Read that title and weep, dear reader. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than our poor, beleagured Idolites frocking up to sing dodgy examples of the worst genre of music in human history simply to promote Marcia Hines' new
drink coaster album. There is a reason the phrase "as dead as disco" exists, and Channel 10 would have been well advised to keep it that way.
Nevertheless, everyone's been struck with DISCO FEVER, although thankfully Monkey Boy and Ken Doll have avoided the "wacky host" look by choosing NOT to wear any crazy afro wigs or flares. Never fear, Holden is there to pick up the slack with a pair of Fireman Sam red braces and a black polo neck. Er Holden? Leo Sayer called, he wants his look back. No hang on, he just called back - he says you can keep it.
And as we all admire Ken Doll's ferocious mullet (seriously, have you SEEN that guy in profile? It looks like a prop squirrel from a pantomime is trying to attack his shirt collar) it's time for everyone's favourite bogan, Chris Murphy. Well, he's got the hair for disco.
We start with a bit of video from Mr Murphy's stint in the recording studio with resident disco expert Marcia and some other dude whose job it is to fiddle with knobs and dials and give the thumbs up occasionally. Chris announces that he's got a golf ball in his throat which he's "really disappointed about" - clearly the new "putter's diet" isn't working then. At any rate he's singing Play That Funky Music White Boy (of course he is), a cover band anthem which everyone knows is just an excuse for fat, white people to get up and dance at weddings. But snaps to Mr M for his outfit - black leather jacket, t shirt and jeans - which, while on the dull side, is still pretty stylish. But what the hell is going on with his hair? It's all matted and greasy (surely Kyle would approve) - you're supposed to SING the funk, Chris, not swim in it. Eerch.
I can feel the funk...dripping down my neck.
Holden says it's a great way to start the show. Yawn, Holden. Marcia tells him he sang through it. Yes, yes he did Marcia. That's how this show works, see, contestants get up on stage and...oh never mind. Kyle tells him he owned the show, which is a pretty bold statement considering no one else has sung yet. Then he gives him a typical backhander by telling him he's not a pretty boy, but that ladies who wear masseur sandals will love him. What, lesbians with mothering instincts?
Next up it's Lavina Williams who will obviously romp this one in with her eyes closed, hands behind her back, duct tape over her mouth and microphone off, so everyone else might as well just go home. In her montage she strolls into the studio looking like a poor man's J-Lo in her Adidas tracksuit and hoop earrings (are they actually surgically attached to her earlobes or what?) and Marcia speaks in ebonic double negative by saying "The biggest problem Lavina will have will be putting it all together, but I don't have any doubt that she won't." So, she will then? Or won't she? SHIT WOMAN, WHICH IS IT? But then Lavina walks out on stage and all thought is erased from my head as her enormous breasts swing into frame. My GOD they're huge. Now I know what the captain of the Titanic felt when he saw the iceberg. Holy hell. She's in a figure-hugging, skin-tight sparkly caramel coloured number, with some sort of industrial rigging hidden in the bust line to put those puppies front and centre. It's a good colour for her actually but when she turns on the side it's WELCOME TO GUT CITY. Sorry Lav, but a bit of Nancy Ganz wouldn't have gone astray. She's singing Best of My Love and she's not rocking it half as hard as we'd thought. Clearly she's been taking stage lessons from Ricky Muscat as she's pulling facial expressions that make her look like she's giving birth to a mirrorball.
Marcia commends Lav on how her head opens up and notes come out. And how chirping bluebirds then circle around it, with sparkly stars shooting every which way, and baby squirrels dance around her feet singing Yankee Doodle. She then excuses herself to take a few more Disco Pills in the backstage toilets. Holden looks confused and throws to Kyle, but it's probably only so he can score some off Marcia before she leaves the set. Kyle says he thinks Lavina doesn't feel comfortable. He means she looks fat. Holden says something else. Whatever. We're all disappointed. Except for my own Idol sidecar this week, Raoul Duke, who comments that Lavina's excessive cleavage is "nice".
