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Monday, August 31, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: Wildcard Special

THANK GOD - IT'S BACK. After a whole 48 Idol-free hours on Friday and Saturday I didn't know what to do with myself. I almost resorted to firing up the Singstar and getting Raoul to bust out a bit of Toto just to tide me over but with some willpower and a Whitney Houston Greatest Hits CD, I made it through. JUST.


Hold the line, Idol's not always on time, woah-oah-oah...


Ken Doll's back front and centre, once again introducing himself as Andrew Gunsberg -has he dropped the "G" altogether? Is this part of some new campaign to reinvent himself as a serious TV host? His outfit - an all-black suit, shirt and tie - seems to suggest so, although perhaps he's just in mourning for all the music that will be killed tonight.

Despite the mourning suit he's looking as chipper as ever - or perhaps he just looks happy in comparison to the bunch of 16 glum losers who haven't made it on to the show yet that he happens to be standing in front of.

But first, it's time to find out the final two Australia has voted onto the show. As I can barely remember any of them this is not as thrilling as it should be. Ricki Lee looks into the wrong camera and says something incomprehensible. Marcia realises she's in shot and does her African queen impression.


More like this..




...than this.


And the first one through is JAMES JOHNSTON, otherwise known as James Mayer or Mini Zoolander. The crowd goes wild.


Lucky for KIM COOPER, who has kindly stopped in on her way to a 1920s themed gangstas and hos party, she's through to the next round.


Boo-boo-pi-doo!


Hooray for her - now she'll be able to bugger off to the party without having to sing again.

Marcia, meanwhile, is clearly en route to a different fancy dress party with a theme of "what the fuck?".


WTF?


"What the fuck?" scoffs Raoul.

"She looks like a test pattern with shoulder pads."

I concur.

At about this point the fish Raoul was frying in the kitchen set off our smoke alarm, meaning the next thing I heard was Dicko saying "Beep beep beep" rather loudly. I'm not sure what he meant exactly, but it made more sense than anything Marcia's said in the last four episodes.

Time for the wildcard choices. Dicko's chosen three people he describes as having "connection problems", which makes me think they should all just head to Dick Smith and buy some adaptors rather than try and sing their way out of it.


Singing does NOT fix a connection problem.


Dicko chooses Miss Fringealot ALIQUA, Mr Bung Eye CASEY (is he serious?) and LUCIE, otherwise known as My New Favourite. Hurrah!

On to Jay Dee who chooses TOBY the teacher, ED the lead singer from The Darkness and HAYLEY the rock chick who's just discovered eyeshadow. Moving on to Marcia for the final three - LAUREN (who?), TIM (er, who?) and TENNIELLE the train driver who's actually turned out to be more of a train wreck.

See ya, nameless losers who didn't get in, and it's into the performances with the first by LUCIE, aka MNF (my new favourite). In a nutshell:

  • Lucie comes out in dress that looks like a florist vomited on it and sings Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire. It's been nice knowing you Lucie, good luck with your musical career.


  • Seriously, why is she not singing more Beyonce? Deja Vu would have been FIERCE.


  • It's hard to watch someone singing "Dance! Boogie Wonderlaaaaand!" on a technicolour dancefloor with backing singers and bongos and not think of a cruise ship. If she doesn't make it onto Idol, Lucie could totally get a job here.


  • Dicko says she's going for safe options and lacking direction. I say she should head HARD-A PORT!


  • Marcia dusts off her Idol calculator, pushes a few buttons and says "out of 100 I'd give you 100". Raoul makes a crude joke about giving Lucie 69.


  • Jay Dee says she chose a really good song and it's one of his favourites, conclusively proving that he is actually deaf and possibly retarded.


  • Lucie is no longer one of my favourites. But I do think she's got promise. SING MORE BEYONCE, GOD DAMMIT.


Moving right along to CASEY, aka the man with the bung eye who will never win this competition ever and god knows why he's been chosen as a wildcard, has Dicko gone mental or is he just putting the dodgy one through in order to water down the competition for his true favourites, yes I think I'm onto something there.

"At 30 years old, Casey has never made it before and this is his last chance," says Ken Doll solemnly.

"30 IS NOT THAT OLD," shouts Raoul from the kitchen. (Happy birthday dearest, by the way.)

Dicko wonders aloud what Casey's chances are - given that he is 30, has a bung eye and a penchant for singing Rob Thomas songs I'd say quite slim at this point, but hey, at least he's not singing disco.

But when he starts singing something by The Fray I very nearly join Raoul in the kitchen so I can drown myself in the dishwater, a feeling which intensifies when Casey launches into some strangled falsetto.

