I said I’d write last week didn’t I? And then I didn’t. Oh well, it was Christmas and that always involves a lot of running around and last minute gift buying and so on, so I’m going to plead that as an excuse. In any case it’s now well past Christmas, so I’d better write something 🙂
Now I was going to continue on about my extremely busy weekend, but I don’t really have the inclination right now. I mean nothing much really happened on Saturday, I just went round to the aunts for lunch, which was long, but not particularly exciting. About the only interesting thing that happened was that they’d made a particularly tasty paella, and while I could no doubt spin the day’s events out into one of my usual epics I really can’t see the point.
Sunday has a bit more promise, Dom’s fixing of the plaster in the bathroom required virtually a full day’s worth of driving around (to get paint and lunch) and hanging around the place with him and Rebecca waiting for the plaster to dry. This provides a good chunk of material to work with – particularly the funky cafe we patronised – but I’m really not in the mood to write it at the moment. Neither am I in the mood to talk about Christmas (apart to note that Helen sent me a copy of The Postman, yey!) or review The Return of the King (so much was left out that I’m reserving judgment until I see the extended edition). So, what am I in the mood to write about?
Well, sad to say, World Idol.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I did actually watch World Idol the other week. Hey, it was Boxing Day, there was nothing else on and after The Return of the King in the morning and relatives all afternoon I needed something banal and mindless just to wind down. The fact that the add featured Kelly Clarkson in 40’s gear with her hair done in that sort of bunched up wartime style that for some reason*[Personally I blame Sophie Aldred in The Curse of Fenric] I find remarkably attractive may also have had something to do with it (as it turned out she wore an extremely boring suit with a stupid hat – blatant false advertising if you ask me). In any case it turned out to be fairly entertaining as I decided to be all arrogant and critique the contestants’ performances just as viciously as the international panel of judges. Great stuff! 🙂
I can’t remember the names and nationalities of all the performers for the simple reason that most of them turned in such boringly adequate renditions of whichever run of the mill standard they chose. What I do remember though are the awfully bad and the surprisingly good ones, so I’ll talk about them.
OK we’ll start with the guy from Germany. He sung Maniac (you know …she’s a maniac, MANIAC on the floor! And she’s dancing like she’s NEVER danced before!.. yeah that one). His performance was… well crap is about the only word for it. Completely out of tune, out of time and his dancing… well let’s not even start on that. The judges gave him the complete lambasting he deserved and I both expect and hope he slunk back to Germany with his tail between his legs. I’d rather have watched that weirdo Daniel guy who looked like a girl and seemed to have been his major competition (they played a little bio about the competition in each country before the contestants sang).
A bit after him was the Pan-Arab girl. She took the unusual step of singing a traditional Arab song, which meant that neither the judges nor myself had any idea if she was performing spectacularly well, or horribly badly. You’ve got to admire her guts though, getting up there and singing something she wanted to sing, even though she knew it would totally scuttle her chances of winning. Bravo!
Not long after her was the guy from… Belgium? He might have been the guy from Belgium, I honestly can’t remember. I think he was from one of the low countries anyway (not Holland though – I can distinctly remember mocking the contestant from Holland by lisping things like “I am from de Nederlansh! I am a popstar! I am so pretty!” in a Dutch – or maybe Norwegian? – accent during his performance. But back to possibly-from-Belgium guy).
He came completely out of left field by singing Nirvana’s Lithium, and woah! He was good! Especially coming after so many completely banal sing-alongs. He honestly sounded like Kurt Cobain might had he risen from the grave in a particularly tetchy mood. I was so impressed that I decided (if I went insane and actually participated in this whole fiasco) that I’d probably vote for him.
This demi-decision was challenged though by the contestant from Canada who put in an amazing performance of He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother, which I’ve always considered one of the sappiest songs I’ve ever heard. He made it work though just by virtue of his voice. I mean this guy could actually sing, which is more than can be said for most of the other contestants who could merely sing-along. I was very impressed and seriously considered switching my non-existing vote over to him.
Soon after him was the contestant from Poland, a small blonde girl named Alex who mangled I Don’t Know How to Love Him by having no vocal control whatsoever. I mean she has a great voice – very powerful – but she needs to learn not to treat each note like an assault on Dunkirk. She did however manage to endear herself to the audience by telling the Polish judge that he’d need the “help of God” to get away with the vicious things he’d been saying to the other contestants 🙂
Kelly Clarkson (sans cute 40’s hairstyle) then trilled her way through Natural Woman. She’d probably be quite a good singer if she actually stayed on the note for more than a pico-second at a time rather than spiraling off into the high, warbling hills of Mariah Carey territory.
After her they wheeled on Australia’s own Guy Sebastian. Let me be blunt here. I hate Guy Sebastian. I hate the way he sings, I hate the way he looks, I hate the way he’s got a recording contract and number one album, and I really hate the fact that you can’t turn on Channel 10 these days without seeing him dancing around on a beach with a bunch of other network nobodies. His one redeeming feature is that that ridiculous afro leaves his forehead nice and clear for a bullet (hmmm, a bit too far? Naahh!!! :). On this particular outing he massacred What a Wonderful World by twisting it into some kind of slow funk ballad and doing even more warbling and trilling than Ms Clarkson. Honestly it was an embarrassment to the entire nation. If he wins – and the judges seemed to think he would – I think I’ll shoot myself. Or at least move to Canada. Or maybe Belgium.
Anyway at long last they came to the final contestant, from Norway. There’s really only one way to sum up his performance, and that’s holy crap!! This little round faced gnome with a tooth-gap big enough to park a volvo in got up there and belted out this truly incredible version of U2’s Beautiful Day. It was like what that Alex girl might have been capable of if she actually got control of her voice. It was simply stunning. Like one of the judges commented afterwards, the guy has the voice of an angel even if he does look like a hobbit. If the general public could be relied upon to vote on the basis of singing ability rather than looks (which based on the calibre of most of the other contestants they can’t) this guy would win hands down.
So yeah, that’s my assessment. Only three decent singers out of the lot of them (or maybe four if the Pan-Arab girl is included). What’s the betting that not one of them will even come close to winning?
OK, I’ll shut up now before the Guy Sebastian mafia come and rough me up 🙂
Intransigent DNA Influenced Cute Woman of the Week: Well, it’s a toss up between Kelly Clarkson in that 40’s costume or the girl from that Shooting the Past show that was on ABC last night. Emilia Fox, there we go. Toss up between them 🙂