Sunday, November 19, 2006


Monday, 22 November 2004

So Casey Donovan is our newest Idol. In making her the winner, Australia has embraced so many different sorts of put-upon minorities that I need a lie down just thinking about it. Yay us, etc.

There are so many reasons this was the right choice.

1. No-one emotes better through song. Dicko was on the money when he said that Casey appears to channel some fragile, bruised part of her soul when she sings, so that each word is imbued with a torrent of feeling. (Actually, those are my words. But Dicko is always on the
money. In so many ways.)

2. Casey was the most consistent performer this year, barring "Eleanor Rigby" (which appears to have been erased, 1984-like, from all our memories).

3. Anyone who can survive that performance of "Eleanor Rigby" without being in the Bottom 3 is a superstar. (Personally, I stand by my original claim regarding that performance: Her so-called lyric lapse occurred after the verse about Father Mackenzie writing the words to a
sermon no-one would hear. Clearly, forgetting the words thereafter was actually part of a clever and ironic textual interpretation by Casey. Brilliant.)

4. She hadn't already declared herself the winner. (cf. Anthony)

5. She has three cousins whose names all rhyme!

The result is unexpected but extremely satisfying, particularly since I placed a $50 bet on Ms Donovan when she was at $4 odds. Not quite the windfall that her original $101 odds would have brought, but nonetheless delightful.

It's been a beautifully circular journey for Casey. She went from an awkward, moody teen in the throes of a Goth phase, to a strikingly attractive young woman coming out of her shell until, finally, realising her dream of a full-on Gothic conquest by wearing a black floor-length
crushed velvet dress on the Opera House stage. (Which, while not altogether flattering, was a damn sight better than that red and gold sari she had previously been wearing. That thing was just sa RONG.)

Seeing the clip of said "journey" simply served to confirm what a brilliant choice of Idol she is.

Seeing Angie, Ngaiire and Ricki-Lee perform served to confirm how sad their early exits were.

Seeing Dan, Marty and Emilia perform served to confirm how friggin' lucky they each are to be identifiable by the use of their first name only, and how quickly this will cease to be the case.

Seeing Hayley perform served to confirm the prophetic properties of her own on-camera statement (below).

Seeing Amali perform still feels a little bit illegal.

Seeing Chanel and Daniel perform served to confirm that they are a couple, or, at the very least, eating out of the same well-stocked fridge.

I'm not shedding a tear for Anthony, apart from those already shed during his hysterical performance of "The Prayer" last night. That song obviously brings out the best in him and his rendition of it is utterly amazing, but last night's display was side-splitting. He managed to
incorporate the following incongruous elements into the song:

1. Facial spasms
2. Inappropriately timed smiles as he caught a whiff of victory and his own confidence
3. A strut!

I do feel for him, I suppose. The final shot of the stage last night would suggest he really is a man apart. But ultimately I think his future is assured, and all you Anthony fans will have plenty of opportunities to continue your support.

For now, it's all about Casey. Although you'd be mistaken for believing it's actually all about Marcia's neck. (And did everyone notice Marcia's rip-off of Chanel's back-to-the-audience silhouette move at the start of her song? Sister-girlfriend knew exactly what she was doing,

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Casey's victory. Thank you equally to all those who enjoyed this weekly update.

To finish, some memorable quotes:

Best Casey quote
(while at Luna Park) "I should have shaved my legs [insert maniacal laughter revealing statement to be steeped in sarcasm]!"

Most prophetic quote
(while behind McDonald's counter) "Would you like fries with that?" - Hayley

Most scientifically intriguing slip-up by a host
(while making futile attempt to not look a complete hosting amateur despite two years in the role) "Stay tuned as we reduce these two Idols down to one." - Andrew G*

*Incidentally, the all-time greatest slip-up was last year when Andrew G said, "Stay tuned to see which one of us is in the Bottom 3." (The prospect that this statement delivered was briefly thrilling.)

As we tumble forward into uncertain Idol-less times and struggle to imagine what Sunday nights are for, remember that it's only three days until The Apprentice.

That is all.

Open-And-Shut Case(y)

Monday, 15 November 2004

“Vote for Casey if you think she is the girl.”Andrew G

It’s a tough call, but I think that of the two finalists, the girl is Casey.

As it happens, I also think she is the winner.

