Ahhh disco night. The theme the Idol producers keep forcing upon us year after year, even though everyone knows that a) no one LIKES disco, b) no one can SING disco, and 3) no one LIKES disco.
Can't we just make it Dicko night?
Where do they get these themes from anyway? If I may suggest a couple for future shows:
- Prog rock night (Matt Corby could overshoot his limits again and try some Pink Floyd)
- Bhangra night (Imagine Benji Mac doing Punjabi MC)
- Hip-hop night (Tarisai could duet with Marcia on Hits from the Bong)
- And as a tribute to the late, great Marcel Marceau: Mime night (If only Brianna were still on the show she'd romp that one in)
I'd suggest Britpop night but Jacob Butler does that every week already.
And yet, into the 70s must we roll - although thankfully no one's dressed the part tonight. Not even Holden, who normally gets about in that crap anyway.
Actually strike that - Tarisai has decided to come as a mirrorball.
"My bodice reflects the holy light of the lord!"
But first we get to see her video montage, in which she talks about how far she's come as a singer and we get to see her first audition clip again, which means I get to do this:
After last week's ROCKTASTROPHE in which Dicko told little Tiramisu she needed to enrol in rock school, she's out to prove that she "doesn't need to go to disco school". Why anyone would NOT want to go to disco school is beyond me. I mean, imagine how cool it would be! Everyone would rollerskate down the hallways and instead of a bell for recess and lunch there'd be a blast of BOOGIE WONDERLAND or something.
And Disco Stu would totally be the PE teacher.
Anyway Australia's favourite dessert brings a bit of Donna Summer's Hot Stuff - or, in Tarisai's case, Mild to Medium Stuff. Although she is showing off an impressive rack we never knew she had, so snaps for that. Her jeans are so tight she can barely strut the stage, but she still brings it with that big old voice of hers. She finishes with a power warble so loud that backstage, Daniel Mifsud's scarfe is blown clean off.
Holden stops calling her Tiramisu long enough to dub her "Terrorsai", tells her she turned the song into "a boring ballad" and asks her if she's trying to bring sexy back. Wow, a pop culture reference that's only a year old - Holden's so MODERN these days! Dicko informs everyone that disco is foreplay. So if you live near Dicko and you ever hear a bit of Brick House floating on the breeze, best not to knock. Marcia gives her best crit ever by reiterating how bad last week's show was. Kyle announces he's still having sex. What, right now? I guess Dicko was right then.
Moving on to Ben "There isn't a website on the internet that says whether I'm gay or not so stop Googling for it you fools" Mackenzie, who'll be doing Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Til You Get Enough. I hope against hope that he'll do the schoolyard version:
Don't stop til you're getting off
Given in his montage Ben makes such comments as "I wasn't even BORN when disco was around!" that seems entirely possible.
"I'm going to be tackling someone else's song, and that's always a challenge," says Ben, who seems to have forgotten that he's in a competition where one has to sing covers every week.
After telling us how far he's come as a singer, out he comes in his favourite black jacket and logo shirt combination, humming his way through an extended intro that turns out to be the modern day equivalent of Fat Cat going to bed. Everyone under the age of 12 suddenly collapses into a deep sleep, while everyone over the age of 12 spontaneously yells "HEY, HE GOT THE WORDS WRONG!"
There are a few bum notes, a few slipped lyrics, and one uncomfortable looking Benji. Yawn.
Clearly Dicko is sufficiently turned on by Ben's disco foreplay session, and says it was a terrific performance, and could he please sing one more verse... just... one... MORE OHHHH YEAH! Marcia says she can't touch that, although after Dicko's reaction any sort of touching seems hardly necessary now. Kyle gives another Sandilands Backhander TM by saying Ben is the perfect reason why people shouldn't judge books by their cover.
What kind of cover would Ben's book have though?
Holden gets a sudden case of Hulk arm and has to fight the urge to throw out a mighty touchdown. He gets himself under control enough to rasp the advice "Don't tone down the androgyny", and then yells "Go hard!", which would rather seem to negate the whole androgyny thing. It's no wonder Benji looks so confused.
Let's move on to Mark "Cocked" Da Costa - hey I'm not having a go, that's how Ken Doll described him tonight. Cocked.
