Scott, To Be Certain


Thursday, August 30, 2007

AI5: Verdict 3 & Semifinal 4

A wise reader of this site succinctly identified that the voting pattern of this series seems to involve nothing more complex than the following equation: 1 good person + 1 shit person = Finalists.

I tend to think it's more a case of "Vote 4 1 good person & OMG my fone is da shit LOLZ!!!!11!1 fuk who sang last o yeah that lost 1 OMG I luv Dean Geyer 4eva!!!11!".

Last night again delivered into the Top 12 a deserving competitor (Ben McKenzie, looking singularly uncomfortable above in an unsuccessfully executed bloke-like photographic pose) and an undeserving one (Marty Simpson, looking a lot like Agro by way of Summer Bay). At least Marty has a distinctive voice and has shown potential (provided he devises an arm strategy for future performances).

How did our last set of young lassies do?

6. Morgan Hosking (a.k.a. Honking Orgasm), "You Learn" (by Alanis Morissette)

We shouldn't really have very high expectations of Morgan because she has virtually no imagination. Q: What should I wear? A: BLACK! Q: What should I perform? A: "Special Ones" by george! (She performed this TWICE, once at her first audition and again as her final Top 64 solo.) Q: What should I perform if I'm a black-obsessed, crucifix-wielding, goth-loving alleged rock chick and "Special Ones" is apparently ineligible? A: Alanis, of course!


Yep. Nothing quite like a moderately successful fifth single with uplifting lyrics from a seminal pop-rock album to communicate alleged angsty, gothic tendencies. More like sex with a cadaver than a honking orgasm, this was a wet, lifeless, amateur abortion of a performance. At least she got her Amy Lee on something chronic dress-wise. Obviously I would have given her extra points if she'd sung kneeling down in something like this:

But alas it wasn't to be. Dicko memorably likened her to a drunk bridesmaid at a gothic wedding, but Marcia said it best when she declared simply, "I think you got through it." Only just.

5. Madison Wildenstein Pritchett (a.k.a. Constipated Mirth), "When You're Gone" (by Avril Lavigne)

This performance was the most joyously close to a re-enactment of the great 2005 Laura Gissara debacle that we've ever had. Another serial song selector (she twice sang Kelly C's "Because of You" in the audition stages), Madison spiced up her performance not only with unwieldy, dramatic arm movements, but also with a deplorable, glass-shattering key change. It was a moment of quiet contentment for viewers to watch Madison grapple with recalcitrant hairs that stubbornly attached themselves to her face. Buh-bye.

4. Rosie Ribbons, "Everybody Hurts" (by R.E.M.)

Not content to let Parasite Williams Vushe be the only affordably dressed contestant, Rosie carved up her Mum's 1980s silver-specked clutch purse and glued it on to a Bonds t-shirt for last night's performance. Thankfully, she left her Gippsland shopping centre eyeliner at home and looked otherwise reasonably presentable, but for a UK Pop Idol Top 6 alumna and glamorous Dubbo resident, her output last night was not only disappointingly bland but also a televisual laxative. She managed to excise all emotion from Michael Stipe's aching lament, replacing it with hilariously ill-judged vocal aerobics, and lengthening her vowels to the point that she often forgot the word she'd begun to sing only nanoseconds earlier. The best example of this was toward the end when what should have been "Everybody Huuuurts..." became instead "Everybody Hwooooooooooaaaaaiiiiigh!". Perhaps she was just greeting us. Bless.

But obviously the best part of Rosie's performance was the judging. Now as we all know, Marcia Hines is best friends with every major successful songwriter and recording artist, loves and/or has expert knowledge of every major successful song ever written, and has often additionally recorded the song the relevant Idol performer has just sung. Last night was no exception: it just so happens Rosie had the misfortune of choosing "Everybody Hurts" IMMEDIATELY AFTER Marcia recorded it! Shithouse timing, Ribbons: why didn't you do your homework? The only correct modern interpretation of this song is clearly a storming disco-pop re-imagining. At least Marcia delved into her first bit of constructive feedback for the season: "Too many licks, dahlin'", which, although spot on, is something you just intrinsically sense does not usually form the basis of a protest from Marcia.

