So it's ARIAs time again, the Australian music industry's night of nights. I only half watched it, but it probably went something like this:
- Rove delivers an unfunny monologue and attempts to connect with "the kids" by quoting a few Sneaky Sound System songs
- James Matheson tries to chat up The Veronicas
- A former Idol wins the award for the highest selling something or other
- Someone wins "Best Breakthrough Artist" despite having already released 11 albums over the past 15 years
- Missy. Bernard. Delta.
- Hamish Blake wears a suit, looks completely hot
- Someone gets their cock out and
- Daniel Johns shows how shit his voice is these days by boldly attempting to sing one of his own songs.
Of course, when it comes to Idol, the arrival of the ARIAs night can only mean one thing - AUSSIE MUSIC NIGHT. Or actually, "Aussie hits night" which, as it turns out, is a rather generous title - Thirsty Merc, anyone?
But first, QUICKNEWS:
- Holden gives Matt Corby a bit of performance advice which basically amounts to "Be more like Shane Warne". Women around the country excitedly check their mobile phones for incoming text messages.
- Natalie Gauci shows off the new skills she's learned in her recent WEA course, "Furniture climbing for beginners".
- Marty Simpson continues to delve deep into his past and dig up painful family memories to reenact in order to keep Holden happy.
- Tarisai Vushe pouts, whines and bitches excessively about being called "fake" on the radio, and in so doing proves that her "real" self is a pouting, whining bitch.
- Carl Risely achieves two seemingly impossible feats by a) making Little River Band sexy, and b) getting through an entire performance without getting out his trumpet. Unlike Axel Whitehead at last year's ARIAs.
So let's get straight into it then with some HOT, FLAMIN', 100% AUSSIE GOLD, courtesy of Matt "Maybe I'm not such a dead cert to win this thing after all, eh Natalie Gauci?" Corby.
Matt's obviously misheard the evening's theme as "Aussie Shits" night, and chosen Thirsty Merc's 20 Good Reasons. I'll give you one good reason not to sing that song Matt - it's crap. But we press on.
All the Idols have been working with Holden this week under the mistaken notion that it will actually help their performances. This basically amounts to a lot of footage of Holden sitting at a big mixing desk furrowing his brow while intermittently exclaiming "HARMONICS!", "PHRASING!", "PITCH!". It's all very Spinal Tap - we keep waiting for him to flick a few switches and mix the vocals in Dobbly.
"He really needs to cut through with that wa-a-a-a-ah," says Holden, while Matt sits in the background, busily sharpening his wa-a-a-a-ah so it will cut through better.
"You know Shane Warne? All I would say is be Warney about it, mate," says Holden, before continuing his cricket analogy by telling Matt to get out his googlies and polish his balls.
Back on stage, and Matt's scored the holy nanna trinity by getting his hair cut, putting on a nice, smart jacket and sitting at the piano to give us all a sing song. Don't get me wrong, I personally would have LOVED to have seen him in that natty Lego man dress from last week's verdict show - it was just so manly and flattering.
But a change is as good as a holiday.
Matt proves why he actually has more fans than Thirsty Merc by doing a superb version of an extremely crap song - it's full of emotion and it's beautifully sung. Not to mention his wa-a-a-a-ah which cuts through like a hot knife in butter. He still doesn't look up at the audience at all, but they couldn't give a toss. Except for one person who gives a bunch of roses a toss right onto the stage. What is he, Dame Nellie Melba? He sang Phantom LAST week, loser.
Dicko says if Matt stitched together all of his Idol performances so far, he could make a nice big blanket they could auction off for charity to donate to kids with cancer. Alternatively, he could turn it into a tablecloth and wear it around his neck like in the good old days.
"Having said that," says Marcia, forgetting that it was actually Dicko that said that, not her.
"You were singing about something very sad there," she continues, clearly talking about Rai Thistlethwayte's career.
And it started with such promise, too.
