Monday, October 01, 2007

Australian Idol 07 wrap up: Acoustic Night

Watch out people, Idol's getting SERIOUS right about now. And you know how I know? Because it's ACOUSTIC NIGHT. That means the Idols get to play INSTRUMENTS. That's how you can tell they're not just record company puppets, but true ARTISTS with FEELINGS and EMOTIONS and RAW TALENT. And in Carl's case, HIS OWN TRUMPET.

First up as always, the QUICKNEWS update:

  • Ian Moss stops by to pretend to be interested in Australian Idol for an undisclosed amount of money. Sadly Daniel Mifsud blew his Rolling Stones allocation with Miss You last week, so no one gets to make a joke about gathering moss.

  • "The man in black" Mark Da Costa plays a white guitar and sings a red hot blues version of Yellow, turns the other Idols green.

  • Natalie, Marty and Jacob mishear "acoustic night" as "spastic night" and try to outdo each other in the ridiculous facial expressions stakes.

  • Kyle admits he treats his music the way he treats his women, which makes me think that having sex with Kyle would involve a lot of back announcing ("That was ME playing with YOUR BOOBS there, that's always been a massive hit!"), possibly a few prank phone calls and ultimately go for no longer than three minutes so he could cut to an ad break.

  • Everyone uses the word "strip" a lot, but sadly it's in sentences like "I'm going to strip this song back to its roots" rather than "Look over there, Matt Corby's doing a strip tease!"

Enough dilly-dallying, let's get on with it.

Clearly feeling left out after all of Holden and Dicko's touchdowns, "tickos" and "sickos", Marcia has decided to trump them both by dressing up as an Academy Award.

"I'd like to thank God, and the Academy..."

Kyle says he's looking forward to stripping, and one million viewers reach for the nearest receptacle into which to dispose of their partly digested dinners before he finishes the sentence with "back all the bells and whistles of the Idols' performances."

First up we have Mark "I used to be annoying but now I'm getting steadily more awesome every week, so sucked in" Da Costa with Coldplay's Yellow. Hmm. He's also decided to do a blues rendition of it. Hmmmmm. And he's wearing those tight black pants again. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Actually, ARE they even pants? I've never seen him without them on, so maybe they're his actual legs. Maybe he has some sort of disability in which he was born with black stretch denim instead of skin, and covers it up with flesh coloured foundation everywhere on his body except for his legs, where it's sort of acceptable. Maybe he had to endure years of judgement and schoolyard taunts about it before he finally found the courage to celebrate his differences, and now finds inner peace by immersing himself in rock and roll culture, where wearing the same pair of black stretch denim jeans every day of the year is acceptable, nay - encouraged. Because if that IS the case then I sure do feel bad.

Apart from strumming a glow in the dark white guitar that looks like something you could only buy in Tamworth, and singing "every THANG you do", and not even attempting any of Chris Martin's falsetto, and playing like he's in some sort of Britpop saloon in the wild west where hookers crowd around the honky tonk pee-anner while the barman slings beers down the bar and cowboys snarl at each other and say "This song ain't big enough fer the two of us,", and finishing the song with a weird "HAW!" noise that sounds like a sound effect from a kung fu movie - it's a pretty hot performance. No, seriously. It's low and lazy and pretty sexy. Am I turning towards Mark Da Costa? Could it be possible? Does it even matter, given that Matt Corby's going to win anyway?

Holden blathers on about light and shade and versatility and says it was a cool arrangement. Dicko says that honky tonk version of the song would make Chris Martin roll in his grave - well yes, it MIGHT, if Chris Martin were actually dead, Dicko. Marcia says she loved the humour in it, particularly the bit where Mark made the joke about aeroplane peanuts being hard to open - that is SO TRUE! Ah, classic. Kyle says he treats music like women, because you can't be hard all the time, and Mark found a soft bit, and he pushed the counter meal to the side at the pub and really listened to that. A tumbleweed rolls through the studio, as we move on to Natalie "You think THAT was honky tonk? Wait for this" Gauchi.