I was previously indifferent to the outcome of this year’s competition once Casey had made it through to the final. But last night she showed in several stunning ways how incredibly superior she is to Anthony, how much she is ready for the title, and just how stylish and versatile a black-skirt-and-shawl ensemble can be. (Not, obviously, as versatile as the Infinite Dress, which is more than 30 dresses rolled into one.)

Why Casey must win:

1. She’s the ultimate storyteller.

2. She gave us three monumentally diverse performances last night, as she has all season.

3. She gave the Diane Warren song the respect it deserved by mumbling the first couple of lines. But even this, which could potentially have led to Casey’s unravelling, was brilliantly handled: she very honestly admitted that she stuffed up, and did so in a complete sentence.

4. On an ordinary night I think her first two performances would have been veritable touchdowns.

5. After watching snippets of her previous performances, it’s quite breathtaking to note how far she’s come and how uncommonly adept she is at interpreting song lyrics. Completely captivating on every level last night.

Anthony was as vocally strong as ever but I’m afraid he just wasn’t in Casey’s league. As I was watching him sing last night, there was something overwhelmingly familiar about each of his performances. Apart from noticing that his pinkie looks startlingly similar to my little toe, I realised that his renditions of songs (and his tendency to select the “power ballad”) all reek of the same bland mechanics. They all feature some combination of the following robotic moves:

Dramatic look to the side, slow movement of the face back to camera
Engineered to convey: “intensity”

Hand thrust forward, turned upside down and quickly dragged inward
Engineered to convey: “passion”

Jerk of the head to the side, usually in conjunction with a swift raising of the knee
Probably not engineered to convey: "flamboyance"

To be fair (and before Anthony lovers come at me with their vitriol), I do acknowledge that Anthony’s voice is incredible. But watching him perform lately is like undergoing a lobotomy. He may have changed clothes, but unlike Casey, he gave three versions of the same performance last night. The one performance that transcended everything this year – “The Prayer” – was amazing not only for its vocal strength but for the fact that Anthony accessed a zone that was free of idiosyncracy, where there was nothing to distract from the purity of his voice. I think that performance was utterly unbelievable. But he has not been anywhere as good since.

Perhaps there are reasons for it. He was clearly nervous last night. And Andrew G may have struck a raw nerve by announcing prior to his second performance that “it’s now time for Anthony Callea to come on out”. However, far from distancing himself from the inference, Anthony promptly declared moments later that the Idol competition has made him “more looser” (sic). Indeed.

As for the single, it’s a piece of crap for a few reasons.

1. Diane Warren.
2. Usually the Idol single is soaring and anthemic and lyrically analogous to the Idol experience, but “Listen with your heart” is both strikingly uninspiring and anatomically misleading.
3. It unfairly created the exciting prospect that it would be a cover of a Roxette song! Roxette were at least aware that the correct expression is “listen to your heart”, where said organ is capable of both literal sound emission and metaphorical message-giving. But the notion that the miraculous function served by the ears can be re-assigned to the pulsating blob of blood located deep within the chest cavity is nonsense even on a symbolic level.

Adjectives that describe Casey’s performances

Adjectives that describe Anthony’s performances


Matters of concern arising from last night’s show
Chanel’s hair

It’s up to us now.

191010 Casey.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Winner Un-Callea: Anthony No Longer Out-And-Out Favourite (So To Speak)

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Nothing much from me today. I’m still a little nauseous from hearing Courtney engage in sexual innuendo during his filmed press interview.

But overall I’m very pleased, especially since Idol is now a veritable competition according to a recent poll by The Age.

Centrebet has Anthony as an out-and-out favourite (even if he insists he’s not-and-not). His odds are $1.16 to Casey’s $4.50, which are startling improvements on their initial odds at Week 1, when Chanel was in the driver’s seat (of her green limousine). Casey was $101 at the beginning. There could be some quite happy punters in a couple of weeks, since most fan sites with voting polls seem to indicate we’re in for a tight race. The Age Poll even gives Casey the edge.

It was truly fantastic to see how thrilled Casey was to have her talent validated. It was even more astonishing to see Marcia appear genuinely interested in a female competitor.