"Don't let me goooooo," he sings, rather desperately, considering the nation is about to vote on whether or not to keep him in the competition.

"Don't let me go, don't let me gooooo, don't let me GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Er, I think we will actually Casey, sorry mate.

Marcia tells Casey he needs to come forward and present himself.

"Present himself at the fucking dole queue, this guy's shocking," scoffs Raoul in between mouthfuls of fruit salad.

Casey says he chose to sing The Fray, the world's soft-cockiest band, because it was out of his comfort zone. This speaks reams about Casey.

"You kept looking up at the ceiling and I was wondering who's up there," Jay Dee says.


Hellooo!!!


Jay Dee has a quick whinge about how hard his job is and how he's the new guy, which everyone ignores, and we move on to Dicko who says it's not Casey's voice that's the problem, it's everything else. So there you go Casey, off you go and fix everything about yourself and you'll be right.

Casey then reveals that despite being the ancient age of 30, he's never heard of Ned Flanders. Clearly The Fray is the only thing from the last 20 years of pop culture to grab Casey's attention. Good.

Over to Ricki Lee, whose crap interview with Kate the cowgirl is completely drowned out by lip smacking sounds emanating from Raoul's end of the couch, where he is drooling "Mm Tennielle, train driver, I'd like to drive her train..." - it takes me a second or two to realise Tennielle's cleavage is occupying a good third of the shot behind Ricki Lee. Good to see the Idol cameramen still have a touch of the Benny Hills about them.

Moving on to ALIQUA, who is the Idol most likely to be referred to as "pint sized" or a "pocket rocket" for the rest of the season, if she gets in. She was criticised last week for not being youthful enough, which she has decided to rectify this week by singing Celine Dion's The Power of Love. Oh good, that should help.

In a nutshell:

  • She looks a million times better this week, having removed that ghastly fringe plait and slinking out in a fitted mini dress. Unfortunately, then she opens her mouth. As Kyle would say - the hot ones can never sing.


  • You know how at every karaoke bar in amongst all the pissed idiots singing Chumbawumba there's always one good looking Asian chick who sings all the power ballads REALLY SERIOUSLY in the hopes that a record label executive is coincidentally sitting at the bar and will offer her a recording contract? Aliqua is like that.


  • Jay Dee says "word up", which coincidentally is the next song after Boogie Wonderland on his favourite Disco Hot Hits Megamix CD.


  • "I didn't see that young girl shaking her booty," he says in a moment of confusion. Er Jay Dee, this is a singing competition. That OTHER place you go to is in Kings Cross.


  • Dicko says Aliqua looks amazing but it doesn't fit. Steady on Dicko, the dress isn't that bad. Then he says she's not wired up properly - maybe she should get a lift to Dick Smith with the others.


  • Aliqua gives an inspired speech about how her song was locked in for weeks and she couldn't shance it and she prays Australia will give her another chanc to show who she is and OH SHUT UP, YOU'RE BORING ME.


  • Marcia says she prays for the rough and tumble girl to come back. Jay Dee slurs "That's what I'm talkin' BOUT!".


  • The moral of the story is - everyone needs to do more Beyonce.



FI-ERCE!


Suddenly Raoul runs into the bathroom, scrabbles through the drawers, rushes back in and throws a packet of cotton wool balls at me.

"QUICK, IN YOUR EARS!!" he shouts, as Ken Doll introduces the next singer is LAUREN, otherwise known as THE GIRL WHO SHOUTS EVERYTHING.

"The Alanis Morissette song I did last week had an aggressive edge to it, that could have put people off," she says by way of explanation for why she's not yet a finalist. No actually, it was your SHOUTING.

"Maybe I'm just not connecting with the audience," she says.

"No, you're just not talented," snaps Raoul, who looks rather fetching with cotton wool hanging out of his ears.

In a nutshell:

  • Lauren looks rather cool in a sequinned blue stretchy dress and leggings, but when she starts shouting Kelly Clarkson and pointing at the audience and wagging her fingers at the cameras, it all turns sour. The whole thing is EXHAUSTING. It honestly sounds like cats fighting on a neighbour's fence at 3am.


    Actually, if you can imagine the sound that goes with this picture, THAT'S what Lauren sounds like.

  • "Have you ever been LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED?" she yells, as people's eardrums start bleeding in the audience.


  • "Have you ever been LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED?!" she shouts again, as Raoul and I both scream in unison "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEBODY STOP HER!"