Next up Ricky Muscat announces: "When I heard it was disco this week I was pretty excited." Given that the only song he knew from 1983 was Land Down Under, I think it's safe to say that nobody ELSE is excited to see what Ricky pulls out of the 1970s bag. Once again Marcia exclaims that Ricky's biggest challenge will be "putting it all together" - what, does she think they're doing a jigsaw puzzle or something? Why doesn't she just say what we're all thinking? "Ricky's biggest challenge this week will be singing in tune while not pulling the facial expressions of a psychotic axe wielding madman. But I don't not doubt that he can't not do it."
Ricky channels Peter Andre circa 1996 and selects Get Down On It, coming out in a white shirt and jeans - clearly the 12 step program to get him out of the black jacket/white shirt combo is working somewhat. Baby steps, Ricky, baby steps. But then he lifts his arms in a triumphant disco air-punch, revealing the mother of all sweat patches, and we all realise maybe he'd be better with the jacket on. It's a strange performance - even with back up singers he manages to sing the backing vocals himself, while simultaneously singing the lead vocals. It's like those Tibetan monks who can sing three notes at the same time. But disco. And you know, not as good. Finally he finishes and stands there, centre stage, looking dead. I don't mean exhausted from the performance, I mean ACTUALLY dead. Eddie Munster dead. So hey, at least if the singing thing doesn't work out he can get a job as a cadaver.
I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE, AND I BRING YOU....
Holden tells Ricky that he's got some really good tones and where did he download them from cos Holden is getting sick of his Crazy Frog one and wants to Idol up his mobile. Marcia announces that no one pays any attention to Holden's opinion. Then says dynamite. Then says well done. Nobody pays any attention, given that we're all still distracted by Holden's braces. Kyle says Ricky's good looking with fine vocals, but he's lame and limp. Ricky's lame? I didn't notice he had a limp. That would explain the facial expressions though, the poor boy's probably in pain...oh wait, the SONG was lame and limp. Never mind.
And then it's an ad break, which from the couch I was sitting on went something like this:
LENA: Come try our $9.90 lunch specials, there's the penne gamberi, the garlic prawns or the lasagne, mmm. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
RAOUL DUKE: I dunno - where are we going to get three gerbils and a ladder?
Back to Idol, and it's Damien Leith, our charming Irishman. Somehow I think there's a reason the genre "Irish Disco" never eventuated. And somehow I think we're going to find out why very soon.
Holy god, he's singing Celebration. Holy. God. In the studio, Marcia's coaching him saying "Don't rush it, it's a CELEBRATION! Who would want to rush a celebration?" I think we ALL would, if Damien's singing it, Marcia.
Closing your eyes won't make it go away, Damien
He bounds on stage like the happy little leprechaun he is in a dark blue tartan body shirt (which is much more stylish than it sounds) and a cheerful "How's it going tonoight? Everbody going alroight?" This generates about as much enthusiasm as a sock puppeteer looking for a "helper from the audience" in a performance at the local high security prison. In an effort to jazz the crowd, he tries on a few dance moves, which basically amount to jumping up and down on the spot and punching the air (it didn't work for Ricky, mate, it won't work for you) and shimmying along the front of the stage like your dad at his 50th after a few glasses of punch. It looks like he's auditioning to be the sixth Wiggle. And dammit, I'd give him the job! Get him a silver polo neck and let's be done with it. He looks intensely worried throughout the entire performance, and it's not hard to see why - this is an absolute catastrophe to rival even Daniel Belle's performance of Robbie Williams' Rock DJ in 2004.
But hey, at least it's not a ballad.