Sister-girlfriend was ALL about Casey last night, although it’s unclear whether this is because:

- Marcia simply likes Casey
- Marcia does not consider Casey a threat to her eternal quest for a little sumpin’ sumpin’;
- Marcia was relieved to have avoided Casey emulating Kurt Cobain on-stage.

Whatever the case, I’m thrilled – it’s been so long since we had a Donovan pop star! Is there time for a Casey & Jason Xmas album?

However, I’m now undecided about my final vote. I think Casey is infinitely superior in terms of pure musicianship, but I fear any album she is required to make in 4 days would sound hideously incongruous and a bit cringe-worthy. I think given an extra year she will be capable of a fantastic album (and a decent conversation).

Anthony, on the other hand, is ready to record. The sooner he does, the sooner it comes out (he may or may not follow suit), and the sooner he gets back to performing on Bert. Win/win! Carols by Candlelight is also not far off, which would be the perfect time for him to revisit “The Prayer”. (Perhaps Celine can attend and hold some baby elves for Anne Geddes to film while they sing together.)

But I’ll wait for Sunday to decide.

Idol Outcome Painfully Callea

Monday, 8 November 2004

Welcome to the world of Idol, where touchdowns are as random as apostrophes* and where Anthony last night convincingly grabbed hold of the tiara crown.
"Idols Choice” (sic), “Beatle’s Week” (sic). (Who is Beatle?)

But first up, greetings and apologies to everyone for my slack no-show last week. With Chanel gone, I tuned out. Interestingly, so did about half a million other people. (Voters: I’ve got nothin’ mo’ to say to you.)

The truth be told, I was still in mourning. For Chanel, for Australian Idol, in fact for all the world’s optional voting systems that deliver inexplicable results.

You know the world is overpopulated with the wrong kind of people when George W. Bush gets sent back to the White House and Hayley "Jenny Eyelash" Jensen gets sent back to the couch.

Her repeated failure to be eliminated was turning Australian Idol into a veritable tragedy:

Thrice on the brink but she kept on surviving
Each performance a boring recital
But each week the votes, and this question, kept thriving:
"Can bogan Canberrans win Idol?"

Tragic, isn’t it? Luckily, the answer was a resounding "No."

Sometimes bending over backwards isn't enough

And so, after two weeks languishing Casey-style in a black doona, mourning has broken: with Idol now bogan-free, I realised there might still be an adequate outcome to this farcical journey and tuned in last night.

How did everyone do?


Courtney was the night’s first beneficiary of Mark Holden’s increasingly random issuing of touchdowns. It was quite good, as far as Courtney goes. I’m just over him. Even his faux modesty in declaring "I tried to choose the song that would be the most impossible for me to perform…" came off as sensationally arrogant. He probably even thought Casey’s first song was about him. It’s time to go: Courtney.


Overall, Casey’s voice last night produced two songs and two complete sentences and earned one touchdown. As much as I love Casey, the touchdown was unwarranted, though she certainly got stuck into some mean-arsed neck swiveling during that first song, prompting Marcia to prove her neck is far more flexible in response. Both of her performances were excellent, but I wish she’d "had a belt moment" in her 2nd song. (NB. Not a Michael Hutchence-type belt moment.)

Of the two full sentences she uttered, the 2nd, in response to why she chose to sing "Misty Blue" ("I was just flicking through some papers and thought, Misty Blue") revealed her to be either clairvoyant or alarmingly unfussy. She’s taken the criticism on board but has a long way to go before any of her comments are actually transcribable without the use of “ – “ or “…”.

Truly, though, Casey is pretty damn amazing. Seeing flashbacks to her performances reminded me of three things:

1. Casey has been the most consistent, fascinating, haunting singer thus far and deserves a place in the Top 2.
2. Casey’s performances make us forget she is only 16.
3. Casey should never, ever again be backlit.


Anthony certainly has had a big week, what with rehearsals, filming his weekly performance as Charla on The Amazing Race and again addressing the issue of his sexuality in the media.