3. Sarah Lloyde (a.k.a. Really Sad Ho), "...And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)" (by Jennifers Holliday & Hudson)

The only thing Sarah loves more than redundant, unpronounced letters is the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Sarah loooooooooooooves the Dreamgirls soundtrack and wants to marry it, as evidenced by her performance of Beyoncé's "Listen" in her first audition (complete with Beyoncé's sister-girlfriend diction: "Listen...Mm-hmm"), and then last night's butchering of the production's one true show-stopper, which most recently bagged fellow Idol alumna J-Hud an Oscar (something which I foreshadowed, just FYI). It was a capable performance, but if we're meant to be holding these potential finalists to a certain standard, then there's no way Sarah makes it. Putting award-winning versions aside, Sarah's effort wasn't even 1% of a patch on the previous American Idol semifinal versions performed by Frenchie Davis or LaKisha Jones. Still, she ranks Number 3 on a horrendous night for the girls. This season is sooooo going to be won by a boy. At least Marcia piped up with another pearler, in response to an inference by Dicko that Mark has had surgery: "This isn't about what Mark's done. To himself. Which is a lot."

2. Brianna Carpenter, "Fidelity" (by Regina Spektor)

Another Mom creation

This performance should be book-marked for future reference: along with Brianna's tenuous stylistic resemblance to Chanel Cole comes the potential that Marcia will soon begin to hate her. Will Marcia's assertion after this performance that "Brianna won't get on my nerves!" come back to bite her? We'll see. As for the performance itself, there are a few points to note. First: Björk is in da house again. The splendid Emzed has kindly sourced for me the Margaret Cho skit in which she impersonates Björk to side-splitting effect: it can be viewed here (at around 3m40s). Amazing. And while Hello Krostie innocently invited peripheral comparison to the Icelandic star in her semi-final performance on Monday night, nothing could quite have prepared us for the startling eccentric imitation provided by Brianna last night. Words fail me, etc.

I really, really enjoyed Brianna's vocal - it's actually a wonderful song - but the faux coquettish theatrics in a dress designed by HER MOM detracted from it slightly, not to mention the calculated quirk factor in her facial expressions. Speaking of facials: someone get this bitch a Neutrogena face mask and sliced cucumber quick smart. Sandpaper is obviously no stranger to carpenters, and this one is no exception. Points, though, for a tremendous smackdown of Kyle. When he said he wasn't into the song, she said simply, "Yeah... I didn't really expect you to be." Glorious.

1. Holly Winehouse Weinert, "Easy" (by The Commodores and Faith No More)

Holly loves Sunday mornings: first she sang No Doubt's song of the same name at her first audition, then last night sang about being particularly easy on said mornings. An ice addict, perhaps? Who knows, but she was quite clearly last night's best. Marcia was on fire again when she self-thesaurusised her commentary: "In it, amid it, amongst it all, you stayed, remained, yourself." Did she lift that from a poem? Gold.

Methinks it's Holly and Brianna who are through to the finals, but on the basis of goldfish memories, Rosie Ribbons is in with a shot.

All I can say is: bring on the Wild Card. There is some serious rectification necessary to salvage this from being the worst Top 12 in history.

POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of the Wild Card. Treasured reader Danni wants to know who I endorse for a shot at the Wild Card.

Assuming 8 contenders, I think these 6 people will be invited back: 2 from tonight. Or they could pull what they did last year and inflate the number of boys, based on the girls being generally shithouse. Who knows. Whatever the case: it's all about Husny and Cheray.

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  • At 2:33 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Ben said…

    "Neutrogena face mask and sliced cucumber" = GOLD Scott. The Brianna analysis had me in stitches.

