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Posts from — August 2009

Australian Idol – Is It Time To Hit The Panic Button?

panic-button

Fremantle Media and Channel Ten executives would not have been real thrilled when the rating figures were released today. As according to www.crikey.com.au Australian Idol last night failed to reach the magic million mark.

Their rival Dancing With The Stars easily out-rated them with 1.35 viewers.

Will they hit the panic button and make more changes by trying to create friction on the judging panel, or will they have confidence in the talent in their top twelve to bring back viewers who have dropped out of the Australian Idol flock?

If the ratings don’t improve this could be Idol’s last season.

August 31, 2009   2 Comments

Australian Idol – Wildcard Show

It was no surprise that James Johnston from the Thursday night semi-final got through to the top 12, nor was I unhappy with Kim Cooper getting in either, at the moment we have quite interesting eight singers in the top twelve.

Tonight was wildcard night with nine singers getting the chance to perform again for the last four spots.

But a couple of thoughts first:

  • I found it a bit cringeworthy that Dicko and Jay Dee were being a bit lewd with 22 year old Tenielle after she sang Kiss Me, when is Dicko going to learn that it is not cool to openly make salacious comments about women over 20 years younger than him;
  • Dicko has been told to liven up the judging panel, and he has definitely improved his commentary and is also trying to bait Jay Dee, who at this stage is being far to polite.
  • The Sunday Telegraph are alleging Jay Dee Springbett had something to do with Marcia Hines getting the arse from Sony BMG, therefore they don’t get on. If I were a betting person I would say this story was manufactured, however I did notice tonight she did not interact with him,
  • Sabrina Batshon who has the talent to win Australian Idol this year needs to possibly settle down a bit, I know she is excited about being in the top 12, but the interview she gave tonight with Ricki-Lee was all about engaging the audience, and I think that could cost her votes in the long term,
  • By the way Sabrina Batshon is not the first Idol contestant with a known psych history, apparently Mark Da Costa has bi-polar which he disclosed to the producers when he was on the show, however he did not want it known – so publicly the viewers were told he had had some issues with alcohol and gambling. He accused Idol of “spitting out the contestants once they are no longer needed.” Source: Sunday Telegraph (Scroll down);
  • The producers must want Hayley Warner to get into the top 12 as they gave her the last song of the night,
  • I thought it was unfair that Casey Barnes got a wild card ahead of rock man Adam Eckersley, and
  • Does Ricki-Lee ever get off the couch?

Apparently the judges got to pick three singers each for the wildcard show, but what made me think that there had been some producer involvement was the fact that Dicko had to read the names off a card.

Dicko “picked” Aliqua Mao, Casey Barnes, and Lucie Johnson.

Jay Dee “picked” Toby Moulton, Ed Zaidan, Hayley Warner.

Marcia Hines picked Lauren Street, Tim Johnston, and Tenille Muslin.

Not happy with some of the wildcard picks – I would have liked to have seen Adam Eckersley, Seth Drury and the Penrith Panther mascot dude Daniel Raso get another chance.

Lucie Johnson – Boogie Wonderland – Earth, Wind and Fire.

I really like this 16 year old she is so articulate and has the most infectious smile. She ripped through Boogie Wonderland, but still got a bollocking from Dicko about not being able to tell him what musical direction she want to go in. I thought that is what record executives did – that they guide and mould the singer.

“Still lacking direction,” Dicko said.

Jay Dee Springbett has obviously been told to argue with Dicko this week, as he disagreed with Dicko about his assessment of her, and thought she could do R&B.

Casey Barnes – Never Say Never – The Fray

Very surprised he got a wildcard, as I thought on his semi-night he was particularly ordinary.  Tonight he was much improved, and he thought he would emulate former Idol winner Damien Leith and bung in a bit of falsetto. Just has the touch of the blands about him, and will be relying on the older women vote.

“How do you think you did tonight?” asked Jay Dee. (Which is Jay Dee’s way of saying he was crap) “Wasn’t enough of an improvement for me.”

“How did it take you out of your comfort zone?” said Dicko as this had been one of his criticisms of him the other night “I picked a song to stretch my voice,” Casey said. Dicko responded ” I don’t think your voice is the problem… you need a different energy, different vibe.” I so agree.

