So I’ve decided this will be the year I reacquaint myself with my old friend Australian Idol. Season 1 was fantastic, an instant hit with everyone under thirty years of age. The second season trailed this pace, culminating in a shockingly bad decision to crown Casey Donovan the winner. From there things unravelled, as Dicko left and Crapbag Sandilands filled the void.
But this year, Idol promises to be better than ever. Dicko’s back, Crapbag was fired, and that bug-eyed host is making love to Hughesy out the back of the 7PM Project. So I decided to tune in on Sunday and watch the wildcard show. Of course, a show about singing that lasts two hours whilst only featuring singing for 20 minutes of that is bound to lose my attention, so to keep myself entertained, I sadly choose to record a running diary of the show. Here it is:
6:50- Alright, the show’s been running for 20 minutes and no one has actually sung anything yet. Instead we were welcome to a brief verdict for Thursday night’s performances, with the token teenage heartthrob predictably voted into the Top 12. First up is Lucie, a 16 year old who performs an unrecognisable version of Boogie Wonderland. Despite being of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, her makeup seems to have been done in a way that gives her an Asiatic touch, if that’s not being too culturally insensitive. Either I’m imagining things, or this could be the smartest ploy to gain votes since Guy Sebastian became straight.
7:01- Next up is Casey, and not of the Donovan variety. He sings a mundane version of a mundane song from the music world’s most boring group, The Fray. Casey only maintains my interest because as far as I can tell, he is the first contestant ever to have multiple visible tattoos. When did the proliferation of tattoos in modern culture seep into television? Ruby Rose, you have a lot to answer for.
7:11- Another schoolgirl performs, this time Celine Dion. Another schoolgirl underwhelms. But again my interest is maintained by another milestone in Idol- the first contestant to simultaneously wear her mother’s clothes and have braces.
7:12- Her name (Aliqua) sounds like a lazily named brand of liquor.
7:14- JD’s response to her performance- “Nope. Didn’t do it for me”. Why has he not been on this show the whole time?
Dicko describes the song as a 50th wedding anniversary tribute. She says that yes, she understands this, which begs the question: then why did you go ahead and do it. By the way, my viewing company for tonight- Scott, my sister’s basketball coach’s husband. I have no idea what he is doing here.
7:17- An uncomfortable silence has enveloped the room, and it’s entirely my doing. A female farmer (farmerette?) who is one of the Top 12 is being interviewed by Ricki-Lee. Scott mentions that she is a lesbian. When I ask how he can be so sure about this, he responds with “Doc Martens”. We both crack up at this, only for my mum to wander into the room, wearing what else but a pair of Doc Martens.
7:23- In my mind the only attractive contestant, a girl called Lauren, comes out and immediately sets about butchering a Kelly Clarkson classic (ha!).
7:26- Somehow she rescues it, yet is then crucified by the judges, even Marcia. Lauren now has the look of someone who has just discovered the underlying paedophilic motives of Santa Claus’ present-giving. Not a pretty sight.
7:27- Good news! The Soulman is on next.
7:29- James Franco is now on advertising Gucci perfume. How is this a logical career move? From Green Goblin 2.0 to a pothead to cologne spokesman? Who is his agent?
7:34- The Soulman’s singing Yesterday by The Beatles. Oh god.
7:35- Yep, he’s gone the Christina Aguilera route- stretching monosyllabic words into vocal solos.
7:36- What a self-indulgent wank.
7:37- The Soulman is complimented on his “commitment to the song” by JD. Which I can only assume means he stayed around until it finished.
7:44- My boy Ed is on! Singing “White Noise” by the Living End. Should be intense, he’s basically the only one of the bunch who can actually sing. By the way, he reminds me of a cross between Sideshow Bob and Marshall from HIMYM, with the eyebrows of John Howard.
7:48- Is it too late to jump on the Soulman bandwagon? Ed disregards common vocal principles (pitch, timing) in a cringe-inducing performance.
7:55- Arielle the train driver is up now. Her performance is patchy, what with her not being able to actually sing, yet the judges disregard this in preference of focusing on her looks. This seems a bit unfair; compared to train drivers she’s Miranda Kerr, but against the other contestants she is merely Taylor Swift (and that’s not a favourable comparison.
8:00- Top three singers in history of Idol:
3. Paulini- The first real powerful woman’s voice
2. Jessica Mauboy- Precociously talented
1. Guy Sebastian- Incomparable, the original Australian Idol
8:09- The biggest WTF moment of the night- Ricki-Lee riffs for at least 60 seconds with one of the finalists about their shared love of chocolate. The contestant actually has to remind her that people are waiting to sing.
8:14- A music teacher gives us easily the best performance of the night with U2’s “With or Without You”. Unfortunately this path has been well-trodden due to the success of Damian Leith, so he’s got zero chance of winning.
8:22- Tonight’s final contestant, Hayley, a 17 year old surfshop worker, pulls out yet another one from Kelly Clarkson’s dazzling catalogue of hits. An energetic performance leads to rave reviews from the judges, and that’s the end of the show. Overall, it was a solid if unspectular program, hindered mainly by an overabundance of advertisments and a mediocre bunch of performers. However, it still crapped all over the inexplicably successful dancing with the stars.