Cut to the judges - Holden has his head in his hands, and is clearly trying to work out what his life has become. Marcia looks stunned. Kyle is sharpening his teeth for a snarling retort. He says it's the worst thing he's ever seen on TV EVER. Phew - I thought he was going to say something REALLY nasty! Then he asks why Damien hadn't chosen to do something he would normally do, as opposed to dancing around like a clown. Er - I think that IS what he would normally do, Kyle. Then he calls him a big ball of string, and it's on to Holden who says "Mate, mate, mate - URGH." Then he shows off his latest piece of Idol technology, informing us that his Val Dooni-goo-goo-gometer has jumped to 11. Which, as we all know, is one more goonie-goo-goo than normal. He then says it's the most bizarre thing he's ever seen. But then we cut to Marcia, and we realise her hair is possibly more bizarre - but only just. She says it was the best Damien could do, prompting Holden to call for him to be kicked out of the competition. He then retracts the call on grounds of never wanting to hear Damien sing Celebration again. All in all, pretty constructive criticism. It's lucky he's so darn cute.
Next up it's Lisa Mitchell. I make myself a strong cup of coffee so as to be sure to stay awake for her entire two minutes on stage. She's singing Blondie's (dear GOD no!) Heart of Glass, only one of the greatest pop songs ever. Oh hang on - isn't it supposed to be DISCO NIGHT? Whatever. In the studio montage we hear Marcia instructing Lisa to "open up her vowels". Or was that bowels? In hindsight the latter would have sounded a hell of a lot better, given that Lisa has taken Debbie Harry and put her in a style vacuum until she comes out sounding like Kasey Chambers. She looks cute as hell in a stripey top and skin tight black pants, but sadly this isn't the Dolly covergirl competition - if it was she'd have to duke it out with Dean Geyer.
Making Blondie blandie.
The only thing disco about this performance is her glitter eyeshadow, which I keep hoping will fall into her eye and stimulate some real animation from her. Once again she just stands there gripping the microphone stand - has this girl got some sort of doctor's exemption from moving? Everyone else gets caned for it but it's like the judges have given up on Lisa. So has the audience, who are beginning to tire of clapping in time. OH MY GOD SHE MOVED, IT'S A MIRACLE! "Na na na na na" she slurs indifferently as she slacks about the stage.
Once again we cut to the judges to find Holden with his head in his hands. Tonight he reminds me of a parent who's just woken up from his vigil on the sofa to find his teenage daughter creeping in through the window at 4am, prompting him to say "I'm not angry, I'm just very disappointed." He's clearly battling his father complex, as he launches into a contestant survey on Lisa: "How was your workshop with Marcia? What did you get out of it? Do you think it helped you to improve?" For god's sake, Holden - GIVE UP ON THE GIRL! We've all known for weeks that she's a one trick pony, it's time to let it go. Unperturbed, he presses on with the sort of comment that makes viewers all over the country slap their foreheads and scream "no shit!" comments at the TV. "You sang it at one level all the way through, you didn't dig in whereyou should have, you looked bored," he says. Um yeah, she does that EVERY WEEK! Kyle is clearly smitten with her new choice of footwear and says she did an excellent job, but she could try and look happier. Lisa whinges about wanting to sing an acoustic song with her guitar, while everyone yawns and looks in the TV guide for what's on next. Ooh, Supersize Me, I hear that's a pretty good movie. Do you want a cup of tea? Milk? Oh and by the way I forgot to post that cheque today, so you'll have to do it tomorrow...
Raoul then closes all debate on the subject of Lisa Mitchell by exclaiming "Dirty little fucking little wench whore", which pretty much silences all other conversation.
And then it's Dean "Covergirl" Geyer time, with Turn the Beat Around. Good, I think. I love to hear percussion. Given that Raoul was still mumbling about Lisa DLFLWW Mitchell at this point, I missed most of Dean's studio video, catching only the words "It's going to suck", which fills me with confidence for his upcoming performance. And then he comes out in a pastel rainbow striped v neck T shirt and I think maybe he might be right. WHO keeps giving him these disastrous girly T shirts to wear I don't know (Sheridan?) but I wish they'd stop. Although as Raoul points out - they do show off his rather nice arms.
