Natalie Gauci wins Australian Idol

r206037_784969.jpgWell, it’s not standard Troppo fare I know – though aficionados may recall similar departures from me in the past, but Natalie Gauci won Australian Idol on Sunday night. Idol is quite a show – for the few who are uninitiated it’s a kind of souped up talent quest in the age of reality TV. Anyway it’s mostly good even if it’s not your cup of tea. I doubt I’d watch much of it, but my thirteen year old daughter is glued to it several times a week, and I like getting a bit more involved as the finals draw to a close. Part of the format is that they’re endlessly profiling the contestants so you get to know them (or perhaps I should say their ‘personalities’) quite well.

I liked Natalie from the start. A very unassuming girl from an Italian background. She’s also incredibly nice. And she can really sing – right on the note pretty much every time – which is not at all easy. Usually the really good contestants have had a fair bit of experience in the business singing in their own bands and so on and Natalie is no exception. Natalie was damn good and got a lot better as all the contestants do. Her competitor in the final was Matt – amazingly ten years younger than her at 16. He was a very nice kid too. And very very talented.

So it was a nice thing to watch. And what was nicest of all was that despite the endless inducements urgings to do so, neither finalist presented themselves in a stereotyped way. Neither pouted or carried on in the way that most kids think pop stars should. (I mentioned in this post that that was one of the things I liked most about the Beatles – their unpretentiousness.)0576963700.jpg

So it was a pure delight to see such a nice, talented person win and to gain such intense pleasure in the process. That’s a picture of her above just overcome with a happiness in which we could all share a little just by watching. Shortly before, her Italian grandparents were brought onto the stage whereupon her grandfather announced in his broken English that this was the most significant day, the day on which he had felt most proud in his entire life. Wiping tears away Natalie sang the single that will be released tomorrow (which, predictably is not much chop). Matt said that she deserved to win.

Have a look at the Idol site and if you’re interested, watch the videos of her singing here. Highlights include Orange Coloured Sky and How High The Moon. Play Umbrella if you want to see that gorgeous smile when she gets a coveted ‘touchdown’ from judge Mark Holden.

My favourite is ‘All the Boys in Town’. You might find the choreography a little cheesy, but I’d never realised it was such a good song.

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10 Responses to Natalie Gauci wins Australian Idol

  1. FDB says:

    She did All The Boys In Town?

    What a ripper of a number, but given the town-bike subject matter I wonder if it’s right for such a clean image. Always baffles me how people misinterpret songs, or in this case I guess just fail to comprehend what’s staring them in face.

  2. Darlene says:

    Good synopsis. Alas, Natalie might find winning Australian Idol doesn’t lead to much of anything.

    The song is Boys in Town (if it’s that song by the Divinyls). Best Australian rock song ever. At a time when Australian rock music was dominated by boys (e.g. Cold Chisel, the Oils), it was great to see the pouting, angry, uniformed Chrissie Amphlett – complete with Avon teddy bear perfume broach – belting out that song on the Saturday morning video show:

    I am thru with hanging around
    With all the boys in town
    Now i want a man around
    Get me out of here

    I am a just red brassiere to all the boys in town
    Put this bus in top gear get me out of here

    I must have been desperate i must have been pretty low
    I must have been desperate i must have been pretty low

    I was always driving home all the boys in town
    But they never telephoned get me out of here
    I think they’re pretty phoney
    You’re not like the rest
    You’ve heard of matrimony
    They’ve all flunked the test

  3. Darlene, what’s with the pouting? What’s so good about pouting?

  4. Darlene says:

    Cripes, I thought blokes loved it when women pout. Tee hee.

    It’s a gesture of anger at the patriarchy and/or blokes that have done a girl wrong.

  5. Niall says:

    Plus it looks sexy……at least that’s what I presume it’s meant to portray. Personally, I’m more basic when it comes to women.

  6. Perhaps pouting is sexy. But in a pretty superficial way – specially if it’s simply a mannerism – a put-on.

    It’s also ‘cool’ of course. And pretentious as hell.

    I heard a long interview with Chrissie Amphlett in which she spoke about her time with the band. It was basically a disaster for her personally.

    That’s ‘cool’ for you.

    I think it’s ironic that Idol gets bagged for lack of ‘authenticity’. It’s inauthentic in all sorts of ways of course. But so is all that pouting rock bullshit. If it was a pose in a song or whatever that would be fine, (and of course a performer can do whatever they like and good on them if it helps them be successful). But it gets lionised. IMO it’s pretty trivial pretentiousness.

    Through all the artifice and the encouragement by all and sundry to do the opposite, Natalie and Matt refused to be pretentious.

  7. James Farrell says:

    Natalie might find winning Australian Idol doesnt lead to much of anything.

    Well, it led to an invitation to perform at the Sydney FC v. LA Galaxy match last night in front of 80,000 (including me). That’s something.

  8. Darlene says:

    Mmmm, Ms Amphlett had some woes during the life of the Divinyls (some of them self-inflicted). She basically ends her autobiography by saying that she doesn’t apologise. Life’s much easier when you can admit your mistakes, one would think.

    She cultivated an image – rock/pop music is about lots of things including musical talent and presentation. Madonna hasn’t got the best voice on the planet, but she has mostly been interesting and funny and silly (with quite a few good pop songs to boot).

    Amphlett’s role as a strong woman in what was a male-dominated music industry remains very important. As does the import of Boys in Town in the history of Australian rock music.

    There’s nothing wrong with Idol, except that they often try and turn performers into something they’re not. Casey Donovan had a great voice, and they gave her a turgid Celiney thing to sing. They always do.

    Fair point, James.

  9. Darlene,

    You’re quite right and the line I’m arguing is a pretty subtle one. Because of course it’s OK for performers to have an ‘image’. I guess they pretty much all do. Speaking personally I really liked Madonna’s image. I liked it because, though I guess the elements of her persona were like quotations from other things, that’s the way with such things, and the images became very much her own. Vehicles for her incredible energy and chutzpah. Very confronting in lots of ways.

    I don’t know much about Chrissie A, but I don’t think she’s in that league. (Not because she’s not as ‘big’ as Madonna commercially). There’s nothing original about Chrissie that I can see. She does a good tough rock chick routine. And indeed she lived it – my guess is that it was to her cost but who knows? But, though she is no doubt a talented performer, I can’t see anything original in what I’ve seen of her. So I’m arguing that kind of amateur image making degrades into pretentiousness.

    I agree with you that the singles they give the Idol’s are poxy – as I said in my post. But that’s their first single. After that they get progressively more autonomy. Poor Casey was given plenty of latitude on the show, but unfortunately her post Idol career blew up for reasons that I don’t think are related to Idol’s inadequacies.

  10. Helen says:

    Nicholas, have you seen that woman’s lips? They’re like a Commodore inner tube blown halfway up. In order not to pout, she’d need to slap gaffa tape over them.

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