Before I go any further, I'd just like to say how sorry I am that The Greatest Thing To Ever Come Out Of This Country Musically got the arse last week - even after singing such a compelling version of The Veronicas Revolution done as a swing number. I have no idea what went wrong - perhaps all her fans were out late night shopping for ballet flats and leggings and forgot to vote.
At any rate, Shuffles M. McDull (the M stands for "mumbles") has finally been cast aside, which sort of means I no longer have an Idol whipping boy. Here's looking at you, Ricky Muscat.
On with the show, and tonight we're one man down as Monkey Boy is off
chatting up The Veronicas and trying to score with Natalie Bassingthwaite hosting the ARIAs, which means the Idol float is left solely in the hands of Ken Doll for the evening. Tonight the Idolites have to choose songs by people that have been inducted into the ARIA hall of fame. Oh goody, think I, imagining Chris Murphy cracking out a bit of Dame Joan Sutherland or Ricky Muscat letting rip on Slim Dusty's I'm Going Back Again to Yarrawonga.
Unfortunately 'tis not to be, as we start with the man that makes Holden say 'Val Doonican' at least twice every episode, Damien Leith.
He's chosen to do Split Enz' Message to My Girl - a dangerous choice as a) they're not even Australian and b) everyone in the whole world loves this song so the chances of stuffing it up royally and getting kicked off are rather high. Once again he's dragged the piano out (or rather, 10 men have dragged it out for him) and he's plonked in the centre of the circular stage playing by himself (I said BY himself, you dirty perverts). It's lit up green, from which I deduce that Damien isn't actually a leprechaun, he's a munchkin and he's just made it to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard of Oz for some talent. Either that or the stage managers are taking the whole Irish thing way too far.
He starts playing...and you know what?...it's good. It's...bloody good. REALLY bloody good. The set is perfectly quiet except for the piano and his lilting voice and the audience is spellbound - no one wants to breathe in case they ruin the vibe. Clearly the Wizard came through with the goods! The camera cuts to Marcia who is relaxing blissfully in her chair with her eyes closed (either that or the medication kicked in and she's knocked out). I have goosebumps. Surely a touchdown is imminent. DL 4 PM.
But no, Holden rips us all off by NOT awarding a touchdown to what will surely be the best performance of the night. He says Damien could have taken it into soppyland and made it a dross Val Doonican arrangement (strike one), but he didn't and it was great. Then he says Damien is more Elton Bon than Elton John on the piano - everyone laughs but no one actually understands what he means. He doesn't say 'Val Doonican' again, and everyone doing the Idol drinking game at home is severely disappointed. Marcia ruins some TV magic by crapping on about how hard it was to move the piano onto the set (you mean it didn't just APPEAR there?) and no one cares as that bit wasn't actually shown on TV. She then tells Damien he suits the piano and the piano suits him. Well maybe he should just marry it then, Marcia, huh? HUH? Kyle says Damien has international appeal and is a global artist - so look out for him duetting with Youssou N'Dour at next year's WOMAD.
We then cut to Monkey Boy LIVE at the ARIAs
chatting up interviewing The Veronicas, who look like extras from a forthcoming movie titled BIRTH OF PAIN: The Emo Story. He doesn't take the opportunity to ask them how they feel about Lisa raping their song on last week's show, or if they feel personally responsible for her being voted off. Stuff Midnight Oil - The Veronicas should be knighted for that achievement.
On with the show, and it's Sticky Custard's time to shine - literally, as he's wearing a glow in the dark white suit and shirt to sing The Bee Gees' To Love Somebody. Allegedly. With the white suit and his crazy eyes and spastic dancing he looks like a televangelist getting ready to heal the faithful. But actually, his singing is good tonight, in fact it's probably the best he's sung so far, but it all sounds very 90s. In the 90s, Ricky's band would be called 'Cool Mountain' or something and they'd have this one song that would make it big on the back of a cult movie soundtrack before the band fades into obscurity. He meanders along and the crowd are liking it OK enough, but it's not really cutting it after Mr Leith's Incredible Effort. In a last ditch attempt to pull a rabbit out of his hat, Ricky tries to break the sound barrier on his final note but ends up sounding more like a broken fridge. "BURRRRRRRRRRRR" is what comes out of his mouth. "What the hell?!" is what comes out of TV viewers' mouths all around the country. We can see from his droopy puppy dog expression he knows he's blown it. If he makes it through the Monday elimination he will have to deal with people yelling "BURRRRRRRRR!" at him for the rest of his life.
Holden cements his place in the finals of the Stating the Bloody Obvious Competition by saying Ricky is a competitor. He's also a male, Holden. Ooh, ooh, and he has two legs too, does that count? He then says it was obvious he stuffed up the ending, and the audience murmurs, tut-tuts and says "Rhubarb rhubarb" a lot to pretend to be confused. Holden's having none of it, but Marcia picks up where the audience left off, calling him a cold-blooded, acidy son of a bitch. Well, she doesn't actually call him a son of a bitch, but she does stick her arm out and say "Talk to the hand", so it wouldn't have been entirely out of order. Kyle says Ricky looks perfect, and would he like to meet him in the carpark after the show?