Aliqua Mao – Power of Love – Celine Dion

So Dicko on her semi night told her that she should pick a hip young persons song, after she sang an iconic Whitney Houston number, then she goes and picks a Celine Dion song, if she gets through she is sure to sing Mariah next week. At this point I thought she was insane until she revealed she had had to lock her wildcard song in prior to her semi-performance. I know Australian Idol producers have to clear songs, but this put her at a severe disadvantage that she could not react to the judges advice and move to a more age appropriate song.

Aliqua did look very spunky tonight it is just a pity about the song as she can sing. 

“Not for me,” Jay Dee said. “Poor song choice, I did not see a young girl shaking her booty.”

“Not for a 16 year old girl….choose crazy crazy songs.” Dicko said.

Lauren Street – Low – Kelly Clarkson

Lauren is concerned she is not connecting with the audience as she left in the wildcard round in 2005. So this is her fourth time singing in the semis on Idol, as Andrew G said this was her “second second chance” which really says something about her likeability. The only way she will get into the top 12 is if the judges put her in.

“Such a fantastic performer, I hope you stay in the competition…probably one of our top 3 performers,” Dicko said.

“Pitch got a little bit out the window,” Marcia said.

“I really liked that performance, there is an edge of your voice that I love,” said Jay Dee. He did add whether he thought she was an Idol or whether she might go work on cruise ships. 

Tim Johnston – Yesterday – The Beatles

I thought Adam Eckersley should have been given a wild card spot ahead of this guy, who thought he was a soul singer. Did Gloria Jeans just get some prime time free advertising on Idol with the footage of Tim doing his barista thing. As this chain is owned by Hillsong Church, I sense another Hillsong voting scandal this year? But he will need Hillsong’s resources to get on as he is good looking but oh so bland, and this song did nothing to change my opinion of him. Yawn.

“White boys can sing,” said Jay Dee.

“Terrific, and when you looked me in the eye my heart melted,” said Dicko.

Ed Zaidan – White Noise – Living End

I really want Ed to get into the top 12, as there is something about him I really like, but tonight’s performance just was the same as his previous one he did of the Eskimo Joe song.

Jay Dee agreed “It was pretty similar to the last one”.

” Jay Dee you need to clean your ears out it was out of pitch the whole way through,” said Dicko  “You chose another muscle bound rock song that your voice can’t cope with.” Ouch.

Tenille Muslin – Kiss Me

Is she some kind of pop with a bit of a country flavour? Anyway I quite like her voice, it is a change from all the big power singers in the competition.

“You do have a voice that could skew [go country] that way,” said Dicko. “More passion or action in it,”  and “It just flatlined a bit.”.

“I would like to kiss you,” said Jay Dee. “Not convinced, but keep writing songs and playing music.”

“A lot of my music is country pop” she said which confirmed what I thought.

Toby Moulton – With Or Without You – U2

Of the 30 year guys this year, Toby is definitely hotter than Casey. Casey has the better voice, and they are about on par with their performing abilities. This was a much better song for him, and the audience went crazy. The judges are really pimping him.

“I think that rocked so well done,” Jay Dee said.

“Got the look spot on,” Dicko said.

Hayley Warner – I Do Not Hook Up – Kelly Clarkson

 Does anyone else think this girl has star quality? I think if she gets in the top 12 she can give the title a good shake. She is hugely like able, and her voice has a good range.

“Seem very comfortable… I think you are an exciting young package,” said Jay Dee.

“Don’t go off the stage, I hate it, it distracts you, and it looks like you are up yourself,” said Dicko and “your electrifying….you are 50% invincible, and 50% vulnerable.”

My prediction for last four in will be Hayley Warner, Toby Moulton, Aliqua Mao, and Tenielle Muslin.

August 30, 2009   21 Comments

Reality Tidbits

Talia Fowler winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia has joined Lines Ballet Company

Talia has joined the Lines Ballet   in San Francisco for the 2009-2010 season. The company specialises in contemporary ballet. I suspect with her success there will be a bevy of professional dancers auditioning for the show for season three.

If You Cared Who Won Channel Nine’s The Perfect Couple Read This

Another one of Channel Nine’s reality TV disasters finished screening on Wednsday night with Gemma and Raf taking out the not so insubstantial first prize of $210,000. This show finished screening with 30 minute episodes reduced from the original one hour timeslot. A good article on TV Tonight also states that Channel Nine did not bother to put out a press release announcing the winners.

Why I Need To Upgrade My Foxtel Subscription

For a long time I have realised I have been missing out on some ‘quality’ TV on E, and the cooking shows on Lifestyle Food, however I had not realised that there was seriously raunchy tellie on there. TV Tonight says Foxtel has been rapt over the knuckles for not classifying their programs correctly, and some should only be shown on the Adult channels.