Seated at the piano, she pulls out a delicious version of Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror. Jacko doesn't seem to do that one anymore. Funny, that.

Nat's clearly confused by the whole piano/singing/being filmed thing, and so alternates between looking at her hands and looking surprised.

"I can't believe how good I am either!"

She looks lovely (when her eyebrows aren't trying to escape her head, that is), sounds gorgeous, and pulls off a truly wonderful performance. This sucks. If all the Idols are going to be good tonight I'll have nothing to say.

Dicko continues his quest to out-touchdown Holden, dropping the "ticko from Dicko" call of last week for a "Fully sicko from Dicko!" Not bad, not bad. I'd like to think I had something to do with that. Marcia says Natalie has listened, and suffered, and blossomed, and listened, and suffered, and suffered, and listened, chaka-chaka-khan, chaka-khan... eventually Dicko kicks her chair and she snaps back into place with a "Thank you darlin'." Kyle says it was beautiful, Dicko calls for a touchdown, Holden withholds. Only he knows the true worth of the touchdown.

Moving right along to Carl "I'm going to do Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr every week until I'm forcibly stopped" Risely. In a move that surprises no one, Carl announces he's going to sing Harry Connick Jr's version of Cole Porter's Alright With Me. And he's going to play the trumpet. Did you know that Carl can play the trumpet? Oh yes, he's a trumpeter with the navy! Didn't you know that? Funny, I thought they'd mentioned it AT LEAST A MILLION TIMES THIS SEASON.

Carl's clearly borrowed Holden's Idol calculator to work out the exact ratio of swing to pop required to please both teenage girls AND their nannas, as he announces "We put a half beat into the song and improved it tenfold." Then he struts out in that bloody black suit and white shirt again - seriously, this is getting beyond a joke now. Surely the rental fees are through the roof on that thing now. SHERIDAN TYLER ARE YOU HEARING THIS? DRESS THIS MAN IN SOMETHING ELSE, PLEASE.

Carl blasts out a bit of trumpet to kick start the song (he's a trumpet player, don't you know), then pauses to take the one breath that will hopefully get him through the rest of this very fast, very wordy song without expiring. Although he manages a rat-pack like throw to the band in the middle, he gets a bit breathless towards the end - he might as well have been performing the McDonald's "two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun" song, for all the puff he's got left. He manages to finish his performance off with a small "PARP!" on his trumpet, before he collpases of asphyxiation.

While the paramedics rush in with an oxygen mask, Marcia says she's happy Carl got to show off his trumpet ability. Yes, because it was such a secret before, wasn't it? Kyle gives what he considers to be the highest praise available by telling Carl he could have watched a whole concert of that. Sure he means on television, with the sound down, but he still would have WATCHED. Dicko says Carl's a real contender, and his performance was like watching someone audition to be in the rat pack. I like to think that auditioning to be in the rat pack had more to do with how many people you could get to blow YOU, rather than showing how well YOU could blow, but anyway.

Next up is Jacob "Britpop got murdered? The Butler did it" Butler, with another wussy UK band song, Somewhere Only We Know by Keane.

He strides on stage in that bloody black vest, white shirt and red tie combination that I swear he's worn every week since auditions. And yet I can't find any video evidence to prove my theory. Dammit. Spurred on by Natalie's "surprised" performance earlier in the night, Jacob tries to outdo her with his impression of Alvin from The Chipmunks.

If only he sang as high as Ben Mackenzie, he'd have that impression in the bag.

The performance is alright, but it's a bit like Jacob himself - not all there. I can safely say that I sang along to this at home and actually sounded better. Then the buzzer on my microwave went off and that sounded better still. And don't even get me started on my kettle's falsetto.

As soon as he's finished he goes through the Jacob Butler post performance ritual: Smile wanly for half a second, grip the microphone and look at your shoes, sigh deeply, look disappointed, give up on life.

