If the top 10's theme was top 10 hits, shouldn't '80s night have been saved for the top eight? And shouldn't the top nine be singing '90s hits? Anyway...
The episode starts with the top 10's rendition of the Duran Duran classic 'Girls on Film'. It's spectacularly dreadful: first the boys come out and dance together (it's like watching a dodgy '90s boy band) followed by the girls.
While I'm recovering from that sensory assault, Andrew G begins the elimination. You know this should really be at the end of the show, not the beginning. That'd certainly give the show a much-needed shot of suspense, anyway. So the bottom three is Kim, Sabrina and Nathan, and Nathan is immediately told he's safe. OMG. Could it be? Is Sabrina going home...?
YES! SHE'S OUT! For some reason, "Ding dong, the witch is dead" pops into my head as soon as Andrew reads out Sabrina's name. I'll kind of miss her obnoxious craziness it's fun to have someone to hate.
Tonight's guest judge, by the way, is Aussie muso Ross Wilson. I'm too young to know who that is.
Nathan Brake, 'Living On A Prayer'
It's clear Nathan is trying to play down those gay rumours he starts off by declaring he's had a girlfriend for three years. Yeah, because no gay guy ever had a girlfriend as teenager. He tries his best to be all macho during the performance, but it just comes off as his usual theatrical thing there's no edge to it. Dicko disses the song choice, but Ross reckons Nathan "carved it up". I hope all Ross's judgements aren't going to be that boring.
Scott Newnham, 'Let’s Groove'
Scott still looks painfully uncomfortable up on stage, only he makes it worse by throwing in some wooden grandpa dance moves. The terrible musical arrangement isn't helping him the music this season sounds like it's been pinched from a bad karaoke tape (bring back John Foreman!). Ross waffles on about "career moves", whatever that means, while Dicko hits the nail on the head by musing that Scott's eyes always betray him. So true they reveal his discomfort.
Hayley Warner, 'Dancing In the Dark'
Perfect, perfect song choice for her, and she knocks it out of the park she even gets on the drums at the end. (I can't drum at all, as I recently discovered while playing Beatles Rock Band, so I respect her skills.) Dicko says Hayley is "developing into a terrific brand", which is a terrible thing to say about a human being as JD correctly points out. Ross adds that Hayley's voice is "like a laser beam".
Toby Moulton, 'I Want To Know What Love Is'
Just what Toby needs another drippy ballad. No doubt his older female target demographic will love it, though (during his performance the camera even hovers over Marcia, wearing a huge cheesy smile). JD and Dicko credit Toby for singing to his audience, while Ross lets slip that Toby has been doing some behind-the-scenes songwriting. I can't wait to hear the drippy ballads he pens for himself!
Kim Cooper, 'You Keep Me Hangin On'
I like Kim, and I feel bad she was in the bottom two. At the same time, though, there's nothing about her that reaches out and hooks me her performance tonight is great, and she's giving it her all, but will it be enough to save her next week? Ross offers some actual criticism, saying he saw the wheels turning in Kim's head during her performance, but it's Marcia's verdict that is the memorable one: The band is "the bed of rice, and you're the casserole," she tells Kim. "Do you understand what I'm saying?" I sure as hell don't.
Tim Johnston, 'Heaven'
Tim and Toby are almost doing battle in the "heartfelt ballad" genre. By now, I'm totally convinced that Tim's looks is what's keeping him in the competition the performance is pretty flat, in several senses of the word. Ross, JD and Dicko all want Tim to get a little dirtier, a little grittier, a little more electric which might be difficult for Tim, who confesses that the dirtiest thing he's done lately is go without a shower for a day. How scandalous.
Kate Cook, 'When The Going Gets Tough'
I hate to say it, but this is Kate's worst performance yet. It's a woeful song choice, the back-up singers are super-cheesy, and she just doesn't seem like she's into it at all. Marcia says something that makes perfect sense (for a change) when she opines that there was no emotional connection with the song, prompting Kate to confess that she more or less picked it off a list at random. Ross says that Kate has "a really attractive... voice", which is kind of a burn.
Stan Walker, 'Purple Rain'
Stan has a knack for choosing great songs for himself, and this choice is no exception. It suits his voice perfectly, and even though I'm not a huge fan of his I'm happy to admit it's one of the best performances of the night. When he's done, the idiotic members of the audience start braying for a touchdown (which, thankfully, none of the judges actually does. Touchdowns are lame). Praise for Stan includes phrases such as "sensational", "fantastic", "a knockout punch" and "the bomb". He did good.
James Johnston, 'Power Of Love'
I think James is my new favourite. Actually, I'm sure of it: he's cute, he's talented, and he's a great performer. James FTW! Tonight he sounds surprisingly confident and mature, given that he's only like 12 years old or something. Dicko says the performance reminded him of Michael J. Fox in his heyday and declares he's "sexy with trainer wheels" (hee!), while the other judges are equally effusive in their praise. James reminds us how young he is at the end by revealing he wasn't even born in the '80s, which is kinda weird.
My pick: I'm going to tip Kim to go, because so far everyone who's survived the bottom two has gone on to be eliminated the next week.