While we await John Laws’ view on the subject, and whatever the truth may be, I think Anthony needs to accept some responsibility for drawing attention himself to the issue of whether or not he is, as they say, "a friend of Dorothy". He has done this variously by:

1. Singing songs written or popularised by Human Nature, Christina Aguilera and Tiffany.
2. Creaming his pants every time Tina Arena is mentioned.
3. Last night performing a song by a band called "Toto". Toto was Dorothy’s dog in the Wizard of Oz. There is no bigger friend of Dorothy. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Last night he romped it home. I’ve said it before: he’s clearly the most impressive and technically proficient vocalist. He’s highly recordable and will be a worthy winner; that is to say, he is eminently capable of producing a naff, inconsequenstial album of vacuous pop songs in 4 days. But the Millsy-esque head-to-the-side move that he insists on pulling out mid-song (presumably to convey "passion" or "emotion") and the tapping of the microphone with his stubby little fingers is really beyond tolerable at this point. (According to James Mathison last night, Anthony taps his fingers all the time, "even when there’s no microphone". The inferences to be drawn from this are disturbing.)

Still, I will grant him the only true touchdown of the night. Speaking of which, Marcia sho’ loves her some touchdowns, don’t she? Sister-girlfriend was raising the roof like crazy after Anthony’s performance. Although this is probably unsurprising given Marcia totally wants to bone anything with a Y chromosome.

And to swallow

So now we are down to the time in the competition, according to Andrew G, “where 3 people will become 2”.

Barring a sci-fi-like fusion of the contestants to boost ratings (and since Casey and Courtney will always be 3 people), this is strictly not going to happen. But we know what he means.

Which 2 will it be?

Reasons Casey should be in the Final 2
Four touchdowns
Brilliant vocal interpretation

Reasons Anthony should be in the Final 2

"The Prayer"

Reasons Courtney should be in the Final 2

Things pleasingly absent from last night’s show


Anthony will, and probably should, win this competition. But let’s make sure it’s Casey alongside him at the finish.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

“Go Go Chanel,” says I-Dull

Or, “How Idol lost its fragrance and became a stinker”

*Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Drinks were on Marcia last night as Chanel Number Five was pulled from the shelves.

But neither you nor I should be worried about Chanel – she’s on to Bega and better things.

What we should be worried about - nay, ashamed of - is Australian Idol.

The show is on the brink. It got a whopping bout of gastro the night Ricki-Lee left and last night spectacularly shat the bed. With no charismatic or interesting performers, a depleted talent pool, the only objectively sensible and valuable judge soon to depart the show and little remaining control of its bowels, Australian Idol is on its last legs.

Why? Because Australia continues to show its propensity to penalise the interesting and reward the boring. Whether you loved her (me), hated her (most women) or wanted her intestines pulled through her arse and used as a lasso (Marcia), Chanel was interesting. Not entirely charming, level-headed or particularly skilled at spontaneous humour (see: those moments immediately following her elimination, almost every other time she opened her mouth etc.) but she was interesting. Luckily, I have no doubt that Chanel’s truly warped nature is precisely what will make her the most likely to have lasting appeal and the most likely to survive as a pop entity.

Her exchanges with Marcia made the show entertaining, and provided the show’s producers with the only reason to continue employing Marcia. The last ever interaction between the pair was enjoyable to watch, Chanel sauntering up behind the judges’ table to dance provocatively and cause Marcia to schiz and spasm. As she frenetically dusted Chanel’s slut breath from her shoulders, Marcia could hardly contain her excitement. (I expect, with the flurry of endorphins coursing through Marcia’s ecstatic veins, that a certain someone was more than welcome when she got home after the show.)

Now, somehow, we find ourselves with a Top 4 which, while arguably aesthetically representative of Australian culture, is really, all things considered, an unexpectedly poor final talent pool and a sick, flatulent cousin to last year’s mob.

Let’s just reflect on the two groups of performers for a moment:

TOP 4 2003

Phenomenal talent, stage presence and musicianship
Paulini Phenomenal talent and stage presence
Cosima Phenomenal talent, questionable elocution and grooming
Shannon Talentless bogan

TOP 4 2004

Phenomenal talent and stage presence, questionable conversational skills
Tendency to parade bed linen on stage, otherwise boring
Anthony Phenomenal talent, questionable masculinity
Tendency to parade Young Talent Time moves on stage, otherwise boring
Courtney Talent, questionable humility
Tendency to look rather high in cholesterol, otherwise boring
Hayley Talentless bogan

I rest my totally unflimsy case. Some similarities but 2003 clearly shits on this year. And after such a promising start to this series!

