Scott, To Be Certain


Sunday, September 02, 2007

AI5's House Of Cards

"Hi! I'm not at all conspicuously absent tonight"

As you can see, I'm still not over the whole Cheray omission scenario. Indeed, her particular performance sensibilities and general sass were sorely missed in a male-dominated Wild Card episode characterised by mediocrity.

However, there was luckily one amazing performance to salvage the devastating array of sheer drivel, and, in defiance of the judges' male favouritism, it came from a woman. And it was a DOOZY. But we'll get to that.

The show was kicked off by a noticeably wired James Mathison, whose already enormously alert eyes were doing their own personal, exaggerated homage to Ren & Stimpy tonight. He added to this startling contribution by later telling viewers, "If you want to know how to enter your Mum in the competition, visit our website..." Of course, he was merely explaining to viewers about the "My Mum Rocks" competition, but I was briefly concerned about which website he was going to be directing us to. This is, after all, a family show.

The judges eventually gave their usual spiel about competitors bringing their "A Game", as if it were simply a matter of remembering to pack the right equipment. Dicko didn't bring his, instead lazily recycling his philosophy from today's Sunday Age Rewind article that "there are no dead ends in life".

"Are those crickets I hear"

Thankfully, Kyle brought his, hilariously encouraging everyone to "sing their ring out". Right on.

So in what order did our Wild Cards arrange themselves tonight?

8. Carl Risible, "Bye Bye Love" (by The Everly Brothers)

This was a much better performance than last week from Cheray's one-time squeeze, but there's just no vocal range or control, let alone dexterity, in this man's terrible voice. If he gets through, you just know it's a matter of time until a John Stevens (American Idol 3) situation befalls us and we pray for the weekly train wrecks to end. Marcia called it "smooth" and she hopes we "get it", but she seems to be giving him kudos for having a penis separately being a credible musician, ignoring the clear reality of his weak, unlistenable voice, and so all we end up "getting" is bored.

7. Husny Thalib, "I Believe" (by Blessed Union of Souls)

Has Mark Holden ever wanted to bone a male before? He has a disturbing fixation with Husny. It could be the arms: Husny's arms are so muscly and prominent they should form their own band. If they did, they would be surely be known as The Thalibarms. Sadly, all Husny could deliver to me tonight was a pun. I wanted to love his performance, and to truly support his inclusion in the Top 12, but after declaring his love for Kate Bush, Britney Spears, Madonna and Prince, choosing an MOR mid-90s ballad from an American rock group was never going to cut the mustard. It seems a bizarre choice from someone who moments before performing declared that viewers "don't want the same thing anymore", which could only have been a reference to heterosexuals or obesity. In any event, this was a really average performance, further marred by a bizarre physical affliction causing him to awkwardly lock one arm in position by his side, almost the exact opposite of that experienced by Marty Simpson. Luckily, it's a very lovely arm.

6. Dave Andrews, "Dolphin's Cry" (by Live)

Swimmer Dave claims to feel an intensely personal connection to the lyrics of this song. That it's called "Dolphin's Cry" makes you instantly uncomfortable about Swimmer Dave's underwater antics. And while this is recognisably better than his last performance, he lost most of the notes in his lower register and meandered aimlessly around the stage like a footpath evangelist. The judging was again the most interesting part about Dave's Idol experience, in which we discover that this is YET ANOTHER of Marcia's 750,000 favourite songs. At this point, SonyBMG's mooted project entitled "Marcia Hines' Favourites" represents a potential compilation filling roughly 80 CDs. Finally, the performance was ably summed up by Andrew G, who encouraged viewers to vote with the emphatic rally cry "This is Dave Anderson!" which in its error-ridden clumsiness demonstrated that we are all already mercifully willing Dave's name from our lives.

5. Jacket Byrnes, "Long Train Running" (by The Doobie Brothers)

Jacket's jacket is less cumbersome this time. He is obviously thinking that the naval-cum-band leader jacket did wonders for Ben McKenzie, except the overall effect instead recalls Courtney Murphy on speed. The rainbow badge on his jacket explains some of the Liza Minelli dance moves from last week, subtly reinforcing that this year's Top 24 features more sister-girlfriends than the producers may have realised. But far from amazing us like Ben, it looks like he's going to be relegated to the bench with Husny: it was a capable but boring performance, saved only from its tranquillising effect by the judging. The judges were brutally honest, including Marcia, who offered actual criticism for the second time this season. As an added bonus, she delivered a sharp backhander to Jacket by complimenting only the guitar riff in the song. Nice work.

