What’s not to love about our own Olivia Newton-John? (OK, she was born in England, but we still claim her.) From a smiley high schooler with a talent for vocals, she overcame nerves and a few career misdirections to make her mark, most notably with 1978’s Grease. Then while filming Xanadu in 1980, Olivia (Griffin as a teen, Goodrem as an adult) roller-skated into the future father of her child, Matt Lattanzi (Richard Brancatisano). [The production does warn that “some events in this program have been fictionalised for dramatic purposes!”]
Most of this fast-paced two-parter—covering five decades of her life, there’s a lot to get through and many intriguing facts to impart—is as light and sunny as the bio’s subject. Aside from the odd relationship blip, things only get darker when Olivia’s stalker, Michael Owen Perry, is glimpsed doing scary things to pics of Livvy; during the dissolution of Koala Blue; and the cancer diagnosis. But it ends on the soaring high of Delta’s take on “I Honestly Love You”. 3.5 Stars (Airs Sun., May 13 and 20, 8.30 PM; Seven) —By Deborah Grunfeld
Goodrem is releasing a 13-track companion album (Out May 11) to the TV show. It features “Love is a Gift”, a duet with Newton-John.
For more on The Voice coach Delta Goodrem, including the truth about her and Harry Styles, babies, and what really happened with Olivia Newton-John get this week's WHO Magazine, on sale now.