An account of last Sunday's episode of Australian Idol, intended for the edification of children and adults of all species.
Tonight’s theme is “Idol’s choice” so I suppose there is a slim chance that one or more of the contestants might use this window of opportunity to choose to give up singing. That said, whatever happens tonight can only improve on recent weeks. “Norwegian black metal” night was a disaster (note to Chris Murphy: you’re supposed to sacrifice small animals on stage, not fry them up for dinner), and the less said about last week’s “Tuvan throat singing” night the better.
Anyway, the first performer tonight is everybody’s favourite, Bobby Flynn. After scoring last week with his hauntingly-ululating rendition of “Crunchy Granola Suite”, Bobby has clearly decided to change tack and sex things up, bounding onto the stage and launching into 2 Live Crew’s “Pop That Pussy”. “Rub that ass and play with that clit, you know I like that freaky shit” Bobby sings as his mum smiles proudly from the front row. Judging by the looks they’re giving him, most of the women present would gladly pop their pussies for Bobby, if only they could figure out what that would actually involve. When it’s all over Bobby looks like he could do with a cold shower and a lie down; Mark Holden, however, looks like he could do with lying down with Bobby. “You’re the shizzle, for real, the fizzle in my dizzle,” he tells Bobby. “You’re in like Flynn, man,” etc, etc. Marcia says she would rate the performance a touchdown if Holden didn’t own the rights to the catchphrase. Kyle adds that he likes being touched, and once saw a pussy in a magazine at a friend’s house. Then it’s time for an ad break.
Next up is Damien Leith who has been chastised by the judges in recent weeks for his safe song choices and predictable interpretations. Luckily he pulls out all stops tonight with a version of Val Doonican’s “Paddy McGinty’s Goat” that will go down as one of the great Idol moments, along with Anthony Callea singing “The Prayer” and Shannon Noll having a bucket of pig’s blood dumped over his head. Damo starts out nice and gentle – as we all imagine he would, eh girls? – but by the time the eponymous goat is battling Germans off the west coast of Eire the intensity of Leith’s performance is almost too much to bear. As usual, Mark says what we’re all thinking: “Mate, that was like Wagner in a head-on collision with someone Irish who is also intense and grandiose and stuff”. Marcia agrees, and tells Damien to “keep it real, girlfriend”. Kyle is out the back resculpting that blond massif that sits atop his head, but sends word via a lackey that he thinks Damo is “shit or the best thing ever, I dunno, you decide which one to say…aw fuck it, I’ve got gel everywhere again!”
This is turning into the best episode of Idol ever, and it can only get better because here comes Lisa Mitchell! Is there a vertebrate in this country who is not completely charmed by this talented little songstress? Tonight, Lisa has made the brave decision to accompany herself on the glockenspiel. “I grew up with this instrument,” she tells Jon Foreman. “It’s like my best friend. I call him Gary the Glockenspiel. Sometimes we have tea parties together.” Lisa has chosen a song that has stumped many seasoned performers, the immortal “Theme From ‘Snappy Tom’". Lisa, however, is up to the challenge. When she sings “’Cause the cats of Australia have made their choice” you know, even before she drawls the next line, that that choice is, and can only be, Snappy Tom. As Lisa silences Gary with a sensuous caress, Holden goes into hysterics. “Touchdown!” he shouts, putting his feet behind his head and spinning around on his pointy arse-bones. Marcia says that Lisa is “quite honestly the best singer ever in the history of the universe”. Kyle tells Lisa that he likes her style, but he’s not sure that we’re getting to see “the real Lisa Mitchell. By that I mean: you’re sixteen and nubile – why not get ‘em out, for chrissakes!” Mark tells Kyle to shut up, Marcia covers her ears, then Kyle stands up and starts shouting and everybody sees that he is wearing shiny red briefs over his trousers. The audience laughs and jeers, while Kyle screams at them to shut up. “You smellyheads!” he says. “It was meant to be a secret, but ok, I’m bloody Superman, aren’t I?” Further laughter and jeering. “Just fuck off will ya,” snivels Kyle, sinking to his knees. “Don’t make me use my [sniff!] laser vision on youse…” Then it’s time for another ad break.
