Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: Semi Finals 1 & 2

Gosh, Idol really arrived quietly this year, didn't it? Barely a word has been spoken about it over the last few weeks, you'd hardly even know it was screening. If only they'd had a nice, juicy scandal to get things going...

Still, here we are at the first semi final AND AREN'T WE EXCITED? YES WE ARE!

We've lost the interesting cast members - see ya, Kyle and Monkey Boy - and retained the boring, unecessary ones - hi again, Ricki-Lee, Marcia - but the Oz Idol juggernaut strolls on relentlessly,

Luckily Ken Doll is still with us - tonight he's come in blue and black, dressed as part of the set in order to blend in and not accidentally get sacked by any overzealous network executives.

Judging panel stalwart Dicko has joined the fancy dress theme, coming as a midlife crisis (although I am loving the hair), while Marcia has pulled out all stops to come as a Playboy bunny in disguise as nun.


Brand spanking new judge Jay Dee Springboard rounds off the panel fancy dress competition by dressing as Marcia.

"I don't want to scare, you but people who sit there tend to disappear," laughs Dicko while simultaneously stabbing pins into his Kyle and Holden voodoo dolls under the desk.

The ghost of Kyle pulls up to the ghost of Holden at the ex judges bar in the rafters and orders a cowboy shot.

"Now you're in better SPIRITS! Get it, Kyle?"

Ken Doll explains that voting lines are now open at the beginning of the show, and viewers can start to vote NOW. That's right, NOW, even before anyone's started singing. Ooh, ooh, I vote for Jay Dee!! Actually, does anyone else think that perhaps this gives the singers who are up first an unfair advantage? I mean, they're on screen longer, which gives people more time to consider them and maybe give their vote to them, and... oh fuck it who cares, it's just the semis, right? We all know whoever doesn't get in here will be voted in as a wild card.

Oh great, Ricki Lee's on. Actually, can we vote her off? No? Sigh.

Into the first performance of the night which comes from 17 year old HAYLEY WARNER, otherwise known as that very skinny blonde girl who needs to wear eye makeup and who pronounces her S-es in that "cool" way that hipsters do these days, by adding an "H". WHOEVER STARTED THAT TREND NEEDS TO DIE.

Holly EFFING Throsby certainly didn't help.

Hayley looks a bit like Hilary Swank but sounds like Pink. Can we call her Swink? Yes, let's. Swink's doing one of my favourites tonight, Diesel's Cry in Shame - otherwise known as Crying Shame by everyone who's ever heard the song, ever. In tight black pants, loose T shirt and black satin vest she's come dressed as Wes Carr from last year - not really advisable considering even he struggled to pull that look off every week. But she IS wearing eye makeup, praise Max Factor. She sounds pretty hot, but really it's an underwhelming performance that's a bit too shouty and pouty. The ghost of Wes moonwalks over to the spirit bar and cues up the rest of Diesel's back catalogue on the karaoke machine.

Dicko calls her a slightly bonkers rock chick and tells her to put things through her filter. Maybe she needs to replace her filter altogether - that might fix that annoying lisping noise. Marcia calls her a crowd pleaser. Jay Dee impresses everyone as the show's brand new judge by saying he's happy to be there and Hayley did a good job.

Aren't we glad we got rid of Kyle? Anyone?

The ghost of Kyle shrieks "PUS!" and orders another round of cowboys.

Hitching a ride with that tumbleweed, let's roll on into the next performance - which is SETH DRURY, the singing teacher from Newcastle. As if THAT isn't enough to make you want to pick up your phone and vote already, apparently he's the tallest finalist for the night, which leads to all sorts of comedic possibilities about winning Idol being a "tall order" and such...

OK, maybe "comedic" was too strong a word...

Judging by his auditions so far, his fuzzy Lior-esque hairdo, penchant for vests and the time he said "Music and I know each other, we're good friends", piano playing Seth is going to be our soft cock rocker bringing out Coldplay and The Fray every week. Just like this week, where he's chosen to sing one of the most boring songs on earth - The Fray's You Found Me.

Coupled with Seth's monotone, it's like the aural equivalent of valium. He's clearly put the cameraman to sleep within the first bar of the song, as the first minute of his performance is framed in the most extreme clos eup you've ever seen. The entire effect is rather like watching Frodo in that scene from Lord of the Rings in which he's become possessed.

One song to rule them all, one song to zzz...

Sadly the performance has none of the power nor excitement of an enchanted ring (steady on) - it's all very yawn worthy. If it's possible to make The Fray more soft cock than they already are, Seth's done it.

