Scott, To Be Certain

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

S2BC's Top 20 Greatest Australian Idol Performances: No. 3

3. Cosima De Vito, "When The War Is Over" (Season 1, Top 8)



Love her or hate her, the bitch had pipes. This was the first ever touchdown, and the fuss remains as easy to comprehend now as then: this was, quite simply, a beautifully constructed, stunningly interpreted vocal masterclass worthy of every plaudit it received.

Where to start? This performance had every ingredient for a memorable Idol moment: inspired re-imagining of a classic; soft, restrained introduction leading to a sea of spectacularly executed power notes; and the surprise attack of a perfect rendition from a technically proficient but vaguely unlikeable competitor (see also No. 4). Listening to the astonishing volume and precision of Cosima's voice through this, it's almost possible to pinpoint the exact moment her nodules began to form.

Cosima underwent one of the most intriguing of all Idol metamorphoses, from monobrow-laden prematurely aging balladeer to surprisingly feminine diva powerhouse. From the pap of her vocally perfect but staggeringly boring semi-final (Celine's "My Heart Will Go On"), through to the promise of her up-tempo Wild Card performance (Delta's "Predictable") and finally to her unexpected sassy rendition of "Hot Stuff", Cosima developed an impressive repertoire. Her latter performances were ultimately taxing (all overwrought balladry and hair extensions), but she remains one of the top 3 female voices to emerge over the 5 years the show has aired. And who knew she would also be a fashion pioneer?



It's difficult to know exactly where things went wrong for Cosima, because watching this makes you believe she could have been a world-beating superstar in the Whitney or Celine vein, and things had started off so well with her extremely successful acoustic version of this song reaching #1 on the ARIA charts in 2004. No doubt it was the astronomically expensive, ill-conceived Diane Warren-penned album of ballads that did the damage, and those cheekbones are rather intimidating: you could cut bread with those babies. And her more recent efforts aren't exactly setting the charts on fire: her latest single, "Keep It Natural", thankfully not a song about eyebrow maintenance, faltered at #112. OOPS. (Shame: the remix is brilliant.)

Poor bitch; it's a mystery, really. Particularly since being ugly never stopped Celine - she's about to release her 16th album:



I KNOW. But that's a whole other post.

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23 Comments:

  • At 10:51 AM, September 21, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    Celine's hair looks RIDICULOUS on that album cover! How the hell is that possible?
    Man, the juxtaposition between these 'best of aus idol' videos and the current series is completely depressing. Cosima was fantastic, and that was an amazing performance.
    Thanks Scott.

     
  • At 12:06 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Rowena said…

    Have you seen the advertising for Disco night? Channel 10 are not even trying to disguise the fact that Rock night was a disaster and are plugging Disco night as if it's going to be the awakening of all the little Idols' talents. Disco is traditionally the genre during which the Idols crash and burn. Is it really going to be any different on Sunday night?

     
  • At 12:24 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    That really was a fantastic perf by Cosima. I loved it then and love it now. I was never a Cosima fan and I still aren't, but that perf was just perfect.

    I love the new idol ads. They're hilarious. I like that they even put some Matt Corby criticism in the ad! Disco week could be another Rock Week all over again or it could be like some warped Showgirls-esque hilarity.

     
  • At 3:03 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger eMZed said…

    A worthy number 3: a goosebumps performance I remember well. Heartfelt. Unhistrionic. Attempts to recapture the performance never came close to reproducing the magic. When she released it as a single it was somehow sad: just a pale reminder of a shining, nostalgic etc. etc.

    And Word on the Keep it Natural remix. I danced to it dozens of times before finding (via your very own sidebarry thing) that it was Our Cosima.

    Do people still say Word?

    Ah, and yes: Crash and burn, Idol inferno. Bring it. Um, on.

     
  • At 11:06 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said…

    I had to review "Keep it Natural" for the street press i do music reviews for. It was not positive and the remix was, I thought, some misguided attempt at luring the gays.

     
  • At 12:37 AM, September 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have so guessed your top three! Don't go changing it to spite me though!

    I would have appreciated a bit of ranting about how much attention Bobby 'The Mask' Flynn got for his rip off of Cosima's reinterpretation of this song...

    (weasel)

     
  • At 3:49 PM, September 23, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Franklin and Rowena - I\'m both scared and thrilled about Disco night. And ditto re Celine\'s hair.

    Weasel - you\'re absolutely right, I was offended by Flynn\'s interpretation. You simply can\'t touch one of the Idol classics. It\'s like if someone tried to sing Climb Every Mountain or The Prayer now - you\'d look away in horror, right? Or at least pity their misguided song choice. SO off-limits.

    KC - the remix was CLEARLY an attempt to lure the gays. However, it improved approximately one million times on the original and it was a killer dance track, no ifs or buts etc.

     
  • At 9:46 PM, November 05, 2007, Anonymous Emily said…

    Please continue the countdown!! When are you going to put up the next video? I'm dying to see what you've chosen as the top two!!

     
  • At 12:46 AM, February 26, 2008, Anonymous Kate F said…

    I still remember where I was Cosima pulled out (ex boyfriends birthday party on cup Eve in Henry St, Prahran) and still to this day use the phrase, "pulled a Cosima" when someone pulls out of something that is just too tough.

     
  • At 6:31 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bobby Finn is far more talented than Cosima, Cosima has a great voice and thats it Boby knows how to use it!

     
  • At 6:03 PM, May 29, 2008, Blogger Peter said…

    I think Cosima is the best talent to ever come out of Idol. No one has ever really shown the talent she has. She is just brilliant. Australian idol dont even mention her anymore.

     
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