Sunday, November 08, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: The Final 3 - Two Hours of Power Night

OH MY GOD, WE'RE DOWN TO THE FINAL THREE. Well, we will be as soon as everyone stops singing We Built This City on Rock and Roll. Seriously, they made them do that to open the show this week. And you know why?


Big deal - I have 24 hours of power at my house every day.

That's right - just three singers, FOR TWO WHOLE HOURS. HOW DOES THAT WORK? Maybe I misheard and it's actually "Gilbert and Sullivan operettas night" and it won't be over until Nathan has sung the whole of The Mikado.

Unfortunately the presence of Starship in the first five minutes seems to contradict that theory - although Hayley's COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS outfit wouldn't look too out of place in Pirates of Penzance.

She is the very model of a modern major general. Apart from those ripped tights.

Hayley, I know I've criticised your black jacket and jeans ensemble quite consistently over the last 10 weeks, but if I'm in any way responsible for your apparent need to turn to ripped leggings and tails, I am truly sorry.

So it's over to the votes - and it's slim pickings this week with only Mini Zoolander, Light Red, Gaythan and Stunned left to choose from. First back to the bench is... WHAT THE? JAMES?

I think we can all thank Toby for this turn of events.

Thanks to the quitting teacher, Australia has clearly had a change of heart about poor little James and his puppy dog eyes and voted for him in earnest. Drats. Which leaves a highly undesirable bottom three of STAN, NATHAN and HAYLEY.


I'm momentarily distracted from this awfulness (and no, I'm not still talking about Hayley's outfit) by Marcia, who is looking FIIINE tonight:

Mama's got a brand new wig.

But her Halle Berry-ish new look isn't enough to distract me from Australia's ultimate decision, which is that GAYTHAN should be kicked out of the competition.

This prety much sums that up.

So it looks like the people of Australia DID eventually get behind Nathan - and booted him out the door.

"I just wish everyone could see the amazing people who work back stage here," Nathan says, ignoring the fact that Ten is having enough trouble convincing viewers to watch the people ON stage.

Speaking of which, how are they planning to fill two hours with just three people?

"Each of our Idols will perform three songs tonight..."


"It'll be all killer, no filler," Ken Doll continues.

Some simple maths would seem to refute that: If each Idol has three songs at approximately two minutes each, that's 18 minutes down. OUT OF TWO FUCKING HOURS.

Clearly there's going to be some time to kill tonight - so it's over to Ricki Lee, who is single handedly setting back the national domestic violence campaign by looking like someone has punched her in both eyes.

To bad make up - Australia says no.

Or maybe she's just trying to outdo eyeliner-loving special guest judge PETE WENTZ, who tonight is rendered even MORE special by virtue of the fact that HE'S NOT BRITNEY SPEARS.

Sadly, Britney couldn't get out of her circus cage to attend tonight.

Seriously, Pete Wentz? Are Fall Out Boy even touring at the moment? Why is he here?

"He looks like Missy Higgins," says Raoul.

"But with more makeup," I counter.

Speaking of makeup, it seems Ricki Lee has won the eyeliner battle as Pete has turned up clean faced, in a hoodie, jeans and maths nerd haircut and looks like the guy who lives down your street. Inexplicably, every teenage girl in the audience spontaneously wets their pants.

On to the performances, starting with JAMES who is attempting Toto's Hold the Line. Well, what beter way for a crooner wannabe to get around the "two hours of power" theme than with a dose of yacht rock?

He has a nice, wrought expression on his face - like he's just discovered the mass of cocaine he's bought for the bikini party on his yacht this weekend is actually bicarb soda - but he really needs a moustache to complete the look.

"Holder lion - glove isn't hallways on life," he sings, suggesting he might have had a little too much of that bicarb.

He finishes on a power note, and it looks uncomfortably like his brain is going to explode out of his forehead.


"I hate him - I hate the way he looks, I hate the way he sounds, I hate his little twitchy movements, I HATE EVERYTHING," shouts Raoul charitably.

I'm not sure I necessarily agree with Raoul's summation, but I do reckon I've seen better performances on footpaths. And so as a one-off special event this week I shall compare each Idol song to a past performance on that illustrious beacon of Australian TV talent quest integrity - POT LUCK. Fans of 90s Saturday night television, like me, will remember the best of Pot Luck courtesy of The Late Show's weekly toilet break.