We see his video montage detailing his rise from Paddy McShea's Good Time Family Folk Band to IDOL ROCK STAR, and he talks about HOW FAR HE'S COME AS A SINGER. Evidently Mark thinks this competition is about "getting my message across to thousands of people". Hmm. Unless his message is about being in a place called Vertigo, or rock and roll that requires a lot of electricity, I'm not sure I've received that message very clearly these last few weeks. Not to worry, this week he's been employed by the Tennessee tourism board to send a paid message to the peeps, all about a little old town, a quiet little community, a one-horse town where you have to watch what you're putting down. They call it Nutbush.
Da Costa may have COME SO FAR AS A SINGER but he's still stuck in that bloody Wolfmother vest and T shirt combo. I'm about to throw my miniature Andrew Stockdale voodoo doll at the screen until I realise something amazing and strange.
No, better than good... He's hot. THERE I'VE SAID IT. MARK DA COSTA IS HOT TONIGHT. My god did I just say that, or is it the disco talking?
"Salt pork and molasses is all you get in JAAAAIIIIL!" he screams in some special way that allows him to yell and be breathy at the same time. Lawdy. Disco AND pork? That's me gone.
Marcia tells everyone to look at Mark eyes, because that's called "being in the zone". If only we could tear our gaze off of Marcia's test pattern ourfit to look into HER eyes, I think we'd discover a whole new kind of zone. Kyle said he thought that song was a woman's song, but when he watched Mark he didn't even think about women once. Looks like the power of disco is working on Kyle too. It's going to be one HELL of a backstage orgy tonight! Holden flexes his arm a bit to remind everyone that he has this thing called a "touchdown" that everyone should aspire to, but instead throws his head back and gives a triumphant werewolf style "ARRRRR-OOOOOO!" Daniel Mifsud hears the brethren call and comes running.
DISCO DOES MY HEAD IN!
Dicko says Mark is real quality, but not quite as A Grade as the drugs Holden's currently on.
Moving on to Lana "I'm destined to play Cosette forever, aren't I?" Krost who says she was "like, yuck" when she found out she had to do disco tonight. Clearly she'd heard advance rumours of what it does to Dicko. Fortunately she opts for Moloko's Sing It Back, which was written a good 20 years after the disco era ended.
We see a quick montage where she talks about HOW FAR SHE'S COME AS A SINGER, from musical theatre to rock and roll, and now disco! Oh my god, three whole genres! She'll be ready for a Best Of album soon.
Lana's performance is, in a word, shithouse. In a few more words, it's like Patsy Biscoe does Moloko. She naively keeps asking us to "sing it back", as if it wouldn't show her up if we did. The only high point of the song is when she croons "Take me and do as you will", which would ensure she got a million votes from salivating middle aged men, if only middle aged men knew how to send text messages.
Kyle says she looks a million bucks but she shouldn't listen to people who just scream because she's hot. Like Kyle, you mean? For the second time tonight Holden misdiagnoses a song as "a boring ballad" (has he actually HEARD any ballads?) and asks Lana if she might be more comfortable going home and concentrating on her exams. He also asks if she needs a lift to hockey practice in the morning and if she's still seeing that boy he doesn't like, before patting her on the head and sending her off to bed.
ADBREAK time: And it seems Pascal has moved on from promoting their products with fat, suburban, singing mums to loser Idol rejects of yore, the latest being Hayley Jensen. The last we heard of Hayley she had paid to publish her own single, which promptly, and unsurprisingly, went nowhere at all. Now she appears to be spruiking marshmallows with the phrase "They're the way I like my music - soft, and with soul!" Remember that next you're round the campfire - JESUS DIED FOR THAT MARSHMALLOW.
Let's move on to Jacob "The brother the Gallaghers didn't want" Butler. How's he going to handle disco night? Does Oasis even DO disco? No, but Jamiroquai does - so at least he can wear his greasy adidas jacket and look like he's in costume.
He's doing Canned Heat, which ironically enough looks exactly like what Jacob has been exposed to for the last five hours - his hair is plastered to his head like a fat man on a treadmill.