"Terrrn the bit ararrrnnnnd..."
I'm busy pointing out the scary bit of fluff that seems to have crawled up from Dean's belly button to sucker itself to the nape of his neck, when all of a sudden Raoul screams "OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT? He did a forward flip on one arm across the stage!"
What the bloody hell? You look away for one second and Dean does something fabulous, typical. I'm just about to tell Raoul this but then he yells "FUCK! HE JUST DID A FUCKING BACKFLIP!"
Dean Geyer, the incredible flying crack.
Bollocks. Two fabulous things in the space of two minutes and I miss both of them. Typical.
Not surprisingly, the judges cream themselves with excitement for their new gymnastic prodigy. Holden calls him Disco Deano and says he's got a "big wow factor". I have a feeling quite a few viewers wouldn't mind checking out Dean's big wow factor, but that's another story. Marcia says thank you. Honestly, that's all she says. Kyle says he took a lame-o song and made him forget how lame it was. Damien Leith gets on the phone to Cirkidz backstage to organise some juggling lessons for next week.
Next up is Bobby "unique" Flynn. Sure he's got the hair for disco, but it's fair to say his fans are shitting themselves tonight at the horror that could be Mr Flynn crashing and burning on a bit of Disco Inferno or, god forbid, Funky Town. His outfit - a blue checked shirt and matching tie with white pants and black socks - is a COMPLETE disaster. It looks like something Maria would sew for the Von Trapp children if she lived on a golfing range in 1953.
Want me to caddy for you, Mister?
But sweet, sweet Jesus, everything is forgiven when he starts up with his own bongo fired, cocktail-fuelled, loungeified version Rick James' Super Freak. Quite an appropriate choice really, given that "freak" is how most people have labelled Mr Flynn so far.
His velvety voice floats on over the groovy beats and my god, it's the best disco tune I've ever heard. Well it's not really disco. But Lisa sang Blondie, so fuck it, hey? Bobby for president.
Marcia gets into the groove, saying it's "outta sight" as she takes a hit on her jazz cigarette. Kyle says it's a pity some of the other contestants didn't rearrange their songs like that instead of destroying them, not looking at anyone in particular, Damien Leith or Lisa Mitchell. He then tells Bobby he looks like a pool boy, which we all realise is the truth, but no one really cares because Bobby rules the universe and he can clearly do what he wants. Holden makes his first obvious joke for the evening, saying "YOU are a superfreak, man!" and then giving him the second touchdown of the series. The crowd goes wild, the judges are ecstatic, Bobby's parents and girlfriend are crying tears of joy in the audience - and for the third week in a row Bobby looks mystified as he thinks "Singing badly, wearing makeup, dressing like a pool boy and completely flouting the rules - what the HELL do I have to do to get voted off this damn show?" FOILED AGAIN, BOBBY! HA HA! You're here to stay, my friend.
Finally it's Jessica Mauboy with Donna Summer's On the Radio. I'm still thrilled by Bobby at this point so I don't really pay much attention but she's wearing a completely unflattering neon yellow and black zebra print dress, which Raoul describes as looking like "a bad couch from a 1980s New York apartment". I concur. Her voice is great. She sounds awesome. That's about it, really.
What sound does a zebra make?
Holden says he's happy to see her letting the tiger out. No, Holden, that's a zebra. Yes, I KNOW it's yellow. Well tigers' stripes are slightly different...no I'll read you a story later. LATER, I said. Marcia says Jess has one of the finest voices she's ever heard. Somewhere, Deni gnashes her teeth. Kyle says she's gone from a scary bush frump to being perfect in every way. Aww that's...sweet...isn't it? Raoul says that vocally, it's between her and big tits. I think he means Lavina. Once again Jess manages to sound like someone's jabbed her with morphine just before the judging has started, laughing like she's mentally deficient throughout the whole thing.
I propose that we all use the next half hour to focus our energies on ejecting Lisa Mitchell.