And who better to pretend to honour Broadway in front of than the diva herself, LIZA MINNELLI?
"If you were shitting in a theatre chair and you were looking at this performance, what would you want to see?" asks Liza.
Cleaners running towards me with mops and buckets, I think. And someone with a spare pair of pants.
Meanwhile, as all the other Idols are busy looking at each other going "Who the f*ck is Liza Minnelli?", Nathan's inner puppy dog looks like this:
For even more realism, imagine the keyboard as a piano keyboard.
And then in a scene reminiscent of the last time your grandma had too much sherry at Christmas lunch and started singing show tunes, Liza comes racing out onto the stage in a black sequinned sack and starts belting out Cabaret.
The tween audience is thrilled.
"Who let nanna out the home again?"
Now look - I'm no gay man, but I love Liza. I love that she's a wild-eyed, screeching, stomping, sequin-clad hot mess who looks like she's taken more drugs than Keith Richards - and that's just in the last 24 hours. But even I'll admit that this performance was RUBBISH. She sounded like a drunk yelling to the neighbours after locking herself out of her apartment building at three in the morning.
"HEY JOE, LEMME IN - I LOST MY KEYS AGAIN!"
Not only that, but she seemed obssessed with looking around behind her all the time - maybe she was expecting the nursing home staff with a big net and straight jacket at any second.
Of course, she gets a standing ovation anyway, because it is international law punishable by firing squad that Liza Minnelli must always get a standing ovation for Cabaret.
Then she pashes Ken Doll on the lips and flounces off - clearly whatever she's imbibed in the last 24 hours makes its way relatively quickly into G's bloodstream, as he starts waving to the judges and prattling on nonsenically.
I AM NOT TWEAKING.
Over to the bottom three, which tonight is HAYELY, KIM and KATE. Well this is a no brainer - goodbye cowgirl! Oh for f... are you serious? SHE GOT THROUGH? HOW FAR CAN ONE GIRL GET ON SO LITTLE TALENT? Could it be possible that Idol's resident rock chick will be kicked out tonight? (well, that's what you get for singing Tainted Love WITHOUT ONCE SINGING THE CHORUS, YOU PRANNY.)
But no, it's little Kimmy Cooper who gets the arse. Fare the well, blondie - you couldn't sing but you knew how to accessorise. The worst part of all of this of course is that it suggests Jay Dee's comments actually hold some weight with Idol viewers.
Backstage two crew members hoist Liza onto a sack truck and roll her out for round two with Ken Doll, which involves this sparkling piece of repartee:
KEN DOLL: Tell me Liza, after your shows do you rouge your knees and roll your stockings down?
KEN DOLL: And all that jazz? No?
LIZA: Wha.. do I WHO?
KEN DOLL: Exactly.
Of course, the correct response from Liza should have been "No I don't, because as everyone knows that's CHICAGO not CABARET, YOU MORON."
First up tonight is TOBY with Queen's Somebody to Love. Is this like, the 15th Queen song we've seen on the show this far? Whatever happened to Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston? I haven't used my counters in ages.
"Why the hell ain't no one singin' my shit no mo'?"
Liza leads him through a rehearsal in which she helpfully tells him he's like a stunned mullet that somebody hit with a wet towel. Maybe she's not so out of touch after all.
At this point I'd like to remind you that tonight is STAGE AND SCREEN NIGHT. Of course, some idiot turned the songs of Queen into a Broadway musical, which somehow makes Toby's song choice legal.
My new counter, for tonight's show only.
So anyway, Toby sounds pretty good - but once again he just strolls around the stage pointing at people. MEMO TO TOBY: remember this guy?
He actually DID stuff on stage.
You can't just stand there looking awkward and singing pretty and looking very very gorgeous indeed and... er... ahem. Anyway you can't just stand there and expect to win this thing, Toby. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FELLOW SOUTH AUSTRALIANS.
Dicko tells Toby he has to sell his body to win. Well, that would probably score him more votes. Marcia says it was incredibly gay. Oh wait, GAME. Sorry, I thought for a minute she might have been talking about Jay Dee's shirt.
Ooooh, suit YOU sir!
Liza says something about kittens and rainbows and pass the gin please, and Jay Dee says he has nothing negative to say. Which makes a nice change from every other week when he has nothing at all to say.
Moving on to STAN, who's chosen The Circle of Life from The Lion King.
Here's what I think of that song choice.
I mean seriously, The Circle of Life? LAME. Fortunately he hasn't dressed up in a faux fur headdress - instead he's opted for an ill fitting Ed Harry suit and T shirt. Actually, I'm not sure whether that's any better. So yeah, look, it's a passable performance. I mean, it's a good performance - if you're into the Lion King. So if we can all get into our Deloreans and travel back to the early 90s when people actually liked Hakuna Mutata, Stan will be fine.
Marcia says she got chills - although that could just be the air conditioning. Liza says she could have used a little more body movement in her belief system. And also a little more gin in her martini. Jay Dee says "THIS GUY'S A STAR!" and still fails to get the crowd excited. Dicko says "Hakuna Mutata", so clearly his Delorean is still running fine.
