Get out your fluoro, hair gel, venetian shades, Corey Worthington costume and all the rest of your 1980s cliches, it's 80'S NIGHT ON IDOL, and you know what that means! That's right, two hours of watching people born in the 90s struggle through Madonna and Michael Jackson covers. For a similar effect, just gatecrash a school formal.
I'll take off my sunglasses but I'm not saying sorry FOR 80S NIGHT.
"Oh look, it's A-gay-lian idol," remarks Raoul, who has just stumbled into the room with a cup of tea. (For the record, he likes to pretend he doesn't enjoy watching this show).
Ken Doll and Monkey Boy have put on their special 80s thin ties for the evening, but other than that they've steered clear of "dressing to theme", as have the judges who are once again looking rather schmick and devoid of comedic possiblity. Fortunately the ghost of Holden didn't get the "don't dress up memo" - he's turned up in a red leather jacket and studded pants with cut off gloves and a cap on backwards.
"Shizzle," he spits.
But he's got nothing on special guest judge CYNDI FREAKING LAUPER who has rocked up to the Idol dome in her best "Angela Bishop on crack" costume. With birdsnest hair and tassles hanging from both ears, it looks like the day after the Logies has landed on her face.
"They must have big turbines out the back or something," says Raoul, of her decidedly windswept do. Then he glowers into his tea, pretending to still hate the show.
But enough of this bollocks, let's get straight into middle Australia with LUKE THE SHEARER, who's chosen to do John Mellencamp's Jack and Diane. Try to control your excitement.
Just as I'm thinking how good Luke looks in his white shirt and jeans, Raoul shrieks "He needs to shave that minge off his face, he's got a poonani beard!" You'd think Luke would be an expert at shaving minge, being a shearer. Sheep's minge, admittedly, but... What am I talking about? How did I get to shaving sheep's minge so early in the recap? Let's move on.
Luke sounds great, the song suits him down to the ground, he's totally in control of the crowd, and OH MY GOD IS IT POSSIBLE THAT LUKE IS ACTUALLY PRETTY DAMN GOOD?
Even Cyndi Lauper is crying. And you know what they say - if you make Cyndi Lauper cry, then... maybe you accidentally stepped on her toe. Or something.
Dicko says Luke is a bit sheepish, but something clicked tonight. Was it the shears, Dicko? DID THE SHEARS GO CLICK, DICKO? Marcia says well done, Cyndi manages to blurt something out through the floods of tears (I think something like "Does anyone have any saline solution, my contact lens has come loose") and Kyle tells Luke to lift his shirt. Or something. The ghost of Holden is nowhere to be found, having grumped off into a corner mumbling "They said three judges would be pacier, they said four judges was too many..."
"This is BULLshizzle."
Moving on to Brooke "That chick I always forget" Addamo, who's chosen Bette Davis Eyes. She does a bit of a song workshop with Cyndi, during which Ms Lauper says a lot of swear words and pushes Brooke around, and Brooke says a lot of "um, er... yep, ok..um.. er..." words and looks confused. Probably because she's wondering why Angela Bishop is teaching her how to sing.
On stage and Brooke is clearly sponsored by GLAD tonight, in a fetching black and white garbage bag that's pretending to be a dress.
Yep, something like this. But not quite as fetching.
Sadly, she still looks rather hot. Damn her. Pity then that this song is only lukewarm. Basically, Brooke sounds as pretty as her hair, which is a pity because this song really needs to be sung like a greased up mullet that's just come out of the surf.
Marcia tries to suck up to Cyndi by pretending that all her training backstage actually worked, saying it's the most solid and aggressive Brooke has ever been. Given Brooke was about as aggressive as a kitten with sinus problems, I'm not sure I agree. Depends how you measure aggression, I suppose. Kyle constructs a sentence out of the words "wow", "sultry" and "perfect" and unsurprisingly comes up with something vaguely complimentary. Dicko says Brook is "incredibly hot". Hands up who else feels uncomfortable?
