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Idols 6: Praise be to Kahn

2010-08-02 07:48

The Parlotones frontman was the most useful guest judge this season has seen. Unlike his fellow panelists, it wasn't about laughs, charity or perving for him.

When an unsuccessful contestant started sobbing after four nos, Kahn reassured her that this wasn't her only platform, and if she was determined, she'd make it. Kahn knows all about doing anything and everything necessary to get your, uh, product out there. 

Kahn's serious demeanour was always followed by honest, constructive criticism.

Well, most of the time. Towards the end of the day, when Gareth, Mara and Randall amused themselves with a horrendous Beyoncé rendition, all he could do was laugh. If you can't beat them, join them.

Please note that this is not a sudden confession of a closet Parlotones fan. I'd buy a Steve Hofmeyr CD before subjecting myself to voluntary reruns of their cookie cutter tunes. I've heard rumours that despite being sellouts, the Parlotones are seriously nice guys. I believe it now, because it's true.

As much as I expect the judges to be fair and respectful, often you can't blame them for having a giggle at a contestant's expense. Take little Sarah for example. No one could figure out what song she was attempting. Her diction was so bad, she must have been Liezel's protégé. 

After a redeeming start, the show melted into a puddle of fake tears once again. Bongi spent the night in the rain to audition. Ag shame. Isn't that what you're supposed to do if you're really serious and determined? He was fantastic and deserved to go through, and I'm glad he didn't milk his story despite the producers' blatant exaggeration.

Then there was Jamie-Lee who made the Top 12 a few seasons ago. I hate these comebacks - their talent always seems to have waned over the years. But Jamie-Lee was special because her dad died three years ago. Death in the family? Have a golden ticket with our condolences! It's enough to make me sick.

10-year-old Chanté hit her head at school a few years ago and now she has permanent fluid on her brain. All she wants is to sing for people. That's sweet enough and I appreciate her situation.  Idols grabbed the opportunity to milk more tears and invited her to perform for the judges despite not being old enough to compete. It would have been a touching story if she was some sort of Connie Talbot from Britain's Got Talent. But her singing was bad... really bad. To add salt to the wound, the judges praised her Juanita rendition and gave her an 'honorary' golden ticket'. How is she going to feel when she watches the rerun in a few years? Talk about exploitation. Sies!

Just as nauseating is the judges' 'holier than thou' attitude. Gareth called businessman Daniel 'bhuti' - can't we just keep the greetings uniform? Mara gave a poor musician R100 for lunch and Randall is under the permanent delusion that he's God's gift to pop music. No wonder one of the other unsuccessful contestants asked for taxi fare home. If they're going to waddle in their perfumed superiority, they better be willing to put their wallets where their mouths are.

I started on a positive note, and despite my turbulent relationship with the show, I'm going to end on a positive note because I believe in a well-rounded performance. ProVerb is a fantastic host. His interactions with the contestants are smart, comical and completely sincere. I can't wait to see him make Liezel sound even dumber on stage, although that's quite a tall order.

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Guest judge Kahn Morbee still believes Idols is a talent search. Bless his little naive heart.

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