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Whistler's Got Talent crowns a winner



Well it wasn't the bloodbath we had been hoping for at Whistler's most popular, unsatisfactorily-titled talent contest. Nor was the winner much of a surprise either but it's been a fun four weeks for everyone concerned, except maybe the losers but who cares about them, right folks? Behold! Rachel Thom, Whistler's Most Talented or whatever.

( Reader applause required. )

Well, since we mined Rachel's personal history in these pages two weeks ago there's not much to write about so we'll entertain you with some notes from the competition last Thursday:


Contestant # 1: Jon Shrier

Weapon of choice: Acoustic guitar

Oh, Jon Shrier, wooing the audience with an original number about a "pretty girl" he sees when he closes his eyes. And then another song about a "nasty mean girl" he took to bed the first night he met her. Such different women you meet, Jon Shrier! All these songs delivered in John Mayer-isms, so it's no wonder. These are passionate, heartfelt songs - he means it goddamn it, and I'm worried that I, too, may be falling in love with him.  Except, well, he keeps singing about women so maybe this love isn't meant to be.

The judges are on their steady descent toward inebriation, letting Jon's cover of Roxanne wash over us much like the fine scent of bacon. The man behind the competition, Dr. Dave, appears between a forest of elbows. "I've been working on an acoustic version of Roxanne for 10 years!" he says. Good for you, Dave!


Contestant #2: Rachel Thom

Weapon of choice: Keyboard; aided by a drum kit, courtesy of Phil T. Beats.

She's stuffing the house with an original tune, the melody of which - despite the piano and her pop-diva delivery - sounds suspiciously similar to Silverchair's Isaiah's Son. She smiles when the song's done and says in a sweet voice, "It's inspired by teen angst." Angsty teens Silverchair must have slipped into her unconscious whilst writing this exultant ditty.

It's incredibly packed in the Crystal Lounge. Space is limited and someone has settled his elbow on the back of my chair. He's a joke-teller, this dim-faced Australian fellow, and he seems to be the heart of the party behind us. Every joke is punctuated by pronounced arm movements, causing myself and Judge #1 to experience sporadic elbow jabs at various parts of our bodies.

Rachel loses points for playing Bad Enough , an original number that is actually good enough for... me to like it, but she played it two weeks before. It's a catchy song though, heavy on hooks and other elements mandatory for radio play, and I think it's all about wanting something bad enough to go out and get it. And it's true, I'm inspired, because all I want is that man's elbow out from between my shoulder blades.