Welcome to the second semi final, ROCK NIGHT, otherwise known as TRAINWRECK NIGHT, TOO MANY OBSCURE REFERENCES TO BINDI IRWIN NIGHT, WORST IDOL SEMI FINAL EVER or THE NIGHT 11 BAD SINGERS WEAR BLACK, GIVE THE ROCK HAND SIGNAL A FEW TIMES AND THEN SING COLDPLAY.
Worst. Idol epsiode. Ever.
For those of you who have actual work to do on a Monday morning, here is tonight's QUICKNEWS rundown:
- Matt Corby resurrects the tea towel as fashion accessory, looks the part for his rendition of Immigrant Song.
- Carl Risely hears "rock" and responds with "Coldplay". And "salsa".
- Brianna Carpenter admits to being totally deaf in one ear. Australia slaps its collective forehead in sudden understanding.
- Lana Krost stubbornly refuses to help me win a bet by singing something by The Veronicas, does the Hi-5 version of Little Birdy instead.
- Jacob Butler pulls the Gallagher brothers out of his increasingly predictable box of tricks for one more karaoke performance.
- Holden and Kyle label Dicko a "nob", "old tragic clown", "diarrhea breath" and "Bindi Irwin" in the space of 30 seconds. I label him a "deadset legend".
- Ben Mackenzie does a more feminine rendition of a Little Birdy song than Katie Steele.
- The best performance of the night comes from a singing germ on the Domestos ad.
Yes, when a 3D germ that sings about vomit is the most entertaining part of the evening, it's fair to say our final 11 is perhaps less talented than we originally thought. But hey, we're stuck with them now so let's just sit back and enjoy the bloodbath, shall we?
Matt "Honestly, how is it possible for me to be so good looking at this young age?" Corby is up first. Sheridan Tyler has been given the task of making all the Idols look ROCK tonight, so they'll look extra hardcore when they get up on stage to do their salsa versions of Coldplay. Matt describes his personal style as "homo chic" - Ben Mackenzie's ears prick up, but whoops, he actually said "HOBO chic". As if that's any better. I'd rather look like a homo than a hobo - they have much better shoes. Sheridan dresses Matt in some women's jeans (size 27 waist - yep, I feel sick too) and a safari suit jacket with a tea towel wrapped around his neck. And he STILL looks hot. That is the mark of a star, people.
Clearly Matt feels like he's been too successful and popular up to this point, and so Googles "songs impossible to sing unless you are Robert Plant". He comes up with Immigrant Song, quickly learns the lyrics and bounds on stage screaming "Waaahhh-ah-ahhhhh-HA!" It's like a home invasion. He actually sounds a bit like Tina Turner - perhaps it's those ladies' jeans. He's living up to the hobo style though, in a fedora and a grey sack. Forget recording an album - he'd make more money if he went to Central Station and put the hat down on the ground. As soon as he started screaming "Waaahhh-ah-ahhhhh-HA!" people would assume he had a mental problem and throw cash at him to stop.
Holden jumps on the Chris Lilly bandwagon and says it was like watching Summer Heights High's production of Led Zeppelin The Musical. Marcia asks how old he is, and then says "semen". Or maybe she said "seamless", I can't quite remember. Dicko is so excited that matt chose to do Led Zep he forgets to critique the performance, while Kyle muses on what he would have done if he were young and pretty like Matt. Gone out and had lots of sex, I'd imagine.
Moving on to Carl "I'm gonna be the king of swing, even if I can't sing" Risely. They say you're only as good as your last performance, which makes Carl pretty crap at this point, given his last performance was a swing version of Waltzing Matilda. I hope against hope that he will do Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner tonight and keep the nationalist theme going. But as it turns out, Carl's slightly confused as to what the theme of tonight's show is. I imagine the conversation backstage went something like this:
CARL: So, what night is it again?
PRODUCER: Rock night.
CARL: What night? Frock night? I can't go out there in a dress!
PRODUCER: No, rock night.
CARL: Jocks night? You mean we have to perform in our underwear?
PRODUCER: ROCK night.
PRODUCER: ROCK. ROCK ROCK ROCK.
CARL: Ohhhh CLOCKS. Got it! Coldplay here I come.
Not only does Carl try to pass Coldplay off as "rock", but he turns it into a bongofied salsa mess that sounds like something you'd hear in the Outer Coonabarabran Best Western lifts. I keep expecting him to ask us to try the veal. Note to Carl: YOU ARE NOT BOBBY FLYNN.
