Scott, To Be Certain


Monday, November 21, 2005

The Journey is Over

During last night's stupendously shithouse final performance show on Australian Idol 3, the camera darted out to an emotional Anne Robertson, her face awash with tears.

"Goodbye forever, Australian Idol TV Show," her eyes seemed to say. "I could have taken this show somewhere magic. Instead, mmm-hmm, these bitches are seriously blowing it."

Of course, what she was actually thinking was, "Thank our benevolent God for humans, and larynxes, and Emily Williams, who is, in defiance of centuries' worth of advanced medical understanding, my heart (and also, at times, confusingly, Marcia Hines's)."

"Congratulations - your heart is a healthy girl."

But the fact remains. Kate De Rouge dished out more of her consistent flatlining brand of "quite good", but Emily was so far below par she was virtually handing the title to Kate. (Though in her defence, Emily's woeful rendition of the most amazing pop song in a decade, "Since U Been Gone", was actually better than Kelly Clarkson's own performance of that song at the American Music Awards.)

And, since this is Australia, voters might just decide that Emily really is just an unchaste little thing from New Zealand who's really just not all that much better than our dinky-di, blond, slimming, country-town, Venetta Fields-coached-and-therefore-John-Farnham-impersonating young (possibly, in the future) powerhouse.

So who to vote for? There's a certain importance in the choice.

I know I am in the minority, but the fact is that both previous series of Australian Idol have delivered the correct winner. Obviously, Guy as winner of series one was a no-brainer (see Figure 1).

Fig. 1: A no-brainer

Barring Ricki-Lee's ejection and potential future touchdown opportunities therefore unexplored, and setting aside Anthony Callea's stunning rendition of "The Prayer", the correct choice as winner for series two was still Casey Donovan. She remains an amazingly gifted interpreter of song who earned five touchdowns in a single series. She just happened to be extremely poorly marketed by a misguided team of short-sighted alleged professionals, and was not helped by her own failure to grasp the concept of sentence structure.

Now neither Kate nor Emily has truly risen to Guy/Shannon/Cosima/Anthony/Casey/Ricki-Lee heights. But of the two, Emily is the only appropriate choice, despite her performance "efforts" last night. For Kate to win with no touchdowns and for just generally being "quite good" would be a bit shit, really. Emily needs to take this out if the show is to be saved at all.

But then again, perhaps it doesn't need saving. Three series is a good innings. That's two more than X-Factor, and precisely three more than "Cooks".

May the least objectionable singer "win".


  • At 1:01 PM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Antman said…

    Last night I wondered to myself: "Why did Emily chose Kelly Clarkson's MTV Awards version as her inspiration?"

    Frankly, Emily was a train wreck, while Kate was "quite good". The difference? I think Kate has more potential to develop into a well-rounded performer (and I'm not talking tuck-shop lady style). What Kate has failed to do in this competition is to choose a song that gives her the opportunity to show what she can do and then to really let go and allow the song and her voice to take over. In either of the first two series, that would have been a fatal shortcoming, and rightly so, but she hasn't been up against that level of competition this time.

    It must be difficult for a young woman to develop the confidence to let go when confronted with unending (and often unwarranted) praise of your main rival, while having to endure several comments on your own physical appearance. Someone should have told her that she just needs to go for the big notes - at least on per performance. The studio audience don't seem to care whether you hit them or not (witness Emily's efforts last night), they'll go apeshit if you just try. And you have to believe that the voting public won't be too dissimilar.

    Emily, on the other hand, just likes to belt 'em out, but has a tendency to confuse volume with power and too often ends up screeching, as she did on a number of occassions last night. She could also drop the vocal gymnastics or "ornamentation" - but that's not a criticism reserved for her, nor was she the worst exponent in this competition of that particular equivalent of a pissing contest.

    So, Emily received two touchdowns. The first was questionable; the second clearly unwarranted, in my opinion. It seems to me that the judges, being essentially impotent once the top 30 has been chosen (two wildcard choices excepted) have pushed one of their wildcard choices to stamp their authority on the competition.

  • At 1:18 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Scott said…

    Emily actually received three touchdowns - "All The Way" , "River Deep" and, quite ironically, "I'm Every Woman".

    The first was just Mark Holden desperately wanting to issue his first. The second was warranted. The third was borderline.

    I agree with you, Antman, about Kate's potential to develop and by the confidence issues associated with the judges appearing to favour Emily. Its effect on Kate was even somewhat confirmed by comments from Kyle on radio, where he revealed that Kate had actually approached him demanding to know whether the judges' praise of Emily was ever truly based on her performance. But fact is, you do what you need to win, and Kate shouldn't need to be told that "notes win votes".

    I also note your veiled stab at Anne's vocal gymnastics. Rest assured, Anne immediately learnt her lesson - her departing performance of "If I Were Your Woman" was stipped back from the previous night to feature a straight, uncomplicated vocal.

    I don't think the judges' support of Emily overall was unwarranted. From Week 2 of the finals onwards, she was the only one to earn that support. I don't actually like Emily all that much on any level, while I think Kate is a beautiful, well-spoken, good-natured invidivual with already well developed skills in diplomacy. But the fact is that Kate did nothing to raise my temperature other than accumulate a bag of decent performances. Emily rocked my socks off with astute song choices right up until about 3 weeks ago.

    Of course, the debate is redundant because the top two place getters historically do quite well (unless you're Casey Donovan). So time will tell. I think Emily as winner serves two purposes - anoints an objectively suitable winner, and frees Kate up for more discerning first venture in a few months' time.

  • At 3:02 PM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Bec said…

    Kate - damn fine singer, well balanced young lady, did't resort to water works / using child to garner votes - she just went about her job. Klye commented to Dan that he liked that he was consistently good week in week out whereas Emily has her "moments", about one or two notes every song, but overall she's too up and down. Take away her power ballads and her performances are pretty flat, out of tune and painful for both her and the audience. IMO Kate deserves to win but like Scott said, I hope for the sake of her career and future back catelogue, she pulls up short.

  • At 4:51 PM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous wiz said…

    I could not handle a Kate win. She looks like a bar fridge, and I don't mean that in a good way.

    Kate's is one face I don't wanna see at next years Melbourne Cup.
    Emily deserves to eat canapes with the social elite. Stuff last night. No one cares.
    Emily, honey, it's all about YOU!
    Kate, go back to your mundane, devon-munching life. You have failed to entertain me.


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