Well we're on the home stretch now, kids! Nine down and three to go, and what better way to whittle the Idols down even further than with "Audience Choice Night", otherwise known as "Stalker Fans From Nowhere Fuck Up Everyone's Chances of Getting to the Opera House Night".
It's also clearly fancy dress night again, with Ken Doll and Monkey Boy coming as Mr White and Mr Red from Reservoir Dogs. Dicko has also joined in the fun by pulling another Achy Breaky shirt out of his seemingly endless collection of Billy Ray Cyrus themed attire.
Dicko sucks up to America again.
Tonight each of our remaining Idols has had a song chosen for them by a random fan from nowhere. Somehow it seems slightly unfair that a complete stranger who may or may not have any musical taste whatsoever should get to decide their favourite Idol's fate simply because they sent in 20 Pascall's wrappers or whatever it is they had to do. Then again it does make things so much more exciting, doesn't it! I sort of wish I'd entered now, so I could have made Matt Corby sing this:
And so we meet Chris the male nurse from Townsville, who clearly hates Natalie Gauci's guts as he's chosen Madonna's Ray of Light for her to sing.
Look - before we get into this, I should probably just state at the outset that the whole thing is a debacle. I mean really, it's a serious, SERIOUS dog's breakfast of the highest order. It's an absolute arse of a performance. I was going to link to the video for those of you who may have missed it, but on reflection I think it's probably better if you just watch this instead and go to your happy place.
Right, now that we're all relaxed and in happy otters-ville, let's take a look at Nat's performance.
Dressed in jeans and a zipper-front jumper, she looks like she's just gotten home from uni and is about to decide between chicken or beef Maggi noodles for dinner. As you may have guessed, it's a far from glamorous look. But all that is eclipsed when she starts singing. Screeching, actually.
"And I FEEEEEEEEEEEL like I just got home, and I FEEEEEEEEEELOOOOHHHHAAAAAAIIIIIYYYYYY!!!!!" she shrieks. The CEOs of the earplug companies that went out of business when Tarisai was voted off start dancing for joy and posting out their latest catalogues.
"Fuck, I just saw that dangly thing at the back of her throat," says my shocked Idol sidecar Raoul Duke.
Dear Chris from Townsville: Thanks a lot, loser. Regards, Natalie Gauci's former fans.
Holden makes the most obvious call he can, saying Natalie is a ray of light who has improved at the speed of light. Then he cracks a light beer and lights up a cigarette while spreading light Philadelphia on a light bulb. Then he says the song was "a half step too high" - pity she didn't bring along that ladder she used to climb on the piano the other week. Dicko brands her performance a bit dull, complains that she's reverted to being mundane and suburban, and then describes her as an "energy saving ray of light". So at least she's good for the environment. Kyle labels it a disaster that was way too high and "Probably the worst thing I've seen you do", while Marcia says a cryptic "Everything I spoke to you about you did". We can only assume then that Marcia told Natalie to awkwardly shriek off key for three minutes in a really boring outfit.
Moving on to Carl Risely, aka the Trumpet Crumpet, who is being forced to do James Morrisson's You Give Me Something by someone called Casey.
"It'll be interesting to see him sing something a bit different," she says before assigning Carl a cruisy, jazzy, romantic ballad to sing.
Carl rocks on stage in a white shirt with a big black panel on the front, which is oddly reminiscent of one of those 1980s tuxedo T shirts.
He cruises through the song without really trying too hard, singing off key for a bit before getting to the end, bouncing up and down and baring his teeth. It's like some kind of weird naval trumpeter mating ritual.
Dicko calls him Mr Entertainment and then says "collywobbles". I'm sure it was in context somehow but it's much funnier if we pretend he just randomly burst out with it. Holden brands Carl "really smart" - so watch out for the Channel 10 cross promotion when Carl stars on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. And PS Rove, it's YEAR FUCKING FIVE, not "5th Grade". I know you want to be Conan O'Brien but do you have to turn the rest of us American as well? Kyle tells Carl he's always of a "constant standard" and you know what you're going to get with him.
"Yeah, it's like putting a turd in a plastic bag," shrieks Raoul from the couch. I have no idea what this means.
"Australia, if you could get Matt Corby to sing whatever song you wanted, what would it be?" asks Ken Doll.
Hmm, what's the song that goes "My phone number is oh-four ohhhhh-woahhhhh one one..." ? There isn't one? Damn.
Some bird called Linda from Perth has chosen Matt's song this week, and she's picked Evermore's Too Late. Hmm. Not a bad choice, really.
Despite pulling a bit of a Ben Mackenzie on the vocals (remember him? I'm sure he wouldn't actually mind being pulled by Matt Corby), he sounds quite poppy and good. You could imagine him being somewhere in the Top 40 charts.
Clearly he's been taking didgeridoo or scuba diving lessons, as he seems to have perfected the technique of breathing out and in at the same time - he uses this to great effect in this performance by holding on to the end note of every line until the audience passes out from boredom.
"Ride onnnnnnnnn, ride 'til early morning sunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, it's too laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate..."
For about the seventh week in a row he's wearing those skin tight black jeans, which makes me think the poor buger is actually physically unable to take them off. They're clearly so damn tight they need to be surgically removed, and what with all the rehearsals and hanging out with sick kids and the hours he has to spend doing his hair every day, he just hasn't had time to get to the doctor. Poor guy. Maybe they could donate a portion of the funds raised through audience votes towards a "Get Matt out of his jeans fund" - I'm sure there'd be many people happy to donate to that.
