Anthem singer’s scorching reply to criticism


Gordi had her mic drop moment, unfortunately it came on social media instead of centre court.

The singer-songwriter copped heavy criticism for her performance of the national anthem ahead of the Australian Open men's final on Sunday night, as viewers took issue with her lack of energy.

She also fluffed the most important line, singing "for we are young and free" instead of the updated "one and free".


It was an unfortunate result for the 28-year-old, who stepped into the spotlight after spending time working as a junior doctor in Victorian hospitals on the COVID frontline last year.

Gordi, real name Sophie Payten, has juggled her music career with a medical degree and helped ease the burden on overworked healthcare workers.

"Recently I've kind of been the medical equivalent of gap filler," she wrote on Instagram in September. "Victorian hospitals are having huge numbers of staff being furloughed - meaning because they've had exposure to COVID-19, they have to go and isolate for 2 weeks.

Australian singer songwriter Gordi. Picture: Supplied.
Australian singer songwriter Gordi. Picture: Supplied.

"This means huge staff shortages so I've been filling the gaps where I can. Healthcare workers are stressed and working outside of their comfort zone. One hospital I was in had their palliative care ward turned into a ward with COVID patients on it requiring serious intervention measures. The full PPE kit is pretty damn awful to wear so it gives me great comfort to walk out onto the street and see everyone wearing a mask."

The Australian Open, through its official Twitter account, mentioned Gordi's contribution in the fight against the pandemic ahead of her performance.

But it led to a nasty reply from a troll after her rendition. "Definitely would be going more down the doctor path," came the reply from Dale.

Gordi's response was savage. "Thanks, Dale," she wrote. "Hope to see you in the hospital one day."

Unlike most performances of the national anthem, Gordi sang without any accompanying music - her a cappella rendition echoing around the iconic venue.

She also recited the national anthem ahead of Saturday evening's women's final at the same venue.

On New Year's Eve, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Governor-General David Hurley had agreed to the federal government's recommendation to amend the anthem.

"During the past year, we have showed once again the indomitable spirit of Australians and the united effort that has always enabled us to prevail as a nation. It is time to ensure this great unity is reflected more fully in our national anthem," Mr Morrison said.

"Also, while Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country's story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect.

"In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we ensure our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation."

It was the first modification to the anthem since the Hawke government in 1984, when it was changed from God Save the Queen to Advance Australia Fair.

Originally published as Anthem singer's scorching reply to criticism

Melbourne singer Gordi (aka Sophie Payten) turned back to her day job as a doctor while all her music work disappeared due to COVID. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Melbourne singer Gordi (aka Sophie Payten) turned back to her day job as a doctor while all her music work disappeared due to COVID. Picture: Alex Coppel.