Ricky Muscat is next and predictably he lets the side down with a frankly bizarre take on a Bee Gee’s disco hit. The Rickster has chosen not to play an instrument, but has rewritten the song so that the popular ballad is now called “Bald Headed Woman”. Ricky's performance consists of gazing deeply into the cold dead eyes of a mannequin’s head he has impaled upon a microphone stand. “Bald headed woman, woo-hey-hey,” he sings lustily, “bald headed woman to me-ee-ee, yeah-ee-yeah-yeah”. It is difficult to watch, especially when the band strikes the closing note and Ricky begins repeatedly licking his bald headed woman from crown to chin. Mark announces in an uncharacteristically sombre voice that to judge such a performance without first undergoing training as a mental health professional would be inappropriate. Meanwhile, James Mathison and Andrew G have captured the slowly vibrating Ricky with the aid of a large net on the end of a pole. Mathison has sustained serious injuries as a result of being hit in the face with Ricky’s plastic lover and will presumably be out of action for the rest of the show. Nobody seems particularly upset.
Fortunately Dean Geyer is next, although at first it appears he is going to be joining Ricky in the loony bin. What is he wearing? It turns out that he is clad in a special “bra suit” – some twenty-five bras have been wrapped around his body, mummy style. “I’m King Tuten-Wonderbra!” he announces to a baffled Andrew G, but it all becomes clear when he begins to sing. Dean’s choice is none other than Tamara Jaber’s classic “Ooh Aah”. “Ooh aah, I lost my bra, I left it in my boyfriend’s car,” croons Dean as he unfastens bra after bra, letting them fall to the floor or throwing them to the crowd. Surely this is the finest piece of transvestite theatre to grace the Australian Idol stage since Marty Worrall slipped into something more comfortable for his version of “Like a Virgin” way back in 2004. Trailing brassieres, an almost-naked Dean walks over to the judges where Kyle, now in full Superman outfit, sits with his face in his hands. “Oops there goes my pantyhose,” Dean breathes into Kyle’s ear. Kyle, clearly enraged (and possibly engorged) by this homoerotic parody of his girlfriend’s song, leaps to his feet and attempts to crush Dean using his superhuman strength, only to fall to the floor, quivering, as Dean removes his final, vital bra, and the screen is suddenly pixilated for the good of us all. When the picture returns, Dean has been covered up, Kyle has been wheeled off to the Ricky Muscat Memorial Psycho Ward, and Andrew G is wearing Kyle’s Superman undies on his head and one of Ricky’s bras around his chest. Mark wonders if somebody has been handing out brown acid at Idol HQ, but adds that he thought Dean’s performance was good “but could have used more bras”. Marcia says she liked Dean’s interpretation – “That song is a classic, man, a standard, and you treated it with the respect it deserves” – but questioned his provocative stage act. “I like a man dressed entirely in female underwear but, you know, there is a time and a place. That time is after the show and the place is my place. The spare key is in the usual spot.”
Given the show has now run forty-five minutes over schedule, it comes as a relief to hear that Jessica Mauboy will not be performing tonight. Andrew G: “Unfortunately, Jessica is now in quarantine having been attacked by the monkey that was to accompany her on clarinet this evening. I’m sure I speak for everybody when I say that I look forward to Jessica rejoining the competition once she stops dripping gore from every orifice.” After that downer, it’s up to Chris Murphy to end the show on a high note. In the spirit of dear, deranged Ricky Muscat, Chris has reworked the lyrics of a 70s classic to better reflect his personality. Thus: “Cheezels are just all right with me – huh! Cheezels are just all right, oh yeah!” As he sings, Chris throws handfuls of Cheezels into the air. Unfortunately, just as he is leading the crowd in a clap-along chorus, he attempts to catch one of the lofted snacks in his mouth. The Cheezel lodges in his throat, and Chris’s vocal suddenly gets all death metal. “Grrrreeoowww!” he growls, maintaining the melody despite dropping several octaves and turning extremely red about the face; Chris is clearly a consummate professional. Andrew G appears on stage, grabs a handful of Chris’s grubby mane, plunges his other hand deep within Chris’s golden throat, and extracts the deliquescing Cheezel. The two men exchange a look, and with a wink – ever the showman! – Chris takes the Cheezel from G’s open palm and gulps it down. The crowd is on its feet, Holden is swinging from the rafters, Marcia declares Chris Murphy “the real deal”, and from somewhere backstage Kyle is heard muttering something about Kryptonite sapping his powers. It's the end of another episode of Australian Idol, and frankly I'm already hanging out for next week.