Well here we are, back again after a whole Idol-free week. After seven days I've pretty much forgotten everything that's happened in the last few weeks. Seriously - who are all these people? Where's James Mathison? And what's with Kyle's new tan?
OK look - I might as well be completely honest here and admit that I missed the first 20 minutes of tonight's show, because I was at another show. The Royal Adelaide Show to be exact which, if you've never been before, is rather like a giant annual festival for the chronically ugly and morbidly obese with rides and showbags thrown in.
Rides like this one, which I didn't go on because I'm a bit weak (although not as weak as Raoul and Sooty, who threw up after going on the Thunderbolt, a ride that six year old kids were happily queuing up for)
That's right dear readers, I eschewed the thrills of watching raw, young singing talent for the thrills of beer, greasy food and plastic bags full of crap one doesn't need. And stunning vegetable displays, like this one:
I think you'll agree these carrots deserved first prize.
And this one:
I think it's meant to be a bird. Or maybe it's just a damaged eggplant.
At any rate, I got home just in time to see SCOTT murdering The Beatles, meaning I missed ASHLEIGH eyebrows' rendition of Kelly Clarkson's Miss Independent.
This pretty much sums up my feelings about that.
Let's just assume she yelled most of it, and Jay Dee and Marcia said something completely boring like "The girl can sing!", and Dicko said something about her needing to find herself as an artist, and nobody said ANYTHING about her eyebrows.
Of course my late arrival also means I missed the announcement of the four new Idolites, plucked from the wild(card) bunch - CASEY, TOBY, HAYLEY and TIM, which sounds like it could be the new cast of Hi-5.
If Casey doesn't get through, he could always give this a bash.
Anyway, back to SCOTT the brickie's labourer who, as previously mentioned, has chosen to murder The Beatles with an r&b version of Come Together. As I was trying to simultaneously block my ears and open various packets of nuts from my Charlesworth showbag at the time I missed a fair chunk of his performance, but I saw enough to know it was TERRIBLE. Well OK, it wasn't THAT bad, but I'll be darned if that beady eyed brickie is going to win this competition.
DARNED, I SAY!
Unfortunately Raoul decided to order a pizza rather loudly at about the same time the judges gave their considered opinions, so things got a bit confusing. I think Jay Dee said Scott was a meatlover, Marcia said he was a bit cheesy and Dicko said the performance was thin and crispy but I can't be sure. The only thing I definitely heard was Scott saying he chose to sing Come Together because he's a big fan of Michael Jackson, which is kind of like saying you decided to paint your house blue because you really like fruit salad.
Moving right along to CASEY bung eye. Can anyone believe this guy got through? How did this happen? He has a bung eye! Ol' bung eye Casey, that's what they call him. Ol' one-eye Casey. Ol' dodgy eyes Case. Yesiree, he's Monsieur Le Bung Yeux.
"I got an infection in my eye when I was two years old and I'm pretty much blind in one eye," says Casey.
"I would have thought he was deaf, not blind," snarks Raoul.
So is it mandatory for Australian reality TV shows to have a blind guy these days?
Anyway Casey's singing Powderfinger's I've Got You on my Mind. He's gone all-out rock and roll for this one, and you can tell he means it because he's got his black leather jacket on and he's pretending to strum a guitar that isn't plugged in.
He's also been practising his best "rock face", which basically amounts to a lot of crazy staring. Unfortunately the overall effect is that of a meth addict who's nicked a guitar from Cashies and is using it to busk loudly at you on your lunchbreak. The bung eye is not helping. Maybe he should wear a patch?
Eyepatches are very distinguished.
As the inspirational new judge who always has something powerful and insightful to say, Jay Dee says something I can't remember. Dicko says he wants to put Casey under the kosh. If by "the kosh" he means "the front wheels of the nearest B Double", I concur. Dicko asks Casey what three things set him apart from the other contestants. Casey lists a whole lot of things that aren't his bung eye. Marcia says most people on Idol make it up as they go along - particularly her stylist, who tonight has dressed her as Pebbles from the Flintstones.
Up next is HAYLEY, this year's one and only rock chick hopeful. Hayley was born in 1992. Fucking hell.
As a reminder:
This is what video games looked like in 1992.
This is what people looked like in 1992.
This is what music looked like in 1992.
And this is pretty much how I feel right now.
Hayley has chosen to sing Evermore's Light Surrounding You. I reiterate: fucking hell. I have to admit though - she sounds bloody fantastic. Even if she is still wearing the same flipping outfit as last week. And the week before. And... hang on, I'll show you:
The evolution of Hayley. Vests are in her DNA.
Dicko says she doesn't have a pristine voice, but that he has ADD. In other news, Scott likes to sing The Beatles because he likes Michael Jackson. Pebbles says Light Surrounding You is one of her all time favourite songs, even though it was written by people who aren't black. Jay Dee says Hayley's a bit tense across the shoulders, which is something he can probably help her with in the ad break if she wants to slip backstage for a moment...