When there is no sense left, it is often a valuable exercise to consider what hidden messages lie in the madness. Yes, that’s right: I am turning once again to the healing and prophetic power of the anagram.

Courtney Murphy = Hey, Country Rump!

Excellent: things are starting to become clearer.

Chanel Cole = Cancel Hole

Clearer still!

Anthony Callea = Ache not anally

Spooky! But probably a futile wish.

Casey Donovan = Ova any second

No doubt biologically true, but untrue in the Kath & Kim sense, ‘cos it ain’t ova until… um, that’s also apparently untrue. Shall we try again?

Casey Donovan = Soda Can Envoy

Uncanny! OK, it’s a stretch. Humour me.

Hayley Jensen
= Jenny Eyelash

There you have it! Even her anagram sounds like a bogan!

While I am not certain that that was an entirely enlightening experience, other than to clarify that which was already painfully obvious, it does serve to underscore one burgeoning reality: as Australian idol draws to a close, we must use any means possible to make sense of this shiteful mess of a Top 4 and guide it towards an adequate conclusion.

If the show must go on, I say no more horsing around: let’s ride Casey to the finish line.
She is the mane contender with the finest pedigree. Sure, I’ve been a neigh-sayer: she’s incredibly boring and, sadly, is going through her Goth phase on national TV. And she has certain conversational shortcomings. Highlights from last night include the Hilary Duff-esque “I was like ‘Uh,” and they were like ‘Uh,’” and the even more insightful “ “, which appears to be one of her favourites.

But overall, Casey is now where it must be at.

You know what I’m sayin’?

Now, a moment’s silence.

That is all.

Casey Donovan Shits All Over Everyone* - In A New Skirt!

*not literally

Monday, 25 October 2004

There is little to say about last night other than it was all about Casey Doona Van.

Casey arrived in a new tailored shirt AND new skirt, blowing away the rest of the competition. This chick is so haunting, flawless and vulnerable when singing that it is a real shame she is boring, charmless and awkward when not singing.

Casey has now repaid everyone for saving her after Beatles week. Last night's performance of "Beautiful" suddenly indicates she may now be the best thing there: she sings Cheap Trick, Tina Arena, India.Arie and Metallica all on the same show, and is the only one with multiple touchdowns. She may have dropped the ball with "Eleanor Rigby". But Casey truly is the quarterback of Australian Idol.

In other news, everyone else was rubbish. Observations:

1. I concede: Chanel sang woefully and looked even worse. (Not, however, as bad as the random chick from the audience who was asked to sing by one of the hosts. THAT redefines the word “horrendous”.) I now fear Chanel’s name is an ironic self-fulfilling prophecy: Chanel will finish No. 5 in this competition.

2. No, seriously, what was with Chanel?

3. No, seriously, what was with that random girl’s top?

4. Far outdoing Chanel in the shitefulness stakes was Courtney, who MUST BE EJECTED IMMEDIATELY. As visually assaulting as Chanel was, Courtney’s ongoing tribute to constipation has become boring and painful. Even worse, his inability to take criticism is becoming intolerable. Come on Courtney, learn to take it on the chins!

5. Anthony, the most technically proficient and vocally impressive singer, set new standards of blah last night but will no doubt hang around. Next week, he’ll have TWO chances to have his masculinity called into question by Dicko, which will at least be entertaining. Personally, I think Marcia summed it up well when she said, “Every week, you just do your business all over the stage.”

6. Marcia revealed how profound she really is when she announced that in her neighbourhood a man’s ability to find a partner was in direct proportion with his dancing prowess.

This is the point where I usually implore you to vote for Chanel. On the basis of her non-effort (and even worse song choice) I almost feel like abandoning my mission. But instead, I will couch my request in different terms.

Simply, I ask you to acknowledge the value intrinsic in putting Courtney’s self-idolising arse on a bus back to Perth, and similarly, to consider the injustice inherent in having Hayley outlast both Ricki-Lee AND Chanel.

19 10 10 Casey and Chanel.

A Treatise On A Matter Of Great Importance To Humanity

Or, "Why Chanel Cole is rather obviously the best remaining Australian Idol contestant"*

*Monday, 18 October 2004

1. Interpretation

People seem to be favouring the misguided notion that performances need to be vocally perfect to be successful ones. However, if this were the case, people like Carole King, Janis Joplin and (much to Hayley's chagrin) Missy Higgins would never have been allowed to make records. (Incidentally, it is hoped that Hayley is by now aware that Missy Higgins is not a band.)

