So here we are - eight down and four to go, and it's already time for "Swing Night".
No, not SWINGERS night - that's what happens every Sunday at 9pm at Holden's house. I said SWING night, otherwise known as "Jazz night", the "Free kick to Carl Risely night" or the "Anyone with a half decent voice can sing this shit night".
It's also traditionally the night that all the boys get dressed up in Oceans 11 style suits and pretend to be George Clooney for an hour - Holden has obliged by throwing on his renta-tux from the ARIAs (might as well get your money's worth, right?) and flipping up his shirt collar to give it a modern, youthful edge (and to prove that he tied a REAL tie, not one of those cheater's elastic ones).
Meanwhile, Dicko has intelligently decided that the most appropriate outfit for an evening celebrating jazz and swing music is a wild west cowboy shirt with two giant arrows demonstrating the position of his nipples. Maybe it IS swingers' night...
"I frigging hate big band," spews Kyle.
"It's probably a good night for Carl, but we don't need it, it's a waste of time."
Hear, bloody hear. We're down to the final four now, we want to see some BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, not Buble, swing and jazz.
Speaking of Buble, first up is Carl "Boogie woogie Buble boy" Risely with a rendition of Me and Mrs Jones. Or actually, the Michael Buble version of Me and Mrs Jones. Michael Buble? What a grand idea! Why hasn't Carl done more songs by him this series?
Carl rocks up on stage with his shirt open and his tie undone - jeez Carl, why don't you make yourself at home? It's his best George-Clooney-in-Ocean's-11-post-several-martinis look. Or actually, his best Mark-Holden-at-the-ARIAs-post-several-ginger-beers look. Sadly the four inches of neck flesh he's showing is the most exciting part of this performance, which is more big BLAND than big BAND. Still, while it's as boring as Buble on valium, it's still a fairly solid performance. And talk about surprising - who knew Carl could sing jazz? Apparently he can play the trumpet too! So many hidden talents, he should really capitalise on this stuff.
Holden says a lot of ladies got off on his lyric. And he should know all about that, after all, he once sizzled all the ladies' shemizzles with those sexy lyrics about a white sport coat and a red carnation. Dicko says he was concerned about Carl doing a ballad, but he didn't drop a banana skin and fall on his face, so it was awesome. Mm I agree - that bit of choreography just would NOT have worked. Kyle says it was really romantic and he's with Dicko.
Yep,it seems I was right the first time.
Moving on to Marty "My eyebrows have more stage presence than I do" Simpson, who admits he's never heard of big band before or listened to any big band songs. As it turns out, big band, along with much of the rest of the country, has never heard of Marty before either, so the disregard is mutual.
"You're going to see me swing as much as I can," says Marty , which doesn't do much to fill anyone with confidence. Particularly when he announces he's singing Dave Matthews Band's American Baby.
Apart from the fact that I absolutely detest Dave Matthews Band with every fibre of my being, it's actually not a terrible performance. Its connection to big band and swing is about as tenuous as Britney Spears' connection to good taste, but it's alright.
Dicko does a grand impression of Waldorf from The Muppet Show by calling Marty a fish out of water, then saying he didn't expect him to excel, and it was bizarrely uncomforable to watch, and he thought it would fall apart but it never did and it was strangely engaging, and actually he really loved it. Marcia is less enthusiastic with a resoundingly positive "At least you're trying", while Kyle comes straight out and brands the whole performance "ridiculous".
"I don't know why you just didn't sing 'doo bee doo bee doo'," says Holden, making about as much sense as usual.
Although come to think of it, that actually WOULD have been more entertaining.
On to Matt "Check my new haircut" Corby, who has dressed up as an alien Elvis to deliver
Carl Risely's Michael Buble's version of How Sweet It Is.
His 1950s style metallic jacket, skinny tie and Elvis hairdo are so bizarre they're even enough to distract me from playing "pin the nipple on Dicko" for a few minutes.
"I wanna stop... and get a haircut..." sings my Idol sidecar Raoul Duke.
One GOOD point about the strange hairdo - and my inner nanna is coming out when I say this - it's finally got that bloody awful fringe out of his face. GOODNESS he looks a damn sight better without all that HAIR in his face. Now I've got that out of system I'll have another shortbread biscuit and plough on.
Marcia's inner nanna clearly agrees with me, as she yells "That's what I'm talkin' 'BOUT!" Kyle demands to know what happened to Matt's "lego hair". No one demands to know what happened to Matt's "lego shirt".
Holden steals my joke by saying Matt looks like a hasidic Elvis, forcing me to say Matt looks like an alien Elvis, and thousands of young schoolgirls to wonder how Holden knows what Matt's pH level is in the first place.
Our final performer for the evening is Natalie "I'm gonna win this thing, you see if I don't" Gauci with Natalie Cole's version of Orange Coloured Sky.
Once again she's smiley and charming and gorgeous, although she unfortunately happens to have been poured into a dress that someone has fashioned from a deconstructed bee costume.
"Crazh! Bam! Alacazam!" she trills, punching her first triumphantly into the air.
Er... Natalie, I've got just two words for you.
Ok so maybe it wasn't THAT bad. But seriously, forget Head and Shoulders. Idol needs to do a contra deal with Gilette.