As everyone knows, the number one Pot Luck performance of all time, the yardstick against which all other talent quest performances have always been measured, is the unforgettable Todd Rixon:

While James' performance didn't quite get to the level of awfulness of Mr Rixon, I reckon it was fairly on par with Chris Lopes:

Dicko says James' power is in his tenderness, and he should have done something tender. As much as I'm not a fan of James, I think we all know that if he had come out singing Jack Johnson on TWO HOURS OF POWER NIGHT and argued the "tenderness is my power" line, Dicko would have told him he was shit. And I would have agreed. SO BASICALLY, JAMES CAN'T WIN. Marcia fulfils her contractual obligation to disagree with everything Dicko says by disagreeing with what Dicko said. La Wentz says James did an excellent job of interacting with the crowd. Another girl wets her pants. Jay Dee says he doesn't know if James did anything wrong, but he's not sure if he did anything right either. Then he says he's Liza Minnelli.

Which goes some way to explaining his last two comments.

Over to HAYLEY who has gone for the biggest gun in the Idol arsenal with U2's One. Or as she sings it: "Werrr-errrrn".

I continue to be distracted by her atrocious outfit. Honestly, she looks like she's been dressed by a mental patient with a military fetish. Is this the result of some sort of equal opportunity initiative in the styling department? Has Sheridan been recruiting apprentice stylists from special schools again?


The ensemble of hoodie, sleeveless jacket with tails and gold braiding, ripped leggings and school shoes makes me wish she'd chosen Metallica's One instead - lyrics like "darkness imprisoning me, all that I see, absolute horror" seem far more appropriate. I'm so enthralled by her outfit that I almost miss her performance of Wern - except for the bits where she sang off key.

In the Pot Luck stakes, I reckon Hayley is a bit like Razia - it might have seemed like a good idea when she put the costume on, but the performance never really lived up to expectations:

Just for something different, Marcia says Wern is one of her favourite songs. La Wentz shows how cool he is by wanking on about how he was in the studio when they were remixing U2, then shows off his Wikipedia research skills by giving us the whole history of the band before concluding that Hayley is kind of OK. Liza Minnelli says U2 is too safe. Dicko says Hayley wasn't great but she didn't destroy the song either, it was a nil-nil draw.


Moving along to STAN who takes a look at Hayley's puny U2 gun, pushes it aside and reaches for the double barrelled nuclear missile launcher with Survivor's Eye of the Tiger. Oh dear. This has bad news written all over it.

And then - BLOODY FUCK WHAT THE HELL? Stan's done a Dean Geyer (but with less bum crack), back flipping out onto the stage. TAKE THAT, MOFOS! STAN'S HERE AND HE'S GOING TO KICK YOUR ARSES LIKE SOME KIND OF CRAZY IDOL NINJA! YESSSSS! Suddenly it doesn't matter that he's wearing a pooncy vest with a giant treble clef on it, like he's just come back from band camp. As with the vest, the rest of the song is a bit crap to be honest - he's out of breath and missing a few words here and there, BUT WHO CARES? HE DID A FUCKING BACKFLIP! GO STAN!

In Pot Luck terms, Stan would probably be Todd Rixon if he had never broken his arse and just kept on dancing. But as there's no video of that, I'll have to go with Michael Cannon instead. Michael who? Cannon. What? CANNON. Can you spell that?

La Wentz says the Benjoel told him to watch out for Stan.

"Watch out for Stan."

"If you don't win this thing and you end up with nowhere to go, give me a call please," says La Wentz.


Well that's positive - if Stan loses, maybe Pete can help get him his job back at the mall?

Minnelli takes credit for Stan's amazing gymnastics by mentioning the treadmill again. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN TREADMILLS. Dicko bums one of Minnelli's funny pills with the Mitsubishi logo printed on it and says Stan's performance had all the hallmarks of a bad karaoke song, and it was awesome. CONFUSED? GOOD. Marcia says something inconsequential and then it's time for some padding, courtesy of Ricki Lee. She's interviewing some woman who's campaigning for world hunger relief, which is a little like Lindsay Lohan interviewing someone campaigning for alcoholics anonymous.

