Alongside Keith Urban and Jessica Mauboy on the Grand Final bill, Sambora and Orianthi were part of the televised pre-game entertainment, and performed Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive and Living On A Prayer.
Following Sambora and Orianthi’s performance, some Twitter users said the pair were “slaughtering” the Bon Jovi songs, while some even compared it to Meatloaf’s ill-fated performance at the 2011 AFL Grand Final:
Richie Sambora putting on a Meatloafisc performance at the NRL Grand Final
— Andrew Taylor (@tails37) October 2, 2016
— Leon Todd (@Leon_Ragdoll) October 2, 2016
Along with the criticism, though, there were also plenty of people who loved the pair’s performance:
Richie Sambora is the best entertainment @NRL has had in my memory!
— Daniel Munday (@DanielMunday) October 2, 2016
Wow @nrl loved seeing Richie Sambora and Aussie guitarist Orianthi in their new rock band RSO – awesome.
— theapplefour (@theapplefour) October 2, 2016
Wow. The NRL know how to do a Grand Final opening entertainment. Richie Sambora, Oranthi, and now Keith Urban. Awesome
— Bill Jarrard (@Bill_Jarrard) October 2, 2016
After the mixed reaction to the performance, Sambora took to Twitter today to say, “I did not get mean… It’s ok if people don’t dig where I’m going artistily [sic] …it’s ok. God bless you all. Just bringin all my love.
“Thank you to all our friends in Austrailia [sic] who came out to see us… We had a blast..keep singin and smilin!! Big love, RS +O.”
Sambora and Orianthi have just wrapped up an Australian tour. They’re also preparing to release an album of originals under the name RSO, which is slated for release in the first quarter of next year.
Watch the pair’s 2016 NRL Grand Final performance, below.
Watch: Richie Sambora & Orianthi (NRL Grand Final 2016)
I did not get mean… It's ok if people don't dig where I'm going artistily..it's ok. God bless you all. Just bringin all my love…
— RICHIE SAMBORA (@TheRealSambora) October 2, 2016
Thank you to all our friends in Austrailia who came out to see us… We had a blast..keep singin and smilin!! Big love, RS +O
— RICHIE SAMBORA (@TheRealSambora) October 4, 2016