    I think you were too hard on Sarah though. At least she looked and sang like she gave a rat's arse, unlike most of the others.

  • At 3:32 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Danni said…

    Loving your work Scott! I agree with Ben, "Neutrogena face mask..." had me in stiches too!
    Would love to hear your predictions for the Wild Card...

  • At 3:36 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Loopy said…

    Hi Scatt. I agree with Danni. Wild Card predictions please. By the way ... great work. Has me in hysterics!!

  • At 3:40 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    Hi Scott. I'm totally with you re:Holly, she was great! Loved your write up for Morgan Hosking, so nasty.

    You know, I reckon idol contestants' would pay good money to have you as an advisor during the idol process, for both song & fashion related business.

    By the way, check this out:

  • At 4:03 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Danni said…

    Thanks Scott! I agree with your predictions, although I quite like Lyall and would rather him than Jack.

  • At 4:36 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    I laughed so much during your Brianna bit. So true about her face (but I still like her, even if the performance was a bit cutesy-moopsy). Her comment to Kyle was one for the history books.

    I think it'll be Holly and Sarah (big notes win votes) with Brianna going through to the wildcard round.

    I so hope Hunsif doesn't get through. I hope the judges recognise he's not right for this show and that voters prefer the eclectic stylings of people like Hunsi or Brianna. I'd like De Costa to get in purely because he's the only sexy male contestant so far.

  • At 4:54 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Franklin - bless your socks, regardless of the material with which they were made. If only such a gig existed! Love that article, BTW.

    KC - it will be interesting to see where Brianna sits with viewers. You're probably right about Sarah.

    Danni & Loopy - hopefully the Wild Cards are palatable, though I think Lyall really failed to deliver the other night.

  • At 5:23 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Asian Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken Salad...Chicken Salad.

  • At 5:39 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Anonymous: how brilliant is the Cho? I think there is definitely cause for some Margaret Cho Appreciation Mania shortly. For mine, her finest moment is definitely the following:

    "The gay bar in Edinburgh is called 'CC Bloom's'. 'CC Bloom' was the name of the character Bette Midler played in 'Beaches'. That is gayest thing I have ever heard. They should just call that place 'Fuck Me In The Ass'."

  • At 6:45 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    I cherish, covet, worship and stalk I'm The One That I Want and Notorious C.H.O.

  • At 8:23 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    Oh man, Cheray didn't make it! WTF? At least Husny and Mark made it.

    I wrote about it here. I think it's nice that the show's producers allowed Sarah Polley to get into the final 12, doncha think?

  • At 11:01 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Scott, I have so much to say:

    1. Brianna needs to be shot for stripping that brilliant song of its emotional reality and making a farce out of it.
    2. The girls were overall better than the boys and the obscene imbalance in the wildcard choices was outrageous.
    3. Cheray was rorted by Hello Kitty and her exclusion from the wildcards is doubly outrageous.
    4. I think Brianna got up on the strength of her Kyle put down.

    and 5. You always leave off the clincher from that Margaret Cho line... when she adds, softly, a few seconds later, "Bar and Grill"


  • At 12:41 PM, August 31, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    KC - Have you read Margaret's book called "I'm The One That I Want"? It's brilliant - equal parts funny and heartwrenching, and features some of the best writing I've ever read.

    As for Cheray - WTF? I think I summed up my current stance in the latest post... I hadn't noticed the Sarah Polley thing, but you're right. Speaking of SP - have you seen 'Away From Her'?

    Weasel - the continued favouritism towards boys is definitely annoying, mostly because of the Cheray omission. They did it last year too. At least last year there was good reason (the remaining girls were shithouse, including Klancie). Hello Krostie is definitely on borrowed time.

    As for the Cho quote - I actually don't enjoy that "Bar & Grill" clincher as much. It's better suited to American audiences.


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