Jay-Cob accidentally mistakes himself for Jay-Kay and attempts a few dance moves, but he ends up looking more like a drunken mosher than a disco stud. There's so much concentration in his face when he sings it looks like he's going to permanently crease it.
Nothing left for me to do but dance... oh wait, I can't do that either. Bugger.
Holden says it was a bad song choice that left him with nothing special to do. Like sing? Or dance? Poor Jacob looks utterly crestfallen, so Holden cheers him up with some handy advice: "The best revenge is to be brilliant. Easy!" Yeah, no problems. Work on that for next time, would ya Jacob? There's a chap. Dicko says Jacob's performance was low on quality - especially compared to the gear Marcia pulled out before. By this time Jacob's looking like a puppy who's just lost his favourite tennis ball over the back fence, so Marcia picks up the slack and tells him he's awesome or something. That sets him up nicely just in time for Kyle to knock him down again, by saying it was like a rehearsal. Jacob has a whinge that it "wasn't my genre", as if disco is ANYONE'S genre.
"What do you think of when I say 'disco'?" says Ken Doll.
"This man, Marty Simpson," says Monkey Boy.
That's funny, cos when I hear "Marty Simpson" I think "who?".
Anyway Marty "Whatshisname" Simpson has chosen to do one of the galaxy's most overplayed songs, Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing, in the style of Jack Johnson. He BETTER believe in miracles if he thinks this is going to work.
And actually, what is going on here? Isn't this supposed to be DISCO NIGHT? Moloko, Jamiroquai, surfie-boy reggae pop rock - honestly, I keep expecting the Idol police to jump out from behind a camera and arrest them for this shit.
"It's Gloria Gaynor or nothing, sunshine. You're coming with us."
He's borrowed Daniel Mifsud's Peter Brady vest and shirt ensemble for tonight's performance, which explains why he looks so worried every time he's on camera. FOR GOD'S SAKE MARTY, SMILE ONCE IN A WHILE! He starts on a stool (sigh), pulls a few faces, moves around a bit and even does a Mutto crouch, but all is forgiven when he finishes with the line "I believe in mirrorballs". Aw Marty. You're so cute!
Dicko says he loves his voice so much - so much in fact that he forgot to listen to Marty's that time around. Whoops! Marcia says she forgives him. We're not sure why. Maybe he stole some of her stash, and she's just found out. Kyle says he loved it, he REALLY loved it, and if Marty wants to check out his Boogie Wonderland after the show the Idol orgy door is always open. Holden says he wants some of whatever drugs Kyle's on. Then he moans and shakes all over for about ten seconds before saying "Key key key key, wrong wrong wrong wrong, slow slow slow slow", which makes us all think perhaps he doesn't need another hit. Then he makes the call of the decade, comparing Marty to Aggro.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T THINK OF THIS FIRST.
Next up is Daniel "I'm on a 12 step scarf program" Mifsud, with the Rolling Stones' Miss You. I can't say much about his performance, because I was so distracted by his ridiculous hairdo. That thing is getting out of CONTROL. That boy needs a Jim's Mowing up in there or something. He finishes, he has a nice smile, the end.
Marcia says something about balls and keeping Dan's tongue in cheek. Let's move on. Kyle says Dan ticked all the boxes but he still didn't care. Sort of reminds me of how I feel about the next Federal Election, really. Holden says Dan has an inner light that he can see, and he'd better be careful to look after it because replacement bulbs are REALLY hard to find. Dicko says it was measured but committed, serious but sexy, and two other words that form a pair but aren't natural opposites.
Next up is Carl "I'm gonna scat no matter what you say" Risely, who starts by summing up his heavily criticised performance on Rock Night:
On ROCK NIGHT? Whatever would you do THAT for? Hopefully tonight Carl will make the inspired decision to pick a good disco song and sing it disco like.
He's choen Earth Wind and Fires' September, a great little boogie number that has some incredibly high notes in it. Given that Carl isn't wearing the communal Idol tight pants (he's gone for a Las Vegas concierge look in a white jacket and undone red tie) he might need some assistance with this one. Perhaps Kyle can rush up behind him during the chorus? That'd do it.
He kicks into it and actually, it's really not that bad. Well, at least, it's not a salsa-reggae-folk version of Earth Wind and Fire, let's put it that way.
