2009 Year In Review

Written 31 December 2009.

Hello and welcome to Survivor: Year in Review. I’m your host Jeff Probst, with me are the 19 castaways I’ve shacked up with from previous seasons. About to join me in Coital Council is the 20th member of that elite group. We’ve seen some impressive Years in Review since Jesus invented the calendar, and tonight, the remaining two will go head to head to be crowned the Sole Survivor.

Last time on Survivor: Year in Review. After winning the final immunity challenge, which involved the three reminiscing raconteurs navigating a maze of sport, music, people and news events, it was Patrick who successfully placed the Top 100 Songs of 2009 in correct order to progress to the next round. Eliminated in that round was Tiger Woods who, despite compiling an impressive Year in Review, became trapped in a bunker, tripped over his 9-iron and accidently landed with his 4 (inch) wood inside Caster Semenya. This allowed Kyle Sandilands to take second spot behind Patrick and join him in the head-to-head sudden death winner take all first to the post challenge.

Here, Kyle and Patrick were both asked to pick the best music video of 2009. Patrick stayed true to his roots, identifying the video that most sexually objectifies women. Kyle, however, in a misjudged attempt to win back the over 60s demographic, chose an Andre Rieu video. Patrick wins immunity!

Last time we were at Scandal Council, Patrick was faced with a choice: who to take to the Final Two. On the one hand, there was Tiger Woods, who has struggled in the golfing majors, but did win the Australian Masters. His rap sheet may not be varied, but his one major misdemeanour was particularly immense. On the other hand, Kyle Sandilands has been a model of consistency. He started by humiliating a rape victim, and then progressed to somehow managing to link obesity with Judaism, and offend them both at the same time. It was a tough decision for Patrick, but in the end, he chose Kyle, and in doing so, eliminated Tiger Woods from the game.

And now, Patrick and Kyle will both plead their cases to win Survivor: Year in Review, and win the $1 million lawsuit and the title of Sole Survivor. We’ll start with Patrick.

Hello and welcome to the 2009 Year in Review! This is the 11th edition of the Year in Review, and as we move into our second decade, I’d like to remind the Jury of one thing: Except No Substitute. Only my year in review can mix movies with sport with TV and news. And then, only after all this brilliance, can one truly savour the Top 100 Songs of 2009.

This has been a truly memorable year for this reminiscing raconteur. For the first time in this nascent life, I travelled beyond these fatal shores, visiting such far flung places as New Zealand, China, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and my spiritual home, France. It takes a certain amount of Gallic Arrogance to be so certain as to write this drivel every year, and riding my hired bicycle along the banks of the Seine, I sensed a fact so self evident in the muddy waters, that I actually bent down and took a sip from this most famous of Parisian waterways. After waiting for my travel insurance to kick in, and for subsequent hospitalisation to be completed, I finally vocalised this truth of truths: I am awesome.

My awesomeness, in fact, knows no bounds. Only now, however, is my life beginning to catch up with my awesomeness. Now if only my football team could too.

And the key to my awesomeness: You, the people of the Jury. It was you that stood by me while I was trapped in the river of uncertainty during the early episodes. It was you that guided me through the storm just after the merge. And it was you that celebrated with me when the skies cleared and we could all go swimming in the crystal clear rivers of burgeoning success. You could say that me sitting here in the Final Two is because of you, but a more accurate analysis would say that it’s because of my awesomeness.

News

Here following are the Top 10 News Stories of 2009. I’ve added some ill-informed comment to make them less interesting.

10           Roman Polanski is arrested in Switzerland.
I hope the real jail is separate to the juvenile detention centre.
9              North Korea captures then releases two American journalists.
Even Kim Jung-il can’t resist Bill’s charm.
8              Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ‘re-elected’.
Iranians ‘celebrate’ on the streets.
7              Air France Flight 447 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s very rare that a First World airline loses a plane.
6              Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.
Yawn: seriously, who gives a shit?
5              Gunmen attack Sri Lankan cricket team.
A dangerous attack on sport, and with a World Cup next year.
4              Barack Obama’s inauguration.
I was in the States for this; he’s very smooth.
3              Outbreak of Swine Flu.
Not as dangerous as Bullet Flu: that’s also an airborne disease.
2              Michael Jackson dies.
…Blanket changes his name by deed poll.
1              Black Saturday bushfires.
Not everything can be destroyed.

Just on that last one: I learnt of the Victorian bushfires when I was in New York. I’d been travelling the day previous, and crashed straight into my SoHo apartment when I reached the Big Apple. The next morning, I took the Subway from Spring Street Station up to Times Square, and after alighting and emerging from the cavernous network, I was in the heart of the Big Apple, the core if you will. On the Fox News ticker, which is relayed on an LCD bar above the studio to the Square, the two lead items were both about Australia. The first was ‘Racial riots erupt during Australian Open’ and the second one was ‘Forest Fires destroy Victorian outback, hundreds feared dead’. Putting aside my pride that Australian news had taken over a US network, I was very saddened that such devastation had occurred, even if it was in a state that I hate. But the trees will grow back, and the displaced animals will find new homes, and the lives that were lost will not perish from our minds as water will overcome flame. Not everything can be destroyed.