Dicko says he's being a lazy bugger, it was a lazy performance and it wasn't rock. The whole of Australia would yell "NO SHIT!" but we're all half asleep already. Marcia gives possibly her best critique ever by saying "I have nothing to say. It's self explanatory. Thank you." Kyle calls Carl a jellyfish, and said his wobbling didn't get him excited. Guess he's off the backstage orgy door list then. It's clear tonight's show is going to be a quote fest - we'll give the first honour to Holden:
Backstage, Brianna rethinks her 1920s German cabaret interpretation of Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Speaking of Brianna "I'm half deaf and doesn't that explain EVERYTHING" Carpenter, she's up next, with Supertramp's The Logical Song. Oh good, a song that allows her to bat her eyelashes and play act her way in a strange accent through the entire first verse - JUST FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
"Please tell me who I AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMM!" she shrieks off key. We're not sure WHO you are, but we know WHAT you are: NOT A VERY GOOD SINGER.
Cut to the judges - Dicko looks bored, Kyle looks physically ill and Holden has his head in his hands. Better start with Marcia. She says that song is "steeped in tradition", and it's an angry and confused song, and Brianna took it somewhere different. Noooo, actually, I think it was still confused. Kyle says he hated it, she looked ridiculous, she sounded ridiculous, and the whole night is turning out to be like an old person's rock radio station playlist. Amen. Holden says "Somebody tell me when it's over", asks for some medication and shakes all over for a good 10 seconds to rid himself of the demons of bad singing Brianna has haunted the studio with. Time for another classic quote from the H man:
Sha-ZAM! Brianna responds by saying she's having trouble hearing herself on stage, prompting Dicko to call for her resignation from the show.
Oh, SNAP! Then Brianna cuts her own bloodbath short by announcing to the nation that she's deaf in one ear. Not exactly sure why she thinks she can be a singer then - you don't get people with no arms and legs claiming to be top swimmers! Oh wait, yes you do. Maybe Bri-Bri will become a champion for the disableds. Will this announcement result in a sympathy vote? Time will tell.
Next up is Marty "I still can't remember this guy's last name". Sheridan tosses him in some leather pants (ok, he doesn't TOSS him... well maybe he did when the cameras are off) and he does Paolo Nutini's Jenny Don't Be Hasty. OK guys, just a reminder: tonight is ROCK NIGHT. Just making sure you got that. It's a perfect song for him though, given he sounds exactly like Paolo Nutini most of the time anyway, but he still manages to bugger it up by losing the timing half way through and ending on a bum note. And his eyebrows are too bushy. So there.
Kyle sympathises with Marty about all the rumours flying around about him lately. "Are they in the media yet?" he asks. "No, they're not," says Marty. Whoops. So look out for the new Idol scandal in Confidential tomorrow. Holden says he lost the pocket half way through the song, so everyone gets down on their hands and knees to find a small square of leather and Holden's keys. Marcia continues the worrying trend of saying something normal and entirely unfunny - is she actually giving decent critique now? Maybe she's changed medication.
Moving on to Lana "No, I won't sing The Veronicas" Krost, who describes her personal style as versatile. "I can go from girly to vintage to a flanny," she crows, as if she's just described how she can cook, juggle and do her taxes at the same time.
She brings the first actual rock song for the night with little Birdy's Come On. Except it's the Hi-5 version, with lots of smiling and arm waving, and a break for juice and a nap.
Holden says Lana's performance was as edgy as Dicko's jawline. Nuff said. Dicko undermines the entire competition by saying it's a sad fact that if Lana won, she'd sell more records than Little Birdy, who are way more talented than she is. So I guess we should all just go home then? Marcia continues to give coherent, interesting critique by getting Lana to repeat the lyrics to her to prove her performance had no attitude. Wow... Marcia, I... I never thought it would be possible but... I think I love the new you.
So what am I so afraid of?
Next up it's Jacob "Mt Gambier and Adelaide have both disowned me" Butler, who surprises everyone by doing something completely unexpected and original and singing Oasis. What's the story morning glory indeed.
Given that the entire nation is in a semi catatonic state after Yawna's performance, it's a refreshing wake up call when Jacob bounds on stage yelling "ARE YOU READY?!" Woot! Yes we are Jacob, we certainly are! It seems Jacob is also ready: TO GO TO WORK. The guy looks like a businessman on his morning commute. As usual he sounds slightly dodgy, but he puts so much enthusiasm into his performance you can't help but yell "HALLELUJAH!" He's running all over the place like an ADD kid whose Ritalin has just run out, interacting with the band, yelling at the audience, and finishing with an accidentally-on-pupose fall to the floor. Less "rock" and more "cock", really.
Dicko tells him he's turning into a Britpop tribute act, questions his "Inspector Gadget" outfit and declares his performance "nob like". So, quite positive then. Kyle says he loved the whole thing, even the Forrest Gump dancing. Nothing like a backhanded compliment, is there? Holden says "crikey!" a few hundred times to make sure everyone understood his hilarious joke earlier in the show about Dicko wearing Bindi Irwin's shirt. Then he brings the show to a new low by calling Dicko "diarrhea breath" and tells Jacob to touch his nuances. I think this entire segment is best forgotten quickly.
