Top Ten Torture

2010-09-06 08:17

A strange sense of comfort came over me watching Idols this week. Despite all the changes to the format this year, the old Idols I knew and hated was back on screen.

Liezel was in pink-haired, tongue-twisting form; conversing in awkward backstage banter and making basic grammatical errors like “Jamie-Lee and Boki is up next”. The production crew probably had to cut back on teleprompters to afford that designer pad the contestants are staying in this year. It’s a far cry from the shack with wooden bunk beds and no colander that Jason complained about last year.

Yip, things were back to normal. All the individuality has been weeded out and all the contestants can comfortably perform under the enormous umbrella of the pop rock genre. Because U2, Prince and Katy Perry all fall in the same musical category, right? 

The performances also seem to be following a formula: Start off slow, off-key and nervous, build up to a lung-roaring chorus and then take a dramatic pause just before you sing and/or hover over your last power note. 

Let’s see who made the best of this blanket week.

Elvis Blue 5/10
Play that funky music, white boy. If only it worked out that way. Elvis, like so many of the poor contestants in the last few weeks, had to contend with psychedelic accompaniments which transported us back a few decades… and it wasn’t just the song. Elvis wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great either. He blew his load in the audition rounds and hasn’t quite lived up to that on stage yet.

Gail 2/10
Moulin Rouge meets Avril Lavigne. P!nk's Please Don't Leave Me was the worst possible choice for Gail. The showgirl outfit, the voice, no impact - it was just all wrong.

Pieter West 3/10
After slowly murdering Maroon 5’s I Won’t Go Home Without You by dragging it over his gravelly voice, Pieter West is going home without the title.

Adeline 4/10
The FHM poppie is trying so damn hard to prove she's more than an FHM poppie. But as Randall rightly said: "No one does Prince". For Adeline, Purple Rain was all about giving her naysayers the finger. But it blew up in her face. On the upside, she looked a lot better than she did last week.

Jamie-Lee 5/10
Ugh... How many more times must we hear an Idol wannabe do Light My Fire? All I think is Will Young, not The Doors. Besides looking terribly uncomfortable in that restrictive skirt, Jamie-Lee hit a slope after the first verse and couldn't control her belting voice for the rest of the song.

Boki 7/10
Why yes, I am biased. Boki is one of my favourites. The crowd loved his velvety rendition of Kings of Leon's Use Somebody. And so did I. It almost doesn't matter what he sings; the tone of his voice is consistently lovely.

Sindi 4/10
Katy Perry is about as pop rock as Will Young is straight. However, I thought it would be a good fit for a funky chick like Sindi. I was wrong. Why does she always sound slow? Her lyrics come a little bit after the note has been played by the band. Whatever she was doing up there, I didn't like it.

Bongi 5/10
Bongi can play piano. Bravo. He can sing. Well done. But that still doesn't make him a performer. Bon Jovi's It's My Life is a crappy song to begin with, but by taking it down to a lonely, melancholy keyboard accompaniment, Bongi well and truly took the life out of it. I'm kind of over this guy.

Lloyd 6/10
Lloyd was much better last week. U2's Beautiful Day wouldn't have been my choice, and the tinny accompaniment didn't do him any favours. Gareth told Lloyd we'll have a black winner this year. It could be Lloyd if he just gets back to the inspirational stuff and ditches the screaming and falsetto notes.

Jess 5/10
Ag, poor Jess. I think she's scared of the big stage. She was so good in the audition room, and now she's just a ball of nerves. Her iffy rendition of The Cranberries' Zombie made me think a bomb was going off in her head because she was all over the place. She's just not as good a performer as she is a singer.

Who should leave:

Vote for your favourite until 10pm on Monday night. Here's how.  

* Click here to watch our pick of last night's best and worst Idols performances

This week’s Idols theme: Flop Rock.
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