4. Sarah Lloyde, "Candyman" (by Xtina Aguilera)

Sarah is continuing her Sex & The City homage, appearing again as Kim Cattrall in short shorts. This performance started strongly, but she arranged the song with terrible, uncomfortable pauses and inept scatting, scarcely overpowering the back-up vocalists. Still, it's enough for 4th place tonight, and Sarah continues to present as a not-entirely-unsaleable marketing product, so there's hope. Meanwhile, it looks like each judge has someone they hate. For Kyle it's Husny, and for Mark it's unquestionably Sarah. As for Marcia, girlfriend is too busy "splitting the difference", whatever the fuck that means.

3. Daniel Mifsud, "Lay Your Love On Me" (by Roachford)

Someone has finally told him about the scarf! And I hate to say that while you could still quite happily upholster a couch from his chest hair, he actually looked really good tonight, and sang a million times better than at his first attempt. Surprise, surprise, this song is another one of Marcia's favourites, which we again learn the instant she opens her mouth. Then: "Your appendages can be one of the most awkward things in the world, can't they?" Marcia hornily enquired, barely restraining herself from offering a little sumtin' sumtin' to put those same appendages at ease. It wasn't quite "in the pocket", the term used by Kyle: rather, it was absolutely in the same ballpark as Dean Geyer and Millsy. The former's first single scarcely bothered the charts and the latter is currently wowing Australian audiences on Channel 9's Quizmania. That's all I'm sayin'. Still, it was good enough for 3rd place tonight, and it looks like we've got a couple of months yet with Idol's very own yeti.

2. Mark Da Costa, "Evie Pt 1" (by Stevie Wright)

UNWRITTEN RULE BREAK ALERT. This song delivered a touchdown last year to Porcine Murphy and I continue to maintain that previous touchdowns simply MUST be avoided. But that misstep aside, it was energetic, professional and sufficiently promising to earn our votes. Viewers, please bring this man's experience to the Top 12 to ensure both eyes and ears will be catered for.

1. Natalie G(r)auci, "Feelin' Good" (by Nina Simone)

As Natalie took the stage, I was immediately concerned about a potential copycat Fantasia Barrino performance: commencing the song seated in a reclined position, coupled with the era of the song being sung, vividly recalled Fantasia's peerless "Summertime" performance from mid-way through American Idol 3. But this grew quickly into its own unique and memorable moment, with Natalie showcasing both her musicianship and her vocal range without resorting to Xtina-style histrionics, demonstrating an intriguing delicate vulnerability in her voice which wasn't previously apparent. Free of excessive make-up and ravenous-crotched pants, Natalie delivered a classy, delicious, unexpected delight - clearly the 2nd best performance of this year so far and guaranteeing a 5th girl into the finals.

We're definitely seeing Natalie, Daniel and Mark in the Top 12. The other spot is truly anyone's guess.

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  • At 2:34 AM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Jacob said…

    I was similarly disappointed by Dave Andrews. Well, not disappointed, because that implies some sort of expectation of a decent performance, but it was pretty crappy. I hate the band Live anyway so he was destined to be bottom of my favourites tonight.

    (PS - Can I 'borrow' your pic of Sarah?)

  • At 9:12 AM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Jacob - I hereby authorise your use of the pic that I myself obviously already obtained legal permission to reproduce!

    As for the performances - I don't think the song was Dave's issue, or the band for that matter. There are several excellent songs by Live that he could have done something with.

    The more I listen to it, the more I absolutely adore Natalie's performance. Is it just me?

  • At 10:36 AM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Jacob said…

    I know! Last night's show belonged to Natalie. Clearly the best of the lot.

  • At 11:04 AM, September 03, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    still laughing at the 'Thalibarms' & 'porcine murphy' comments...

    I'm so disappointed in Husny. Doesn't he know that vocally he is pretty weak, but all he really needs to be is entertaining as all HELL, and we'd be more than willing to put up with him!? Man, he was boring, boring, boring.

