Ladies and gentlemen: I don't want to alarm you, but we may just have witnessed the death of an Idol tonight. Not literally, obviously, because that would have made for some very awkward live TV. Although it's possible that no TV will ever be quite as awkward as Husny's five minutes in the spotlight:
Maybe he's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline.
But more on all that later. Right now let's meet our judges - and don't they look spiffy tonight? Holden's gotten out his best bowl and had the hairdresser cut all the way round it, resulting in a look much like this:
Dicko's sporting a jumper/shirt combo in a colour best described as "tangerine fantasy" (also known as "what the?"). He's set off rather deliciously by Miss Marcia in a lilac throw rug, rounded out (rather literally) by big fat Kyle on the end.
Monkey Boy and Ken Doll are ever present to make sure there's still some sort of "youth" element in the hosting of the show - not that they need have bothered, because clearly Holden is hip and with it enough to connect with Idol's young viewing demographic.
"Idol five! Yo! Cool!" says Holden, showing off his knowledge of hip street lingo.
He then breaks the "awesome, awesome, awesome news" that Damien Leith's latest album has made it to #1. In completely unrelated news, every Channel 10 staff member this week received a brand new Damien Leith coaster.
"So, Damien - YO!" says Holden. That word never goes out of fashion, does it? Oh wait, it did? 15 years ago you say? Oh well.
Dicko says he's nervous about Holden being broadcast in high definition TV for the first time (It'll be like looking through the Hubble telescope at Uranus," he says). For the first time ever, I thank god I DON'T have a plasma.
Ok let's get this thing on the road - there are six boy-dols here that need whittling down to two. And who better to start than the winner of Australian Idol 2007, Matt "the hottness" Corby?
Hang on... is that a tea towel around his neck?
Make washing up a breeze with the new Matt Corby tea towel buddy.
No, seriously. IS that a tea towel around his neck? Or is it some weird fashion from Afghanistan that I don't understand? Maybe his turban just unravelled itself on the way to the stage and he had to improvise at the last minute? Maybe he was doing the dishes at the Idol mansion when he realised he was late for the show and tried to run out the door, but slipped on a glob of Morning Fresh and accidentally got knotted up in the dishcloth, and didn't have time to undo it before he got the studio? SURELY. THERE HAS TO BE SOME RATIONAL EXPLANATION FOR THIS RIDICULOUS FASHION ABERRATION.
There's a quick flashback to Osama bin Dishcloth's first audition that we've all seen about a million times by now, so I get to do this:
And then it's straight into his performance of Stevie Wonder's I Wish. It's pretty good, if a little restrained. But honestly, who the hell is paying any attention to the performance - WHAT IS THAT BLOODY TEA TOWEL DOING THERE? Could this be the end for our Idol? Dropped like a hot spud because of a wardrobe malfunction?
Holden shows off his knowledge of music industry lingo by saying Matt's got good phrasing, pitch and falsetto. Then he says something about Matt being a kid from Cronulla and getting a present for Christmas. Is that what we can blame the tea towel on? Some dodgy present from Matt's nanna that he promised to wear on TV? HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY NAN, YOU'VE JUST RUINED YOUR GRANDSON'S CHANCE OF HAVING LOTS OF HOT GROUPIE SEX FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS. Marcia says she has no idea what everyone else was listening to, and skips her iPod forward to track 12 of Discotheque, Blame it on the Boogie. Kyle says Matt was undercooked, but gives him credit for covering up with the tea towel to keep the flies off.
Moving on to Junior "Superfluous apostrophe" To'o, one of the few people in the top 24 you've never heard of. Seriously, who is this guy? I've never seen him before in my life. I'm not even sure HE knows why he's there - he looks permanently confused, and talks as though he's concussed. It's not a great look, but somehow he sings like an angel. He does an exceedingly dull rendition of Pink's Dear Mr President, otherwise known as George Bush is Evil and War is Bad and You Thought I was Just a Pop Starlet but Now You Can See I'm Heaps Political and That.
Dicko wonders why all young men are obssessed with bush (zing!), and then asks Junior why he chose to do a protest song.