"Are you alright? You look upset to me," says Kyle. He's just sung Thirsty Merc on national TV for goodness' sake, give him a break.
Matt mumbles something in monotone about his fingers not working on the piano. I think we can all safely assume it's not a build up of charisma that caused the problem.
Moving right along to Natalie "That's right bitches, y'all better watch out" Gauci who takes over the piano to sing The Divinyls' Boys in Town. She's got her black leather jacket on so it's cledar she means business, not to mention the biggest earring known to humankind which is jutting out the right side of her head like a Foxtel satellite dish. She should get extra points for that - it must be hard to concentrate on your performance when you're getting Martha Stewart's cooking show broadcast straight into your brain.
I wonder if she gets the movie channels on that thing.
Suddenly she abandons the piano and struts out onto the stage, screaming about how she's just a red brassiere to all the boys in town. Yeeow, Natalie! Bring it, girl! Just as I'm musing on how much she looks like the long lost third Veronica, she mounts her Bunnings budget step ladder ($39.95 in this month's catalogue) and all of a sudden she's on top of the piano, yelling and looking hot. Everyone holds their breath for the moment of tragic irony where the piano collapses and sends her flying into the front row just as she's singing about how she musta been pretty low, but fortunately this never happens, and she pulls off a triumphant finish. A touchdown is surely imminent.
Dicko starts the praise fest off well by congratulating Holden. He then tells Natalie she's so good lately because she's been channelling all her heartbreak and tragedy of recent times into emotionally charged performances. So if she ever gets over that breakup she's going to have to push a family member under a bus or run over her own dog or something to help her get to the opera house. Marcia says she's incredible. She says Natalie is alright too. Kyle comes out with a classic quote:
"YOWZA YOWZA YOWZA YOWZA!" shrieks Holden in response, which surprises no one. Then he gives Natalie a touchdown, which is even less surprising.
Could it be possible? Could Natalie actually steal the thorny Idol crown from Matt Corby? It doesn't matter how sharp he gets his wa-a-a-a-a-ah, SHE STOOD ON THE PIANO. Game, set, match, Gauci.
Moving on to Marty "Can you believe I'm in the top 5?" Simpson, whose version of Powderfinger's These Days sounds dire even in the pre-performance montage. Poor Marty's stuck in a studio with Holden, trying desperately to dig up more painful memories in a desperate attempt to show some emotion.
"Um, my family had some problems with money a few years ago, that might work...? Or actually my dog died when I was 12, I could think of that. Oh hang on, a friend of a friend had an ingrown toenail once. Well she wasn't really a friend, I just knew her through Facebook..."
Eventually they settle on some sort of family tragedy that is evidently going to make Powderfinger's song really POP.
"I get it, I get the pain of your mother in there!" exclaims Holden, slightly more excited than he probably should be.
Back on stage and Marty's got his guitar out, so his big, scary hands won't attack and kill him when he's not watching. He's taken These Days and slowed it right down, and kept every line in exactly the same meter so he can keep in time. GOD it's slow. Christ, it'll be These Weeks by the time he's done with it.
Kyle says he nearly cried a little tear during the performance - so he was bored to tears too? Holden says he's proud of him. And proud of Marty too (SNAP! Same joke twice in one recap!). Dicko gives him a backhander by saying he's in the top five despite his performances rather than because of them, and then comes out with the biggest dad joke of the evening: "You've turned it into Idle Australian instead of Australian Idol."
Moving along to Tarisai "If I yell loud enough I will drown out the voices in my head" Vushe with The Veronicas' When it all Falls Apart. How prophetic that song title will turn out to be in about five minutes' time.
She's rocking a new hairdo tonight - a Beyonce style straight fringe cut. It looks hot. It also looks like if it got too hot, it would melt. Honestly, is it synthetic, or have they just spent the last three days straightening her hair?