Cut to the audience, where someone is holding up the most cryptic fan sign ever written: "Seth is the new English language". What this means exactly, no one can say. Unless they've accidentally cut off the words "teacher at Wirrabranda High School" from the bottom, and it's a novel way of informing him of a new promotion.

Playboy bunny Marcia kicks off the judging by saying Seth has "believability". I believe he's boring. SHE'S RIGHT! Jay Dee leafs through the Idol Judge's Book of Tricks For When You Can't Think Of Anything to Say that he got in his initiation showbag and asks Seth how he felt during his performance. Dicko tells him to work on his vulnerability - what, the wide eyed puppy-dog-slash-possessed-hobbit look isn't projecting enough "vulnerable" for you, Mr D?

Moving on to 17 year old JAMILA IOANE who looks gorgeous until she takes Stevie Wonder's For Once in My Life, bends it over and does unspeakable things to it on live television in the name of entertainment.

Yes, it's back...

Jamila has tried to turn something Wonder-ful into a Justin Timberlake meets Beyonce cacophony. Strangely enough, this is not fantastic. It's lazy, it's boring and her voice cracks when she tries to do anything more energetic. By the end it's all collapsed in a big R&B heap.

Jay Dee says she looks great. And something else wholly unremarkable. Oh Kyle, where art thou...? Dicko says Jamila's earrings distracted him and then steals a joke from me from about three years ago about them picking up a local taxi radio network. Marcia says it's good to see her comfortable. Is it? Quite frankly, I couldn't give a flying shit if she's comfortable. Quite frankly, I like my performers to be a bit UNCOMFORTABLE - Pink wore a feather skirt and did gymnastics on a trapeze, for fuck's sake. THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. If we were interested in seeing Jamila looking comfortable we'd watch her in her trackies picking her nose on the couch for five minutes.

Oh wait, they already tried that... AND IT SUCKED.

Moving on to South Australia's finest TOBY MOULTON, 30, who wowed us all with a rendition of Radiohead in week one and then became distincly less impressive every week thereafter. Rather like a cask wine that's been opened and then forgotten about at the back of the fridge. He is clearly destined to be this year's Damien Leith, if he gets in.

Contractually obliged to appear on camera but not quite up to the challenge, Ricki Lee gets Toby's mum to introduce him from the audience. And it seems he'll be challenging Seth for the soft cock crown this year as he comes out with Coldplay's Yellow.

"You're scaaaaared!" he shrieks, in what is perhaps not the most auspicious start. As it turns out he's spot on - he's doing so much vocal gymnastics I'm scared he'll knacker himself on the pommel horse. This version of Yellow is so overdone, it could probably be retitled Mustard Gold Sunshine.

Dicko tells him to "unleash the beast" and Toby offers to undo his buttons. Or sing some Pussycat Dolls, I can't quite remember. Marcia plays the "yo mama girlfriend" card and says Toby's already working for her. Is he tutoring her grandchildren, perhaps? Jay Dee says Toby's vocal interpretation of the song was great, proving that he is either mental, or deaf, or perhaps both. Now onto their fourth round of shots, the ghosts of Kyle and Holden have started hugging and wailing things like "They never appreciated us!" and "No, I love YOU man."

Rolling right along to our next Idol hopeful - KATE COOK, the 25 year old slaughterhouse dyke with a cowboy hat perpetually glued to her head. She's decided to rock Poison's Your Mama Don't Dance. It's all very B&S Ball. Or S&M Ball, if you count the fringed, black leather vest Kate's wearing. Hot damn, this is some boot scootin' sheeyat! I'd say this is the kind of music you only like if you like Lee Kernaghan, or if you're drunk. Fortunately I'm on my second bottle of red.

Marcia says Kate is real. Jay Dee says Kyle loved her, and so he loves her.


Dicko says he's falling in love with her - WHICH IS TOTALLY A JOKE BECAUSE SHE'S A LESBIAN AND STUFF! MANG!1!!11

Ricki Lee fulfils her obligations by appearing on screen and saying something. I don't quite catch what she says, being that I am momentarily distracted by a ball of fluff on my carpet.

Finally we move on to 18 year old Kiwi crooner STAN WALKER, who might as well not even bother to turn up until the final episode when he inevitably wins the whole competition. (Have I given my favourite away a bit too early?)