On to Chris Murphy. He's rocking out with a bit of Stevie Wright's Evie, which most of tonight's audience will think was written by Jet. Not Murphy though, who reveals he's actually 30 - what the hell? Did anyone else think he was about 26, or is that just me? He goes on to say that Idol is "the one chance to get the music career I've always wanted" - what, releasing one crap album and then being forced to tour the country with four chicks who are more talented than you are? Ok, whatever floats your boat. He also shows off his considerable linguistic skills by telling everyone how life has "metamorphosised" since he started in the top 20. Anyway onto the song - he's got his guitar on, which isn't actually plugged in to anything, so he's either faking it or has a special wireless pick up. Probably the latter. Chris absolutely rocks it with song - but on the other hand, if you can't rock an audience with Evie you might as well give up and become an accountant. He busts out on a guitar solo which is enhanced by Crazy Rock Camerawork TM, and he even puts his foot up on the foldback. It's all I can do to stop myself from putting on the Amanda Streete costume I bought off the internet and ripping it off again, screaming "I LOVE YOOOOUUUU!!!" He takes his mic off the stand and walks around with it AND the guitar, which he now can't play because his hands are full. Realising this, he puts it back on the stand, rips out a few whiplash head movements from last week's episode, and finishes to a standing ovation from the entire audience, including the judges. Soft rock, thy name is Chris Murphy.
Kyle gets up and assaults Holden from behind, we THINK in an attempt to get him to do a touchdown. Holden runs on stage (presumably to get away from Kyle briefly) and gives Chris a high five, which is obviously his new way of doing a touchdown. Marcia embarrasses an audience member by drawing attention to the dodgy air guitar she pulled in the middle of Chris' number. Amanda Streete has never been so embarrassed. Kyle runs through his checklist of things that make a great Idol - great voice, great stage presence, will sleep with the judges for votes - and says Chris meets every one of them.
Next up is Jess OhBoy-NotAnotherR&BBallad singing another R&B ballad. This time it's The Bee Gees' Words. Yawn. Yet again she looks fantastic in a butter coloured strapless satin babydoll dress - is anyone else sick of her looking so fabulous all the time? I'm craving a Paulini moment from Jess, where she comes out wrapped in gold lame with a giant multicoloured bow on her arse, so Kyle will have some grist for the fashion mill. But she won't, because while Jess has a lovely voice and can trill all the notes and is always very impressive, she doesn't actually have any personality and so will never surprise anyone with anything. Snore.
Holden says it was sublime, she's beautiful, and sticks it up Damien Leith for the second time tonight by giving Jess a touchdown. Marcia says she had to close her eyes to listen to her because when her eyes are open she gets all confused (sure, Marcia, that's the second time you've been caught napping tonight). Kyle decides he hasn't said enough hyperbole for the past few weeks so gives Jess the kiss of death by telling her she's going to be One Of The Finest Voices To Ever Come Out Of This Country. Goodbye Jess, it was nice knowing you.
On to the last performer which tonight is Dean Geyer - yes, DEAN GEYER, to all those phonetic spastics out there Googling for 'Din Guyer'. He's doing a John Farnham/Human Nature hit and MIX FM mainstayer Every Time You Cry. If his hair wasn't so perfectly engineered I'd swear he had forgotten about tonight's early start and raced to the studio at 6.25pm, only to be told "You're too late for wardrobe, you'll just have to wear what you have on" as he's wearing a crap pair of blue jeans and a khaki shirt. Honestly, that's it. He looks like a park ranger. You know, with perfect hair. Anyway he's sitting on a stool and he's singing with that vacant facial expression he always has, and I start to think: perfect hair that never moves, dead eyes that pierce into your soul, vacant facial expression, hmmm...
Have you seen this boy?
Holden says something about someone lapping Dean up like crazy. Perhaps he's recounting a drunken anecdote from the party they all had at the Idol ranch on Saturday night, I'm not sure. He then says he wonders if Dean has the vocal range to match his charisma - for the sake of his recording career, I bloody hope not. He says he thinks maybe Dean only has eight notes in his range, which means he'll probably make a mint singing ringtones. Marcia congratulates Dean on pushing himself and excelling, and then finally passes out under the desk. Kyle attempts to get in with the cool kids by singing "You're bringing sexy back", and everyone rolls their eyes and groans like dad's just made a joke about "That Joseph Timberpond" at the family dinner. He then tells everyone he was at a party the other night where 45 year old women were going crazy over him. We assume he means Dean.
And with that, dear readers, I'm afraid I must conclude my Idol wrap ups as I am off to travel the world and get drunk in overseas bars for a few weeks. But don't fret - guest Idol bloggers Redcap and Raoul shall be snarking up the Idol scene in my absence.