Some of the programs in trouble are Cathouse – (Showtime Channel), The Wonderful World of Sex (The Comedy Channel) and Naked Wild On (E! Entertainment Channel). It makes reality TV look positively intellectual.

Project Runway’s Kenley Collins Is Putting Out A Clothing Range

The Daily Beast has an interview with one of the more memorable and controversial Project Runway contestants Kenley Collins. She state the two days she spent in jail for assaulting her then partner has made her more focused. Also she has a clothing line coming out and will show at Spring Fashion Week.

August 29, 2009   Comments Off on Reality Tidbits

Top Chef Masters – what would you cook for Doogie Howser?

Three chefs are into the final so far: Rick Bayless, Suzanne Tracht and Hubert Keller. If the trend continues, the finale will be a love-fest of unprecedented proportions. Tonight, I am paying particular attention to the ingestions of Kelly Choi. As commenters have pointed out, she does not appear to allow any morsels to pass her lips, although I have heard her critiquing the food. Let’s see if we can catch her snacking!

Tonight’s contenders are:

Douglas Rodriguez, Chef Proprietor of Ola restaurant in Miami, and Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia (why is it that their caption – in this case, Philadelphia – is only part of how they introduce themselves and doesn’t even reflect the priority in which they structure their experiences?). His cuisine is “tortilla-free Latin American cooking”, which Tom Colicchio (hola, Tom!) reinterprets as “nuevo Latino cuisine”. Douglas is yet another recipient of the James Beard Rising Star award.

Anita Lo – Chef/Owner of Annisa and Chef/Partner of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, both of New York City. She also has a Michelin star. If previous episodes are anything to go by, James Oseland will tell us a little bit more about her. Aaaand, here’s James! He tells us that she works the line a lot so “she’s a great COOK, in addition to being a great chef”. This should certainly hold her in good stead for this competition, as she could be up against people who do little day-to-day pressure cooking. The dumplings she’s plating up look lovely.

John Besh has many, many restaurants in New Orleans. I could Google them, but then I might miss Kelly eating. He’s honoured to be representing his city and culture – Gail steps in to give us a rundown on all his awards and we see him cooking up some delicious looking crawfish. I hope the challenges give him some scope to bring some Cajun in.

Mark Peel – Chef/Owner of Campanile in Los Angeles. I wonder if he has any sort of home town advantage? Whole Foods are probably set up the same all over. Tom tells us he started with Wolfgang Puck and James says he’s one of California’s “greatest chefs” – “Campanile is really one of Los Angeles’ best restaurants”.

Kelly is here, ready to introduce the challenge. What will it be? And will she taste the results? Let’s find out, after the jump…

[Read more →]

August 29, 2009   3 Comments

Fans Want Kyle Sandilands To Be Reinstated On Australian Idol

kyle

Well we have had a week of Australian Idol without Kyle Sandiland’s and already there are calls for him to be returned to the judging panel.

In an article in the Daily Telegraph they say over 21,000 people on facebook have joined a bring back Kyle site.

The view is even though the new judge Jay Dee Springbett is nice, and knows the record industry he is not that entertaining.

The article said:

Fans say they “miss his wit” and that the show has become “too serious” without Sandilands and Mark Holden, who left the series in 2008.

Holden, who created the “touchdown”, said Idol had been more damaged by the loss of Sandilands than the controversy.

“The brand has been diluted by the constant changes to the format.

“People forget it’s not just Kyle. There’s been many moves. John Foreman’s gone, James Mathison’s gone and I’m gone.

Holden said Springbett was “a lovely chap” but Idol now lacked the humour provided by himself, Sandilands and Mathison.

Former contestant Mark Spano said he was “disappointed” Ten had not stuck by Sandilands.

“It’s been a witch hunt,” he said.

“I love Kyle. He doesn’t sugar-coat anything. He’s the perfect judge.

“Jay Dee’s got a great knowledge of music but Dicko does too.

“There needs to be a balance.

“Dicko knows music, Marcia has the niceness and then there was the evilness of Kyle.

“The show will be lacking something without him.”

Personally I would have gone with a guest judge for the third spot on the panel. This would have meant when the producers hit upon a winning formula they could have stuck with it.

TV Tonight also have an interesting article on how they think Andrew G is the person putting the entertainment back into the show.

Do you think Kyle should come back?

August 29, 2009   5 Comments