Sport

When I looked at the 2009 sporting calendar back in January, I was disappointed that the most major event on the horizon was a Confederations Cup. Little did I predict just what a great year 2009 would be in sport. I don’t particularly care for what happens on the field, I’m more into the atrocities, and 2009 was a non-stop rollercoaster of hilarity. For the first time in Year in Review history, I’m forsaking my usual Top 10 Moments in Sport for the Top 10 Sporting Atrocities and Scandals of 2009.

10           All otherwise unlisted Rugby League atrocities.
Props to Paul Gallen, Brad Fittler, Jake Friend, Todd Carney, Greg Bird and Anthony Watmough. I’m sure there are others.
9              Brendan Fevola puts the Brown in Brownlow Medal.
…and then goes to Wet’n’Wild to sign for the Lions. Genius.
8              Greg Inglis is arrested after a domestic disturbance.
One of the more serious entries.
7              Greg Norman goes splitsville with Chris Evert.
If Chrissie now marries a Frenchman, she’ll have a connubial Grand Slam.
6              Danny Wicks is arrested for supplying the entire New South Wales north coast with drugs.
I can’t be too mad with Danny: he once scored a try that won me a stack on money.
5              Brett Stewart is charged with assaulting a 17-year-old.
Another serious entry.
4              Thierry Henry’s Hand of Frog assist to William Gallas.
…and good on TH14: he did what needed to be done to win.
3              Caster Semenya’s sexual identity.
It would appear she’s been casterated. At least from competitions.
2              Nate Myles takes a shit in a hotel corridor.
Oh, how I laughed.
1              Tiger Woods dates the clubhouse.
…and his name is just perfect for headline writers. I like the Cheetah angle the most.

(CP: Both Brett Stewart and Greg Inglis would be cleared of all criminal charges and allegations.)

As for real sporting achievements, the Year in Review is especially proud of the Australian National Men’s Football Team (Socceroos) for qualifying for the World Cup, New Zealand for riding our coattails, Mark Webber for finally winning a race, Patrick for tipping Shocking in the Melbourne Cup, Shocking for winning the Melbourne Cup, Mick Fanning for winning the Surfing World Championship and Liverpool for not winning the Premiership for the 19th straight season. Congratulations should also go to Stephanie Gilmore for winning the Women’s Surfing Tour, but they don’t, because women’s sport doesn’t count.

Here is a quote from the 2008 Year in Review:

“England will win the Ashes unless Australia head to the land of rain and concealed knives under the watchful eye of Simon Katich.” Hard to argue with really.

As it stands, the best football team you can assemble in the world (and by world I mean the English Premier League) is (4-3-3):

GK: Shay Given
LB: Ashley Cole
CB: Thomas Vermaelen
CB: Nemanja Vidic
RB: Bacary Sagna
LM: Steven Gerrard
CM: Cesc Fabregas
RM: Gareth Barry
LF: Wayne Rooney
CF: Didier Drogba
RF: Andrei Arshavin

Andrei Arshavin, who has the same birthday as T, is the best footballer in the world.

I’m not doing a cricket side this year, but players I like include Simon Katich, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Gayle, Graeme Smith and JP Duminy. Players I don’t like include Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Peter Siddle.

The 2009 Sportsperson of the Year is Steve Waugh.

Food

As a man whose two favourite foods are KFC Zinger Burgers and broccoli, it’s very hard to pin down exactly what I will and won’t like. Even I have trouble with it, so when I was invited to dinner at Tetsuya’s this year, I was a bit concerned that some of the 13 courses wouldn’t meet my strict dietary requirements (which are best described as no dairy, except some of some cheeses, no mushrooms, no avocado and nothing slimy). After consulting with Tetsuya’s, however, I was assured that the staff would accommodate all my requirements, which ultimately involved changing each and every course on the degustation menu. Massive props to the team at the old Suntory compound, you have truly positioned yourself well for when I finally get around to writing my Non-Dairy Guide to Sydney.

The 2009 Food of the Year is the Petit Fours course at Tetsuya’s. Second place was KFC.

Countries

I’ve been to nine now. The 2009 Country of the Year is Australia. The worst country in the world is China. I have been there, so I’m allowed to make this judgment call. As Prince Philip once said, if it has four legs and isn’t a chair, the Chinese will eat it.

Women

Insecure and unpredictable: woman is the beast that cannot be controlled. Only one woman has truly impacted my life in a wholly positive way in 2009. She’s been there through thick and thin, and I love her dearly. The 2009 Woman of the Year is Lady Gaga.