Clearly a bit of backstage biffo with Cyndi does wonders for the Idols - let's hope she socks Tom Williams in the goolies so he can reach that falsetto even better this time.
Next up is Madam Parker with Upside Down. As always, she sounds THE BUSINESS but Holy Madonna (well, it IS 80s night) could this performance be any lazier? Apparently Madam had flu earlier in the week, which possibly explains why tonight's performance is the Idol equivalent of a Sudafed. Fortunately she looks a million dollars, apart from her massive hoop earrings which look more like $7.50. If she flicks her hair the right way she'll be able to pick up Channel 31, which could only do her good - Alphonse's Italian Party Hour is on right now.
Cyndi asks Madam how she feels. Madam thinks for about 10 minutes and says "Cool". For the record, I feel FUCKING BORED. Kyle marvels at how Madam has gone from ghetto rap to glamourpuss in three weeks, as if replacing a tracksuit with a mini dress is some kind of miracle. But then Marcia marvels that Madam knew where she was, so I guess it's all relative.
Monkey Boy tells us that to get behind Madam we just have to SMS. I feel like I've read that before in a phone booth somewhere...
For the first time tonight, the producers let Ricki Lee use the microphone to interview Mark Spano. Fortunately it's over soon, and we're into his performance of Foreigner's I Wanna Know What Love Is. Foreigner? Shit. Ricki Lee, can you interview him some more? But it's too late, he's already started.
After the first four words, Raoul declares it "awful". To be honest I've got no idea how Mark did, as I was too busy power singing into my glass of red. And I tell you what, I sounded fantastic.
"I like this guy," I tell the dog, in between power notes.
"His head's too fat," says Raoul matter of factly, between sucks of his Magnum. (Streets please address cheques to PETSTARR...)
Kyle tells Mark he's not one of those "back here lovers". While I'm trying to work out just what he means, Raoul shrieks "DOESN'T HE LIVE WITH HIS NONNA?" and then launches into an impersonation of Mark singing Foreigner to his Italian grandmother. It's quite good, actually. Dicko says something about turning the sound down, which is funny because Tom Williams isn't even on yet. Marcia makes a lame joke about millions of women wanting to show Mark what love is (just a reminder that HE LIVES WITH HIS GRANDMA) and Cyndi says something involving the word "proud". A quick scan of the studio reveals the ghost of Holden has retreated to the green room, to have a cup of tea and watch Dancing with the Stars.
"Now THAT'S better."
And next up on 80s night, it's the Cadbury gorilla with with Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight. It's not bad, although I suspect he's using a backing track. Cheater.
Moving on to Tom "Cat in a bag of spiders" Williams, who wasn't even born until 1992, meaning the 80s are like, TOTALY RETRO to him. Which probably explains why he's chosen to do Uptown Girl, because that stupid boy band WestBoyZoneLifeSync did that awful cover of it in 1990-whatever it was.
"You're a crooner," says Cyndi, after shoving a plastic tube in his mouth and punching him a few times. I like this chick.
On stage and Tom's dressed as 80s as he knows how, in a black Adidas style jacket and dunlop volleys. And pants, obviously. Tight ones - how else would he sing that high? Actually, I think we all know the answer to that question.
Raoul declares it the "soft cock high school version" of Uptown Girl. And making Billy Joel even more soft cock takes SOME talent, it must be said.
Dicko says Tom looks like a nine year old boy thrown on stage by a pushy stage mum, and he's no fun anymore. Then he throws his rattle in the corner and goes off to play with cool Mark Spano. Marcia says Tom needs to find more "Ugggggghhhh" in himself. There was quite a lot of "Ughhing" going on on the couch here in Idol HQ during that performance, maybe we can put the excess in a bag and send it over? Cyndi says she's proud of Tom for using his ears to listen (wait until she finds out he used his feet to walk, that'll blow her tiny mind) and Kyle brands it a disaster. It's the truth, but the effect is devastating - Tom's big, round, shiny eyes start to well up, and his bottom lip starts to quiver - it's like a deleted scene from Watership Down, for fuck's sake. Kyle might as well have put on steel caps and drop kicked a guide dog puppy into a furnace. But then Tom announces "Hey, I'm from the 90s!" and I stop feeling sorry for him. Burn, puppy, burn.