  • Finally she stops and the pain is over. Dicko says it was a more relaxed song. WHAT THE FUCK IS HE SMOKING? Is he serious? If that was relaxed, I do not want to see her do an uptight song. Then Dicko tells her she's in the top three performers, but neglects to add "who I would like to see drowned at the bottom of the ocean". Thank goodness I'm here to clarify his opinions.


  • Marcia tells Lauren to close her Os up a bit. If by "Os" she means "mouth", I'm with her.


  • Jay Dee says Lauren's voice has an "edge" to it.


    I'm thinking THIS kind of edge.


  • "I'm not sure if you're an Idol or someone who could go and work on cruise ships," Jay Desays. Yes, the line between being the Australian Idol and working on a cruise ship is THAT thin.


Tim for a quick reader poll - anyone miss James Mathison? Anyone? Ok, moving along...

"Hey, does everybody remember Dean Geyer?" says Ken Doll.

"Den Geyer? He was in the top five a few years ago?"



Maybe if he'd introduced him as "that guy wot slept with one of the Veronicas for a while" we would have remembered... Oh well, let's move on to TIM which of course means we all get to relive the "Temptations are black" argument.

"I think Marcia was saying the Temptations were the originators of soul music, and so you can't compare," Tim says diplomatically, which is entirely true if you take "the originators of soul music" to mean "black".

In a nutshell:

  • Tim chooses The Beatles' Yesterday, which is the kind of song that practically BEGS amateur singers to fuck around with it, Aguilera style. Naturally, Tim obliges. And actually, he's not bad, although you can almost hear the cogs turning in his head as he tosses up whether or not to attempt any vocal gymnastics. He does, and it's the aural equivalent of this:


  • "I think he thinks he's Stevie Wonder," says Raoul.

    "Who's black," I point out.

    "Stevie doesn't know that," says Raoul. Quite.


  • Marcia has to act positive after last week's black argument, and so gives Tim some completely overblown compliments. Jay Dee says white boys can sing.


    But they still can't jump, fo' real.

  • Dicko says something that I miss because I'm stil debating about whether or not Tim is good looking. I decide that he is, with particularly good teeth, but it's not enough for me to actually care about him. Oh well.



Meanwhile, has anyone ever actually seen Ruby Rose on The 7PM Project? I mean, apart from on the ads? Just askin'.

Next up is ED aka Mr Eyebrows, aka the leader singer from The Darkness aka Mika. To explain more thoroughly:


I double checked this on my Idol calculator. It checks out.


And Ed's chosen to sing...

"THE LIVING END?" Raoul and I both yell, simultaneously spitting beer all over the coffee table.

White Noise? Are you serious? I don't even like this song when the Living End do it. Unsurprisingly, Ed is no better.

"All that I'm hearing from yooooooou is white nooooooiiiise," he cracks.

Meanwhile, all that we're hearing from Ed is a pile of shit. Still, at least it's not Jeff Buckley.


"Phew, thanks Ed."
(and yes, I KNOW Hallelujah is actually Leonard Cohen, Not Jeff Buckley but it's not as funny so leave me alone, orright?)


Jay Dee says it was too similar to Ed's last song, and even though he wants consistency, he wants people to do things differently all the time. So go work that out, Ed.

"I think you need to clear your ears out, Jay Dee..." begins Dicko, prompting some overzealous Ed fans to start clapping and cheering in the audience, all "in your FACE, Jay Dee!" style.

"...because that was out of tune," he finishes, shutting everyone up. YES, SCORE ONE DICKO!

Marcia says something but I'm so distracted by the bumfluff on Ed's face I have to excuse myself to throw up.

"He's shit, he should just quit now," spits Raoul. Hand up who thinks Raoul should replace Jay Dee as the third Idol judge?


YAY!


Ed complains about having to wear an earpiece and Marcia tells him to pop one out. Still not sure if she's talking about the earpiece, we move on to the next performance, which comes courtesy of three piano playing grasshoppers on the V energy drink commercial. They're quite good.

"That would not happen. Those piano keys would break that little cricket's legs, he wouldn't have enough force to do a slide like that," says Raoul matter of factly.

I concur. But out of 100, I give them 100.

Next up is TENNIELLE who each week is slowly morphing into Taylor Swift. I do wish she'd get back into jeans and a t shirt and get rid of those godawful Shirley Temple curls and Deborah K party frocks, but whoever said train drivers had style?


Not even Posh can rock the train driver look.


In a nutshell:

  • She's chosen that stalwart of the adult contemporary FM station, Sixpence None the Richer's Kiss Me. I am disturbed that a song that somehow became the anthem of a popular 90s teen soap is now considered "adult contemporary".

