London turned on the biggest pop party of the year to close the XXX Olympiad. You could be forgiven for forgetting this was a sporting, not a musical event.
There were more pop stars than you can poke a Grammy at, with just about every rumoured act making an appearance in the Olympic Stadium.
It began with Emeli Sande and morphed into Julian Lloyd Webber and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Highlight acts included a reunited Spice Girls, including X Factor judge Mel B, entering via London cabs.
Jessie J.’s vocals were probably the best of the entire show, singing first with Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz, then as guest vocalist with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor. Freddie Mercury made an appearance via video leading an arena sing-off.
There was Madness singing Our House. deadpan-faced Pet Shop Boys performing West End Girls and One Direction miming. Annie Lennox also appeared to mime but put on a theatrical mardi-gras style performance.
George Michael pleased the crowd with Freedom ’90 but the decision to mine his new single White Light was a bad idea all round. It fell flat.
John Lennon’s Imagine was recreated with a children’s choir as his likeness was assembled with a huge white mask.
There was Muse, Liam Gallagher, Kaiser Chiefs, Ed Sheerhan singing Pink Floyd, Fatboy Slim, Ray Davies, Elbow, and Stomp threw in the theatrics across a glowing London set including Tower Bridge, Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Eric Idle led an over-the-top version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Is this the first Olympics ceremony to ever officially utter the word “shit?” (“Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it”).
There were homages to The Italian Job, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Russell Brand (what no A Clockwork Orange?) and a bit of Bollywood.
Supermodels were there: Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and co.
Kate Bush, David Bowie and Electric Light Orchestra were all channelled with audio recordings.
Brazil had a moment in the spotlight ahead of Rio 2016, but couldn’t match Britain’s celebrity-laden party. Pele was a nice touch.
Take That turned up, including Gary Barlow -a real trouper considering his personal tragedy in the last week.
The Who closed the show with a medley of their greatest songs.
London’s Games have been a success on every front, and have delivered successful viewing numbers to Nine and Foxtel.
The Paralympics take place later this month and will screen on ABC.
See you in Rio.
2012 Closing Ceremony is repeated tonight at 9:30pm on Nine and later on Foxtel.