Let's move on to Tarisai "I swear to god I'm older than five" Vushe, who's doing the Black Crowes' version of Hard to Handle. You'd think she'd romp this one in, but she manages to make a mess out of it - although not as big a mess as the one currently attached to her head. It looks like her hair has exploded out to one side, perhaps in an effort to escape this dog's breakfast of a song.
Kyle says he loves Tarisai more and more each week, and that he could love her even MORE if she'd just accept his invitation to come to the backstage Idol orgy one of these days... Holden calls her Tiramisu again, as if that joke was ever funny in the first place. Dicko says her performance was like "the search for Africa's next TV evangelist" - seriously, is that a real TV show? Because Tarisai would totally win it.
Moving on to Ben "I'm not gay, I'm asexual" McKenzie, who is doing a bad impression of a straight man by pretending to be annoyed about having to wear Sheridan's patterned jeans. Yet AGAIN Benji refuses to prove that he is actually Kav Temperley circa 1990 and does Little Birdy instead of Eskimo Joe. Obviously there's only one CD in the Idol mansion and it's Hollywood. As always he gives a decent performance - there's something about his voice that's very likeable, but it's far from rock.
Kyle continues to dish out the backhanders by saying "For such a pooncy guy you're a rock solid performer." Holden says there's too much Jamie Redfern in him. Read into that what you will. Dicko continues the obscure Bindi references by saying Benji is less rock than Bindi Irwin. PetStarr wonders how many Google searches she's going to get for "Bindi Irwin" this week.
Daniel "No, I'm not Greg from The Biggest Loser" Mifsud is next, with Jimi Hendrix's Fire, one of the sexiest, dirtiest, sweatiest rock songs ever. Now imagine it done by Greg Brady. That's pretty much Dan's performance.
Holden shows off his comedy skills by saying Daniel "lit up the stage". Get it? LIT UP? Fire? Get it? He cracks me up. Kyle says it was like Donny Osmond does rock and roll. Marcia says "Hendrix lives". Amazing - who would have thought Hendrix would come back as a skinny, white, scarf-wearing werewolf impersonator from Melbourne? It seems obvious when you think about it though.
Second to last tonight is Natalie "I'm attractive and a really good singer but no one remembers me so I probably won't win" Gauchi, who has gone to her big book of BIG CALLS and turned to chapter six, THE BIGGEST CALLS EVER and turned to paragraph 12, "GUNS N ROSES: Why it should never be attempted on Idol, and especially not Sweet Child O Mine, and especially not in the style of Norah Jones".
Strangely enough, she's chosen to do the Gunners' Sweet Child O Mine in the style of Norah Jones. Strike one. Then she starts off on a stool. Strike two. Then she changes all the lyrical references to "her" and "she" to "him" and "he". Strike three. She might as well do the telephone hand signal at the end now, there's no saving this.
Dicko says Natalie's performance made him glad Guns n Roses never auditioned Vanessa Carlton for the role of lead singer. On another note - can you imagine Axl Rose doing 1000 Miles? THAT would be awesome. Marcia says she doesn't know what she's sitting there listening to or watching. I guess that short run of coherence couldn't last forever. Holden calls it a big disappointment - I agree, I was just satrting to like the new Marcia. Kyle declares the whole competition bullshit, and then says Natalie's glittery stockings are bad. The producers run off to find a replacement dummy for him.
Finally bringing up the rear is Mark "Diddle-dee-dee leprechaun potatoes" Da Costa, who has decided to show everyone what rock's all about by doing the worst AC DC song ever, High Voltage. Yawn. Every time he sings "Hiiiiiiigh" I wish he'd finish it with "way to HELL!" and really show us some rock, but alas. Well, what do you expect from an Irish folk singer? He's obviously been studying his Dean Geyer: Stare your way to success DVD very closely, as he barely lets a camera pass over him without staring down the barrel and freaking out the cameraman. With his rock eyeliner on it's all a bit Little Britain.
Look into my eyes, not around the eyes...
Kyle admires Mark's skinny jeans, musing on how only gay men, rock men and men with bird legs can pull them off. But if Mark wants to stop by his dressing room after the show he can have a go at pulling them off himself. Marcia praises him for looking comfortable on stage. Holden criticises him for looking comfortable on stage. What do you want him to do, Holden, wear ill fitting shoes next time? Then he asks him to think about David Lee Roth - so I think we can probably discount Holden's comments from now on.
And so concludes ROCK NIGHT - possibly the worst bunch of performances on TV since... no, actually I think this is the worst.
Stay tuned for Monday night's result. I'm looking at YOU, Brianna.
TUESDAY'S UPDATE: Colour me surprised, it's Brianna that gets the boot.