Anyway, back to JAMES who is doing More than Words by Extreme who, by the way, ARE STILL TOURING.

"I think I might go watch The Wire. I can't stand another hour of this shit," says Raoul.


"Shhh! I can't hear it now because of YOU," snaps Raoul in what would seem to be a very sudden change of heart. See what Extreme can do to a man?

They can give him big hair, for one thing.

As you've probably guessed, I missed most of James' performance because I was singing my own version, but I know that it included bongoes, a guitar, a pair of VERY shiny shoes, and no high bits.

It was a bit like Gary Bond, but with less apt lyrics:

Minnelli says he hates that song but loves it when James strips. Then he says he wants him to "bring it out" for the next song. Let's hope James takes note to ensure a rollicking Chippendales-style finale! Dicko congratulates James on not choosing a "girlyman" song. Er, excuse me Dicko, but James just sang More Than Words. It's not exactly Enter Sandman, is it? Apparently Extreme are proper rock according to Dicko because "they wore leather pants". So did the Spice Girls.

This woman has a full leather body. That must make her the sunbathing equivalent of AC/DC.

Marcia says something about gravitating. Or maybe levitating. Whatever it is, we can probably attribute it to some of Minnelli's pills. La Wentz confuses the Idol judging panel for his weekly therapy session and says he never got to second base with any of the girls at school.

"What's second base?" I ask.

"Fingers. Fingering," says Raoul sagely.

Next up is HAYLEY again - Ken Doll announces she'll be singing INXS. A furious round of betting begins in Idol HQ as to which song she will attempt - Raoul says New Sensation, I say Suicide Blonde. I would normally have gone for Never Tear Us Apart but after Wern I'm not so sure.

"Here's Hayley Warner with New Sensation," shouts Ken Doll. Bugger.

"LIVE, BABY LIVE - NOW THAT THE DAY IS OVER," she sings, badly off key.

"Now that my career is over" might have been more appropriate. This is truly terrible. I didn't think Hayley had it in her to be crap, but she's pulling out all stops tonight. In Pot Luck terms, she's definitely this chick:

The best thing I can say about Hayley's performance is that it makes me realise I never want to hear anyone sing New Sensation other than Michael Hutchence.

"That was a poo sensation," says Raoul.

Dicko says Hayley has bacteria in her voice, which would possibly explain why she has suddenly gone to shit in this competition. Marcia uses her fallback for when she has nothing nice to say - complimenting the band. La Wentz says something about interacting with the audience for about the 500th time this episode. Jay Dee continues his Liza Minnelli impression by saying he'll reserve judgement until her third song. Fortunately for her, Liza's fans did the same thing when she was here recently.

Next up is STAN doing James Brown's It's A Man's World. It's a good choice, and he's looking schmick in a black suit jacket and white unbuttoned shirt. He stands there, he sings it, there are strings, there are no back flips, it is still pretty awesome. Like this woman:

Marcia tries to outdo La Wentz's suck-up tales of celebrity by saying she once got to see James Brown sing that song. Good for you, Marcia. La Wentz says something about what Stan has in his "wheelhouse", which I think is some weirdo Americanism for "cockpit". Luckily, we all already know what Stan has in his cockpit, thanks to his backflip earlier in the evening. Jay Dee tries to make himself look emotionally open by pretending to cry, and Dicko brings it on home with the Completely Obvious Joke That I Can't Believe Nobody Has Made Yet by saying it's "Stan's world".

JAMES is back next with with Foo Fighters' Learn to Fly, which he's decided to strip back to an acoustic version. JUST FOR SOMETHING FUCKING DIFFERENT.

He grabs his guitar and starts strumming Summer of 69 before changing his mind and sticking with the Foo Fighters plan. Eventually he gives up, slings his guitar off and starts to lead the audience in a clap. His shoes are still shiny.

This man's shoes are also shiny, but he's slightly more entertaining than James:

Fearing Marcia's celebrity anecdotes might be more impressive than his, La Wentz wanks on about how Dave Grohl bought him a beer in Germany once, a boring anecdote that takes about 20 minutes to tell and has no real point. Jay Dee says it was more "Poo Fighters" than Foo Fighters, a joke which was funnier when Raoul said it about 10 minutes ago. Dicko says James is missing he point of James - WHAT IS THE POINT OF JAMES? TELL US! Marcia says James has an inner thing.