Marcia enters herself in the "Most frequent use of the word 'incredibly' awards" by saying Matt's performance was "Incredibly good and incredibly exciting and incredibly well sung". Kyle declares Matt the best on the show, while Holden announces it was Matt's birthday this week and he's 17 now. FINALLY the boy is legal. The crowd launches into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday, which actually sounds better than Natalie Gauci's performance. Dicko concludes the pat on the back festival by saying it was a perfect song.
DING! DING! Round two. Natalie's back to pick up the pieces of her shattered Idol career with Pink's Nobody Knows. How true that is - I don't know this song from shit.
But first we get to see a video of the photo shoot for Natalie's potential album cover. She looks pretty amazing, bless her.
"Her eyes, God, they just tear your head off," enthuses the photographer. The Idol confidence coaches might want to work on that - I can see it being a potential problem at concerts.
"Just thinking my face could be on an album, wow!" squeals Natalie. Don't worry dear, after tonight's performance there's no fear of that happening.
Back on stage and Nat's tried a bit harder with her second outfit of tight black pants, white shirt and black leather vest - even if she has just done a clotheswap with Matt Corby. Still, after her first fiasco we needed a showstopper song and this really isn't it.
"Nobody knows, nobody cares," she sings. Truer words were never spoken.
Kyle declares it "much, much better", despite her wearing "chicken looking shoes". I concur that the shoes are totally tragic, but I'm not sure where the chicken reference comes in. Even if chickens wore shoes, they'd steer clear of fashion abominations like these. Holden calls it "a cracking performance", as opposed to a crack whore performance. Dicko says she really pulled a rabbit out of her jacksy. I must have missed that bit. And just quietly, I think that on a family show "hat" might have been a more appropriate word to use there. She pulled a HAT out of her jacksy. Jeez, Dicko.
Moving back to Carl again, who has joined in the dress up party and come as Jacob Butler.
Everyone wants to be just like Jacob.
He's chosen to do Stevie Wonder's For Once in My Life - normally that means I'd put the Stevie Wonder count up by one, but I'm blogging from Raoul's place tonight and I don't have the image file on me. So you'll just have to imagine it.
As with Natalie we get to see a short video on "the making of" Carl's potential
bin liner album cover, in which it is revealed that he is overly sensitive to light. It's all the photographer can do to get a shot where he's not squinting, shielding his eyes, or cowering in the corner screaming "IT BURNS! IT BURNS!" Is Carl a vampire? Who cares, let's start that rumour anyway.
Of course there are the ubiquitous photos of Carl farting about with his trumpet, including one rather fetching shot of him in a yellow trenchcoat haning around Sydney Harbour. Not sure if they were intentionally going for the "dirty old perve" look there but they succeeded, so well done.
"Carl Risely Blows, that should be the title of his album," quips Raoul.
As it turns out, that would be quite an appropriate title - this is a very weak performance that's barely half a step up from karaoke.
"For once in my life I have someone who neeeds.... who neeeeeeds..." he sings.
"Singing lessons," finishes Raoul.
Holden tells Carl his vocal chops are not where he wants them to be, which is on the Idol backstage bbq where they belong. Dicko says "tonight is do or die" for about the five millionth time this evening, before saying he expected more from all the Idols tonight. "For someone who’s on E, you were going through the motions, I’m afraid," he says. Pardon? Carl is on E and he's still lacking energy? Maybe he should switch to Bindeez. Kyle tells him he needs to learn some Justin Timberlake dance moves, at which point Carl promptly spins around, almost falls over, and ultimately demonstrates why that's actually a really bad idea.
Finally we get to our last performance for the evening, Matt Corby with The Beatles' Across the Universe, a song that everyone across the universe is thoroughly sick of.
But first, the photo shoot. The photographer mentions how he's trying to capture Matt's "fashion sense", while SONY BMG reps stand in the background wailing "Nooooooooooooooo!" Sadly the Lego shirt does not make a reappearance, although we do get to see footage of Matt getting undressed in the back of a car. Come to think of it, THAT should really be the album cover.
They clearly haven't been able to get a locum out to remove those black jeans during the adbreak as he's still in them, plus a black shirt and black fedora. He looks like a funky cat burglar. He sits on a stool to deliver this high energy, showstopper song. It sounds quite nice but djka%^&$6tdf5d6w567&^%. Whoops, sorry! I think my head hit the keyboard there. It's ok, I'm awake now.
Dicko says Matt's gone from a member of the Bolshoi ballet to a Peter Doherty tribute band in one evening. Still not as good as our magician Natalie, who can apparently pull small forest animals out of her nether regions. Then he tells Matt to make sure he can walk before he runs - although in those jeans it's doubtful he could do either. Marcia says he's "bulletproof" - Christ, he can sing, he's good looking, and now he's a superhero too. Is there anything this kid can't do? Kyle labels him a "straighty 180" and basically outs him as a virgin on national TV. Guess all those after show orgies backstage weren't as spicy as we thought they were. Then he says Matt is the "best we've got" - so everyone else can basically get fucked.
Well there you have it kids, our final three. What an exciting bunch. Marcia, how would you sum up the situation?
"You are the top three."