"Well, it's not so much political. It's called Mr President, but it could be about anyone, really," Junior says.
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say.
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.
Yep, those are pretty wide reaching lyrics. Hardly political at all, when you think about it. Could be about anyone, really.
Marcia says Junior "delivered it incredibly", and flips to track 13, Let's Groove. Kyle says he's the meat in the sandwich. Richter scales everywhere register a minor tremor after the entire Idol watching population collectively shudders at the thought of Kyle's meat. Meanwhile, the silicon chip inside Holden's head gets switched to overload and he starts gabbling about sending Rove to bed and "overlicking" before concluding with a triumphant "Mmm yeah, yeah, YEAH!" Everyone waits for his head to open up and show the mass of sparking wires and smoking circuit boards that is no doubt inside, but sadly he seems to recover.
Next up is trumpeter Carl "In the navy" Risely, who clearly got Andrew G's memo about costuming for the evening:
Suit you, sir.
Just for something different, tonight Carl is doing a Michael Buble number called Home. Which, ironically, is probably where Carl will be heading in 24 hours time.
"I want to go hoooommmme...." he croons.
"Let me go hoooooommmmmmme....."
Clearly someone at Channel 10 is listening, as the screen suddenly goes black for about 30 seconds, and we miss what was probably Carl's obligatory tumpet solo.
"It's so bad the network pulled the performance!" texts Raoul triumphantly.
Whatever. We're all thoroughly bored with this guy now. Unless he does something amazing (like turn an every day kitchen item into a fashion accessory, for example) he'll be back on deck eating his peas with his gravy any day now.
Marcia says the song summed up her life, because apparently she's always at home. Except when she's not, and then she wants to be. Then she flips to page 232 of the Little Book of Idol Cliches and reads out "believe in yourself". Kyle tells Carl he's a beautiful looking man, but if he were toast he'd push him down again. And possibly even if he WEREN'T toast. Which he isn't. Then he tells him to go hard. So it's a pretty clear message from Kyle, then. Carl tells Kyle he'll certainly go hard, just for him, and says "Remember when I kissed your hand backstage?"
Somewhere, Cheray is starting to doubt her femininity.
Holden continues the homoerotic feedback festival by telling Carl there wasn't enough air around it, it wasn't warm enough and it got thin. So, just to recap - Kyle wants it harder, and Holden wants it hotter and thicker. Just making sure we're all on the same page here.
Dicko channels Simon Cowell and makes a few navy related puns about men overboard and 21 gun salutes. I'm not entirely sure what he said actually, I was distracted by his Fanta collar.
Right, it's gotten decidedly nancy pants around here, let's butch things up a bit with Daniel "Werewolf Q. Greaseman Le Scarf" Mifsud.
"Your hair is better!"
"No, YOUR hair is better!"
"No way, yours is totally shinier."
OK, maybe "butch" was a bit much to ask for. Especially From Mr Mifsud, who has a penchant for big hair, tight tops and ladies' scarves. Tonight he's singing Diesel's Tip of My Tongue. I have no idea how he did because I was too busy singing along myself and couldn't hear him, so let's just say he did the entire thing falsetto, scatted at the end and replaced the chorus with an interpretive dance number.
Holden says it was underwhelming (what, even the interpretive dance?), and that he wants to see more Daniel. Maybe the two of them could get together with Kyle and Carl and make a real night of it. Clearly upset at missing out on the Idol action, Dicko exclaims "I REALLY like you!" and then holds up the back of his chemistry textbook where he's written DICKO 4 D.M 4 EVA over and over again to prove it. Then he says he wanted to see more big moments. "Ooh, bigger AND harder!" shrieks Kyle in excitement. Marcia tells Daniel not to show too much talent at once, in case he runs out altogether and has to mime for the rest of the series.
"If you start at 11 then where are you going to go?" she asks.
"12!" yells Holden, quite logically.
"The meter only goes to 11, doofus!" snaps Marcia.
This band goes to 11.
Annoyed, Marcia puts her Idol meter back in her handbag, secretly wishing she had one that went up to 12. Then Kyle starts an open debate on the topic: "Scarves - The importance of the tassle in gender identification." It is generally agreed upon that tassles make a scarf, and its wearer, a bit girly. Kyle secretly wishes he'd called it a mass debate instead.