Moving right along to Chrislyn "Stop calling me big mamma for fuck's sake" Hamilton, who PRAISE THE LORD has chosen to do something a bit more subdued this week - True Colours, by Guest Judge - which means we'll all get a rest from her jazz hands and yelling. Don't get me wrong, I love jazz hands and yelling as much as the next person... but the next person around here is Raoul, so... you know.
Apart from her hairdo, which looks like a wig that a wild dog stole from the worst student at the local TAFE hairdressing class and then dragged through a few bushes on its way to the park where it was stolen by a magpie who used it as the foundation for its new nest - she looks fabulous. The song is a little rushed, but it's lovely. Not BRILLIANT, but lovely.
Marcia says "See? See?" but without taking the red pill, none of us can. Cyndi tells Chrislyn she owned it, Chrislyn tells Cyndi it made her feel beautiful, and for the first time in Idol blogging history, RAOUL ANNOUNCES HE'S GOING TO CRY.
"I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face," he protests.
Kyle tells eveyone he's wearing a girdle. A tumbleweed rolls past. Somewhere, a dog barks.
Let's move on to Teale Jakubenko, who's taken a tip from Wes "jump in my" Carr and dipped into the U2 bag for I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, a song which not only allows for much vocal poncing but also endless one-liner opportunities for the judges post performance (ie: "I think Australia's found what it's looking for, and it's you!" and "Keep looking, Teale" etc. etc. Ah, good times.)
Some of my lady friends think Teale is "teh hottness" but to me, he looks like a baby that's accidentally glued carpet fluff to its face.
Something like this.
Is that the right look for an Idol? I was born in the 80s, what the hell would I know. Nonetheless, he sounds very... pretty.
Cyndi says "You were in it" for about the 900th time, and then tells Teale he sat on every note. So maybe that explains everything. Kyle calls it a "superstar performance" and Dicko says it was "masculine and sexy" - will there be any end to this love fest? "The best part of your performance was that it was over too soon," says Marcia. So yes, it seems there will be.
And once again it's time for the gorilla playing the drums variety half hour, this time featuring a young boy making love to a hamburger while his dad pumps petrol.
"Christ, they should just show him sticking his dick in it," barks Raoul.
"What would it feel like to stick your dick in a burger?" I muse, as Raoul sings the chorus to SNL's Dick in a Box.
"If it wasn't hot it would be quite pleasant, I'd imagine," he says.
Once again our intelligent musings are interrupted by Sophie "Catwoman" Paterson, who's clearly been sharing a medicine cabinet with Madam Parker as her version of Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams is so flat you could use it as a super absorbent bathmat.
Kyle says it was excellent, and that Sophie put her own spin on the song, and it was cool, and she looks hot, but by the time he gets to the end of his long winded sentence he's changed his mind and concludes that she did a "reasonably good job". Dicko criticises her shoes, which spurs an argument with Kyle about the differences between "stripper" and "tranny" shoes. As fascinating as this is, it all comes to an end when Marcia says Sophie "pulsated" the song, and everyone pauses to consider what that might mean. Then Monkey Boy jumps in with a bit of
completely obvious subtle flirtation, completely quashing all those rumours about he and Sophie being on together.
Next up it's Wes "Bill Oddie" Carr with Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark. WHY HAS NO ONE SUNG MADONNA OR MICHAEL JACKSON YET? WHAT THE FUCK?
Cyndi advises Wes to blow up a balloon five times before he goes on stage to make him sing higher. Raoul recommends filling it with helium first for an even stronger effect.