Now, notwithstanding Millsy and that chick from Madison Avenue, vocal proficiency of some degree is obviously important for a singer. But even more crucial than capitalising on vocal perfection is capitalising on vocal imperfection. Or, knowing how to turn a song into
a performance. Each of Chanel's performances feature this in droves, where she strips the song of its familiar layers and replaces it with her own flavour. For example:

* She couldn't possibly emulate k.d. lang's energetic, perfect vocal on "Constant Craving"; instead she enlisted a harp and some gentle violins and turned it into an atmospheric lament.

* She couldn't possibly execute the vocal breaks that Sam Brown does to perfection on "Stop" (and that are basically the reason Hayley is even still around); instead she drenched the song in sexual longing and turned it into the predatory breathless chant of a scorned and
oversexed vixen.

* She wore a red outfit while singing "Green Limousine"! (OK, this is not strictly interpretation on a vocal level, but how clever, mixing traffic light colours while singing about a car!)

In other words, Chanel is re-inventing as opposed to merely singing. Watching her deal with her vocal imperfections while inventing something far more globally arresting is precisely why she is the most fascinating performer and is what has made performers like Bjork and P J Harvey the successes they are despite their technical shortcomings.

2. Musicianship

Chanel is the only performer who arranges her own music every week. Some have attempted it and failed dismally (see: Casey's sonic inundation on "Eleanor Rigby", Anthony's tribute to Young Talent Time on "I Saw Him Standing There"). In Beatles Week, hers was obviously the only good performance, mainly because she was the only one who bothered to envisage how the music would best work for her.

Actually, the
only song she let be arranged the most faithfully to the original was a song called "History Repeating"! Clearly, she's a master of ironic textual interpretation. (Except where she walked on by the audience in "Walk on By" - that was a bit shit.)

3. She's interesting, dammit!

Like her or hate her, Chanel is far from a cookie-cutter personality. To wit:

* She appears to be quite intelligent yet is often endearingly vacant.
* She likes to wear things in her hair!
* While in the Bottom 2 with Daniel, she managed to diss Idol on live TV!
* She put a microphone on James Mathison's head!
* The whole Marcia thing, which last night returned to its former glory (Note to Marcia: When uttering the rhetorical "Ya know what I'm sayin'?", the answer should ideally never be "No").

4. By process of elimination

Is there anyone prepared to admit that Marty is better than Chanel? (Answer: No) (Let's hope Marty's grandparents, whoops I mean parents, aren't on the blower all night again this week.) He is boring on stage, over-enunciates his words, swallows the microphone even more fully and fervently than Anthony at the age of 3, and cannot sing. He must go next. I can scarcely fathom how he is even there. Indeed, Ngaiire is still hoping to have him charged with theft.

Hayley is growing on me and is really quite inexplicably hated by Mark Holden. While she might be waiting in vain for Sarah McLachlan Week, I'm quite happy for her to survive this week, but then it's time to head back to Canberra with her sister. I mean, her mum.

Courtney is an excellent singer, but he's just a bit naff. And did we really need to see his silhouette last night? Top 4, I will allow, but no further.

Casey recovered nicely and has the best mic technique. If this were Mike Idol, Casey would win and Marty would have been eliminated back at the first auditions. Actually Chanel would win, based on last night's phallic manipulation of the apparatus. At any rate, Mic Idol would have produced a better outcome than a Top 6 with Marty and without Ricki-Lee, and in both cases Casey would make an excellent Top 3 competitor, but is probably better off outside the Top 2, unless Idol producers have a speed metal version of the eventual single at the

Anthony is Chanel's most credible competition. He is vocally masterful and, provided he doesn't inexplicably throw any more clothes or headgear into the audience, will be a worthy Opera House finalist. He is also the only credible alternative winner. Most fan sites place Chanel and Anthony as the Top 2 most popular performers; I think this is because both of them are thought-provoking. They make you ask questions. At least with Chanel, these are mostly musical.

In case there was any doubt, Chanel is superior to her fellow competitors simply because she is superior to her fellow competitors.