Tonight though, he tests my allegiances by choosing Alecia Keys' If I Ain't Got You and doing a ton of unnecessary vocal acrobatics on it. OH NO, STAN, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? WHY OH WHY did he not just sing Marvin Gaye or Al Green or something? Still - this kid's the winner, right here. I know it's hard to imagine a pop star called Stan, but try.

Jay Dee says Stan could sing the phone book and it would sound great. Which, given that a) he is the guy from Sony with the cash and b) no one owns the rights to the phone book, possibly means Stan's first album will be titled White Pages.

Dicko says "How good is tonight's show?".

Dicko says Stan should just stand there and let it flow. Perhaps Stan could get a sponsorship from Depends? Marcia says he shouldn't trip up. Especially if he's just stood there and let it flow, that could be dangerous.

And with that pearl of Hines wisdom we conclude the first semi final for 2009... and with some Bland Canyon magic we move straight into semi final number 2, in which we discover that crooner STAN WALKER is our first top 12 finalist for the year, despite doing a rather unfetching impression of Steve Urkel and Guy Sebastian's love child. Well of COURSE he is, he's going to win isn't he? REMEMBER?

Abbatoir lesbian KATE COOK is the next one through to the bench, proving that Telstra really does provide good mobile reception in country areas.

Moving on to tonight's performances. First on the chopping block is schoolgirl ASHLEIGH TOOLE, otherwise known as Vanessa Amorosi and Leanne Rimes' bogan lovechild. She's got a strong voice and looks pretty good, but GIRL NEEDS TO SORT OUT HER EYEBROWS. Honey - if you dye your hair black, pale brown brows give the whole game away.

She sings Christina Aguilera's Hurt, which I have to confess to never having heard before. (Actually, why am I confessing to having NOT heard an Xtina song before? How is that a negative?) Anyway she sounds good, if good means "exactly like Christina Aguilera".

Dicko says she has a big voice and immense talent. I'd like to add MASSIVE EARRINGS. Marcia says "there's nothing vague within 100 miles of here". Except herself, obviously. Huh? Never mind darlin'. Jay Dee says he loves Ashleigh's attitude, and she reminds him of Jess Mauboy.

"MUFFIN TOP! AHAA ah HAaha haa!" yells the ghost of Kyle maniacally from the rafters bar, who is now onto his 196th cowboy shot, having stayed there since last night's show.

"Shhhhtgthhthhththhh!!!" says the ghost of Holden, before they both collapse into fits of giggles.

The ghost of Wes tries to cue You on the karaoke machine but can't find it. He wipes a tear from his eye as he cues up Burn instead.

Moving on to our next contestant - 27 year old ADAM ECKERSLEY, otherwise known as Jesus Cobain.

I think you'll find this equation checks out.

Jesus is wowing the crowd in a jazzy ensemble of jeans, boots and a brown shirt, plus a rendition of Pat Benatar's All Fired Up which is, rather coincidentally, exactly what I'm not about this performance. I like Jesus' personality, but honestly - this is a bit sad. Actually it has a touch of the B&S Ball about it too - he and Kate Cook should hook up and form a rockin' double act. They could call it LESBIAN JESUS. Or JESUS COBAIN AND THE DYKES. Just suggestin'.

For the benefit of Idol's vision impaired viewers, Marcia says Adam was there. Where? THERE. Jay Dee says he wants to see great. So maybe he's one of the vision impaired viewers? Dicko says Adam needs to be appropriate. I'd prefer to see him be INappropriate actually - far more fun.

Moving right along to the girl who, just like her first name, kind of looks dangerous and fun but on closer inspection is just a dull typo - MARIJANA TOPALOVIC. Apart from sounding remarkably like an illegal drug and/or a character from the next Austin Powers movie, Marijana doesn't have much going for her. She's quite attractive but somehow looks about 45, which isn't really helped when she wanders out on stage in a 1980s minidress and starts warbling Roxette's It Must Have Been Love.

Jay Dee says he's not engaged. Thousands of women across the country swoon. Except for Marijana, who looks stricken. Dicko likens the performance to the Latvian entry from Eurovisian in 1983, making me wish I'd thought of that joke. Suddenly the world begins to implode - the Great Wall of China comes crashing down, the Eiffel Tower collapses, Ayers Rock crumbles to dust and the Great Barrier Reef shatters into sand as Marcia says something VAGUELY CRITICAL. I can't remember what it was, I fainted. Sorry.