Next up is KATE with Son of a Preacher Man.
Liza hits the rehearsal room to give Kate some much needed advice on how to sing the song.
"Look - Billy Ray was a girl. She was a PREACHER'S SON," slurs Liza, while Kate nods and smiles, wondering how she missed the whole transexual subplot of the song on first reading.
In a nutshell:
- Clearly it was 50 per cent off at Ed Harry this weekend as, like Stan, Kate is dressed in an oversized black suit and matching hat. Actually, the hat is slightly more oversized than the suit is.
- Even with the new girl-boy subtext, Kate singing about "the only boy who could ever thrill me" is still cause for nudging and winking at my place.
"The only one who could ever thrill me was a girl with a singlet on," sings Raoul.
- Liza says "You rock me, you knock me out, kick more butt. And get me some more gin."
- Jay Dee says something about how he's nearing the end of his club nights. Maybe if you changed your shirt they'd let you in more?
- Dicko criticises Kate for turning the song into cabaret, seemingly unaware that the world's bigest cabaret star is one metre to his right, and also THAT IT'S STAGE AND SCREEN NIGHT, ISN'T CABARET THE WHOLE BLOODY POINT?
- "There's nothing here to be frightened of, we're here to love you," says Marcia, which would seem to be enough cause for fright in itself.
Moving along to HAYLEY who is singing Powderfinger's These Days.
Is she serious?
Apparently it was in some Australian film at some point. Yeah great, whatever. I mean, what is the point of this theme? It might as well be "sing whatever the hell you want night".
- She's not wearing a black jacket for once which is a nice change, although she is wearing a dirty big wooden cross. So either she's worried about vampires, or she's been spending way too much time backstage with churchy Stan and she's finally joined Hillsong. In which case, she should really be singing something from Jesus Christ Superstar. Actually, that would have been sweet.
- Strangely enough - this is terrible. I mean really, really awful. This might be the first time I've seen Hayley be this underwhelming. Oh well, at least she's managing to sing the chorus this time.
- Jay Dee says it didn't get out of first gear. For the first time ever, I agree with Jay Dee.
Meanwhile - if anyone sees these four horsemen, can they let me know?
- Dicko says it was benign and needed more spikes. Kind of like the exact opposite to Liza's pre-show drink.
- Marcia says 45 seconds wasn't enough time for her to do the song justice. This may be the only time I've ever agreed with Marcia too. (Can I hear hooves in the distance?)
- "Is that the song you sang in front of me before? Oh that's another one? Then I'm gonna wait for that one," says Liza, in what is obviously the best quote of the series so far.
Next up is JAMES with the first fully proper authentic Broadway song of the night - You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel.
Hooray for Broadway!
Sadly that's where my excitement ends for James. He wears a black suit. He yells a bit. His hair is fuzzy. That's all I have to say.
Dicko says he doesn't want to pee on everyone's bonfire but James doesn't have the life experience to sing that song. Meanwhile, there's a strange smell in the air - like charred wood and asparagus. Marcia says she was still, he was still, and singers don't have monkeys on their backs. Then she passes the empty pill bottle back to Liza under the desk. Liza says James made her believe he was the age he was, and the way he looked, and that he believed what he was saying, and GOD DAMMIT WHERE'S MY GIN? Jay Dee says "the kid I was ribbing six weeks ago blew my socks off". No one is sure if he's talking about James or just confessing to what he got up to on the weekend.
Moving right along to NATHAN, Idol's resident theatre geek who will no doubt throw on some ears and a tail and do Rum Tum Tugger from Cats, or put on a stackhat and some rollerblades and give us the theme song to Starlight Express... or Thriller. He could just do Thriller.
With just 45 seconds to deliver, and with animated bats flapping in the background, and the fact that you know, IT'S FRIGGING MICHAEL JACKSON, this performance certainly tempts the fail gods.
"Cos this is bullshiiiit, bullshit yeah!" sings Raoul, stuffing himself with rocky road.
Actually I think it's rather good - I'm starting to rather love Nathan. But seriously, it's stage and screen night - WHERE IS MY LLOYD WEBBER?
Marcia says it was incredibly exciting, although she might still be referring to those pills Liza gave her earlier. Liza says it was "gangbusters", which is a word I encourage everyone to use at least once this week in their daily lives, such as:
"Gee, this coffee is gangbusters!"
"Say team, this strategy report is gangbusters!"
"Yo, check our gang - it's gangbusters!"
Jay Dee thanks Nathan for cutting his hair (he's offering haircuts to the Idol crew now? Is Nathan SURE he has a girlfriend?) and Dicko says he's travelling well.
Next on the block is... hang on, what the? TOBY? We've already seen him! WHADDYA MEAN THEY'RE DOING TWO SONGS EACH?
This is me right about now.
Right so, OK, it's TOBY again with Radiohead's Exit Music from a Film. Apparently this was in some Baz Luhrmannn film. I think you know what that means.
