Welcome back Idolites! Wow, it seems like only AN HOUR since I last recapped an Idol episode - how time flies, eh?
And to make tonight's show THRILLINGLY DIFFERENT from the last eight, it's NOUGHTIES NIGHT, meaning our finalists can only sing songs written in the last nine years.
The new millenium was seriously cool in its day.
I am going to kick this off with some bets right here:
- James will sing Smooth by Santana and Rob Thomas.
- Stan will sing something by Destiny's Child. If he's being appropriate, it'll be Bootylicious.
- Nathan will sing something by Christina Aguilera.
- Stan will also probably sing that Praise You song by that band I can't remember.
- Hayley will sing something by the Foo Fighters.
No one will sing Good Charlotte, but that's OK because they've turned up anyway as our special extraneous judges for the night.
"TWO guest judges? Oh this is bulls***.."
Apparently their names are Benji and Joel, but as they're virtually indistinguishable - and as I can't be stuffed writing out idiotic comments from FIVE judges - I'll just call them Benjoel.
"People just want three chords and the truth," says Benjoel sagely, the first of many pearls of wisdom to emanate from their collective mouth this evening.
ALL HEED THE WORD OF THE BENJOEL. OMM.
Over to Ken Doll, who's announcing he has the results of last week's vote in his hand like it's something special and new. WE KNOW, YOU DO IT EVERY WEEK. But wait...
"Before I get to the results, Toby - I believe you have something to say," he says.
OMG - Toby is gay. He's a woman. He's not actually a teacher, he's really a lesbian cowgirl slaughterhouse worker. Oh wait, that was Kate. Um, OK, Toby's already released a CD of 90s Britpop Hits in Tanzania and he's been disqualified. He only has three days to live. WHAT IS IT?
"After many many hours of soul searching and many sleepless nights I';ve decided to withdraw form the competition tonight," he says.
A noise that sounds like 1200 cats being squashed at once emanates from the audience. And while there may actually be some cats stuck under the seating scaffolding, I'm assuming the noise is actually people squealing with disappointment.
"I'm not sure if I want a career as a singer," he continues, while Sabrina sits at home throwing whatever she can reach at the TV.
"IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MEEEEE!"
Even Marcia - who has forgotten to take off her Pippi Longstocking costume from last night's Halloween party - is shocked.
"I am shocked."
He craps on a bit about being real with himself and stepping aside to allow the other contestants to prosper as young Australian artists, while Dicko sits back smugly thinking "I said you'd be better as a teacher, didn't I?"
"Hello, Telstra? I'd like a refund on the 775 text messages I sent to keep Toby Moulton in Australian Idol, please."
While this is all very MOMENTOUS and exciting, Toby does go on a bit. When he starts rabbiting on about being "an older Aussie bloke who decided to step up and give it a go" and apologising for leaving his fans "downhearted", I long for a fast forward button. Come on Tobes, if you're leaving, GET THE HELL OFF THE STAGE.
"This has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I now know who I am - I'M A TEACHER," he says triumphantly.
"Now on to multiplication - and this is how many records I would have sold if I'd won."
Everyone gives him a standing ovation, proving that the only things that can earn you a touchdown on Idol these days are being Liza Minnelli, or being a teacher. Who knew?
"To my schoolkids, I've taught you all to just have a go, especially at things you're passionate about," he continues, in what feels like the 53rd minute of his farewell monologue. He neglects to mention he's also just taught them all the valuable lesson of QUITTING when things get tough. Thanks, Mr Moulton!
He goes on for another 20 minutes or so about what a great time he had and how he's a teacher, and he loves his job blah blah blah, yeah whatever Toby - we all know the real reason you're ditching out on the show is because NOUGHTIES NIGHT would have forced you to sing something outside of 1994.
OK let's all move on - can we kick someone else out tonight as well? Sadly it appears not, although Ken Doll rather cruelly reveals that had Toby not stepped aside, it would have been JAMES' turn to leave.