Speaking of synthetic, apparently a caller branded Tarisai "fake" on Kyle's radio show this week, and she's not happy about it. Instead of NOT GIVING A TOSS like everyone else in the nation, Tarisai spends her whole video package pouting, whining and bitching to Holden about how real she is. Don't worry Miss T - we can all see the REAL you now. And to be honest, we preferred the fake version.
Holden tells Tarisai to put all of her anger into her performance - so just for something different, she'll yell, look pissed off and stalk around. How novel.
Out on stage she scowls at the cameras, barks out the lyrics, throws the mic stand to the ground and gives the entire nation the evil eye. Fuck - vote Tarisai or she'll come round to your place and fuck you up.
"DON'T MESS WITH ME, BEEYATCH!"
Secretly she wishes she had a piano to stand on. And then set fire to.
"Yesssss YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, noooooo oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO," she screams, confirming all those rumours about her having a split personality.
Kyle tells Tarisai to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like her, and that people aren't going to care. Right on, man. She continues her pout campaign until he tells her she's a "bit of a nutter", which seems to delight her. So questioning her mental stability is fine, just don't call her fake. Holden and Dicko continue stirring the pot by starting a discussion about whether Tarisai is fake or real - can't someone just get up there and bite her or something? It works for gold. Holden concludes she's fake, and Dicko concurs, prompting Tarisai to launch into a Summer Heights High Ja'mie routine.
"I'm absolutely offended. I am SO not joking here. I am not fake and that was not fake," she spits.
Not to be outdone, Dicko comes up with a trump quote:
Tarisai keeps protesting, but Dicko brings the smackdown.
"You only hear what you want to hear, you never listen to us," he complains.
"We could be slagging you off and you stand there and say 'thank you' like it's some beauty pageant. That's got to stop."
"I have been showing myself, I'm being real. There's nothing I can do about that," whinges Tarisai, as the rest of Australia is all "Seriously, WTF is going on here?"
There's only one way to save a debate of this type - Marcia?
"There's really nothing I can say," Marcia says.
Christ. When it all falls apart indeed.
Better move along to Carl "Admit it - you kind of like me now, don't you?" Risely, who announces he's doing Reminiscing by... oh for god's sake, LITTLE RIVER BAND? What the HELL, man?
"I'm actually surprised by Carl," says Holden as he shifts a few sliders on the mixing desk and blows up a small nuclear sub station in China. So are we, Holden - is he still really there?
"There's so much more to this whole singing thing than I ever thought there would be," enthuses Carl. It's crazy isn't it - you have to hold the microphone, sing into it, and sometimes walk around a bit. Unless you're in the advanced classes with Natalie Gauci in which case you have to stand on a few musical instruments too.
On stage and Carl's looking sharp in a black jacket and black open necked shirt, only slightly ruined by a few too many strange chains around his neck. Come on Carl, you're not a soccer player, leave the bling at home. He's channelling Bobby Flynn again with his epileptic hand movements, but apart from the fidgeting it's a very good performance. He's oozing confidence on stage now, and it's all very cruisy and sexy. Yes, Little River Band can be sexy. I think we've all learned something tonight, don't you?
Holden says it's a genuine challenge watching Carl pleasure himself every week. Whoops, sorry - I mean it's a genuine PLEASURE watching Carl CHALLENGE himself every week. Sorry. Then he channels Marcia and calls Carl a "real entertaining entertainer". Dicko says women at home are just hanging for Carl's date to come on sale. I could try and interpret that but I think it's best left as is. Marcia says he's never afraid to come out here - good thing, that, or it wouldn't be much of a show - and Kyle once again shows off his impeccable taste in music by branding Carl "one of my favourite artists of the year". Stay tuned for the ARIAs, in which Carl wins the Kyle's Choice Award - you don't get a trophy, but you do get unlimited access to Kyle's dressing room...
Be sure to come back for the results show wrap up - maybe this week Matt Corby will come out in a ballgown and ugg boots.
Hey, it'd still be an improvement.