Ahh Australian Idol. The show that is to TV what sprinkles are to fairy bread, what a rolled up sock is to pair of saggy jocks, what Cottees Ice Magic is to Streets Blue Ribbon. Yes, it's true, I love Idol, and now that it's on again I've almost forgotten that Prisonbreak isn't on anymore. Or that it had A REALLY CRAP SEASON ENDING: "What do we do now?" "We run." What, FOREVER? Or just for the next 10 seconds? BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LONG IT'LL BE BEFORE THAT COP THAT'S 10 METRES AWAY CATCHES UP WITH YOU.
Anyway, this is the first of what will be a weekly BC Oz Idol wrap up. I've even created a category for it over there on the left, see? Aren't I nice?
And even though they've gone all streamlined and switched the tables on us with this whole Sunday/Monday double up show thing, and half the boys I'm going to write about here have already been voted out, I'm going to go ahead and write the damn thing up anyway. You can have episode 2 tomorrow, it's late and I'm tired.
GROUP ONE: the boys, the boys
We open with a little montage of all the losers who lined up in the heat and cold to audition like, eight months ago, who noone cares about anymore and everyone is thoroughly sick of seeing. James "monkey boy" Matheson informs us that we have a brand new set, and tries to get everyone enthused about it. Um...new, is it? Right. Can't really tell. The only difference I can see is that the stage appears to be circular and surrounded by audience on all sides, allowing the contestant to be seen from every angle. Clearly it has been designed in ths way to prevent further Casey Donovan stlye publicity catastrophes, because no one wants to see every angle of THAT.
Our first performance comes from Chris Murphy, who looks rather like a cross between comedian Daniel Kitson and a slightly overweight Jesus.
I am the r-r-r-r-ock...
He's dressed in a dodgy Billy Ray Cyrus red shirt (not to be confused with Murray from The Wiggles red), which matches his dodgy Triple M version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It's hard not to like Chris, as his Pantene-glossed curls gently bob to the music, but really - what the hell is this song? Holden says it's "right in the pocket", but neglects to mention which pocket so it'll probably end up going through the wash and getting ruined. Marcia says it's obvious he "gigs", and everyone nods sagely and pretends to understand what she's talking about. Kyle tells him to be more grubby, which is presumably a response to the high shine, high volume, high bounce hairdo he's now sporting. All in all, not a bad kick off for '06.
Next is Nathaniel Willemse, our lovely Terence Trent D'Arby lookalike.
Wish me love a wishing well, kiss and tell...
Monkey boy announces he'll be singing U2's Vertigo, and everyone shifts in their seat to get a better view of the inevitable train wreck that occurs when R&B meets rock... But actually, it's quite good. Terence pulls off quite a delicious low-fi version of the song, even if it is a little Cruise 1323 AM, although I am a bit worried about the purple velvet jacket, stone wash jeans and diamond earring. The song is nice, but it never gets off the ground, and ultimately sounds like backing music for a Women's Channel promo on Foxtel. Holden says his interpretation of the song is wrong (tell me, Holden, how exactly would YOU interpret "Lights go down, it's dark, the jungle is your head, can't rule your heart"?). Marcia says he should be allowed to interpret it however he wants, obviously forgetting she's used the exact opposite argument on previous shows. Kyle says there's something he doesn't like, but advises Terence to hang in there, because he might change his mind next week. Then again, he might not.
Contestant three is Paul Vercoe.
Would you buy a record from this man?
Sha-ZAM, the first really crap performance of the night! Paul's attempt to turn a bogan anthem, Lifehouse's Hanging By a Moment, into a crowd pleaser fails dismally. Even his Lleyton-esque cries of "COME ON!" to the audience don't help. He's also the first boy-dol to be convinced by backstage stylists to wear the so-five-years-ago-not-even-queer-eye=would-bother-anymore "hoodie with a suit jacket" look. "See, I'm stylish, but I'm casual at the same time. I'm like Justin Timberlake, get it?" Yawn. Holden grimaces and tells him he might as well be performing at the "Oona-woop-woop RSL", then overstates the matter by adding "It didn't work for me." Oh, no SHIT, Holden? Marica tells Paul not to think, advice she clearly got from HER stylist, who obviously wasn't thinking when she put those ridiculous fake flowers on her lapel. At least, she wasn't thinking about making Marcia look GOOD. Kyle says it was a dog of an act, and that he's stepped into a "danger zone". Everyone waits for Paul to launch into some impromptu Kenny Loggins. He doesn't.
Then along comes Frodo, on his search for the one ring to bind them...oh no wait, it's Damien Leith.
One song to rule them all...
Damien is an Irish chemist slash dad slash MAN WITH REALLY BAD TEETH. Jesus H, paddy, time to get a dentist! At any rate, he's charming as all hell, just like the entire bloody Irish race, and even though he sings Joe Cocker WITH REALLY BAD TEETH he has almost everyone in the audience wanting to buy him flowers and bake him a cake by the time he's done. Holden calls him an "incredible Irish tenor" and loses almost 90% of Idol's audience by mentioning Val Doonican. Marcia informs us that her husband thinks Damien is brilliant, and everyone struggles to see the point. Kyle says something about selling albums, as usual.
Next up is the contestant with the most awkward name, Brendon Boney.
Would Eddie McGuire give THIS man the bone?
Brendon impressed everyone in his initial audition by doing a funky version of Coolio's Gangstas' Paradise, and yes I know it was originally Stevie Wonder's Pastime Paradise, which was originally funky, so I guess this was a weird postmodern combination of the two. At any rate, it was good, and we all expected much from the Bonester. Pity then that he decided to do another Stevie Wonder song covered by another band, this time Higher Ground as done by the Chili Peppers. "No one's gonna bring me down," he sang, as Holden and Kyle considered how they would. The Kangol cap-wearing funster bounced about the stage, struggling with reaching the highest notes, let alone the highest ground. When it was over, all three judges blew sunshine straight up Boney's pantsleg, saying it was a tough song to do. The rest of the country gets ready to bid him goodbye on Monday night.
And finally, we round up the night's performances with THAT COMPLETELY GORGEOUS BOY I WANT TO COVER IN BUTTER AND LICK UNTIL...ahem. Sorry about that. We round up the night's performances with Dean Geyer.
Dean stares straight down the barrel of the camera, his icy blue eyes piercing the hearts of women, girls and gays all over the nation, and the rest of the contestants watching start to pack their bags, realising it's all over. He too has chosen a bogan song - Tonic's If You Could Only See - but it's the kind you love to rock out to in your car when no one's around, and OH FORGET THE JUSTIFICATION - HE'S FREAKIN' HOT, WHO CARES HOW HE SINGS? By the time he's finished there's not a dry seat in the house, and even Holden appears to be affected, telling Dean he's "telegenic to the max times 10 plus 304". He refrains from adding "izzle" to the end of any of his words, so he's clearly still within his faculties, but only just. Marcia can only manage to squeak "darn good" and Kyle says he's "the million dollar package". He then says he thinks Dean is OK too.
Monday night's result: THE HOBBIT and THE HOT BOY both make it through, leaving the others to scrabble for a possible wild card nomination on Thursday.
Stay tuned for the wrap up of episode 2: ladies' night.