Even Jesus knows this is an epic facepalm moment.
James tries to conjure up some tears of gratitude but can't quite care enough to be successful.
Then we watch a massive package on Toby - sadly not featuring Toby's massive package - then everyone stands up and applauds again, then Ken Doll says something else about how great Toby is, then Dicko asks him why he made the decision and Toby starts crapping on about Balmoral Beach... ENOUGH ALREADY! It's been 15 whole minutes, can we move on yet? Christ, this bloke's having more farewells than Nellie Melba.
Finally he leaves, and Benjoel comes on and WE FINALLY GET INTO SOME GOD DAMN SINGING with NATHAN, who has chosen to sing Ne-Yo, who I think is one of those r&b dudes that sounds like a ringtone. This should be good.
In a nutshell:
- "When you sing a song like this, women have to know that you're not coming over to talk about their boyfriend," says Benjoel during rehearsal.
"Yep," says Nathan, while secretly thinking :(
- "I just want to see him man up a little bit," says Benjoel, echoing the thoughts of Nathan's girlfriend back home.
- Nathan clearly went to the same Halloween party Marcia did last night, as he's come dressed as Stan.
Praise god, ay bro!
- Despite this being a ringtoney r&b song with a techno backing track, it is bloody awesome and Nathan is the greatest thing in the world. Until he tries to lead the audience in a handclap and completely misses the rhythm. Tim the whitest barista in the world claps along in sympathy at home.
- Dicko says there wasn't enough "lower body action" going on. Not sure exactly what he had in mind, but this comment is disturbingly similar to the others he's given Nathan over the last few weeks... Dicko, are you lonely? Nathan responds by doing some dirty grinding dance moves - which the camerman completely misses. Brilliant.
- Marcia says it was dynamite. Jay Dee takes a sip from a small bottle labelled "drink me" and says it was good, it was crap, it was great but it was a bad song, it was sexy, it was flat, it was the wrong song, and he knocked it out the park.
Work THAT one out, bitches.
- Benjoel makes things considerably more interesting by revealing that Nathan's biggest aspiration is to become a male Kelly Clarkson. WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO BRING BENJOEL ON? PROMOTE THEM IMMEDIATELY. Nathan looks crushed, as though they had all been playing "If you had to be a girl, who would you be?" backstage and he revealed the Kelly thing to them in confidence.
All he ever wanted...
And if Toby's potentially Oscar winning monologue about being a teacher wasn't enough education-themed padding for you, here's some more - meet Mr Whoever He Is, a teacher from some school somewhere who won a special concert with Dean Geyer. He's a Christian, Dean's a Christian, the whole school is Christian, so I'm guessing it was a really hardcore concert.
Apparently Mr Whoever won this special treat through a scratch card he got at KFC.
"Have you been on the treadmill lately?" yells Jay Dee.
Meanwhile, I think KFC should be applauded for motivating people to eat healthy - if eating a burger can win you a private concert from Dean Geyer, I'd probably opt for a salad.
As it turns out, the concert also features the Idols, and a shitload of product placement. I'm sure the parents of students at Whatever The Fuck Christian College are happy to know their kids spent half the day on the oval having a South African man yelling at them about KFC while five strangers sing Queen in the background
Toby would never let that happen in his school.
"Not on my watch."
Moving on to JAMES who is living up to his lesser nickname of "Mini John Mayer" by doing John Mayer's Daughters. Yawn. OK, wake me up when Benjoel starts talking again.
"The beauty is, if you make it big in Australia, you can make it anywhere else in the world," says Benjoel, who clearly hasn't passed this piece of wisdom on to Powderfinger, Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham... basically everyone who's not ACDC.
And lo, the Benjoel spake again:
"It's totally fine to be 18."
It certainly is.
So, James in a nutshell:
- James sits on a stool flanked by two Alex Perry lookalikes and sings like your dad. If your dad sounds like a slightly distorted Michael Buble.