Dr Kyle gets out his stethoscope and diagnoses Natalie as suffering from "Clothesorexia". Ten bucks says you see this word on the cover of the next Cosmo/Marie Claire/Madison. Then he brands the outfit "disgusting". A bit harsh, but maybe he's got something against bees. Holden does the obvious by yelling "Wham bam, thank you ma'am!" while Dicko labels her "playful, naughty, and very, very sexy". Then he mentions 24 carrots, which is possibly all Natalie has eaten this week in order to squeeze into this bee outfit.
Back to square one - that's right, they're each doing TWO performances this week. Yes, TWO lots of swing for each Idol. That's EIGHT whole doses of swing in the one hour. Nursing homes around the country must be in overdrive right now.
Carl's reached into his ever decreasing bag of unsurprising tricks and pulled out a Harry Connick Jr song, Just Kiss Me. We all wait for the inevitable announcement that it will be the Michel Buble version, but sadly it seems Carl's opted to do the original. OH MY GOD, HOW WILL AUSTRALIA COPE?
Not well, it seems - this is a mess. It's so fast, and there are so many lyrics, it's like being lectured by an overly musical ice addict.
The brass bangs its way into our brains as Carl starts slurring "Rrrrrippit! Rippit!" Ribbit? What is this, a Kermit impression? I thought John Foreman was the only one who did that around here.
"Come onnn CARL!" yells the band, in a totally spontaneous bit of unscripted wackiness. Sigh. If Carl's going to pull this shit every week Idol's going to turn into Blanketty Blanks before we even get to the Opera House.
Holden calls him "Mr Entertainment", Dicko commends him on his hair, and Kyle slags off the band.
Let's move on to the next trainwreck, Marty Simpson, who's bought a one-way ticket to Crashandburnsville by electing to do The Doors' Light My Fire, swing style. This immediately takes everyone back to 1996 when it was mandatory to own at least one compilation CD titled something along the lines of Ultimate Lounge, Loungadelica, Loungeapalooza or Cocktail Shake-Up!, which featured "cool" 1960s hotel lobby versions of rock songs. It also takes everyone back to the beginning of this year's Idol finals, when it was mandatory for Carl Risely to take every possible theme night and turn it into swing night.
This performance is dire, there's no getting around it. It's terrible. Marty basically takes Jim Morrison's cold, dead corpse, chucks it in a martini glass and sticks a coloured umbrella in his ear. Needless to say it's not a great look. Speaking of looks, I do have to admit that Marty is getting rather more attractive every week. Sadly this seems to have had some odd mathematical effect on his singing ability - obviously his sexual appeal is inversely proportional to his ability to sing a song without sounding like a nob. Oh well, swings and roundabouts I guess.
Dicko enters the biggest understatement of the year award by saying Marty didn't really enter into the spirit of big band night, before nailing the performance right on the head with this piece of constructive criticism: "It was awkward, laboured and largely pointless."
"But having said that," says Marcia, experiencing a glitch in the Matrix and reverting to last week, when she also forgot that it was Dicko that said that, not her.
"You've made a new genre," says Kyle, neglecting to point out that the name of this new genre sounds a lot like "shite".
"That was like trying to light a fire with a wet match," says Holden, making the most sense he's made all night.
Matt Corby's up next, with Beyond the Sea. Well SOMEONE had to do it, I guess.
He's wearing braces over a white shirt, which is very Oceans 11. I approve. Although as Ken Doll points out later, they're completely useless, as his pants are tighter than Tarisai's jeans after washing day.
He seems to have gotten his mojo back from wherever it went last week, and he's showing off his charisma once again. Not to mention his new Barry White-esque lower register - since when has Matt Corby been able to sing that low? He should get extra points for pulling that off in those tight pants, too.
Marcia channels Destiny's Child circa Charlie's Angels and says "Question!" I have no idea what she said after that, I was too distracted by Matt's forehead, which is making its stunning debut this evening. Holden praises him for bringing his "own laid back style to the genre" - as opposed to the high energy punk style of Bobby Darin's original. Kyle says something, Dicko says something else, who cares, pop the rest of your heart medication love and let's sail on into the final performance by Natalie Gauci, with Ella Fitzgerald's How High the Moon.
Praise the lord, she's dropped the bee tuxedo dress in favour of an utterly fabulous red cocktail number, with a super tight bodice with a plunging neckline and a ruffled skirt. Red lips complete the look, which has VA VA VA VOOM written all over it. Yeeeow! I never thought I'd say this, but - SNAPS TO SHERIDAN TYLER.
"I didn't know she had breasts before," gasps Raoul, clearly smitten by the new Natalie. When she gets it right, the girl gets it right.
It's a superb performance, a perfect song for Natalie and she sounds a million dollars - she even scats in the middle, and it sounds fabulous. No, really. No, HONESTLY, the girl scats good. Where has this Natalie come from? I DON'T CARE, I LOVE HER.
Kyle says he gets a vibe from Natalie's dress that Christmas is coming, and he needs to put the presents under the tree. No one is sure whether he's giving her a compliment, or if he's genuinely just remembered that he needs to do his Christmas shopping. Holden picks his jaw up off the floor and starts yabbering about how Natalie moves through the beats, in front of them, behind them, on top of them UNDERNEATH THEM OH GOD YES! YES! YESSSSSSS! TOUCHDOWWWWWWN! Dicko finishes up by saying Natalie revealed her major star this evening - I blame the split in the front of the bee dress.
And so concludes another night of G rated family fun from our final four. Any final words from our judges?
Kyle: "I might be slightly bent."
Indeed. See you tomorrow night, kids - my money's on Marty to get the boot.