Singer, comedian and former Australian Idol star Em Rusciano appeared on The Project on Monday night to promote her one-off TV special, a live taping of her musical comedy concert Rage and Rainbows.
The special was set to air on Channel 10 later that evening but viewers of the panel program were treated to a sneak peek clip of Rage and Rainbows, which celebrates ‘female rage and joy’.
“It’s a love letter to any woman anywhere who has felt that they’ve had to make themselves smaller be it physically, mentally, spiritually to fit in and be accepted,” the 40-year-old ex-2Day FM host explained to Waleed Aly.
“When we’re little girls we’re told that it’s more important to be liked than respected and I wanted to shift that,” the mum-of-three added.
At that point, Em turned her attention to Steve Price, asking if he’d be tuning in at 8.30 pm to watch the musical which features original songs penned by Em herself.
As an incentive, Em joked that watching the show would cause Steve to be ‘40 per cent more sexually attractive’ to his partner.
She went on to give a slightly flustered Steve a heads up about a particular part of the show which sees a dozen dancers dressed in pink and nude vulva costumes take the stage.
Yep, you heard right: there’s a point where Em, swathed in rainbow tulle, is surrounded by 12 life-sized replicas of female genitals while she sings about the ‘flap up’ movement, an alternative to the male-driven ‘grow a pair’ mantra.
It appears Em’s dancing vagina obsession became a family affair, with her husband of 21 years Scott Barrow and their children, Marchella, 16, and Odette, 11, donning the anatomical outfits for a video on her Instagram.
Even Em and Scott’s their third child, a boy named Elio, who they welcomed in January this year joined in on the fun.
After the short clip ended, a visibly uncomfortable Steve asked his fellow panellists to take over the interview, and he wasn’t alone.
One disgruntled viewer took to Twitter to chastise Channel 10’s decision to air the footage at a 6.30 pm ‘family-friendly’ time slot.
“What was with the clip from Em's stage show? My kids were watching that. Not even 7.30 and you show that,” they remarked.
Others on Twitter were full of praise.
“I can’t wait for this story. I love Em Rusciano! She’s so real and funny,” one wrote.
“She doth speak the truth!!!!” said another.
She also had a fan in Lisa Wilkinson who branded her ‘Dr Phil in a sparkling leotard!’ for tackling the topics such as the ‘domestic load’ which sees women shoulder most of the responsibility for cooking, cleaning, child-rearing and other household tasks.
Indeed, members of the Rage and Rainbows audience have given Em glowing feedback about how the show affected their own lives.
“They said thank you for saving my relationship. Which is not what I was expecting,” Em said.
“I got all these messages saying, ‘Thank you, my husband got up this morning and un-stacked the dishwasher.’ By the way, that's not a favour. It's doing your fair share,” she added.
“Hearing Em Rusciano talk about men doing household chores reminds me of how attractive it is to see a guy doing it,” remarked one fan on Twitter.
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