun. There are never premium channels, or even many basic channels. In Australia, options are even scarcer, at least for me. There were only two shows I recognized from the States: Fixer Upper, a home improvement show about a charming interracial couple from Texas who try to fix up crappy homes for broke-asses. And Seinfeld. Good old, reliable Seinfeld.
But after one episode, I didn’t care to watch more Seinfeld. As much as I admire Larry David’s “no hugging, no learning” approach to TV writing, when I’m feeling a bit down and disconnected, I like a little hugging! A little fake warmth goes down easy. And maybe Seinfeld, the real-life guy, has tainted Seinfeld the show for me somewhat. He makes me uncomfortable with all his rich guy opinions and his comedy-worship. I was watching some episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. The other comedian in the car said something to Jerry, something along the lines of, “Isn’t comedy great?” And Jerry goes, “Yeah, that’s why I don’t want any awards for it.” And I was like, no one asked you if you want awards, dude. It sounds to me like you want some awards! Anyway, I know Jerry’s gonna read this so I’ll move on.
I kept flipping and came to a program that turned my whole evening around: The Masked Singer Australia. That’s the name of the show. In the US, we have The Masked Singer. Here, it’s The Masked Singer Australia. There was an alien or a lion or something singing onstage, looking like no celebrity you’ve ever seen, I’ll tell you that. It was quite a hell of a disguise. Everything about the show was bright and colorful and people were cheering. I liked it. I’ve never watched The Masked Singer, but if it’s anything like The Masked Singer Australia, I bet it’s pretty good.
The judges or guessers or whatever they are started talking about who might be behind the mask. I noticed one of the judges had an American accent. My ears pricked up. She looked like no one I knew, at first. But when they came back from commercial, I looked at/listened to her some more, and thought she looked a bit like Lindsay Lohan. Then I looked and listened even closer and realized, yeah, it was Lindsay Lohan.
I knew I would not be changing the channel. I was so heartened to see Lindsay. I felt so connected to her. Us two? Winding up in Australia?! What are the odds? Surely it was not something either of us planned on. Both of us had every opportunity to avoid moving to Australia. I could have, I dunno, pushed harder at comedy, or focused on something else that would have been more lucrative, a career that would have been impractical to leave. Lindsay Lohan could have not done so much coke. And let’s be honest, we both could have laid off the booze. Her more so, probably.
Like me, Lindsay was nothing but thrilled to come here. “Each week will be so exciting to watch who performs and try and guess who's behind the masks,” she said in a statement. “I feel honoured to sit on the panel and be a part of such an amazing show.” (Judging by the letter u in “honoured,” this was probably the work of an Australian publicist, but I’m sure Linds was more than happy to sign off.)
And then, like me, Lindsay was hit by the stark reality of moving to a new country. Sure, she and I can speak the same language as the Aussies (usually), and we can learn quickly enough how to drive on the left side of the road (if she’s allowed). We can trade the taco trucks of LA and the infinite pizzerias of New York in favor of world class Asian food (and flavorless I mean wonderful meat pies that my wife loves). But one thing about Australia will always cause Lindsay and me to stumble: We. Don’t. Know. The. Celebs.
I felt for Lindsay as she struggled to come up with one famous Australian person. At one point she guessed that the masked singer was Russell Crowe (a New Zealander, but that’s not why it’s an insane guess). I’m pretty sure she guessed Jaden Smith at one point, but she may have said Willow. And honestly, I think I would have done only slightly better than she did. Here are the names of the singers who have so far been unmasked on the show.
No American knows any of these people. Ones a cricketer, another a footballer, and the rest who knows? Lindsay has been baffled by every single reveal. She is only representing her country. She’s done the US proud.
Lindsay reportedly will not be returning for The Masked Singer Australia’s next season. An unnamed source’s quote reads, “She was tricky with demands and had a complete lack of respect for time schedules.” But I know better. Their real reason for “giving her the sack” is, She doesn’t know who the fuck any of us are.
But I know who you are, Lindsay. You’re an American Icon, one who gave me the warmth I needed on a cold, lonely night at the bottom of Australia.