VOTE FOR CHANEL and make the rest of this series watchable.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Tuesday, 12 October, 2004
Top 7 Results Show

R.I.P. - Ricki is pissed, and so am I.

No Ricki, no Ricki! The would-be winner is out. And, sadly, the statement "Marty is in the Top 6 of Australian Idol" is now true. It's like a sick dream. This out-Paulini's the Paulini debacle, and establishes a new Idol scandal barometer: the Rick-ter scale.

'Tis a monumentally depressing day for Australians. Who would have thought two successive senseless nation-wide votes would befall us?

Some thoughts on last night:

*Someone out there is not sleeping on Sunday nights and instead engaging in a non-stop overnight vote for Marty. While it is unclear whether that person is Marty's mum or Peter Garrett, I cannot conceive that more than one human is voting for him. He did speak for a nation though when he said to Andrew G, "Can we just get on with it?"

*In our efforts to save Casey, we neglected to direct our votes to Ricki. Obviously this was a mere failure to vote for the shoo-in, and not, as I heard on the train this morning, because Ricki resembles a chipmunk.

*Courtney is a smug little shithead.

*The hosts are actually regressing in their ability to present, if that's at all possible. Andrew G's comment to Anthony and Ricki on the couch, "I guess you're both wondering how the nation voted," was steeped in a new kind of idiocy.

*Chanel in the Bottom 2, again? I was prepared to say good-bye, given she was always destined to leave in the next couple of weeks anyway. I don't think she'd really care, actually. In fact, I'd be looking forward to some further comment on Marcia at that point, since she's clearly aware of what the Idol talking points are. I can't wait to see what the next thing is that she wants "to clear up" on stage - perhaps her own take on Anthony's recent public denial?

*Does anyone else feel the sickening prospect of a Hayley v. Marty final coming on? All I can think of is that the nation came to its senses last year after the Paulini scare and voted Millsy out. Hopefully the Ricki scandal will send Marty packing.

*I am feeling unusually bereft because I don't know where to direct my enthusiasm now. I wanted a girl to win, and as much as I love Chanel, she would be an unlikely winner, and there's no-one else worthy.

*On second thoughts, barring a drop in standard, I'm putting Chanel's voteline on speed dial until the Opera House. She's the only one there now with any unique star power and, I dare say, musicianship. Her voice is hugely imperfect and lacking in range but I can think of at least 15 major brilliant recording artists who share those flaws (Bjork, Carole King, Melissa Tkautz etc). So she's weird, polarising, and probably should speak less than she does. (A lot less.) But that's exactly what qualifies her as a star.

Let us band together and boycott all those performers whose names end in "y".

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Random Musings On The Top 7

Monday, 11 October 2004
Top 7: Beatles Comedy Night

*As notionally pleasant as it sounds, Marcia’s tendency to declare some performers “more than welcome” perplexes me. I am straining to imagine what degree of “welcome” exists beyond, well, welcome.

*Chanel’s performance, despite being dedicated to the Bega Valley Shire, was not in the slightest bit cheesy. But her outfit, also clearly dedicated to the Bega Valley Shire, still somehow put me in mind of something dairy-related. Nevertheless, her best performance so far elicited a compliment from Marcia, and a standing ovation from Daniel Belle, in an effort, perhaps, to be more than welcome after the show.

*Anthony, who somehow managed to avoid accidentally singing “I saw him standing there”, did an excellent throwback to Young Talent Time. Of all the Beatles songs, this is the only one he was familiar with, which is probably unsurprising, given this is a song covered by that talented songstress Tiffany back in 1987. Anthony unquestionably owns this album.

*Saliva-deficient Marty licked his lips and swallowed the mic through an allegedly rock performance of “Oh darlin’”. It must have killed Marty to drop the “g” off the end of “darling” – he enunciates most words within an inch of their lives. Yet he managed to escape comments from James Mathison and Dicko who had both expected the word to end in a “k”.

*Vote for Casey to ensure she doesn’t try to emulate her Idol Kurt Cobain, and to save us, perhaps as a consequence, from another week of Marty’s open shirt.

*Casey’s so-called lyric lapse occurred after the verse in “Eleanor Rigby” about Father Mackenzie writing the words to a sermon no-one would hear. Clearly, mumbling thereafter was actually part of a clever and ironic textual interpretation by Casey. Brilliant.