Kyle says it was dead boring. Then says it was worse than that, it was like the music they play at the end of the Channel 9 Christmas carols when people are walking back to their cars. If Holden has the touchdown, Kyle owns the smackdown. Holden lets out a big yawn and starts gearing up for his weekly amateur dramatics performance of That Was Disappointing, but is intercepted by Marcia who recognises that if Jacob isn't perked up soon he may just impale himself upon the microphone in despair. Now THAT would get a touchdown. Marcia does an impression of a fortune cookie by saying "A great performer takes people to a place, and in your eyes, wherever you went, I wanted to follow." The car park, according to Kyle. Clearly dazzled into temporary insanity by Marcia's all gold ensemble, Dicko says it was simple and pure and he was absolutely mesmerised. Actually, IS he talking about Marcia's outfit? Holden checks his Idol meter and says Jacob only gave 60 to 70% when they needed 130%, which technically, is mathematically impossible. So unless Jacob invents a new strain of advanced mathematics by 7.30pm tonight, he's possibly a goner.

Moving on to Matt "We all know I'm going to win, so what's the point?" Corby. It seems even Ian Moss is taken with Le Corby, as he announces that he's been pretty keen to have a blow with him since he saw his first audition. I think we can all agree with that, Ian. Then they play that particular song again, which means I get to do this:

And I think Matt Corby has been about 5 of them...

Matt continues the blowing theme by doing Damien Rice's The Blower's Daughter. Over on the judging table, Dicko gasps in adoration of his adopted son's ever-increasing knowledge of obscure, alternative music.

He slacks on stage looking like he's just rolled out of bed - clearly Jacob's performance put him to sleep, and he hasn't had time for a shower or change of clothes. Either that, or he's taken my advice about starting his own fashion range crafted from tea towels.

Sorry Matt, did we wake you?

It's a beautiful performance, full of emotion and poetry and high on sex appeal. Although he could do with brushing up on his Dean Geyer stares, it's all a bit sleepy-eyed for my liking. "I can't take my eyes off of you," he croons, which is rather ironic as he barely looks up during the whole performance. The audience doesn't mind though: They're so excited they do a premature cheer halfway through the second chorus.

Holden says Matt is one of the most brilliant people they've ever had on the show, but refuses to give a touchdown. THAT makes sense. Dicko says something about there being some backstage shenanigans tonight - Kyle's ears prick up and he makes a bolt for the door to make sure he's in time to fluff up Matt's pillow in the orgy room. But not before shouting "THAT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL I WOULD LIKE YOU AND I TO BE GAY LOVERS." Shit. If the Idols are going to perform well and Kyle's going to start stealing my gay jokes I'm seriously going to have to shut up shop.

Next is Daniel "My hair has its own support technicians" Mifsud, who has whipped out the Greg Brady vest one more time to sing an acoustic version of KISS' I Was Made for Loving You. Oh. Shit. This has disaster written all over it.

Sadly, he's foregone the makeup, but given his hair has made its final transformation into "helmet" I think we can assume that if he were in KISS, his character would be that of Roman Centurion.

"Make mine a Mifsud, thanks barber."

"I can't get anough of you baby, can you get enough of meeeee?" he sings. Uh, yes daniel, we can. We got enough about two and a half minutes ago, actually.

If you missed Daniel's performance, don't worry, it's quite easy to recreate it at home. Grab a broom and prop it upside down against the wall, pop a couple of valium and then take a KISS 45 and play it on 33 (for all you kids out there, just run the batteries down on your iPod a bit). Hey presto!

Clearly Dicko has made the mistake of looking in Marcia's direction and has become blinded again, as says he loved Dan's performance. Kyle says Dan held him from start to finish, and even though he didn't go up he wasn't disappointed. There's only one way to move on from a comment like that, and that's with a touchdown - Holden obliges for the second time this season, although god knows why given that Natalie and Matt were far more deserving this episode. If you missed the touchdown moment, this is what it looked like:

And in the most perfect segue ever, we move on from wailing children to Ben "I'm not a wailing child" Mackenzie, who's chosen to out-obscure Matt Corby by doing a song by Imogen Heap, Hide and Seek.

