CMU Opinion

Dua Lipa calls out journalist who questions her teeth

By | Published on Friday 23 March 2018

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa was back on stage on Tuesday night supporting Bruno Mars in Sydney. Less than a week earlier, she’d been bed-bound, forced to cancel several performances because she had required emergency surgery to have her wisdom teeth removed.

Or had she? On Monday night she was on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ roaring through her hits ‘IDGAF’ and ‘New Rules’ with no sign of any mouth issues whatsoever. And that’s a bit suspicious, isn’t it?

Australian TV journalist Richard Wilkins certainly thought so. “Well get this”, he mugged on Channel 9 News, where he is Entertainment Editor. “She was supposed to be in Australia opening up for Bruno Mars at his 24 Karat world tour, and had to cancel due to having her wisdom teeth out. But here she is on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!'”

“We were told that was live to air”, he added, seemingly suggesting that Lipa had posted x-rays of her teeth and videos of her swollen face online simply in order to throw people off the scent. In fact, rather than being in pain, she’d cancelled her Aussie performances because she wanted to get on a flight to perform for that Kimmel chap.

I suppose she could have had the teeth out and recovered in time for the Kimmel stint. Apparently it takes between three and seven days to recover from wisdom tooth surgery. I had to look that up, because I was sufficiently sensible to grow a mouth large enough to fit my wisdom teeth in it and therefore have no personal first hand knowledge of the extraction process. Take note, kids. It’s not too late for you.

So, yeah, she could have had the teeth out on Wednesday, recovered Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at some point during this time flown to the US, recorded a performance as part of the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live Concert Series’ on Monday, and then flown back to Sydney to be on stage on Tuesday.

I would think that anyone who’s ever undergone surgery and/or travelled on a longhaul flight would agree that this sounds entirely reasonable. And she did tweet on Monday that she’d woken up to find the swelling gone and that she had now finished her antibiotics, so there’s that.

But from Wilkins’ tone, I don’t think he was suggesting that this had been the sequence of events. But me? I wouldn’t like to assume anything. Actually, Dua Lipa’s already filled in the gaps in this story, so no assumptions are required.

Not pleased with Wilkins’ coverage of her televised performance, she tweeted a picture of her swollen face to him, saying: “If you were a good journalist you would’ve done proper research instead of talking out of your ass. Jimmy Kimmel was shot in Feb in LA and aired yesterday. I’ve been in Australia on bed rest and wouldn’t’ve cancelled my Bruno shows if I didn’t have to”.

So, that’s him put in his place. Though he did say he’d “been told” that her Kimmel performance was live to air. Maybe it wasn’t all his fault. That sounds like he did do at least a little bit of research.

Even if he didn’t call Kimmel’s production team, he might have just read one of the numerous articles written by reputable media outlets which said that the show had been live. Billboard went so far as to explain that she’d flown to the US for the performance, and would afterwards be returning to Australia to rejoin the Mars tour on 26 Mar.

But it may also be that he’d plucked this information right out of thin air. As I say, I don’t assume things. Not like that Richard Wilkins. Because, in responding to Lipa, he went from saying he’d “been told” the Kimmel set was live to stating he’d “assumed” it to be so.

“Sincere apologies, Dua Lipa”, he tweeted. “Didn’t mean to misinform. Assumed you were live with Jimmy K. Your fans and my son have severely castigated me!”

His son, Christian Wilkins, then confirmed this to be the case: “Left him unsupervised for five mins and he gone done try come for Dua” he tweeted.

True, that tweet appears to be a mostly random collection of words, but it’s possible it would mean something to young people. Possibly that Wilkins Junior had indeed castigated Wilkins Senior. But as you know, I don’t like to assume anything.

And I am so very, very old now that basically anything anyone under the age of 30 says seems like nonsense to me. Given my dislike for assuming, you might suggest that I run that tweet by a young person to double check its meaning (or lack thereof). But, alongside my “never assume” rule, I have always lived by the mantra that “some things just aren’t worth researching properly”.

What sort of things, Andy? Well, how about whether or not Dua Lipa’s TV performances are pre-recorded or not? Because if people started going around doing research all the time, clarifying that kind of thing, we’d all miss out on the TV GOLD that followed Wilkins’ gaff.

Apologising on his next news bulletin, he explained: “When we saw her on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, we assumed she’d headed to the States. However, as she pointed out yesterday, she’s been on bed rest here in Australia and the Jimmy Kimmel performance was, in fact, recorded last month”.

“Now, she told me I was talking out of my backside, this one right here”, he continued, before standing to show that he’d taped a piece of card with “SORRY” written on it to his bum. “So sorry Dua, we love having you here, we love your music”.

See? TV GOLD? I’m pretty sure my written description will have got that fully across to you all. Though I wouldn’t want to assume. But I can assure you that his three co-hosts were all weeping with laughter at seeing the word “sorry” written on someone’s arse. They were under no illusions about how funny it was. It was very funny indeed. Assume of that what you will, but don’t go doing any research.