"He has an outer thing too, and I want him to bring it out!" shrieks Jay Dee.

And so we move on to HAYLEY who has decided on The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony for her final performance. Hmm.

"It's a metaphor for life," explains Hayley helpfully. Thanks Hayley.


Raoul declares the whole thing "snoozeworthy". Her final word is "die" and that about sums it up. In terms of coolness and rock and roll swagger tonight, Hayley is on par with these ladies:

Jay Dee her voice breathed, the tonalities came back, and some other crap no one believes. ADMIT IT, SHE WASN'T THAT GOOD TONIGHT. Dicko says Hayley has a commanding femininity. Maybe that explains the military jacket?

"I am Commander Femininity."

Marcia says as long as she put her own spit in it, it's good - a philosophy Marcia applies equally to cooking, so beware if you're ever invited round to the Hines household for dinner. La Wentz manages to say something without telling a half hour anecdote about another celebrity friend of his, and we move on to our final performer of the evening - STAN - who is bringing us all home with the power of the lord and Amazing Grace, otherwise known as The Song Most Likely To Get a Standing Ovation From Marcia.

"Uf you thunk you love Jesus clup your hends..."

Hey, do you think Stan's religious?

"Christ, I'm going to get some cloves of garlic," says Raoul.

"He's not a vampire, he's a Christian," I argue but it's too late - Raoul's already threading garlic onto a piece of twine for round his neck.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound... Christ, this is more like an episode of Songs of Praise than Idol. I suppose it IS Sunday. Meanwhile, in the background, Jay Dee is so mesmerised by the performance he's talking animatedly to Pete Wentz about hair - possibly the fact that he has none.

I'm sorry to say it, but Stan's performance is about as exciting as Raymond Schild's:

Clearly swept up by the whole happy clapper vibe, Dicko says he's proud to be part of a show that "allows a lad to find redemption through music". I'm starting to feel that the consumption of grade A narcotics is necessary to understand the judge's comments on this show. Marcia says he sings from "that very special place".

"What, Sydney?" pipes up Raoul, who still hasn't buggered off to watch The Wire.

La Wentz says Stan took us on a journey with his voice, and used both of his pipes.

So presumably he can now understand every word Dicko is saying.

And that's it for another week, kids. Who do you reckon is out next week? I think it might be Hayley.

Meanwhile, if only NATHAN had been allowed to perform tonight, I'd like to think he would have done something equivalent of this (and hopefully with a similar costume):


  1. Nice wrap-up.

    I likes James. He looks like a 12-year-old. Cute much?


    And Hayley was.. MEH.
    She kind of does the same performances every week. idk. She hasn't really improved, in my opinion. Like, she was really good at the start but the Idol competition hasn't helped her get better.

    I kinda wanted Hayley to leave 'cause she's already got a band, is already talented and has an album/EP/whatever out. idk.

  2. I "loled" at your recap and loled even harder at the first reply.

  3. like Lindsay Lohan interviewing someone campaigning for alcoholics anonymous.

    Priceless !

  4. Sydney a very special place ROFLMAO!

  5. ...yeah baby she's goddit ... hnmh hnmh ...

    Oh how I do Love your blog, Petstarr.

    Happy birthday for sometime last month btw, as I was reminded by your link back to the Idol hall of fame. Those were the days, eh? Bumcracks, gingham shirts, goonie-goo-goos. Nork dorks, even.

    We can all learn from Pot Luck here. Idol needs a Bernard King.

  6. Good point Susanna. I think Vile is well named and never want to see him again but for God's sake we need to get someone with some personality to judge this show! POQ JDS! And maybe something like Behind Idol. The talent has been ok this year but the lack of any other promotion makes it very difficult to get emotionally invested at all in the Journey. I think PS is the only decent blogger out there! Thank God for PS!

  7. why the hell is hayley still there????????????????

    she just does crap performance after crap performanc week after week.

    james is also crap.


    Stan is the only good person left in the competition. if he doesnt win i will throw my foxtel box through the television.