"I personally feel uncomfortable singing high notes," says Ben.

"Nice try!" laughs Australia in response.

But it seems he's so uncomfortable that he starts his song by channeling Barry White, singing so low I start to wonder if maybe his voice has finally broken. But then he slips into a higher register and it's back to the Benji we know and love. But this song is a tragedy. What are those lyrics? And are the violins off? Is that an echo effect on the microphone? And since when has he known how to play the piano? What the HELL? I feel like I'm in a bad acid trip - if they cut to Marcia's Oscar-dress there'll be no saving me.

"You don't care a biiiiiit," Benji sings. That's right mate, spot on!

Marcia says "I love ya, love ya, love ya..." and Dicko has to kick her chair again to tick her over. "I didn't know that song and I loved it, and I love you," she squeals. Kyle gets out his weekly Ben Backhander by calling him a freak that blew him away. Backstage Carl hangs his head in shame - he thought HE was the only one who blew things around here. Holden says Ben's brilliant, Dicko says he's too meek, and then steals my joke by saying "On the bright side you'll inherit the earth." Snaps to the D for that one.

Moving on it's Tarisai "Isn't this episode OVER yet?" Vushe, to do Desree's Kissing You, otherwise known as "That song that every teenage girl played incessantly in 1997 until it became so ear bleedingly annoying that simply playing its opening chords was enough to drive most parents into a violent episode".

"I'm hoping to strip this song down to a good acoustic version," she says. Funny, I don't actually remember it being anything BUT...

She looks lovely in a floaty canary yellow dress - and by floaty I mean ACTUALLY floaty. Seriously, is she levitating?

"Wait til you see me saw John Foreman in half!"

But apart from the dress, this performance is absolutely awful. Actually it's beyond awful. It's utterly, UTTERLY dire. So dire in fact that had she performed it on the infamous Rock Night, it probably would still have won the award for worst performance. Her voice is undeniably strong but she holds every note for about seven hours - at this rate by the time she's finished the song she will have already been voted off. It's so frustratingly slow I feel the urge to punch my television, but instead I go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea, a lamb roast and a serve of peking duck. When I return she's just up to the second verse. So I punch my television.

Kyle says Tarisai is his favourite Idol, and that she has multiple personalities. Clearly tonight's personality is "SLOW AND F*CKING BORING". Holden says it was a great lesson in vocal control, which would be great if we were all sitting here hoping to get some vocal coaching, instead of be entertained. Marcia says she doesn't know who Tarisai is. Or where her medication is. Over his temporary insanity by this stage, Dicko brings the single voice of reason to the panel by saying Tarisai's performance was a bit "cruise ship", not to mention cheesy and horrible. I'm thinking roquefort, myself.

Finally it's our last performer, Marty "I'm scared of my own hands" Simpson, otherwise known as Aggro, with his acoustic guitar rendition of some song by Snow Patrol. Snore. He strums his guitar, he looks cute, he sings properly for the first time this season, and the audience claps along. It's a triumph. He might not get a touchdown for this, but he certainly wins the crazy facials award for the evening, putting Jacob and Natalie into second and third place respectively.

"Just one...more...push and...UGH."

Dicko says so far Marty has overpromised and underdelivered, but now he's heaps better and stuff. Marcia says she's happy he got a chance to play with his instrument on stage. I must have missed that bit. Kyle tells Marty he has two choices: Become something great and have money and women all his life, or have the money and women until he's 40 and living in a caravan at which point no one will talk to him because he's a tragedy. Is that a trick question? Kyle, you scamp!

And so we reach the end of acoustic night, thank the lord above. Jacob was bad, Tarisai was worse, but surely the Butler's luck is up... Stay tuned for the results.

