Higgins performed her hits ‘Scar’ and ‘The Special Two’ – as a special duet with Gordi – as well as a cover of The Motels’ 1979 release, ‘Total Control’, at the ABC-broadcast event.
After a year with an overarching theme of, ‘WTF?’ fans embraced the “warm hug” of Higgins’ performance.
“Missy Higgins is the warm hug we all need right now #NYEABC” one fan tweeted.
“Just finished a tough shift as contact tracer and #nyeabc with Missy Higgins and a Scotch is what I need,” wrote another.
Fans praised Higgins and Gordi for their duet:
Gordi and Missy Higgins singing The Special Two has opened up a space in my feelings I didn't know I had. goosebumps. #NYEABC
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— Samantha Lewis (@battledinosaur) December 31, 2021
The audacity of Missy Higgins playing “The Special Two” and making me cry on New Year’s Eve #NYEABC
— Dr. Ben, Medicine Woman (@benj00man) December 31, 2021
People also loved Higgins’ cover of The Motels.
“Haha I couldn’t have guessed their choice, but I have ‘Total Control’ by the Motels stuck in my head after Missy Higgins’ brilliant cover last night on ABC,” one fan posted today.
In fact, it seems the only divisive moment came from Higgins’ shoe choice, with one fan tweeting:
I respect Missy Higgins and her footwear choices #nyeabc
— Eddie Ngaluafe (@EdNgaluafe) December 31, 2021
“I respect Missy Higgins and her footwear choices,” whilst another disagreed with her choices:
Missy Higgins, my grandma wants her shoes back! #NYEABC
— raquel zundel (@zundy21) December 31, 2021
“Missy Higgins, my grandma wants her shoes back!” they wrote.
Higgins’ performance may have struck a chord for a very simple reason:
Watching Missy Higgins sing "I've hardly been outside my room in days" really hits different this year. #nyeabc
— Dumb DM Husband stan account (@scrapsofsnow) December 31, 2021
Higgins and Gordi were joined on stage by Tyne-James Organ, Casey Donovan, Jimmy Barnes (and family), Delta Goodrem, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Budjerah, Tina Arena and Novak from Polish Club.
Genesis Owusu, who is still listed on the ABC iView event replay, was noticeably absent.
Tone Deaf has reached out to his team for comment.
The night also featured a unique Welcome to Country curated by Blak Douglas, who cast the event as an Indigenous reclaiming of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“We are taking over one of the most famous icons on the planet,” Douglas said, noting that the land it stands on has never been ceded.
The 9pm fireworks had a First Nations theme, ending in a live performance from rap duo Barkaa and Dobby.