*Voice of a nation: Dicko, raising his finger, saying “Hold on, I’m talking, Marcia.”

*Ricki-Lee, singing her second song of the competition featuring the words “Work it out”, appears to be quite confident in her problem-solving abilities but not in her Beatles knowledge. I hate to sound like Courtney, but is it not slightly bizarre to claim singing as one’s calling and not be familiar with at least more than one Beatles song?

Top 3 Performances

Top 3 Judges

Top 3 Hosts

Projected Bottom 3

Casey is in real danger unless we all try to save her. Surely common sense dictates that we must join together and avoid the notion of the words “Marty”, “Australian Idol” and “Top 6” coinciding in some cruel amalgam, unless said amalgam looks like this: “Marty failed to make the Top 6 of Australian Idol”.

Hines v Cole*

*Monday, 4 October 2004

Witness the progression of Marcia’s opinion of Chanel:

SEMI-FINAL (Portishead, “Glory Box”)
“You chose an obscure song but sang it beautifully.”
Translation: “Who are Portishead? My daughter Deni doesn’t sing Portishead."
Cattiness Factor: 1/5 Nothing overt here. Clearly, no behind-the-scenes fighting just yet.

FINALS WEEK 1 (Badloves, “Green Limousine”)
“Thank you for being a unique individual.”
Translation: “I dislike you and you are weird but this is perhaps not entirely bad, objectively speaking.”
Cattiness Factor: 2/5 Subtle beginnings.

FINALS WEEK 2 (Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey, “History Repeating”)
“You knew exactly what you had to do and you did it. It’s great to see someone look so comfortable.”
Translation: “Your sluttiness becomes you.”
Cattiness Factor: 3/5 Now becoming evident. No direct criticisms yet but obviously Marcia’s partner has expressed that Chanel is attractive.

FINALS WEEK 3 (Dionne Warwick, “Walk on By”)
“You always do different things and your voice is always pure but you should push yourself like the other girls.”
Translation: “You’re weird and your voice is rank and the other competitors can actually sing.”
Cattiness Factor: 3.5/5 Marcia offers an opinion for the first time in 2 years.

FINALS WEEK 4 (Gloria Gaynor, “Never Can Say Goodbye”)
“You are quirky but it seems to be a charade. Stay true to yourself.”
Translation: “Your sole apparent quality is being weird, which you are not even good at!”
Cattiness Factor: 4/5 Clearly Marcia cannot decide if Chanel is actually weird or not.

FINALS WEEK 5 (k.d. lang, “Constant Craving”)
“k.d. lang songs are hard to sing, aren’t they? You needed to have a ‘belter’ moment and you didn’t.”
Translation: “You can’t sing. Please expire."
Cattiness Factor: 5/5 Marcia cannot be more obvious.

Watch her face tonight as Chanel escapes the Bottom 3 again. Or, even better, if Chanel is Bottom 2, watch Marcia’s opinion as to the likely/preferred evictee!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff

There used to be a time when the word "blog" only made me think of a prolonged visit to the men's with the sports section of The Age.

"That's a ridiculous way to read a newspaper"

To each their own, bitch.

Anyway, in mid-2004, when I randomly wrote something about Australian Idol 2 to share with a handful of work colleagues, it was by the primitive means of E-MAIL.

"We find that vaguely disquieting"

I know, right? But it turns out that Australian Idol 2 was one of the best things to ever exist - and everyone wanted to talk about it. It foisted polarising new characters onto the public consciousness (several very literally larger than life), incited empassioned debate and jeopardised several workplace friendships thanks to the crafty use by an opinionated few of the "reply-all" button in response to said e-mails produced many memorable performances.

And so the e-mails continued. They eventually gave way to the blog in time for Australian Idol 3 - but that, as we all know, ended in a fucking dreadful shambles.

A visual representation of the result (strap-on not visible)

Further disillusioned by the shittest Final 5 in the show's history this year, I thought it high time to revisit the show's halcyon days from 2004.

That year featured some of the show's most brilliant stoushes: Marcia v Chanel, Casey v Anthony, Ricki-Lee v Everyone Who Didn't Vote, Courtney v A Trough.

Check back over the next few days for as I up-load those old e-mails for the purpose of said reminiscing.

As you'll see, the blog's genesis fittingly lies with the Marcia God.