    "30 IS NOT OLD," Raoul shouts again.


  • I can't quite see what Tennielle is wearing, given that the camera on her has started from the Maccers five blocks away and takes approximately 75 years to reach her on stage. Once it gets there I see Tennielle's revolting aqua wedding frock and wish it would go back - and get me a Big Mac, cheers.


  • Tennielle keeps the wedding theme going by restricting her movement to the old step-together-step-together foot shuffle. Even she looks bored with this.


  • Can we please just make Stan the winner and stop the show now?


  • Dicko says she needs to be a bit more desperate. Yes, a desperate, uncoordinated bridesmaid wailing "kiss meeeeeeee" - THAT'LL SELL RECORDS.


  • "Maybe she was trying to be cool, you know what I'm sayin'?" says Marcia. No one does.


  • Marcia gives an insightful play by play of the last five minutes, saying Tennielle got up and stayed there and walked forward. Thanks for that Marcia, I don't know what we'd do without you.


  • Jay Dee says he'd kiss Tennielle, which is creepy enough without him following it up with "You know, Idol isn't the only entrance for you to get into the music industry."


    Heard of the casting couch, Tennielle?.


Ricki Lee interrupts proceedings to bring us a highly insightful interview with Sabrina, in which she reveals she recently bought her sister a Mars Bar. From this high point of the show we move into TOBY, who's getting his Bono on with U2's With or Without you.

Forgive me for being cynical, but I'm thinking Idol will go on WITHOUT YOU, Toby.

He is seriously nervous, and stumbles through the song without once attempting the Bono crouch. Even Ed did the Bono crouch, and was singing The Living End!

"BORING," declares Raoul, who keeps mumbling about wanting to watch Stephen Fry on the ABC.

Through some miracle, Toby gets a standing ovation from the entire audience - probably because they're amazed that someone over 30 can even climb the stairs to get on stage. Raoul declares it a "pity ovation", likening it to those "Encouragement Award" certificates the thick kids get at school. Sadly I don't know what he's talking about, havng only ever received proper awards at school.


Like this one.


Marcia says thank god for U2. I agree - imagine if all we had was Toby's version of this song? Jay Dee compliments him on his stubble, presumably because he can't think of anything nice to say about his singing. Dicko says Toby's got his new look spot on, which is rather a dubious compliment coming from a man wearing embroidered breasts.


FANCY.


"That was absolutely captivating," says Dicko.

"What was captivating - watching a nervous bloke with no confidence sing a crap song?" guffaws Raoul.

Moving on to our final performance of the night (THANK THE LORD), it's HAYLEY who kicks off strongly by declaring the last song she sang, by Diesel, is an "old person's" song. Everyone who lived through the 90s without nappies on cries in shame.

Hayley is steadfastly refusing to be awesome by choosing to sing Kelly Clarkson's I Do Not Hook Up INSTEAD OF PINK, GOD DAMMIT, ARE YOU STUPID GIRL? But actually, I take it back, this IS pretty awesome. It's kind of like Pink singing Kelly Clarkson at a karaoke bar after one too many tequilas. And even if Hayley is wearing the same thing she's worn for the last three weeks, she's rocking it out AND I LOVE HER. She does need to stop lurching about the stage like a member of the Munsters, but hey - she discovered eye makeup last week, she's shown she's quick to adapt. She gets a well deserved standing ovation.

"She slammed that," says Raoul approvingly.

"I'd go so far as to say she smashed it," he continues. I concur.

Jay Dee says he wants to see the evolution of Hayley.


I think that would look like this.


Dicko borrows Marcia's Idol calculator and says Hayley is 50% per cent invincible and 50 per cent vulnerable, kind of like a fluffy bunny with an uzi. Marcia wraps up the judging with another pointless comment and then it's up to Ken Doll to break the news to everyone that Idol won't be back until next Sunday.

A whole week without Idol?


OH NOES.


"I hope it never comes back ever," snarls Raoul, reaching for the remote to switch over to the ABC, but not before Jay Dee says he'd take his hat off to all the performers, if only he was wearing one. And he might also take his pants off if Tenielle still wants to kiss him.

And as the cheers die down and Ken Doll throws over to Rove, we conclude the wildcard episode by with the revelation that Jeff Goldblum didn't die on a cliff in New Zealand, he jut joined the Australian Idol band.


Jeff's not dead, he's just joined a band.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Idol wildcard wrap up cometh...

...tomorrow!

Check back here around lunchtime tomorrow (that's Monday, August 31) and ye shall be rewarded.