Moving on to 23 year old blonde piece LAUREN STREET with that 90s femmo favourite, Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know - otherwise known as "that song with the good chorus and crap everything else". Desperate to prove she is more than just a blonde popette, Lauren shrieks the entire thing while staring maniacally into the camera. It is FRIGHTENING. This isn't a performance, it's a bloody home invasion. Forget stress poses, all they need at Abu Ghraib is Lauren and a microphone.

Dicko wipes Lauren's spittle off his forehead and tells her she showed off her rock chops and heaps of textures. Not sure where he was looking - perhaps that's not her spit on his face after all? Marcia says Lauren is really cool. Then she shows her the friendship bracelet she's been knotting her under the desk and asks if she wants to sleep over tonight. Jay Dee says it was well executed. So, another really exciting round of comments from the judges then. EVERYONE IS DOING A GOD JOB, HOORAY.

Moving on to 30 year old Queensland father CASEY BARNES.

"30's old," whines my faithful Idol sidecar Raoul Duke, who is about three weeks away from turning 30 himself.

"It's about half way through the average life. MOST PEOPLE ONLY LIVE A BIT PAST 60 AT BEST," he wails, for no apparent reason.

With that injection of optimism let's head straight into Casey's performance of... oh for god's sake, Rob Thomas? Who even cares what the song is, I'm bored already.

"This is ultra gay," slags Raoul.

"Look at him, he's like a big, giant... poof." Sometimes Raoul has such a way with words.

Poof or not, Casey's clearly delved into Ken Doll's dress up box full of obscure printed T shirts for tonight's costume. Plus he's found one of Matt Corby's scarfs that fell behind the dresser two years ago and whacked it round his neck. Sadly, neither is interesting enough to distract us from his bung eye and piercings, which make him look deranged.

Marcia says well done. (Honestly, we gave up Kyle but we kept her?) Jay Dee says Casey was the voice behind one of the biggest dance singles in the UK last year - and then neglects to tell us which fucking song.

I'd like to think it was the Crazy Frog and the Hoff's version of Jump in My Car.

Dicko says Rob Thomas is a great choice, but neglects to finish his sentence with "to throw in the bin".

Ricki Lee says 25 words or less, and we all move on to NATHAN BRAKE, otherwise known as the teenage nerd who always sings Queen. Now he's decided to up the cool factor even more by dressing like Michael Cera in his dad's Ed Harry suit jacket and singing Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

"Maybe he's gay - first he sang Queen, now he's singing Elton John," remarks Raoul in what is clearly a razor sharp psychological insight. If only the kid were wearing a pink shirt, we'd know for sure!

In one sentence: it's a quite good performance of a crap, old person song. Seriously dude, you're 18. What is wrong with you?

Jay Dee shows some personality for the first time ever by telling Nathan not to suck up and asking him to act young and fresh. Go, Jay Dee! Dicko tells Nathan he can win, Marcia tells Dicko not to give Nathan "the kiss of death", and both of them get into an argument about voodoo witch doctors, none of which is incredibly helpful for poor Nathan who busies himself by trying to keep his fringe out of his eyes. Dicko then says something about "preposterous gay men", Nathan says "Jealous!" for no apparent reason, Marcia shrieks "Yeah, yeah, yeah, he'd know", Ken Doll calls Dicko "Ricki" and the whole thing collapses into a ridiculous heap of incomprehensibility.

Seems like as good a point as any at which to terminate proceedings. Who will get the golden ticket tomorrow night? My money's on Ashleigh and Nathan.


  1. Hey PetStarr so glad you are back blogging Idol.

    Since we have a MasterChef nice judging panel this year, as this is supposedly what the viewing audience wants it will be good to come to your blog to get a bit of snark.

  2. I want you to have my babies... with a light red wine jus and steamed carrots.

  3. Agree about Stan. Can we call him NATS instead? Nats Walker. Cool name for a singer.

  4. Loving the commentary by the ghosts of Moulden and Vyle. They're much better in the role of 'ghosts' than as 'judges'. Thanks for the excellent recap! - purist from TWoP

  5. I never thought I'd say "I miss Kyle!" for any reason, but there you go - I do! I hope the ghosts of him and Holden stick around for the whole season.

  6. 7PM Project can suck my dick.

  7. Thank God you're writing these again. PUS! Damn, I miss Kyle. The new dude might be pretty to look at but SNOOZE.

    Hilarious as always, Petstarr. I'll be tuning in for more (which means having to suffer through Idol too, but your recaps make it worthwhile).

  8. Your photoshopped pictures = creative genius

  9. Only watching idol because I enjoyed ur ANTM posts so much I wanted to understand hilarious references to reality tv stars once more. They should pay you!