- He keeps going.
- He sings a bit more.
- Raoul heads into the kitchen, makes a cup of tea. Comes back, James is still singing.
- This is going longer than Toby's farewell speech.
- OK, so he sounds quite good. But GOD, I'M SO BORED I CAN BARELY STAND IT. STAND UP AND DANCE, OR YELL OR FALL OVER OR PUNCH SOMEONE OR GOD DAMMIT JUST DO ANYTHING.
- Marcia advises James to keep his youth. OH MARCIA, IF ONLY WE COULD. Jay Dee says even though he told James last week to do John Mayer, he didn't mean THAT song, DUH! And also it was opposite day that day, so he actually meant DON'T do John Mayer, DUH! Benjoel says James has potential, but neglects to finish its sentence with "to be kicked out next week". Meanwhile, Dicko says James looks like a frightened marsupial.
You know, he's right - James really does look like a marsupial.
Ken Doll proudly announces that not one contestant has picked a song by Hinder, Nickelback or Creed, blithely ignoring the fact that This is How You Remind Me is one of the best ever songs to sing... well, ever. Sure, people might not like LISTENING to it, but who said we liked John Mayer either?
Over to STAN who is singing Let me Love You by Mario, who I think might be Ne-Yo's second cousin. But I secretly hope he means THIS Mario:
Have you ever seen them in the same room together?
As it turns out, he doesn't. Instead, it's another one of those ringtoney r&b songs that I hate, but Jay Dee seems to love.
ALL UP IN DIS CLUB, AIGHT.
"Damn, damn damn damn damn," says Jay Dee.
"Stan, Stan Stan Stan Stan," he continues. Can anyone join in here? Man, man man man! Ham, ham ham ham!
Then he gives him six out of 10 for doing the remix instead of the original. Hands up who knew it was the remix? Hands up who's even heard the original? Right, moving on.
The Benjoel says it likes Stan's swagger. ALL HEED THE WORD OF THE BENJOEL. Dicko says it was like r&b night at the local RSL. THEY HAVE THOSE? If they did, this choir would surely do a sellout tour:
Marcia says bugger all, leaving Ken Doll and Stan to fill for two minutes - so they reminisce about Toby. BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T HEARD ENOUGH ABOUT FUCKING TOBY TONIGHT.
Finally it's over to HAYLEY who's channelling her inner fat lesbian to do The Gossip's Heavy Cross, a song that three quarters of the audience won't know and the remainder won't like. Good for her.
Even though it looks like she's wearing school shoes and an old denim jacket that someone has attacked with a Bedazzler, she looks completely hot. She sounds pretty good too, except for those high notes. DON'T TRY TO GET HIGH, HAYLEY.
"I can't believe you're only 17," says the Benjoel, who is possibly wondering what age constitutes "legal" in Australia.
Meanwhile, Dicko says Hayley got swamped by Beth Ditto's undies - they must have been cotton, because she didn't suffocate. Marcia says nothing of importance. Jay Dee says he likes to listen to that song after a hard day of banging. Or something. Then everyone gets to watch a once in a lifetime event - Jay Dee's brain slowly exploding on live television.
"You didn't quite reach those dizzy heights tonight, you pulled it off, it was a great song choice, where you're landing, where I want to see you going, but what are you doing with your hand," he garbles, before launching into a full blown monkey impression.
Hayley's reaction says it all.
"Ooh-ooh aah-ahh!" shrieks Jay Dee, waving his hand around. Did he take the brown acid or what?
"Don't do that," snaps Marcia, who is obviously well acquainted with side effects such as this.
"Don't do what?" he guffaws.
"Just keep that out of it," she snaps.
"I'm just having a conversation, OK, OK, I'll just talk to Hayley then, because that's what I'm gnnggggg," he rambles.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? IS MY TELEVISION DRUNK?