While you're waiting, you can relive the joy of the 2007 series (my personal favourite) by scrolling through past posts here.

Or you could watch this video of an American news reporter being stung by a bee on loop for the next 20 hours. Your choice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: Semi Final 4

Gosh, it seems like only 24 hours ago that we were here watching teenagers standing on stage and shrieking, and... pardon? It WAS only 24 hours ago? Right, well that makes sense then. Thought I might have gone Idol-mad.


Like this one.


To last night's voting results - first through is Sabrina Batshit Crazy, otherwise known as SabrinArena or Mini Tina. Or tonight, "Sabrina of the Jungle", as she's come dressed in an ultra ultra ultra mini leopard skin dress. It is not flattering.

"Thank you to all the fans, you have no idea the magic you're creating - thank you," she beams, as though she's been performing for 25 years and has millions of fans around the world who have bought all of her 15 albums and greatest hits collections.

Second through the gate is surprise EFFING surprise Scott the brickie's labourer. In other amazing news, the sun came up this morning. Scott looks stunned, as well he should because he is AVERAGE.

"Oh my god," he says in that incredibly articulate way he's become renowned for.

TWELVE MORE WEEKS. Keep that in mind, Scott fans.

Cut to Ricki Lee, who tonight is dressed as a slightly overweight Olympic gymnast with prosthetic legs. I'm not sure what she said, I was distracted by the amount of buckles on her calipers.

Let's move on to the performances, shall we? First up tonight is 21 year old KIM COOPER, otherwise known as the chick who plays Madonna on the Idol ad. She's very smiley and blonde and cute and has a penchant for wearing the entire contents of her accessories drawer at the one time. Unfortunately tonight she's forgotten to wear pants, strolling on in a singlet and ripped stockings. Ah well, at least her bangles look good.

She's singing Katy Perry's Waking up in Vegas - rather aptly, given she's strolling about on stage with no pants on looking a bit confused.

Dicko auditions for the Obvious Olympics by saying she's a super hot girl singing pop.

"She looks like the crazy frog - ding ning ning ning ning," shouts Raoul, completely refuting what Dicko has just said.

"Woah, what's Marcia wearing? She looks like Chewbacca - raaoowwwooorrrrrrr," he continues, ensuring I hear nothing of what Marcia has to say. Jay Dee tells Kim not to worry about marketing people, which perhaps means we can ignore him for the rest of the series.

Next up is ED ZAIDEN, otherwise known as the lead singer of The Darkness.


I believe in a thing called Idol.


He's singing Eskimo Joe's new single, whatever that's called. The power pop tune is a good choice for Ed, who up to this point has been nodding off half way through valium charged performances of Hallelujah.


And it was Ed.


He attacks it with enthusiasm, squealing falsetto half way through (which doesn't help dispel any of those Darkness comparisons), but in the end his monobrow is too distracting. The whole thing is like a pissed Aggro doing karaoke.

Marcia says something inconsequential. Jay Dee says Ed needs more consistency.

"Jay Dee looks like a banana Paddle Pop," squeals Raoul. Mmm, creamy consistency.

Dicko says he connects better with Ed when he's a bit trippier. Then he says there's something dead in him and he needs to find it, which sort of suggests things are perhaps trippy enough behind the desk.

Next up is LUCIE JOHNSON. There's a name you can see in lights. She's doing Beyonce's Sweet Dreams, and it's really quite goo... WHO CONVINCED HER TO WEAR THOSE BLACK PVC LEGGINGS? Honestly, she looks like something you can buy at Bunnings. But actually, Lucie is awesome. REALLY AWESOME. OMG - NEW FAVOURITE! I'm loving it - and clearly so is Jay Dee, who is leaning back in his chair with his eyes closed and an intense look on his face. Maybe he's just popped some of whatever Dicko had during Ed's set. Either that, or one of the unlucky finalists from last night has crept under the desk in a final bid to secure a place on the show.

"She smashed it lyrically. She blew it out of the park," garbles Raoul.

Jay Dee says it takes more than a good voice to succeed in the industry. IT ALSO TAKES BLACK PVC LEGGINGS. Still coming down from his trippy Ed drugs, Dicko confuses himself for Jeremy Clarkson and says Lucie has a Ferrari but needs a destination. Then he asks the Stig what he thinks. Sensibly ignoring him, Marcia decides to give Lucie a mid-show exam, saying "Do you know what they just said? Tell me."

"I have to give you props," she continues, before handing Lucie a hatstand and a feather boa and getting her to improvise a scene. Good to see Dicko's sharing those drugs around.

