Monday, September 28, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: The Final 9 - 80s Night

So far this Idol season there's been Rock Night and Top 10 Night -, so what theme will tonight's Idol celebration take on? Let's play the Bland Canyon special super happy mystery guessing game, and see if you can work it out:

I disappeared last week (thanks to a hefty dosage of frozen margarita) but now:

I'm ba-aaack!

The judges love Scott Newnham but one day they'll realise he's actually really

You know it.

Take or leave him but honey please believe that Jay Dee ain't ever going to be

Tay tay tay tay.

And remember: nobody puts Toby in a corner.

Especially not this guy.


For the rest of you - of course it's 80s NIGHT, an evening typically filled with skinny ties, tight pants and tragic teenage reinterpretations of songs old enough to be their parents.

If songs could be parents, this would be Sabrina's mum.

Really, is anyone else COMPLETELY DISTURBED by the fact that half the Idols were born in the 90s, making the 80s well and truly retro? Or is that just me? Oh shit, I'm having an acid flashback to 1993 when I thought the 70s were THE OLDEST THING EVER AND WEARING LOVE BEADS AND CORK WEDGES WAS TOTALLY SUBVERSIVE, OMG.

Fortunately the Final Nine...

Not to be confused with the Bali Nine.

...are on hand to ruin my self-indulgent flashbackery with a godawful performance of Duran Duran's Girls on Film, in which Scott does a grand impression of David Brent from The Office, courtesy of his totally demented dancing.

Go Scott, Go!

Spot the difference.

Sadly Hayley isn't given a chance to recite the "lipstick cherry all over the lens" line, despite her obvious suitability for it after practising "lipstick cherry all over the microphone... and top lip" last week

Sabrina seems to be taking the theme a bit too literally in red leopard print tights and a high pony tail. Even Kate has updated her look to include a jacket with zippers. Eight-ees! The crowd goes wild, even though 3/4 of them have never heard that song before.

"Welcome to 80s night, we're rolling up the sleeves on our pastel jackets and dusting off the fluoro headbands," says Ken Doll wistfully, as if 'the kids' haven't been wearing those things for over a year already.

Time for this week's elimination, which comes down to SABRINA ARENA, LITTLE KIMMY COOPER and GAY-THAN, who are sent to centre stage to shiver in the cold wind of Australia's indifference. Sabrina I can understand, given she spent most of last Sunday wiggling, grabbing her hair, jumping up and down and shrieking "WHEN LOVE TAKES OVAHHHHHH-EHHHHHH-YEEEEEAHHH!!!". As a refresher:

You'll want to skip through to about 4.22. Or actually, you might just want to skip straight to the end and avoid the pain altogether.

Nathan and Kim I can barely remember at all - I think my memories have been blocked out by Hayley's red lip disaster.

In a surprise akin to drinking a bottle of Tabasco and finding it quite spicy, viewers decide to favour the cute blonde girl and the nice polite boy over the demented, loud, possibly dangerous Tina Arena knock off and Sabrina is kicked off the show. I guess Australia just couldn't get hip to her screeching, screaming, wailing vibe. I'm about to get up and make a cup of tea to avoid having to hear her sing When Love Takes Over again (if you time the boiling of the kettle at just the right point you can block out the sounds of the TV) but it quickly becomes apparent the producers have struck this performance from the program. Yes, it was THAT bad.

It's a pity Sabrina's gone, because apart from her being the only halfway interesting contestant this year (ie: the only crazy one) I was really looking forward to seeing her sing something like this tonight:

Never mind Sabrina, when an entire country doesn't like you just remember - there's always France.

Moving on, and our special guest fourth judge for the night is 70s/80s Aussie music superstar Ross Wilson, otherwise known as Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills.

OK so this was a while ago, but still...

And how are our fifth and sixth judges doing, up there in the rafters?

Holden: HE'S not a real 80s star - I'M a real 80s star. I wore red braces that one time, remember?
Kyle: Shaddup, I'm trying to fill out this Centrelink form!

And without further ado, let's lambada over to NATHAN "Gaythan" Brake for tonight's first solid gold, totally musclebound and completely not gay performance of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer.

Oh yeah, that'll work.

"Dicko keeps saying I should be more feminine and camp, and I've just picked the most heterosexual song EVER," laments Gaythan in what could double as an audition monologue for the character of "Young Mr G" on Summer Heights High II: The Early Years.