Marcia starts giving Jay Dee a lecture as we move along to NATHAN for round two, who's doing some song by Daniel Merriweather that isn't Mark Ronson's version of Stop Me so I don't care about it.
He sits on a stool, he sings a song competently, I am bored. It sounds like something out of The Lion King. God dammit, what is WRONG with these Idols? When is someone going to come out here and sing a massive anthem and blow the roof off? STOP DICKING AROUND WITH BALLADS AND ALBUM TRACKS.
"I feel like from the little bit we've gotten to hang out, you know, you're a nice guy and you know, I like you," says the Benjoel.
Sophie Monk is TOTES jealous.
Dicko says Nathan's top end isn't as good as Daniel Merriweather's. I'm not sure if I agree with this or not, but I think we can all be thankful he's not saying anything about Nathan's bottom end. But then Marcia ruins everything by thanking him for showing himself. Sigh. And I thought we'd be innuendo free in this segment.
"If you want to get behind Nathan, Australia, just pick up the phone," says Ken Doll.
Moving on to JAMES for round two (great, because round one was so electrifying), who's defying my Santana/Rob Thomas prediction by simply doing Rob Thomas' This is How a Heart Breaks. Hmph. Well, I'm half right.
I have nothing to say about this performance, except that James wears a white jacket with lots of buttons on it.
Dicko opens his book of Idol Judges' Techniques for Critiquing a Particularly Bad Performance Without Being Too Nasty, turns to page 35 and says "Do YOU think you did a good job?" Then he says something about musical foreplay, which forces me to run to the laundry to grab a bucket so I missed what everyone else said. Oh well.
Back to STAN, who's now doing The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Miley fucking Cyrus? Is he serious? What sayeth the Benjoel?
"It takes balls to sing Miley Cyrus."
OK, so I haven't heard this song before, but Stan makes it sound like a cross between something from a Disney film and something blissed-out people would sing at Hillsong. It's one of those INSPIRATIONAL songs that you'd expect to be sold with a motivational poster folded up inside the CD cover. It's crap, basically. But you know - it's Stan, and Stan could sing the phone book and sound good. Maybe he should try that next week.
Marcia says she's lost for words, but then finds one downthe back of the couch - "sublime". For about the 357th time this season, Jay Dee says "I've got nothing to say but..." and then says something boring.
"From the minute I met you dude, I liked you," says the Benjoel.
Now who's jealous?
Dicko says he can't wait until Stan does the Nikki Webster medley next week, and the silicon chip inside Stan's brain gets switched to overload - all of a sudden he looks like an angry clubber about to punch a bouncer. Fortunately the moment passes, and he starts laughing again. Is our Stan... mentally unstable?
Let's ponder this as Idol thoughtfully provides us with some more padding, this time featuring people talking about juvenile cancer, and Guy Sebastian singing his crap new song. Sorry Guy, I do love you (and your massive guns) but you know that song is shit.
Anyway, over to HAYLEY for the final performance of the night -something from Fall Out Boy, ie: that other group of dudes who wear pork pie hats and wear eyeliner. It's possibly a worry when you can be out-glammed by a bloke, but it's fair to say that Pete Wentz looks more rock and roll when he wakes up in the morning than Hayley does right now - jeans, non descript shoes and a black T shirt. When oh WHEN are we going to have another gold dress moment on Idol? As for the performance - yeah, you know.
Jay Dee criticises Hayley for not crowd surfing, but says everything else was bloody amazing, and please wil you be my friend cos you're SO cool Hayley oh please, I'll give you my lunch money and everything...
"There's nothing hotter than a chick that brings the rock," says Dicko, who has clearly been sitting next to the Benjoel for too long as he's started to talk in fortune cookie format.
And that's it - apart from a final performance by the Benjoel which, frankly, isn't half as entertaining as its comments from the judging panel all night. Male Kelly Clarkson? Gold.
See you next week, when we get down to the final three. Bye James.