The biennial 2017-18 South Australian Firefighters Calendar Launch Night was held at the Adelaide Exhibition Centre on Friday night 12th August. With more than 1000 guests in attendance, anticipation was high to see the newest crop of South Australia's hottest firefighters.
The night started with the High Angle Rescue team rappelling from the roof of the venue onto the tables of four lucky groups of patrons in an exciting display of skill and finesse. Fortunately, the night was young and no one was in need of rescuing at such and early hour of the evening. The tempo then kicked up a notch with Firefighter Nick looking dapper in his dress uniform calling his fellow calendar boys and girls onto the stage one by one to the tune of 'Jump Around' (House of Pain). Their bizarre forms of Personal Protective Equipment became progressively outlandish before reaching the crescendo of Firefighters Gavin and Paul getting jiggy in oversized fluoro gas-tight splash suits! Their peculiar outfits were equally matched by their bizarre dance moves, but was a stellar way to kick off the night.
MC's Alissa Smith from Channel 10 and Jarrod Walsh from Nova greeted the audience and reminded everyone what the night was all about, supporting health and fitness within the Fire Service as well as raising much needed funds for the Women's and Children's Hospital Burns Service through the fantastic work of Team Kids.
It was then time to introduce the talent to the stage, with Mr. January (Brock) opening the individual routines for the night. Starting out in a Sumo suit with the words ‘Too Sexy’ emblazoned on his derriere, he then stepped it up a notch and transformed into a gangsta motor mechanic! The crowd couldn’t get enough of his mechanical dexterity as he ground down to the beat of ‘Pony’ (Genuine).
Next to the stage was Mr. February (Scott) who got his Mickey Mouse on to the tune of ‘Hey Mickey’. A quick costume change saw him emerge as another dark haired heart throb, Danny Zuko! After lighting up the stage to ‘Grease Lightning’ he finished his act with a stunning display of illusion by hanging his cowboy hat from his underwear with no hands! If only the Velcro was able to hold for a few seconds longer Scott…
It was then time to make history, with the first of our two inaugural calendar girls gracing the stage for the first time in the Calendar’s long history. Miss March (Catherine) utilised her skill set from a past life as a circus performer to put on an incredible aerial silks performance. Using crimson red silks, she had the crowd on the edge of their seats as she executed an amazing display of strength and agility, tangling and unraveling her way into the history books.
Mr. April (Brad) rounded out the first four acts with a routine reminiscent of a young Justin Bieber, rousing all the closet Beleibers in the crowd. Startling almost everyone when he revealed he was packing heat, Brad then took it to the ‘Candy Shop’ (50 Cent), and according to a reliable source, “One lucky lady on table 92 walked away with a pre-licked lollypop.” You’re welcome!
The first intermission saw a dry demonstration by the girls from Acquapole Australasia, the latest craze to come out of Europe. An amalgamation of pole dancing and aqua aerobics, the innovation of the Acquapole allows maximum freedom of movement whilst utilising water resistance to give a great workout.
After the short break, Mr. May (Nick) graced the stage in the more traditional firefighters PPE outfit whilst a solitary fedora hat waited for him patiently on stage. Once the kit came off, the hat went on, and Nick tore up the catwalk with scintillating dance moves that put Justin Timberlake to shame. Utilising neck ties, belt straps and pushups of impeccable form, he had the masses glued to his every bump and grind!
|Drawing on his vast experience as a veteran Calendar boy (2009), it was easy to see this was not Mr. June’s first rodeo. Gavin followed Nick’s lead and started his routine in the classic firefighters PPE uniform, but that was where all similarities ended. With a quick costume change, Gav went from beast to Beyoncé, rousing all the ‘Single Ladies’ in the room with his black leotard and wig! It was clear that he had spent hours perfecting the heavily choreographed routine, with an impeccable performance that would rival Dave Callan any day of the week.
An old man then wandered onto the stage. To the crowd’s surprise, this was indeed Mr. July (Nick). After slowly shuffling along the stage and almost breaking a hip, the arthritis quickly diminished as Salt n Pepa’s ‘Push It’ cranked into gear. With what could only be described as a standout performance, Nick had the 1000+ patrons going crazy. The boy can dance, and boy did he entertain, working his magic on an unassuming chair to the uncontrollable screams of the crowd. That chair will never be the same again.
