If you believe what you hear, you’d think that GPS navigation devices or LCD TVs are the ‘must-have’ consumer electronics appliances at the moment.
Well, I’ve got an inside tip on what’s bound to be on everyone’s Christmas wish list this year – the Megatron4000 Electric Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven.
It's as nifty as it sounds, my friends.
You enter in the key characteristics of this year’s Australian Idol contestants and the Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven will spit out the Idol finalist from previous years they most resemble. In so doing, it fills a gaping hole in the market for automated Idol analysis.
I was provided with a demonstration model during last night's episode of Idol, for the purposes of this review, and let me tell you, the Easy-Compare Oven is a very handy addition to a viewer's suite of critiquing options.
To demonstrate, let’s enter in the key profile data for Carl Risely.
Vocal talent = -40
Originality = -50
General understanding of music beyond genre of choice = -30
Flexibility as an ‘artist’ = -15
Mediocrity = +100
Plus, following his rendition of ‘Clocks’ on Rock night, the manual tells me I have to factor in an unknown amount of the Daniel Belle variable.
A 98% match for 2005’s Lee Harding, described by the Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven in scientific terms as belonging to the genus “uno-trickus equinus”, or, in the detailed description as a “sick joke that went on far too long enough by half, resulting in arguably the world’s worst pop single (Wasabi)."
Let’s play again, this time with Jacob Butler.
The Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven is quite flexible in the kinds of data you can enter, so we’ll go for some different categories of information this time.
Tendency to pull annoying facial expressions while singing = +60
Vocal talent = -30
General ‘bland’/forgettable factor = +50
This time we get a 65% match for 2004’s Marty Worrall, whose ugly singing face, the Easy-Compare Oven tells us, was thought to be responsible for a number of otherwise unexplained television explosions around the country at the time.
Thanks to its constant WAPGPRS3Gtooth connection to the Binternets, the Easy-Compare Oven can keep up to date with the most recent Idol info, and so includes interesting fact snippets, like, in this instance, the fact that both Marty and Jacob have butchered “Somewhere Only We Know”.
My last test-run involved Marty Simpson, and this scenario seemed to throw up an interesting glitch in the machine.
I entered in the data as per usual:
General air of grubbiness = +30
Tendency to shuffle about and mumble = +40
I expected to maybe get a 30% Dan England match, but instead I got this:
Not strictly speaking an Australian Idol finalist, but still, eerily close.
Before finishing up with the Easy-Compare Oven, I tried out one of its special features, the optional Schadenfreude add-on.
This is where you input the key characteristics of any chosen 2007 finalist and the Easy-Compare Oven cleverly assesses the level of disdain you have for that finalist.
Based on that assessment, the Easy-Compare Oven spits out a similarly droll past Idol finalist. Importantly though, the Easy-Compare Oven only selects those past Idol finalists whose exit from the show was suitably undignified and gleefully timely, to give you hope that a similar fate will befall the 2007 finalist.
So, taking the talentless, shouty, nut-job Tarasai Vushe:
Yawning schism between self-confidence and actual talent level = +100
General mania and detachment from reality = +75
Absence of vocal ability masked by predictable glory-noting and superfluous key-changes = +50
And the Schadenfreude result is:
Fingers crossed it turns out to be accurate.
Overall, I give the Megatron4000 Electric Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven 7/10.
Accurate enough to be entertaining, but not yet as effective an Idol critique tool as yelling at the telly and texting “wtf? I fucking hate Carl!” to your friends.