Boy am I excited and gee wizz I bet you folk at home are too.
I even got the penguin suit pressed just for the occasion. How do I look?
I bet you say that to all the penguins.
As preparations for this Night of Nights(TM registered) go, I've got an armory of grade A, HB pencils so sharp a catburgler could use them to score glass in a jewelry heist.
Because we're in for a long one, I've also got 5lbs of the finest Columbian coffee money can buy
A couple of grams of crack cocaine (pure)
And, call me sick, two little buoys (don't judge me).
Alright, here we go.
So we open with a slick recap of the Idol series, pan across the Sydney harbor to a rabid crowd of pre-pubescent teens to see the organ grinder's monkey (thanks Redcap) and the camp quality puppet crowd surfing towards the stage.
Next, we cross to everyone's favorite frump, Angela Bishop schmoozing with a who's who of Idol legends. Hey, there's Shannon Noll, oh it's Guy Sebastian and one of the chicks from the veronicas and JESUS H CHRIST! what the hell is that? Oh shit, it's Casey Donovan!
I don't wanna sound unfeeling, but I literally recoiled at the very sight of the girl. Not only did she have a bunch of steel piercings hanging off her face, she looked like a giant mandarine coloured life raft!
Damn, I'm not saying she's let herself go, but the girl was so chubby (insert favourite fat joke here)
As if it's election night, we cross to Darwin to see some crap commercial radio announcer with an unnatural amount of enthusiasm geeing up the crowd and introducing the chief minister of the NT, Clare Martin. So it IS election night!
We meet the judges on the couch. Mark is wearing a creeping white suit, white tie. Marcia, it pains me to admit it, looks stunning and Kyle is reclining on the couch with one leg crossed over the over, in the way, presumably, the producers arranged him before coming on camera.
Our first performance is from the Young Divas, who pull off an uncanny impersonation of Destiny's Child, bumping, grinding speaking eubonics and giving it all that with their smash hit Right About Now.
Next up it's a song from my fellow countryman Tiny Tony Callea, head shaved like a cancer patient and letting us have the first single from his new recurd.
Apart from a creak here and there, my pint sized paesano does a good job on some droll pap that (mark my words) will be the last dance at Italian weddings everywhere for the next 40 years.
There's a boring recap of the auditions and the day our finalists first sheepily ambled in to strut their stuff for the judges before our next musical treat, a funky disco track by Marcia and Deni "remember when I had a career" Hines.
Freak me sideways if Marcia doesn't come out with her shirt collar popped and wearing the spangliest pair of pants I've ever seen. Not only that, but they're so tight we can see exactly where Deni came from. Deni, for the record, is wearing a gold condom on her head.
After the break we cross to the dressing room to eat cheescake and chew the fat with Jessica and Damien's mummys. In her two pack a day voice, Jessica's mum says Jessica's much more mature than she used to be, while Damien's mum says diddly dee diddly dee potatoes.
Next up is Idol grand-daddy Guy "I haven't had sex yet but one time I took a girl to bible study without a chaperone" Sebastian, who is wearing pointy black shoes and playing a guitar so thin I swear he's strumming a piece of plywood.
He's singing some piffle about "elevator love" as the disc shaped stage starts to elevate hydraulically above the crowd. Oh, I get it elevators. Long and tan and fat and ugly, the girl from iponema goes.. Ding, this floor haberdashery, menswear, next floor, shithousen music.
At this point I realise it's 8.30pm and the performances proper haven't started. Sure, Redcap, I'll do cover the Grand Finale. Bollocks. Sigh.
Ahh, but it's Shannon Noll to restore my faith in humanity.
I start listening, I mean, really listening to his lyrics and I'm overcome.
"Yeah, I DO get lonely, Shannon," and yeah, I always wonder if there's a better life." By song's end not only am I teary but I'm more than a bit freaked out.
Has this guy been snooping through my thoughts and feelings?
It's time for a break and just long enough for me to have a quick word to our hosts who come back with a wardrobe change. Out of the casual jackets and band t-shirts and into much more appropriate attire - penguin suits.
The finalists are led to the steps of the Opera house by a horse drawn cavalcade, as cheech and chong describe the action.
"This is seriously the biggest night of their lives," Andrew G says, making the biggest overstatement in recorded history.
Yeah, your weddings, the birth of your children and death of your parents will pale in comparison to tonight, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
The organ grinder's monkey is reeling off statistics like he's commentating a game of poker.
"Damien, I think received four touchdowns this year, which is more than anyone has ever got."