MONDAY NIGHT'S UPDATE: Tarisai's singing crimes are overlooked and Werewolf Le Scarf, Mark Da Rocksta and Jacob Butthead all make the bottom three. Scarfey is the first back to the bench - surely it's Jake's night to go. BUT SHOCK, HORROR, our rockstar is unceremoniously dumped from the Idol lineup. What the HELL? And just when I was starting to like him, too. Make sure you tune in on Sunday for BRITPOP NIGHT, otherwise known as JACOB BUTLER'S WET DREAM NIGHT or THE IDOLS KILL OASIS AGAIN AND AGAIN NIGHT.


  1. Your Marty animation nearly made me wet my pants.

    I wonder if it was a boy or a girl?

  2. "I like to think that auditioning to be in the rat pack had more to do with how many people you could get to blow YOU, rather than showing how well YOU could blow, but anyway." I hurt from laughing.

    How did the Butler survive? Just in time to murder brit pop again.

  3. Daniel got a touch down and still got in the bottom 3 lol.

  4. ec - The only thing we can be sure of is that it was a bad song.

    thisisme - Lord. Now we have to watch him do Oasis AGAIN.

    Anonymous - Clearly Australia doesn't give a crap about touchdowns, non?

  5. ROFL, this review is gold!

    That KISS song was the most yawn-o-matic thing I've seen on Australian television since Darryl Sommers came back. I can't believe HE survived. As for lounge act - chriiiiiiist!

  6. Um, anyone notice all the Navy ads on the Monday? And did I hear rubbish Carl Miserly a few weeks ago say something under his breath like "Gee, I'm getting more than I signed for.."

    Only way he can dispel my crappy conspiracy theory if he gets out of that suit, wacks on a pair of tight gym shorts and does In The Navy on Gay Anthems Night.

  7. I've been telling every that Daniel sucked and rearranging a song is NOT just slowing it down to the point of tedium but every other person on the net thinks his treatment of IWMFLY was up there with the Sistine Chapel and the iPod. At last someone who makes a bit of sense.

    And who's this 'man' in the mirror staring back at Natalie. It doesn't make any sense.

  8. Someone PLEASE, for the love of my eardrums, get rid of Tarisai. Am dying. Slowly. Painfully. Blargh.

    I'm sort of glad Mark is gone, though. His jean/legs scare me.

    (And from last week's post, yep, Werewolf la Scarf has his own hair sprucing stylist. And I didn't see anyone ELSE having their hair fixed, only the occasional shiny nose powder-fixer-upperer.)

  9. I can't stop looking at that Touchdown animation! I love how you hold it on that crying bastard of a child. Worst, Most Inexplicable Touchdown Ever.

  10. The Powers That Be over at Idol must read your blog. Brit Pop night a mere week after it being mentioned here? Interesting. Anyway, another great recap.

    I just saw an ad for Brit Pop night. There was some major hyperbole going on about the apparently goosebump-inducing performances (the voiceover was over Tarisai's performance...bleurhg) we saw on Sunday but besides that, it appears that they are redefining Britpop to mean "anything at all recorded by someone British". Note to Idols: Amy Winehouse is not Britpop. Queen were not Britpop.

  11. carla - I think you'll find the Idol schedule is well and truly sorted out by now (some mee-jah friends of mine have the embargoed copy but I refuse to look at it, I like to keep up the suspense) so the Britpop night call was rather clairvoyant of me. But you're right - the powers that be at Idol ARE reading my blog. That quote from Dicko up there in the top right corner isn't made up, you know! The one from Marcia is though. Can't have everything. :)

  12. Yeah, I figured it would be decided well in advance. I was only half-serious.

    But I had no idea the Dicko quote was real though! Where did he say that? That's really awesome.

  13. 'Werewolf Le scarf'?
    rofl you are a funny biotch

  14. I used to love you petstarr, but your love of matt corby makes me hate you. He is woeful.

  15. Anon - Nooo! Don't hate me because he's beautiful!

  16. Have you seen the two 'shocking' stories about the Hillsong infiltration?

    That would explain why Ben hasn't come out yet.

  17. "She looks lovely when her eyebrows aren't trying to escape her head"

    BAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm so gonna use that.