GROUP TWO: ladies' night
Monday night's show kicks off by kicking out four of the boys from Sunday night's performance - namely, everyone who's not the hot South African and the charming Irishman. Ho hum, like we didn't know THAT was going to happen. All the others try to look cute, like puppies left behind in the window of the pet shop, so that we might be tempted to bring them back on a wildcard at some point in the future. Whatever.
Tonight is the rather naffly named "Ladies' Night", and first chick off the block is the even more naffly named Lyndelle Palmer-Clarke.
Clowns have always scared me
Lyndelle has frightened me ever since she auditioned for last year's Idol in a pair of scary black over-the-knee boots straight from Jon English's Pirates of Penzance wardrobe. Undeterred, she wore them AGAIN for her audition this year and managed to get through, so it must have had something to do with her talent. Lyndelle favours the stockings-under-shorts look which she wears at every given opportunity, presumably because someone once told her her legs are her greatest asset. It's certainly not her voice, which she demonstrates in a straight-from-the-best-of-the-80s CD version of the Eurythmics' Would I Lie To You? Actually, that's a lie, Lyndelle does a pretty rockin' version of this song and she's impressive, apart from the bloody awful tartan kilt she's wrapped around her as a tight-fitting bodice matched with, yes you guessed it, stockings, and a bow tie. As she trots about the stage with her hand pumping the air it ocurrs to me she'd be FANTASTIC on stage at a casino, the local rock chick giving it her hardest while blue rinsers play the pokies around her, the cheerful ching-ching-ching noise drowning out her squawking...but I digress. She finishes, and with just a hint of foreboob squishing out of her bodice, she turns to the Holden for appraisal. Holden asks her if it was painful to step into the ring of fire, but before Lyndelle can explain that she was singing EURYTHMICS, not Johnny Cash, he tells her she has "visual punch" but needs to "step up the ante". He doesn't tell her how, he just tells her she has to. Marcia goes all l33t and tells her she owned the stage, but Kyle trumps everyone by announcing "I've been up and down on you since you first arrived". So THAT'S how she made the top 24.
Next up is jillaroo and daughter of possible white supremacist parents, KLANcie Keough.*
Strange, you can't see her breasts in this photo...
Klancie, the cowgirl from Queensland who sings with a country twang...ok I'm over the novelty now. Clearly sick of having to wear RMs and moleskins every day of her life, Klancie has used Idol as an opportunity to frock up and whip her boobs out at the drop of a 10 gallon hat. She's done it again tonight, but might I suggest a better support bra next time, KK(K)? Or you know, ANY bra? Pancakes are to be eaten, not worn. The dress is clearly also straight from the 50% off rack at Deborah K, but you know what - HER HAIR LOOKS FANTASTIC, so you go girl. Predictably enough she sings a Dixie Chicks' song called...well who cares, it's the Dixie Chicks. Holden announces that she hit the right notes but it didn't hit his heart, and Marcia displays the first signs of dementia by saying "I agree. I adored it." No one cares what Kyle has to say.
Then it's our Northern Territory princess, Jessica Mauboy.
Cute as a button, you have to agree
It's fair to say everyone expects little Jess from the Top End to take this competition out, given that she's cute, quirky and has a voice that could probably summon the rains again and end the drought (why hasn't she tried this already?). All this is well and good, but CAN WE PLEASE LEAVE WHITNEY HOUSTON ALONE NOW? Clearly the only CD Jess owns is a Hits of Whitney double pack, as it's all she ever seems to sing. Tonight is no exception, and she gives us I Wanna Dance With Somebody. As usual, she sounds amazing, but it's almost as if we're all getting bored of how good she is. Holden tells her if she sings one more Whitney song he'll go psycho and wonders if she's actually 35. Marcia says something predictably dull, while Kyle tells her the song "sucked arse", fulfilling his on-air promotional requirement by telling her to get an iPod and sing
Tamara Jaber Christina Aguilera instead.
And then it's on to Grizabella the Glamour Cat...oh no wait, it's Atlanta Coogan.
Excuse me miss, can I go on Australian Idol?
As she folds up her walking frame and creaks onto the stage, we half expect Ms Coogan to launch into a bit of Blink 182's What's My Age Again?, because frankly, she could do with a bit of reminding. I don't want to be ageist but Idol's a young person's game, and to be honest - if you haven't made it as a singer by the time you're 30 it's possibly time to start looking for another career. She doesn't make it any easier for herself by dressing in a horrific patchwork dress straight from the window display at Dragonsblood Westfield Marion, and singing Evanescence. God, there's always got to be SOMEONE who thinks they're a bit goth, doesn't there? Holden gets his schoolteacher on, saying "I expected more from a 30 year old". Insert dull Marcia comment here. Kyle tells her she's good, but nowhere near good enough. The audience all wonders who he's talking about, having already forgotten about her.
Oh no - enter the token "rock chick", Amanda Streete.
There's always one...
I still don't know how Amanda got in on the strength of a REALLY BAD version of Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love, but somehow she's entranced the judges - a good thing for her, because it will keep them distracted from the absolutely horrific outfits she tortures herself with. Mandy, two things: 1) you have a great figure and 2) "rock" doesn't HAVE to mean net gloves, studs and leather, unless you're going to a fancy dress party as Amanda Streete from Australian Idol. Which you could easily do, given you have a ready-made wardrobe for that sort of thing. Tonight she's wearing a red net glove (check), a black leather studded wrist cuff (check), a necklace from an S&M shop that would probably be called "The Thriller" (check) and some bizarre leather gladiator's skirt over a red dress. Mystifyingly, all three judges tell her she looks amazing, which further supports the theory that none of them give a shit anymore. "Hey let's make HER the Idol, see if we can sell THAT! Hey, we did it with Casey!" She sings Trouble by Pink, and does a pretty bloody awful job of it too, which isn't helped by her bizarre thigh-slapping dance. Holden advises her to look into the camera - great idea, when you're on television, really. Marcia says something along the lines of "So sassy, Miss Thang, dynamite, mm-hmm" or something else in eubonics, and Kyle tells her she looks superb. Andrew "Ken Doll" G makes a hilarious joke about her being in TROUBLE if she doesn't get enough votes, and Mandy proves once and for all that she is more of a pebble chick than a rock chick by quipping "Boom-boom-CHING!" Mandy, Mandy, Mandy. Any self-respecting rocker knows it's "Ba-dum-TISH!" Sigh.
Rounding off the evening we have Reigan Derry, the Alicia Keys-alike that blew everyone's minds in her first audition by singing R&B, classical and soul, all at once. Sort of.
We like Reigan
Reigan is glorious. Reigan has a fab voice. Reigan could quite possibly win this whole shebang. That is to say, Reigan COULD have won this whole shebang if she hadn't turned up to her first solo performance looking like Heidi on crack and singing a song that everyone in the known universe hates - I wish I was a Punk Rocker. Matt's got a decent blog post on this song, you should read it. Her outfit is a COMPLETE mystery - it looks like a Swiss milkmaid has put her cow milking costume through the bedazzler for a night out at the local disco, Milk-o's, teaming it with brown crumple-suede boots for added confusion. For such a gorgeous girl it is a terrible mistake. Never mind - Holden criticises it enough, before criticising her arrangement, and basically telling her she's boring. Marcia says she looks fabulous (what IS that woman on?) and Kyle tells her she looks hot (clearly they're sharing whatever it is).
Some of Idol's brightest stars might have burnt out tonight, my friends...
*this is, of course, quite made up and most probably wrong.