Oh is that right? Didn't he also get a nutflush on the screwdown?
The finalists make it to the steps and the boys ask Jess how she's feeling.
"Hee hehe, blabber blabber dribble drool oh yeah, it's just incredible and you know, they just really love us and love what they do, hehehehehe blubbber drool dribble babble "
Next up is a faux attempt at a theatrical high point - a collaboration between Chris Murphy, Ricky Muscat, Bobby Flynn and the other recent rejects on Coldplay's Fix You. Despite the fireworks, the performance packs about as hard a punch as an aenemic six year old girl.
Another pointless filler package and we're finally ready for some freaking singing!!!! Right? Right? Ba Bow. It's a song from the final 12. Why not, it's only 8.56pm.
As it happens, it's not one song but a ballsy, high energy medely, a vehicle for the vocal brilliance of the top 12. It's all ho hum until Bobby Flynn launches into Never Tear Us Apart by INXS.
When the performance has ended, 3000 people in the Opera House are on their feet - not to cheer but to stretch their limbs cos it's frigging 9.04pm and THE FINALISTS HAVE YET TO FUCKING SING.
Another break and we're back to a packaged interview with Jessica's parents. Let's just say it becomes quickly apparent why speaking English is not her greatest asset. "When I hear her sing, I just get a goosebump, I just sit there....frozen," beams dad.
As if to prove my point she comes out and says:
"It's a very long learning process and I've just go so much to learn and it's just incredible and oh giggle, oh, giggle." Ok, she is a bit cute, though.
We cross back to Darwin for interviews with Jess' high school principal, at which point I start checking if the coffee table will support my weight and look for anchorage points on the ceiling.
Jess babbles incoherently about singing at which point, Andrew says something like, "well, speaking of singing, we know you've got a song up your sleeve(Finally!).... after the break". FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS RIGHT AND JUST!
At 9.22pm, the dam breaks. Clad in a satin jacket, jeans and riding boots and dripping in jewellery Jess winds up to deliver When You Believe.
It's workmanlike, so of course, the judges think it's awesome.
"We know it, she's dynamite," says Marcia
"We loved her the moment we saw her in the desert," says Kyle.
"From the thongs to the opera house, I mean, what can you say?," Mark says. Yeah.
We've made the sponsors some more money and we're back with the organ grinder's monkey, who brings out Damien, or as, monkey boy likes to call him, "the people's tenor."
Leefy gets a twinkly dreamy highlights package too that, I must say, brings a lump to my trouser and we cross out to meet with some of his compatriots at a Gaelic club somewhere. There's also a big surprise for our young lad, with messages of support from the Emerald Isle.
"Best o luck to ya, keep tings goin'" says a neighbnour.
"Congratulations on cummin dis far," says his cockeyed auntie.
We're back from a break - during which we learn Big Brother is coming back - and Leefy ambles out, collars up, to punch out Nessun Dorma, that Michael Bolton classic he melted the judges with a few weeks ago.
He ratchets up to the high notes, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
We take a rare break and we're back up to Darwin to meet Jess' nanna, whose cute in her own way but whose vocabularly is limited to the words "yes" and "yeah,", which she punctuates with lashings of giggling.
Monkey Boy has us in stitches when he crosses to the "gay-lick" club before announcing that the votes are in and our Idol winner is just.....another ad break away. I'll get you for this Redcap.
.............. we're back, or something and blah blah........ zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz another......performance......from the top 12. woo! The New Radicals, Get What You Give. Love that song. Yawn. It's a good song. Yawn. Hmmm, wonder what I have to when I get to work tomorrow? Hmmm do I feel like some ice cream? Yawn.
Oh, they're done, we're back to the action.......ok, another break. Sure. No, I don't mind, why would I mind? WE'VE ONLY HAD 65 CUNTING AD BREAKS SO FAR!!
There's a wrap up from the judges and FINALLY, the money shot.
"The winner of Australian Idol, 2006 is..... Damien Leith."
Damien is sufficiently stunned by the win and Jessica is humble in defeat.
"Good on ya, Damien, good on ya," she says.
In the best performance of the night, Damien gives a good account of himself with the half-decent winning single, Night of My Life, clearly at precisely the same time as a set-designer is angle grinding at the back of the stage sending sparks showering down on to the stage.
Despite his Irish heritage, Leefy proves he's worthy of the tag Australian idol, saying "I can't thank yous enough".
I blame all you pricks who voted for him
We're out. Roll credits. Raoul.