Moving along to TIM JOHNSTON a 28-year-old barista who likes to pretend he's Stevie Wonder. And in fact, that's exactly what he's doing tonight - Signed Sealed Delivered.


When will they learn?


To be honest, I miss most of his performance due to a continued debate with Raoul about whether or not Tim is good looking.

"He's not smashing it," says Raoul suddenly in that disturbing new jargon he's picked up from Jay Dee.

"Lyrically?"

"At all."

He's right - Tim looks pained, sings off key for a bit and then resorts to the old "come on!" to get the audience to clap along. Even the people holding up Tim signs are disappointed.

Dicko says he's soulless and says he's singing the wrong music. Predictably enough Marcia jumps in and tells Tim to sing what he likes singing, which is all very nice but won't win you a recording contract.


It didn't work for him either.


Jay Dee tries for a silver medal in the Obvious Olympics by saying it wasn't as good as The Temptations, upon which Marcia goes into hysterics over the fact that the Temptations were black.

"They were black, they were black, mm-hmm, know what I'm sayin'?" she shrieks, as everyone looks on slightly horrified.


The Temptations. They were black.


After a good 45 seconds of awkward flailing about it transpires that Marcia thinks only black people can sing soul music properly, which would seem to refute the 50,000 times she's said "I just love blue eyed soul" already this series.

"Would you like to pay for the commercial break we're missing," spits Ken Doll as Marcia desperately tries to dig herself out of the big, deep racial hole that Daily Telegraph gossip columnists are currently salivating over.

The ghost of Kyle finally wakes up from his cowboy induced slumber at the rafers bar and slags "SUCKED IN MARCIA, NOW WHO'S OFFENSIVE?"

Moving along to TENIELLE MUSLIN, otherwise known as that cute blonde train driver who's got a much better back story and much more talent than that bricklayer. Also otherwise known as the girl Delta Goodrem felt threatened by during the auditions. Was that awkward or WHAT?

Anyway, she's slung on her best polyester nightdress to sing Taylor Swift's Love Story. If I liked Taylor Swift I'm sure I'd like this. But I don't, so I don't care.

Marcia says it suits her. Not sure if she's talking about the song or the nightdress - which doesn't suit her at all, but as the comment is coming from someone currently dressed as Chewbacca in gym gear I'm not sure it really matters. Jay Dee says if Tenielles' voice matches her look she'll have a career, which kind of suggests it doesn't at the moment. Bummer. Dicko says he's going to start catching trains and she needs to bring on the hurricane. I say she needs to find a friend called Captain and go on a tour of country RSLs, she'll do fine. She can even provide the transport - all aboard!

And finally we wrap up with 18 year old country boy JAMES JOHNSTON, who has misguidedly chosen to do Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, a song that was really amazing about three years ago and is now inexplicably shit.

"I remember, I remember when I lost my mind," sings James.

Yep, I reckon it was just before you chose that jacket, mate. In a tight black jacket covered in zips, black pants, white shirt and black tie, he looks like a mormon doorknocker on disco night. And actually sounds rather like that too.

"OH MY GOD," shrieks Raoul with the enthusiasm of someone who has just realised something of great significance.

"He looks like if you put Ben Stiller in the washing machine and he shrank!"

I concur. James is Mini Zoolander.


So hot right now.


Jay Dee says he's trying to find out where he sits. I think you'll find it's RIGHT AT THE END OF THE PANEL, MATE. Jeez, he's been on for four nights already and he still can't work it out... Marcia tells James to "put the show in the biz". And then take it out. And then put it back in, do the hokey pokey and turn around. And then says actually he can't, because he's not black. Dicko says there's an innocence about James, and a hunger and...

"I FUCKING HATE THIS SHOW. This guy is the worst I've ever seen," shouts Raoul.

I'm so busy staring at him in a shocked fashion I miss the whole rest of the show, but I think we can safely say that Ken Doll made a closing statement, Ricki Lee said something superfluous, Marcia, Dicko and Jay Dee all slid under the desk to do some more hallucinogens and the ghost of Kyle started throwing empty shot glasses at the audience.

As the immortal Heidi Klum once said - who will be in, and who will be out? I'm going for Kim and Lucie.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Australian Idol 09 Wrap Up: Semi Final 3

We kick off tonight's show with the stunning revelation that Andrew G's real name is Andrew Ginsberg. I did not know this. I wonder if this means future episodes will feature him mooching around in the background while the Idols sing and display cue cards in front.*

*If you get this reference, you are automatically my best friend.