"Listen Dicko - I've had a girlfriend for three years and it's never going to happen between us," he continues in what he obviously thinks is a hands down winner in the "I'm not gay" argument but which, through chronically poor phrasing, has actually made him look gayer than we ever thought possible.

That's right - three whole years and counting.

He's doing his best to act more heterosexual which, when it comes to planning his performance costume, seemingly amounts to "wearing a cap". Well have YOU ever seen a gay man in a cap? Hmm?

"This is going to be a boring performance, I fear," says Raoul.

He's right. It's solid but boring, and sexless. Rather like Rosie O'Donnell.

He also finished his performance with a big hammy point to the audience, so this picture is pretty much perfect in every way.

Dicko says he should have done Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf - as if we're all not still trying to get over the Girls on Film debacle from 10 minutes ago. Has Dicko got a stake in a new Duran Duran greatest hits album or something?

"What's the difference between Duran Duran and Bon Jovi?" says Raoul quizzically, at which point I launch into a karaoke version of Hungry Like the Wolf versus Livin' on a Prayer complete with air guitar to show him the subtleties. Hint: Bon Jovi is slightly less gay.

Marcia says Livin' on a Prayer is one of her favourite songs of all time, which brings the "Marcia's Favouite Songs of All Time as Mentioned on Australian Idol 2009" iPod playlist to approximately 15 million. Jay Dee shows his off his giant wit by taking (get this) one of the lyrics of the song Nathan's just sung and then (wait for it) QUOTING IT BACK TO HIM IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT! In this case he says Nathan is "half way there". Genius.

During the adbreak I see this trailer:

Which makes me wonder: WHO WILL BE MAN ENOUGH TO TACKLE THE JACKSON TONIGHT? Stan, I'm looking at you.


Next up is SCOTT the brickie who has very unwisely chosen to sing Let's Groove. Oh dear. The last time we heard Earth Wind and Fire we all had cruise ship flashbacks. BECAUSE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO, IT'S FRICKIN' EARTH WIND AND FIRE.

"This is the kind of music I want to make, but the modern version of it," Scott says.


"I just feel I shouldn't be here sometimes," he continues, a statement to which you will find no opposition in my house.

Last week Scott looked like a concussed rugby player. Tonight he looks like a pissed, concusssed rugby player singing disco at the premiership piss up. This is not helped when he attempts a knee slide and some vocal gymnastics worse than Tim's.

"This has to be the single worst performance I've ever seen on Idol," says Raoul.

"What about Damien Leith on disco night?" I counter.

"No, this is worse," he says glumly.

That is a big call, considering...

Clearly lost for words, Ross sums up Scott's performance with the highly ambiguous comment "That's what I call a career move!" - one hopes it's a move back to his previous career of ANYTHING BUT SINGING.

That's what I call a career move!

Marcia, who tonight is dressed as a nun, says "Hell yeah!" which sort of ruins the ilusion. Jay Dee says he has mixed emotions about Scott, even though he came through and pulled it off and he should keep growing. Hmm. Thank goodness for Dicko and his voice of reason, who alerts everyone to the very same fact we all realised in a moment of frozen margarita-induced clarity last Sunday: SCOTT HAS SHARK EYES.

Put a baseball cap and some cheap earrings on this and you've got Scott.

Well actually he said Scott had "eyes that don't register anything" but I've taken it to the next logical step.

Moving on to HAYLEY and her rendition of Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark. In a nutshell:

  • Hayley + Springsteen = oh YES, this will be rockin'.

  • Hayley and Ross discover they both fell into music through tragedy - aww, look at them bonding. Maybe he'll adopt her.


    "She looks like a Salisbury bogan. All she needs is a pack of cigarettes," says Raoul.

    I concur.

  • Halfway through the song she launches herself onto a set of bongoes for a drum solo. It's a bit weird, it's a bit hippie, it's a bit Coldplay, but I'll go with it.

  • Marcia says she loves the way Hayley walks on stage. WAIT UNTIL SHE WALKS OFF, MARCIA, IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND. Jay Dee continues his incredibly witty trend of quoting song lyrics back at the Idols by saying Hayley is "a spark". Is she a "gun for hire" too, Jay Dee? Dicko says the drums were stupid and that Hayley has a Billy Idol smile - oooh why didn't she do White Wedding? Ross says her voice is like a laser beam.