Moving on to JAMES, aka Ben Stiller who shrunk in the wash, aka mini Zoolander. They show a clip of him singing Old Time Rock and Roll in a black leather jacket at age three, which is about 40 per cent more rock and roll than Casey's earlier attempt. And just for something different, James will be singing something by The Fray.
WHY IS EVERYONE SINGING THE FUCKING FRAY THIS YEAR?
THEY DON'T EVEN LOOK COOL.
"Look at those pointy boots," gasps Raoul, as James steps out on stage in some very pointy boots indeed.
I'm more distracted by his outfit, which he has clearly borrowed from Hayley in the adbreak. Or maybe there's only one costume in the Idol wardrobe - black jeans, printed shirt and black jacket.
I suppose he's alright, but fuck. The Fray? And honestly, watching an 18 year old who looks about 12 stare intensely into the camera and sing "I would have stayed up with you all night" is just a bit creepy, and makes me want to have a shower.
Marcia says it had great light and shade - so, kudos to the lighting guys then. Jay Dee says he's glad he changed his dress. I wasn't aware he'd been wearing one, but anyway. Dicko says something about James being a little boy lost with sexual overtones. I head for the bathroom.
"He's barely legal - that's what they'd say about him on a porn site," guffaws Raoul.
I turn the taps on full bore as we move on to SABRINA Batshit crazy, aka Sabrina Arena, aka Mini Tina. She's singing Michael Jackson's Earthsong which is quite appropriate, given that she looks a bit like a cross between Michael and Latoya.
Well, did you ever see them in the same room together?
She looks fabulous in a black sequinned singlet and explosive hairdo, and she gives it the usual Sabrina star treatment. But then she starts shrieking and stomping and squinting and crouching and going "OoooohOOOOH-oh-ohhh!!!" and Raoul runs to the bathroom to grab the cotton wool balls again, shouting "I THOUGHT WE WERE OVER THIS WHEN LAUREN LEFT!"
Jay Dee says he wanted to jump around on stage and wag his arse around like Jarvis Cocker. Unless he got that backwards, and meant he wanted to drag his coc... no, actually, it was definitely arse. Dicko says Sabrina's performance started off like a Mediterranean soap opera, but turned out warm, wild and sexy - like a Mediterranean holiday.
Instead of shutting up and nodding like all the other Idols, Sabrina gets her Jerry Springer on and goes all "YOU DON'T KNOW ME! DON'T PLAYA HATE!", while Dicko starts frontin' like "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!". Then Sabrina's all "SHUT UP FOOL, LEMME HEAR FROM MARCIA - MARCIA MY GIRL, DOES THIS BE A GIRL THING?", and Marcia's like "GOD BLESS MICHAEL JACKSON".
For those counting, that makes two times that Michael has been used to explain something completely irrational on tonight's show.
Sabrina might be cocky and completely mental, but she's giving the best TV right now.
Moving on to NATHAN, aka the carpet-haired Queen (fan). We learn tonight that Nathan doesn't go to regular high school, he attends the Australian International Performing Arts High School, otherwise known as "massive breeding ground for over confident drama geeks".
Nathan's school principal.
Nathan's decided to borrow the communal Idol waistcoat that everyone's been wearing so far (perhaps it's a lucky charm) to come out and sing that song... er, I forget what it's called but it's the one that goes "la la la laaa"... Well anyway, it's one of those soft cock ones that all the kids are listening to these days. Probably by The Fray. Nathan's voice is fantastic - who knew it was this good? Did we know it was this good last week? It's so good, it's almost enough to distract me from his womanly curves. Admit it, you've noticed.
Another positive: his hair isn't so curtainy this week, with some dashing little flicks in the fringe. In short: I thoroughly approve of Nathan, now that he's given up Queen.
Dicko says he has great textures, and a belt. He also has shoes and a waistcoat, but who cares? Marcia says something about big notes. It was probably boring. Jay Dee makes a joke about waistcoats, making me like him just a little bit more. BUT ONLY A LITTLE BIT.
Let's mosey along to STAN who, for about the 50 millionth time this series drops some hints about his tortured childhood but declines to give any details about it.
"I love my mum and dad, they worked so hard to change," he says mournfully.
What's the deal here? Were they smackies? Crims? Prostitutes? Unless he's just referring to them being New Zealanders, which seems a bit harsh.
He's doing Rihanna's Umbrella, which gets me all excited until I realise that despite having one of the best voices in the competition, Stan's a bit of a lazy git. He trundles out in a grey cardie (I suppose I should be thankful it's not a black waistcoat) and fumbles his way through what sounds like a rehearsal warm up. Oh but Stan, I still love you.
Marcia says she loves hearing Stan's parents talk about why he sings. But not, evidently, the sound of him ACTUALLY singing. Jay Dee criticises him for picking a girl's song, and then says he wants to see Stan come out, an eyebrow raising statement that is not helped when Dicko says he misses him.