Adbreak time, and McDonald's has finally launched the name of its new NameIt Burger, which from now until the end of time will be... THE BACKYARD BURGER. Which, I dunno, kinda makes me think of this:
"Farkin dog! There's backyard burgers all over the joint."
Back to the studio, and it's time for Husny "Maybe it's Maybelline" Thalib. I'm still not sure how Husny has managed to get this far, given that he can't actually sing and looks quite deranged. As unique as he is, I've managed to come up with the exact equation for creating Husny, should any of you young boffins out there wish to make your own version for domestic use.
Husny has decided on Lenny Kravitz for this evening's performance, but sadly he's chosen one of the few Lenny Kravtiz songs that wasn't a hit - If You Can't Say No. Ironically, I'd imagine most people wouldn't have trouble saying no to Husny in this particular outfit.
One of these men didn't get the tie memo.
It's a train wreck of the highest order - he doesn't even sing for most of it, as he's arranged for the backing vocals to take care of most of all the pesky vocal stuff. What he's there for is the physical stuff, and WOO-HA! Check him out! He's thrusting his groin all over the place and winding up and down like a pole dancer with motion sickness. It's FABULOUS! Husny for PM! Now that Matt "Former favourite" Corby has taken to wearing pieces of haberdashery on national television, I'm right behind Husny. At least his stupid accessories SUIT him.
Kyle kicks off the constructive criticism by saying he hated it, it was the lamest, worst, most try hard rubbish he's ever heard, it was a pile of dribble that he couldn't even watch.
"I just didn't like it," he says, as everyone else yells back "NO SHIT."
Holden says he loved it, apart from the bit where Husny winked at the camera. Then he says he finds Husny strangely attractive. So maybe if he'd winked at Holden instead, he could have joined the post-show orgy that's slowly gathering momentum. Dicko reminds Husny the show is Australian Idol, not the Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. Pity that, cos Husny would have been a shoo-in, especially with his drunk poledancer skills. Marcia says she would have dug what Husny did if she didn't know the song. We all marvel once again at the unfailing irrelevance of her comments.
Finally it's time for Jacob "I swear I'm not Phil from Grinspoon, I don't even like ice in my drink" Butler, who's opted for middle-of-the-road anthem Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.
"If I sing this... If I sing thissss sonnnng... Will you vote for me to get through to the next round...?"
Jacob's clearly got an endless supply of quirky ties and vests, as it's all we've seen him wear since his first audition. Maybe his luggage got lost en route to Sydney and he's had to share a wardrobe with Andrew G. At any rate, he looks a bit uncomfortable tonight - shaking his head and blinking continuously - possibly because (as Audrey points out) he's too fat for his skinny jeans. Or are they Andrew G's skinny jeans? Never mind, if it helps him reach the high notes then good for him.
Dicko likens him to a dog chasing a car. That's nice.
"Are you aware of what we think of you?" Marcia asks, menacingly.
I wait on the edge of my seat for her to stand up, push the table over and yell "WE THINK YOU'RE A TALENTLESS BOOB WHO NEEDS TO FIND A NEW OBSSESSION, RAARRRRR!!!" but instead she says "We think the world of you." Oh. Right. I should have known it would be something like that.
Kyle says he needs a kick in the arse. Everyone in Australia wholeheartedly agrees, before we realise he's actually talking about Jacob, not himself. Holden says he chose a hard song ("It needs to be HARDER!" pants Kyle) and craps on about sliding up to the notes in the chordal lift with the melodic setback to the arrangement. Yo!
"Become the arrogant prick we know you are," Holden instructs.
"But I'm trying my hardest..." murmurs Kyle, before realising Holden was actually talking to Jacob.
And as the camera pulls back on the first proper Idol episode for 2007, and the credits begin to roll, we say goodnight and good luck to our happy bunch of six boys, who no doubt will be... HANG ON, IS JACOB BUTLER WEARING PINK SNEAKERS? That's worse than a tea towel, surely?