From Magic Mike to Mike Meyers, Mr. August (Nobu) took to the stage looking dapper as the world famous spy Austin Powers. Fresh from his amazing win in the Mens U80kg Bodybuilding at the ANB Universe International in Manila, Philippines, Nobu was still in peak condition. Not only did the crowd take in his groovy, psychedelic dance moves, but once the retro threads came off they were treated to a series of impeccable bodybuilding poses that proved why he is the reigning ANB champion!
The second intermission saw the stellar talents of the clubs very own Firefighter Col Heinjus, partnered with the lovely Mardi, serenade the room with their unique brand of acoustic pop harmonies.
It was then Mr. September’s turn to get the party started again, awkwardly strutting along the catwalk as he perfected the ultra nerdy persona with braces, thick framed glasses and uncouth dance moves to boot! The bookworms and intellectuals of the crowd were in their element, but it wasn’t long before Matt pulled the ole Clark Kent and went all Man of Steel on us, revealing what Lois Lane had always imagined. With the ‘Party Rock Anthem’ (LMFAO) pumping up the room, Matt’s performance proved to be kryptonite to all who witnessed it.
Two days before the opening ceremony of last year’s World Police & Fire Games in Fairfax, Virginia, Paul was hit by a car. He sustained a broken arm, two skull fractures and broke his leg in five places. He was admitted to Intensive Care and spent over a week in hospital, but still managed to come out and support his team mates at their events in his wheelchair. The doctors told Paul that it would take a year to fully recover, but using the calendar as motivation, he put in hours of hard work and pushed through the pain. Amazingly, he was back at work fully operational within 6 months and is now referred to as Mr. October. Paul entered the stage to the drama and frenzy of ‘O Fortuna’ adorned in a red cape and Spartan Warrior armour slashing his way down the catwalk. It was quite a befitting change of music to ‘Titanium’ (David Guetta ft. Sia) considering that half of Pauls limbs now contain surgical grade titanium. To the crowds delight he then began removing his armour, revealing the battle hardened warrior beneath. I guess your lucky Paul, as the saying goes, chicks dig scars!
It was then time to unleash some serious girl power, with the second of our inaugural calendar girls gracing the stage. Miss November (Carly) almost incited a riot kitted up in her firefighters PPE and strutting around the stage to 'Run The World (Girls)' (Beyonce). After rousing the crowd, she showed her true fighting spirit as she shed her PPE and unveiled a fire service inspired boxers outfit, complete with reflective embellishments. Flaunting her dance moves and flexing her guns, Carly kept up the intensity in the room to 'Roar' (Katy Perry) whilst roaring herself into calendar history.
Last but not least, it was Mr. December (Ryan) who was left to round out the evenings entertainment. After a very long nervous wait backstage, Ryan came out with an epic 90s party music extravaganza! Featuring a four song mashup including classics from S Club 7 and Back Street Boys, he had the whole room up and dancing. Utilising a set of bars, Ryan showed his acrobatic strength performing some insanely difficult horizontal holds and handstands to the crowds amazement. After an epic dance routine, he eventually succumbed to audience pressure and got his gear off, rounding out twelve fantastic acts!
All good things must come to an end, but the last order of business saw the audience given the chance to vote for their favourite boys and girls, specifically 'Best Body', 'Best Smile', and the overall winner on the night 'Mr/Miss Flame'. As the votes were being counted the raffle was drawn on stage and ten lucky patrons went away with some fantastic prizes. The results were in, Gavin (Mr. June) won 'Best Body', Ryan (Mr. December) took out 'Best Smile', and the overall crowd favourite on the night went to none other than Nick (Mr. July) who was crowned 'Mr. Flame'! A great night was had by all whilst supporting a very worthy cause. The after party kicked on at The Rob Roy Hotel where guests were given the chance to meet their favourite firefighter.
Thank you all who attended for your wonderful support. See you all in 2018!