Best to move on to TOBY. Let's all take bets on what Toby's going to sing, shall we? U2? Coldplay? Powderfinger? Whatever it is, we can probably safely assume the words "soft" and "cock" will be the two most likely to describe it. I bet on Nickelback's Photograph. Raoul bets on Creed's Arms Wide Open. Then we both decide he'll sing Powderfinger's Passenger. And then we realise actually he'll sing Not My Kind of Scene.
As it turns out, he's singing Radiohead's Creep. Not soft cock at all - UNTIL TOBY GETS HIS HANDS ON IT! Under Toby's masterful direction, this angst-ridden anthem of self-hatred is perky, it's upbeat, it's fun, it's frothy - just what the original was lacking all this time!
"Everybody now," cues Raoul, as we both internally weep for the 90s.
"I'm a creeeeeep," sings Toby, with a big grin on his face.
"You're a softcock," snaps Raoul.
To be charitable, Toby does a very good job of the power notes, but the whole thing is like the Romper Room version of Radiohead.
Have you ever seen Thom Yorke smile? NO, YOU HAVEN'T.
Jay Dee says he's polite and sexy. He's also a judge on Australian Idol. Oh, SNAP!
Dicko says Toby should sing Chris Isaak. Toby says he wants to take Dicko's gay mantle off. I'm not sure if these two concepts are related. Marcia says Toby executed the song well. I agree - one bullet, straight through the head, down in one.
Moving right along to KIM Cooper (not to be confused with THIS Kim Cooper), who is reintroduced to the audience via an old video of her performing with a bunch of toddlers to Aqua's Barbie Girl.
"Oh my god, we were in nightclubs when that song was out!" spits Raoul.
Raoul grew up in the country.
Kim's singing Foo Fighters Best of You, which is a pretty nifty choice I must say. She's got her flanny shirt on to show she's totally in touch with that retro look they call "grunge", and she's fully rock. Sadly, she's also invented a rock accent which makes her sound like she's accidentally stuck her back teeth together with blutak.
"Izz somm-wa giddin da bess, da bess, da bess, arf yeeew," she sings, as I log on to Google translator to work out what the hell she's talking about.
"This sucks. If Sabrina did this song she would fucking rip it apart," snarls Raoul, before blowing a giant raspberry.
Oh my gosh, we miss Sabrina already.
Dicko says it's nice to see Kim without glasses, despite her never having worn glasses on stage, ever. I'm still puzzling over this when Marcia gives her judgement so I have no idea what she said but I think we can all agree it didn't really matter. Jay Dee cements his reputation as the most interesting judge by saying "I applaud your confidence". There you go, Kim, hope that sage advice helped you - continue not wearing glasses and keep your confidence levels applause worthy.
Moving on to TIM the barista who has has great teeth but is essentially boring, except for when he's kicking off race debates with Marcia. He's chosen Beyonce's Halo - hurrah for taking notes from last week, Tim! Everyone should sing more Beyonce! Plus this will give Marcia even more fodder for the "white people can't sing soul" debate.
Honestly, the performance isn't bad, but Tim's voice just isn't up to the vocal acrobatics. Put it this way: if the song were a cake
Beyonce's version would look like this...
...and Tim's version would look like this.
Thanks to Cakewrecks
Marcia says if you love a song and you believe you can put your own stamp on it then so be it, but declines to mention whether Tim did, or whether she liked it. In contrast with advice given in every other episode of Idol ever, Dicko advises Tim to pick songs IN his comfort zone. Jay Dee asks Tim if Beyonce was where he wanted to end up.
I'm guessing Tim might not have a problem with ending up in Beyonce.
I'm beginning to quite like Tim, until he starts crapping on about how everyone in his life is his "halo", and how god is watching over him.
Hear that? That's the sound of everyone not voting for Tim.
"I'm a giant gaybo, gaybo, gaybo..." sings Raoul.
Which leads us into tonight's final performance, KATE the slaughterhouse lesbian with Stealer's Wheel's Stuck in the Middle With You. More like "stuck at the end of the show with her", but nevermind - someone's gotta do the finale, right?
Kate brings the B&S fever again in a cowgirl hat and a black emrboidered shirt she borrowed from Dicko from last week. It's boot-scooty, it's bold, it's entirely daggy and I suspect requires rather a lot of Bundy to be in any way enjoyable.
"That was POXY," snorts Raoul once it's finished. I kind of agree, except that I rather love Kate, so I don't.
Jay Dee gives an accidental backhander by saying Kate "never fails to disappoint", which earns him the very first QUOTE OF THE WEEK award for 2009. Congratulations Jay Dee! Dicko says she's great, Marcia says she's contagious (although I'm sure you can get topical creams that will help) and we roll over the finish line to the glorious news that next week's show will be ROCK NIGHT - otherwise known as ANNUAL TRAIN WRECK NIGHT or THE NIGHT EVERYONE PRETENDS COLDPLAY IS ROCK MUSIC. Should be grand.
Catch ya between a rock and a hard place, Idolites!