Next up is Adelaide's hottest piece of nanna bait best loved primary school teacher TOBY with Foreigner's I Wanna Know What Love Is.

"Oh for god's sake, every song this guy does is a slowed down ballad," shrieks Raoul.

It's true. Toby does tend to sing every song like a tired and emotional jazz singer at the end of a long night at the Las Vegas Travelodge. Which is fine if you've just lost all your money on craps and the hooker you bought turned out to be a man and you're wanting to slump at the bar and cry into your martini to some appropriate musical backing. But not so much in any other situation.

"He's very good looking," I suggest.

"Who cares? He can't sing," grumbles Raoul.

"I think he CAN sing, I just don't know if it's the kind of voice that could sell an album," I argue.

"IT'S JUST GAY AND BORING," snaps Raoul, which rather settles the matter.

Jay Dee says Toby has raw sex appeal and ladies, grandmas and girls are going to love it. Then he reveals that next week is Pink Night - so ladies, grandmas and girls, get ready to see Toby's pink bits!


Dicko asks Toby if he feels guilty. Then he asks if he feels like he's betrayed his passion. Then he gets out his big paddywhacker and asks him if he's been a naughty boy... Toby says he feels like he's betrayed his artistry by singing Foreigner. Dicko clearly doesn't give a shit. Neither does anyone else. Hooray for Idol! Just for something different, Marcia says I Wanna Know What Love Is is one her favourite songs ever and from there we sashay into KIM who is getting her Wilde on tonight with You Keep Me Hanging On.

In a nutshell:

  • Kim admits to hating the 80s, which would seem to be incongruous with her ENTIRE WARDROBE EVERY SINGLE WEEK. And tonight is no exception - she's got skin tight jeans with strategically placed holes and a graffiti tank.

    "My god, those jeans are going to give her a yeast infection," shouts Raoul. I guess that would depend on just how strategically those holes have been placed...

  • Yeast infection or not, it's clear Kim has contracted some sort of disease that prevents her from singing the ends of words. Either that or this is a new version of the song called "You Kee Me Haaaang Oh!"

  • Dicko says he's sick of Kim being in the bottom three. Better get out your phone and vote then, eh Dicko? Ross says it didn't seem natural. Speaking of which, natural yoghurt is a good cure for...

    "It felt natural to me and I really connect with that song," saya Kim, as if we care.

  • Marcia says Kim is an instrument. Actually no she's not, she's a casserole. And the band is a bed of rice! Dicko asks if she's low fat, before not so secretly earning some more bunce by plugging Jenny Craig. What would a Kim casserole look like?

    Like this, I think.

Jay Dee says he sees Kim each week, which is a bit of a revelation for everyone, and we move along to TIM who's doing Heaven by Bryan Adams. Sigh. Bye Tim, no one cares about this song.

The cameraman's loving, lingering close up for the start of Tim's song allows me and Raoul to launch into our weekly debate about whether Tim is good looking or not, which somehow finishes with the revelation that I'd like to "do it to his face". Don't ask me to explain this. I'm not even sure what it means.

OK so is it just me, or has Tim been getting better at singing every week? Or is it just that I've been a bit tipsy the last few Sundays and so am more swayed than usual by his stunning good looks?

By the time I've figured this out Tim has finished and Ken Doll is saying something. Oh well. Ross says he wishes he could take Tim out (don't we all?), before suggesting that he should have an affair with a bad girl. OMG - ME. I COULD BE THAT BAD GIRL. TIM, CALL ME. Marcia says something about getting bent, Dicko says something about electricity and Jay Dee tells Tim he needs to get dirty. Tim reveals he didn't have a shower on Friday, which seems to be rather missing the point of what "getting dirty" is all about.

Dust off your bandanna and pull your cowboy boots on, it's KATE the lesbian cowgirl up next with... BILLY OCEAN? What the fu...

No good can come from adding a cowboy hat to this.

"Hate it," spits Raoul before she's even started her rendition of When the Going Gets Tough.

"Jesus, fuck!" he spluffs when she storms out on stage in an embroidered jacket with zippers, Alice Cooper eye makeup and THAT BLOODY HAT. I concur. Seriously Kate, what's with the hat? Even Wes Carr didn't wear his bloody hat every night.

I'm not going to go into detail about Kate's performance for fear that the simple act of writing about it will revive memories I have tried hard to suppress over the last 24 hours. But the fact that this song is best associated with a) Billy Ocean and b) Jewel of the Nile and now c) a lesbian cowgirl should be enough for you to get a picture of what it was like.