Out on stage, Wes has got his guitar and his stupid hat and he's ready to roll. This is foot tapping, head shaking goodness. Rock and roll, thy name is Wes Carr. Or actually, Bruce Springsteen, but Wes is the closest we've got right now SO I'M GOING WITH IT. This gun's for hire in-DEED!
The crowd is so jazzed, they're holding up ES signs. GO ES!
Dicko says it was a brilliant performance, and Wes is thrilling, which just reminds me how good it would have been if he'd done Thriller instead. DAMN THESE IDOLS AND THEIR BORING SONG CHOICES. Marcia says the whole room got electric when he sang, so it's lucky Cyndi didn't cry again or they all might have died from shock. Kyle said if he had money to invest in someone today, he'd choose Wes. Poor Kyle. If he doesn't have any money can't he just borrow some from Dicko and Marcia? They could at least buy him a sandwich or something.
Moving on to Roshani "Can we all move on from this 'sexual chocolate' shit now please?" Priddis, with Tina Turner's What's Love Got to Do With It.
Once again Roshani looks the fricking BUSINESS in a black silk mini dress with oversized sequins. With her glowing teeth she's really fitting the black and white theme they've got going on tonight. Did anyone else notice that? What's the deal? There's too much class in the room, I can't stand it. Get Chrislyn out here in a glitter spandex mini, that'll fix it.
Roshani smoulders her way through the first verse, and it feels kind of... dangerous. Ow. I like it.
Evidently so does Marcia, who practically slides off her chair with excitement, shrieking "GET ON WIT YOUR BAD SELF!" as she disappears under the desk. Cyndi has clearly borrowed some of Marcia's "headache tablets" in the adbreak, as she says Roshani's performance really hit all the, all the.. er.. um what do you call it? Every step.. er.. it hit all the places, when you... go up and down... and er... um... every step.. um... Moving on to Kyle, who says she was in a perfect safe zone but he wanted her to smash it (well then it wouldn't be SAFE anymore, would it Kyle?) and Dicko makes a lame crack involving the words "banker" and "Sri Lanka". At this point, Cyndi's headache remedy kicks in, prompting her to yell "WHADDYA WANT, ONE NOTE SALLY?" at no one in particular, and we all smile and nod and move on to the final performer for the night who is... er... who the fuck is left? Seriously, who hasn't performed yet? There's been the shearer, the girl I always forget the name of, the kid who sounds like a cat crossed with a mobile phone... is there anyone left?
Oh yeah. Asian John Farnham, heretofore to be known as "Fake" Thanh Bui, with Every Breath You Take.
Excuse me, but why the FUCK is he not doing You're the Voice?
"SING MORE FARNHAM," yells Raoul, adding "That's the first time I've ever said that."
Thanh announces he's going to explore places of himself he's never explored before, which makes me think he should perhaps be singing The Divinyls tonight, but never mind. It does go some way to explaining why his performance looks so pained - just WHERE is he exploring, exactly? He's strained and stressing out and fretting, and the whole thing sounds rather like the backing DVD you get at those cheap karaoke bars. You know the ones, where every love song is accompanied by footage of a young woman writing a letter and looking out a window, followed by random long shots of sheep grazing and waves crashing. Continuity is not a treasured aspect of karaoke DVDs.
But back to Fake Thanh, who has finished by now. We cut to the audience and even his family have their head in their hands.
Kyle says it was too pacy, too overperformed and a bit fake. So, he liked it, then? Dicko says it was too fast, too cheesy and he can't see his postal district. Is that a euphemism? Maybe that's why he was doing all that exploring. Marcia says "drop the small veneer", which sounds rather like a Joan Armatrading lyric, before being interrupted by Cyndi who informs everyone that she made Thanh run and sing at the same time to train his voice. He'll probably have to practice that a bit more for Monday's show, I think.
This week it's anyone's guess, but I'll predict Thanh, Tom and Madam for the bottom three.