"Bah de ya - something to remember, bah de ya - dancing in September, BABADOOBY DA BADABDA DAAA BDAAAAAA!"
Hang on what was that? Did he just scat, or was that a belch? Is Carl putting the WIND into Earth, Wind and Fire? And what is that falsetto? It sounds like someone strangling a cat.
"Bah de ya - never was a cloudy daaaayyyyyyy! BA DA BA, FA FA FA FAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
Fa fa fa? Put an "rk" on the end and you're about there. In summary, Carl's rendition of Earth Wind and Fire sounds like a farting cat being strangled to death. Top stuff.
Kyle says he looks like Mark Holden at the Arias.
As long as he doesn't look like Casey Donovan at the ARIAS, he'll be ok.
Holden says Carl "honoured the genre" of disco. Thank the lord for that. I don't know what I would have done if he'd dragged the glorious name of Earth Wind and Fire into the dirt with his loopy salsa antics! Dicko tells him to stop scatting in every song (amen!) and Marcia says the word "horns" quite a few times. That's really all anyone needs to know.
Let's move on to Matt "Really, I'm gorgeous aren't I? Everybody thinks so" Corby who's doing... oh look, who cares? He could come out in a hessian sack and sing the half hour remix of Macarthur Park and he'd still get a touchdown. And probably a touch up as well, backstage.
Actually he's singing an Earth Wind and Fire version of The Beatles' Got to Get You Into My Life - obviously the Idols have returned their copy of Hollywood to the local library and swapped it for an Earth Wind and Fire best of CD. The brass starts up and backstage, Carl longs to jump into the horn section and start fiddling with his trumpet. Funny that, as I wouldn't mind jumping into Matt's horn section and... Never mind.
The song is hot (although it's hardly disco) and Matt's hot (although maybe it's time to wash the hair, mate). Case closed.
It's a spectacular finish with full brass, and Holden jumps out of his seat and pulls a touchdown, THE FIRST TOUCHDOWN OF THE SERIES! Are we excited people? Huh? Are we? No I don't really care either. But it's nice to see all the pretty lights flash isn't it? Dicko continues his adoration of Matt's "wiser than his years" song selection - first led Zep, now The Beatles... It's the son he never had! Marcia says "Oh my god boy, you're so frickin hawt!" Oh no wait, that was me. Whoops. Kyle says he'd pay money to see that. I'd wager half the nation would also pay money to see MORE of Matt, but let's just move right along to our final contestant, Natalie "I've lost my keyboard and I don't know where to find it" Gauchi.
She's single handedly steering the disco ship back on course with Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, an anthem for women and drag queens everywhere. Fittingly, Natalie has decided to dress as adrag queen tonight in a tighter-than-tight black sequinned dress and fishnets. Schwing! Actually, she looks pretty hot. Snaps to Natalie.
She pulls out more trills and power warbles than Tarisai, and positively rocks the song - but after the delicious Matt it's a little lacklustre. I also can't help thinking THIS every time I see Natalie:
She's big in France.
Given the French have no idea how to produce any music of interest apart from slamming electro, this does not bode well for Natalie.
Dicko says she's showing her real star quality at least - yes, and the nation can just about see it in that dress, too. He gives her a "ticko from Dicko", which I doubt will catch on as the new Touchdown. Hey Dicko - how about you yell out "SICKO!" OK so that's crap too. Anyone got any suggestions for Dicko's Touchdown alternative? Leave them in the comments.
Marcia yells "I'M SO HAPPY!" - clearly she managed to score off Kyle the last time he went out to the carpark. Kyle tells Natalie she looks hot which is nice, because she has looked like "a dingo" on some nights.
"A dingo took my hair straightener!"
Holden tells her she has enormous potential. Again, in that dress, Australia can see her enormous potential quite clearly in high resolution, thanks Holden. Then he points out that the difference between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" is "extra". Never would have picked that myself.
And so, how to sum up the night?
Kyle: "Better than last week."
Dicko: "Like a bought one."
MONDAY NIGHT'S UPDATE: Bye bye birdie - Lana is given the flick. Australia rejoices, then slumps into despair at having to hear her version of Moloko one more time. C'est la vie, kids...