Moving on to less intellectual pursuits, we learn the second two finalists to go through to the top 12 are (as predicted by ME last night) Ashleigh Eyebrows and Nerdy Nathan. Cheers and high fives all round! Except for the four losers now standing forlorn on the stage as they realise all their dreams have been crushed.

"How heartbreaking for you guys! You've come all this way only to be told 'no'," enthuses Ken Doll helpfully.

On to the judges, who have again gone with a fancy dress theme for the evening - Marcia has come as the iceberg from Titanic, while Dicko has come as Bangers from 1980s children's cartoon Bangers and Mash.


If I had a picture of Dicko I'd show you and prove it, but you'll just have to take my word that it's rather like this.


Meanwhile, Jay Dee has shown some of that creativity and imagination he's so far become known for by coming as a record executive from Sony.

So, on to the first performance of the evening which is from DANIEL RASO, otherwise known as Epstein from Welcome back Kotter.


Ooh, ooh, Mr Kott-errrr!


Just for something different, he's wearing tight black jeans and a vest. Have there been massive wardrobe budget cuts at Ten? Is everyone sharing the same vest around or what?

And as if the 1970s fro and I've-just-come-from-rehearsals-for-Hair look wasn't full on enough, Daniel has decided to sing You to Me Are Everything by The Real Thing. Who? Exactly.

"Oh god, this is SO bad," grumbles Raoul, who is shuffling in with his dinner to sit next to me for an hour and pretend he doesn't like the show.

"They can pick any song they want, right? And he picks THIS?"

I have to agree. I loved Daniel during auditions - not anymore. This bad. And those jeans give him womanly thighs. Suddenly his hairdo is looking less like a funky fro and more like a perm set.

Dicko says he's shiny, hapy and smiley, and says he'd be a good warm up act for the Wiggles. Iceberg advises him to pop one out. Good idea, maybe that'd sound better. Jay Dee says he hopes there's not "tears from a clown" tomorrow night. Everyone pretends to know what he's talking about and we move on to ALIQUA MAYO, the 16 year old brace face diva.

"Fuck, listen to that girl - she's got a 40 year old woman inside her," shrieks Raoul as they replay footage of Aliqua's audition of Superstition. Maybe it's Marijana?


Yep. Fo' real.


As if Aliqua didn't have enough metal in her face already, she's covered herself in holographic silver sequins to sing I will Always Love You.


Oh, shit.


I applaud the pint sized popette's use of sparkles but that dress is so unflattering it makes her look like an ACTUAL pint glass. And the shoes are BAD. Stripper bad. But damn, girl can sing.

Marcia says she will always love Aliqua or something equally as nauseating and Jay Dee reminds everyone that he's a record executive again, in case anyone's forgotten. Dicko says she looks like she's in her mum's frock playing with her parents' record collection. Ouch.

"I agree, maybe I do look like I'm wearing my mum's clothes," Aliqua says bashfully, making me want to smash through the television and give her a hug (as opposed to Daniel's performance, which just made me want to smash the television). Meanwhile, Raoul launches into a rendition of I will always love you to our dog Charlie.


Charlie isn't interested.


Moving right along to NICOLE BANKS, otherwise known as this year's "theatrical type", aka the girl with a habit of taking pop songs like Womanizer and Poker Face and turning them into ballads.


REMEMBER BRIANNA? The horror... the horror.


Tonight she's turned her attention to Coldplay's Viva La Vida, and it's... wow. Just... wow. And not in a good way. She might as well just leave stage now, go back to her hotel, pack her bags and pay her minibar bill because she is never getting through with this one.

Jay Dee says she stamped her own style on it. If that style is "dull, boring and out of fashion" then I agree. Dicko says it was dusty and dead. Oh sorry, "dead interesting". I think the first assessment is better. Marcia says she's like timber. Oh sorry, she has an interesting "timbre" to her voice. I think the first assessment is better.

Next up is JASON BARTLETT, otherwise known as indigenous Kyle.


They could be brothers. But not BROTHERS.


"Tonight, Jason will be singing an Eric Clapton classic - Tears in Heaven," says Ginsberg.

"Ohhhh noooooooooo," Raoul and I simultaneously cry.

"Tears in heaven? More like spew on the couch," he cries, covering his ears with two cushions. Even the dog has left the room.

"Would you know my name, cos I saw you in heaven," Jason sings. Hmm. Not QUITE sure that's right...

A "larger" gent, Jason has to try a bit harder than the other Idols to impress with his "look". Fortunately he's decided to dress in a tartan shirt, jeans and sneakers tonight which - as you can imagine - is blowing everyone away. Add a bit of Clapton and the whole thing is one shaker of Midori Illusions away from being karaoke night at your local.