    I agree with you regarding Natalie, her performance was great & she looked so cute.

    Sarah's outfit was terrible!

  • At 11:11 AM, September 03, 2007, Anonymous Scathy said…

    What was Monkey boy on last night because I want some! Not only was he bulging out of his eye sockets, he said something that had to be beeped out in reference to "scatting" - which I can only assume was "shit".

    I guess they had to hose him down after the show?

  • At 12:39 PM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Franklin - it's a terrible shame. Husny could have given us a "show". You don't need a good voice to do well on Idol: you just need a sense of theatre. One of my favourite Idol competitors ever finished 3rd on Canadian Idol 2 with no discernible voice but a brilliant flair for the absurd. (His name is Jacob Hoggard and he'll appear in my Top 20 Idol Perfs of All-Time shortly.) Sadly Husny missed his opportunity - namely to sing Prince's "Cream" with his trademark thrust. We're all the poorer.

    Scathy - I think it was probably James hosing someone else down, don't you think?

  • At 1:26 PM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    Yeah, the moment Husny opened his mouth I was instantly frowning. And after 30 seconds I knew he wasn't getting through. Shame.

    I agree that Natalie and Daniel are going through and I can't see why Mark wouldn't. I so hope he does. He's actually attractive!

    If Sarah doesn't get through with the voters then she won't be in the final 12 because the judges ain't putting her through. I have a feeling the judges could put through Jacket.

    The number of songs that Marcia claims to be her favourite could fill 10 lots of those late night infomercial album collections they have on.

  • At 8:06 PM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Adem IAR said…

    Wonder what Axle thought of last nights comments?

  • At 8:10 PM, September 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I must be the only person alive who thinks Daniel Mifsud is actually attractive. Bring on the man fur!

    Natalie's performance was just amazing. If she doesn't go through I am boycotting for the rest of the year.


  • At 8:20 PM, September 03, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    Anon Weasle, I too love a bit of chest hair, but sometimes you need to learn when to button up a bit.

    Also, Carl freakin' Risely got through! If Natalie doesn't get through then something seriously fishy is going on, especially when they didn't even bother with Cheray.

    He must have a big dick and be giving it to all the judges to get this far, quite frankly.

    Also, who else thinks Jacob Butler is already aware that he can't win with Daniel Mifsud and Mark DeCosta in the top 12 battling for the older vote. I'd forgotten he was even in the top 12, already! lol.

    Still, Carl? gross.

  • At 11:41 PM, September 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They have to keep Carl in because he will sell buckets if he manages to come in the first 5. Look at Paul Potts... a number one album here without the show having even been screened!

    I SO want to see Carl do 'In The Navy' on Disco night. Is the only way he could possibly be redeemed, unless the big dick theory is accurate, anyway...

    And at least no-one who really desrved it got passed over in favour of Carl, poor old Cheray notwithstanding.


  • At 9:16 AM, September 04, 2007, Anonymous scathy said…

    The theory on Carl's.. ahem.. member.. and its use as a marketing tool would certainly explain the tension between him and Kyle..

  • At 2:36 PM, September 04, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Adem - I think Axle should be pleased that he has more than one legacy. What is he doing now, anyway?

    Weasel - All I can think of when looking at Daniel is how hilarious it would be for him to catch scabies. Body lice around the world are surely flocking to Daniel as we speak. Now that would be an unfortunate logistical scenario, wouldn't it? I was with you on the pre-Natalie hysteria, but as for the Carl and Paul Potts comparison, you may have lost me... Are you suggesting that swing and opera are similar crowd-pullers in a Mother's Day sense?

    KC - I think Jacob is just pleased to be there, but I do hope he splurges on a couple of extra T-shirts soon. That "Italian Girls Do It Better" is becoming a tad tired, not to mention grammatically incomplete.

  • At 9:01 PM, September 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yep, that's precisely what I'm suggesting. An album of swing covers by an Idol contestant would sell for sure, tragically enough.


  • At 10:46 PM, September 04, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    They would if the swing singer (a swinger?) was good, but Carl isn't even near the levels of Human Nature or Jimmy Barnes' son.


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