"Get over your Radiohead obssession, dickhead," spits Raoul. I concur.
Marcia says "I love radio HEAD!" Not sure what that is - is it different from TV head? Liza says it was really sexy. And also, is that gin on the way? Jay Dee asks if Toby wants to be Radiohead, to which Toby replies that's where God wants him to be. What the? Have all the Idols turned churchy over the last seven days? AND WHAT KIND OF GOD WANTS ANYONE TO BE RADIOHEAD?
I mean seriously, look at the frontman.
"I'd love to see things from Jay Dee's point of view but I can't get my head that far up my own arse," snarks Dicko.
"Not even with all that Jenny Craig?" snaps Jay Dee.
JERRY, JERRY, JERRY!
"Can you sort this out Liza?" interrupts Ken Doll
"Yes. Speaking of Joey... er..." stutters Liza, proving that in fact no, she can't.
Back on the block is STAN with We Will Rock You. Ie: Queen. AGAIN.
Won't somebody bring the theatrics?
As expected, it's very r&b meets rock. It's quite good. But you know, it's Queen. I AM SO OVER QUEEN ALREADY.
"We will, we will rock you," sings Stan.
"Fuck you stick it right up you!" finishes Raoul triumphantly. See how Liza likes THAT version.
Jay Dee gives his usual enlightening commentary by saying "Band - wow". Also: "Food - good" and "Marcia - pretty". Dicko calls the song ghetto fabulous, despite Queen songs having absolutely nothing to do with the ghetto ever. Liza says it was a powerhouse. Marcia says something else, I dunno - I can barely remember my own name anymore this show's been going on so long.
KATE gets up again, sings something called Make You Feel My Love, which apparently was written by Bob Dylan, but was on one his albums post 1966 which means I don't care about it.
"I blue myself."
Kate is... you know, Kate. I can't even be bothered with this girl anymore. She wears a hat and a big old belt buckle and sings a song. Whatever. The judges have clearly all been lulled into a dream state as well - either that, or they've all beensharing Liza's pills - as Dicko says it was captivating, Marcia says it made her want to embrace her, Liza says it was really good and Jay De says he can see a beautiful energy. Someone light some incense and let's get this shit over with.
HAYLEY hits the stage next with Oh What a Night, which is apparently allowable because it's in new musical Jersey Boys.
Jersey Boys my arse.
Hayley's performance in four words: bongoes, strings, not bad.
Just for something different, Marcia says she's always loved that song and it's one of her favourites. Liza says Hayley's shyness is touching. Also, could someone do something about that two tonne pink tarantula dangling from the ceiling above her head, it's casting a shadow. Jay Dee says Hayley shouldn't experiment, unlike everyone on the judging panel this evening. Dicko's pills kick in and for a second he thinks he's on Celebrity Masterchef, saying the song didn't have much sugar, but it had heat and some sour tones. It probably would have gone well with a nice cold sauvignon blanc.
JAMES is back with Crazy Little Thing Called Love, otherwise known as a song that would have gone down better last week. Also:
I'm getting angry now.
So apparently this song featured in 2006 film Failure to Launch. Remember that smash hit? Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker playing romantic leads - what could possibly go wrong with that concept?
"I hate this song," spits Raoul.
Me too. I also hate James' stupid black suit with the white piping round the edge, and his faux Elvis accent, and the over enthusiastic brass in the band... I HATE IT ALL. WHEN WILL THIS SHOW BE OVER?
Liza says he could have used more intention. JUST LIKE SHE COULD USE SOME MORE GIN IN HER GOD DAMN MARTINI, IS NO ONE LISTENING?? Jay Dee reaches into the deepest recesses of his critical brain, and says "On the flat bits it was a little flat". He truly is a wordsmith. Dicko says it's all there, he just needs to put it together - like an Ikea bookcase.
And finally, we bring it on home with a proper theatrical finale befitting a celebration of the stage - NATHAN with Music of the Night from Phantom.
"I want you to think of something absolutely glorious from one night in your life," says Liza during rehearsals.
"Slowly, gently," sings Nathan, making me wonder just what glorious night he's re imagining...
I think maybe the time he French polished his mum's antique sideboard.
He's no Michael Crawford, but he does a tidy job of a big song in a small space of time. OMG, is Nathan my new favourite?
"That was slamming and in the pocket," says Raoul.
"He's still in those fat pants though."
Jay Dee says Nathan brought the fire. Everyone nods and smiles and pretends to know what he means. Liza says "Let's go for a walk!", then realises she's still on a live TV show and contiunues anyway.
"I wanted to walk with you and I wasn't afraid," she says. You know you've made it when you can sing to Liza Minnelli and not scare the shit out of her.
"You look so mature, as if you could have taken me or Liza by the hand wherever you wanted to take us," gushes Marcia, while thousands of viewers around the country reach for their Inappropriate Flirting Buckets to spew into.
And lo, so endeth Stage and Screen Night. Thank god for that. Any last words, Liza?
"Huh? I thought it was ageing cream night!"