Dicko says it's great to see Jason singing on stage. Which begs the question - what the fuck else was Dicko expecting him to do out there? Marcia says once he got over his nerves it was sweet.

"Sweets? Where?" gasps Jason and bolts off stage.

Jay Dee says he loves his heart and he did a great job.

"What the fucking fuck did they just watch?" screams Raoul. I don't know Raoul, I just don't know anymore.

Let's roll straight on to SCOTT NEWNHAM, this year's "Idol with a back story that is so interesting and ironic it doesn't matter if he doesn't actually have any talent". Scott's 20, personality free and has so little movement in his face he could very well be a Botox addict, but because he is a brickie's labourer who has never sung in public before and can still sing vaguely in tune, he has automatically become the judges' darling.

Scott decides to wow everyone by choosing a song by violent woman abuser Chris Brown. Luckily, everyone's forgotten about that story already so he's fine. His status as the judges' favourite becomes clearer when we realise he was the only Idol from tonight's lineup to get an invite to the judging panel fancy dress party - he's come as 1994.

So anyway, he wears a stupid cap and a stupid basketball shirt and diamond earrings and he yells a few lines over the top of 50 backing vocalists and some synth, and his face doesn't move the whole time and yeah, he'll probably get in with this shit. Jay Dee is squirming in his chair, just BURSTING to shriek the immortal line: "I CAN TOTALLY SEE THE TYPE OF ARTIST YOU WANT TO BE!" Well duh, it couldn't be any more obvious if he rubbed shoe polish on his face and came out singing "I wanna be Chris Brown".

"That was shit, but it was the best performance of the night - if that's saying anything," says Raoul to the dog.

He's right, sadly. Even Charlie the puppy agrees. Sing anything that's been on the charts in the last five years and you're sorted. Charlie gets on Aria.com.au and suggests Daniel should have sung something by The Potbelleez. I'm not sure I agree, but I admire his Googling skills.


Mad internet skillz. My dog haz them.


Marcia says this is stupid. For once, I agree. Dicko makes some comment about tradies being popular with women (duh, hello, they can FIX THINGS, we like that shit).

"Now they can say something like 'from bricklayer to chick layer'," says Raoul in between cups of tea.

"Or from brick layer to di..." he continues before Charlie bites his finger to stop the onslaught of innuendo. Thanks, Charlie.


Jay Dee says the band was outstanding. Er - there was a band? Jay Dee continues the round of surprises by saying when he gets excited he just can't keep it in.


This guy knows a bit about that, too.


Moving along to our final performer for the evening, 24 year old SABRINA BATSHON otherwise known as Sabrina "Batshit crazy", aka mini Tina Arena.


I'm in chaaaaaaains....


Seeing that clip of Sabrina in that god awful black rubber mini skirt for the 503rd time almost puts me off typing altogether - fortunately I pull myself back from the brink in time to hear her launch into the Pussycat Dolls' Hush Hush.

Hmm. It's... not bad. Not bad at all. Despite the fact that Sabrina is intensely irritating for no reason that I can pin point (is it the stuck-in-the-90s styling? The shorts with cuffs? The big hair? The sudden style backflip from rubber mini skirt and give-away T shirt ensemble to Table 8 stretch lycra cocktail dress? The fact that she's a little too similar to Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman?) I have to admit the girl has talent. She can sing, she's got stage presence, she's entertaining. I JUST DON'T LIKE HER.

"You know, she's smashing it lyrically," muses Raoul in between mouthfuls of toast, sounding worryingly like Jay Dee.

Yes, Sabrina annoys the shit out of me, but I admit it - she's the "full package".

Jay Dee suffers a sudden lapse of sanity and pretends he's on American Idol, saying she "knocked it out of the park". WE PLAY CRICKET HERE, SPRINGBOK. IT'S AN OVAL. Dicko continues his run of gay jokes by suggesting Sabrina could be a new gay icon. Dozens of drag queens around Sydney take a drag on their durries and slag "Not in THOSE shoes, dahhhhling!". Marcia says something boring as usual and there we are, we're at the end of the show! That wasn't too painful, was it?

Who'll get to kiss the pope's ring tomorrow night? I'm guessing Aliqua and Scott. Sabrina's clearly got the most talent out of ths bunch, but I'm predicting that (like me) people will hate her guts for no good reason. Hopefully she'll get to coast in on a judges' wildcard.

See ya tomorrow, Idolites!

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.


Brides of CHRIST, WHAT IS SHE WEARING?


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.


"STOP COPYING ME, SONY BOY."


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.