Marcia speaks for the entire country for once by saying she didn't like it. Dicko says it was awful. Ross says Kate has an "attractive voice", which is kind of like saying Kate is a "handsome girl". Jay Dee reaches into the deepest comedic recesses of his soul and brings out yet another quirkily relevant song lyric, saying "the tough didn't get going tonight".

The audience is totally impressed.

In a last ditch effort to be the only person in the room defending her performance, Kate says When the Tough Gets Going was the best song she could find. From the entire 1980s decade.

I checked the 1980s cupboard and the only thing in there was this kettle and a Billy Ocean CD.

Let's move right away from this nightmare shall we, and over to what will no doubt be a standing ovation-worthy performance by STAN, who has narrowly avoided an arse kicking by me for not singing Michael Jackson by masterfully planning to sing Prince's Purple Rain instead.


"This is awesome. Purple Rain? This is giving me a purple patch!" says Raoul halfway through Stan's completely amazingly awesome performance. I have no idea what he means, but I don't care, I just want more, more, MORE STAN!!

As Stan rounds off the song with a stunning a cappella finish, and the roaring crowd jumps to its feed, Raoul and I conclude that it is the best performance by anyone, ever.

At this point I'd like to remind you of THIS call which I made in the very first episode. Thank you.

Jay Dee says "that's how you win a competition", which is weird because I totally don't remember that lyric in Purple Rain. Dicko says Stan makes the whole Idol thing seem so simple. What like, getting up on stage and singing a song well and in tune? Gee, that IS simple! Ross says it was a knockout. Marcia says it was the bomb. Raoul and I high five and congratulate ourselves on getting through another two hours of life on the couch.

So there you go, what an awesome show! Can't wait to... what's that? We're not finished yet? You mean someone has to follow THAT? What do you mean James hasn't sung yet? Who's Ja... oh, right. Good luck, Mini Zoolander, you haven't got a hope in hell. I search for Stan's performance on Youtube so we can watch that again instead, but sadly no one lives in the future yet so it's not there. Sigh.

So anyway, JAMES is doing The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News. And he's wearing a vest. IT'S ALL SO LAST WEEK I'M SO BORED ALREADY HURRY UP WHERE'S STAN WHEN YOU NEED HIM.

James in a nutshell (and he'd probably fit in one too):

  • James sings and it's kind of like your 13 year old nephew playing 80s Singstar and laughing at all the old video clips. GUESS WHAT JAMES, SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIVED THROUGH THE 80S AND THEY DON'T REMEMBER HUEY LEWIS FONDLY.

  • That's it. Everyone else pales in comparison to Stan.

  • Dicko looks perturbed, as do we all, then says James is "sexy with training wheels". Thanks Dicko, but we'd prefer not to know what you and the Idols get up to at home. Ross rubs salt into the wound by reminding James he had to follow Stan. Stan was really, really great, remember Stan? Oh, the memories. Marcia says James should use his nerves to propel him forward. And failing that, he could try popping one out. Jay Dee gives a completely confusing critique that doesn't involve a lyric or anything worth listening to, and therefore it won't be recorded here.

And as Tag Team said back in that OTHER decade that's now considered cool by young people I find annoying - "Whoomp, there it is!". Another episode down, another clock set ticking on another wannabe musician's career. Hooray!

Kate - tick, tick, tick...


  1. PetStarr. You are my all time fave internet read.

    Thank you

  2. Thanks PS. Worth missing last week for that recap. Kate was woefully bad but deserves another run. Tim could be in trouble. He looks and sounds pretty but doesn't seem to have that 'moment' in his arsenal.

  3. this blog is gold. totally justifies watching the show. I love it.

    Go Stan go!

  4. totally agree with the above two comments. Thankyou for updating!

    Go Stan!

  5. Yay.

    So, you think Kate will go? I hope so. I don't like her. :/

  6. How can 'Raoul' say something is gay, yet he is watching AND dissecting Australian Idol with you?

  7. I wasn't a Stan fan until Purple Rain, but I have to admit you called it right. No one else even comes close.

    I was looking forward to seeing what Sabrina was going to sing in the outfit she had chosen, I was sure it was going to be cheesy but then she was voted off and gone. Oh well.

    I think Nathan or Kate for next week.