Scott, To Be Certain


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

S2BC's Top 20 All-Time Australian Idol Performances: 10-9

This retrospective is a hell of a lot more fun than watching tired, derivative audition episodes, no? Let's get on with the Top 10. But like any good orgasm, this one is all the more enjoyable when prolonged, so we're going to go two at a time (also like any good orgasm).

10. Damien Leith, "Wicked Game" (Season 4, Top 7)

Readers of this site may remember that I wasn't very enamoured of Damien during last year's series. But this performance rewards repeat listens: for non-fans of his falsetto, this song is replete with rich, astute, acoustic melody, with able and memorable guitar self-accompaniment to boot. And what an amazing feat of mimicry. His voice lends itself so beautifully to Chris Isaak's brand of crooning. Outside of Hayley's "Angel" (No. 17 in this countdown), there has perhaps never been an Idol rendition more spine-tinglingly deserving of comparison to the original.

9. Ricki-Lee Coulter, "Proud Mary" (Season 2, Top 10)

Ricki-Lee is this week Number 2 in the ARIA singles chart with "Can't Touch It", a re-imagining of themes first invoked by MC Hammer. Although the song itself sounds suspiciously similar to "Hit Me Up", Gia Farrell's haunting 2006 hymn to domestic violence from the Happy Feet soundtrack, it's a thoroughly deserved debut from Idol's most marketable chipmunk. A great set of lungs - she has one of the sexiest growls of any Australian singer - and, especially, an all too early exit from Idol. Thankfully, we have this gem for posterity. She's got her Tina on something chronic hair-wise, perhaps ill-advisedly, but she was never a more commanding presence than here. I can't remember seeing any other Idol contestant own and explore the stage more naturally and assuredly than in this performance. Extra points for the savvily timed coos and grunts (most notably in the last second). A Young Diva indeed.

Numbers 8 and 7 coming soon...

N.B. For those waiting with baited breath, please note that numbers 8 through 1 do not include anyone from Season 3. ("Thank Christ" - The World)

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  • At 12:32 AM, August 16, 2007, Blogger Fop said…

    No Booby de Rouge? Her Like A Prayer was good enough for your top 8, I reckon.

  • At 9:27 AM, August 16, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Apart from that being one of her most disappointing performances, how can you possibly imagine that I would abide KDR in my Top 8? There are, however, a couple of surprises coming up.

  • At 4:50 PM, August 16, 2007, Anonymous Ben said…

    Surprises? I shudder to think - please no Lavina Williams!

    Otherwise well done Scott - am loving this. Keep it coming.

  • At 5:57 PM, August 16, 2007, Blogger Woodsman said…

    and by surprise u mean Marty Worrell channeling The Karate Kid???

  • At 7:47 PM, August 16, 2007, Blogger lisa said…

    by surprise do you mean Damien Leiths performance of "Celebration"

    i love "Proud Mary" one of my favourite songs ever, not a bad rendition by Lip-Neck, but no-one can beat Tina (not even Ike)

    She is dressed something shocking in that clip.

    Loving the recap Scott

  • At 5:08 PM, August 17, 2007, Blogger EuroTrash said…

    What about Emily Williams singing "All the Way"?? Not only was it a brilliant performance (my eyes got quite sweaty), but she was also very tastefully dressed...

  • At 2:08 PM, August 18, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Eurotrash - that was certainly Emily's finest performance, but if you re-listen to it you'll find quite a bit of pitchiness nonetheless. I loved Emily and she should have won Season 3 but her performances have not withstood the test of time - her bizarre accent, shouty style and generally random note-hitting keep her in the mid-20s at most. I rank All The Way highest though, for what it's worth.


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