Men

Jury members take note: this award is more sought after than any other. Despite ruining the Hottest 100 of 2008 with little-to-no encouragement, M has done a sensational job as custodian of this title. His improvement is in line with all the Ms who have won this coveted award since the 2005 debacle. I am very tempted to give this award to another M just to keep the run going, but I’m going to honour an overdue recipient this year. Whether it was introducing me to Pabst Blue Ribbon, taking me camping or just kicking back talking about the joys of having curly hair, the 2009 Man of the Year has done a lot more in his short life than having the good fortune to be born on the same day as Andrei Arshavin. Well done T.

2009 was a very competitive year for this award, so I’m going to hold over the exceptional exploits of a number of worthy rivals until next year. So if you’re initials are J, N, T, B or A, you’re not doing too much wrong.

Cinema

I saw 38 films in 2009, down from 51 in 2008. I attribute this decline to a heady combination of gainful employment and friends. The tipping point for films this year was #23, with every film before that figure officially considered poor. Gran Torino was much worse than No Country For Old Men, which took out the bottom ranking last year.

In general, cinema has been in decline throughout the Naughties. Whenever I see ads discouraging movie piracy, I am embiggened with a sense of cromulent pride that I am depriving movie studios of their rightful income. If they want me to pay more money to see films, they need to start making better ones.

Last year, Slumdog Millionaire came in a #7. Although I’m a big Danny Boyle fan, it was laughable that this film won so many Oscars. Artistic endeavour should be about not getting what you want, so when characters finish up happy, I’m not happy. The #3 film on my list should have won all the awards that the Indian pickpockets stole.

At the end of the Twilight series, none of the Cullen clan die, Bella is a vampire and is married to Edward and they have a daughter that Jacob is in love with, but it’s not weird. Now everyone can enjoy it on the same level as me.

39           Gran Torino
38           The Lovely Bones
37           Bottle Shock
36           Semi-Pro
35           Synecdoche, New York
34           Pineapple Express
33           Sex Drive
32           The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
31           Zack and Miri Make a Porno
30           Charlie Bartlett
29           I’m Not Scared
28           Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
27           Rachel Getting Married
26           Taking Woodstock
25           The Boat That Rocked
24           The Reader
23           Ghost Town
22           Baby Mama
21           Twilight Saga: New Moon
20           Where The Wild Things Are
19           Bruno
18           The Hangover
17           I Love You, Man
16           Dan In Real Life
15           Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
14           Public Enemies
13           The Wrestler
12           The September Issue
11           Forgetting Sarah Marshall
10           Let The Right One In
9              Avatar 3D
8              Milk
7              (500) Days of Summer
6              State of Play
5              Gone Baby Gone
4              Inglorious Basterds
3              Doubt
2              An Education
1              Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Cristoph Waltz’ performance in Inglourious Basterds was the best individual performance I’ve seen in a film since Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting.

Why hasn’t a fourth Naked Gun movie been made?

Drinking Games

Whether these are games you play while drinking or games central to the drinking process, there’s nothing better than mixing alcohol with friendly competition (and you can take out the adjective as the drinking becomes more professional). The Year inReview understands that the bikie fight at CKS Airport was a result of a spiteful drinking game played on a flight from Adelaide to Sydney. Just another reason to get stuck into competition boozing.

Props to the 2007 Man of the Year from playing Scrabble with me over a glass of whiskey, which can be spelt without or without the ‘e’, for 19 or 20 points. And that’s about how many standard drinks as I had that night.

Another good game to play is predicting what song will come up next on Rage, although don’t do this with the 2009 Man of theYear because he cheats.

The uncoronated king of drinking games is Sir T, who has made a lot of progress, pulling out some crackers this year, including a knockout game that involved the recalling of all of Jerry’s girlfriends from Seinfeld, and naming as many 1-episode Simpsons characters as your memory/missed childhood can allow. I was particularly good at this game.

But I’m giving this new award to a young chap who pulled out a game so challenging perverse that I came last in a group of 17. Now, I’m used to winning whatever competition I’m in, no matter how drunk I am, so this was quite a humiliating surprise, and one that might result in me kneeing him in the kidneys one day, but an award must be given. So to D (and I hope I’ve spelt that correctly), congratulations, you’ve beaten both J and T to an official award (and they really want one).

Intermission

This is really dragging on, and I don’t think I’ve used one swearword yet, so whilst the bright side is that I don’t need to mock up a censored edition, the downside is that surely no one has actually read this far, and I’ve wasted around two hours of my life tapping this guff out.

I’m a bit worried the Survivor theme will not have much traction with my reading public. Also, it’s a bit tenuous – I hope the audience don’t think I’m going to be referring back to that because the Year in Review is already a day late and I really can’t be arsed.

Fuck. Shit. Cunt. Winona Ryder.

Television

A surprisingly good year for TV, with a number of new shows entering the rankings this year, plus the return of an old favourite that had disappeared from the charts for five years. In life, football and TV rankings, timing is everything, so the rampaging effort this show made might be tempered with time, but its positions hold at this the time of writing. And by the way, I’m wearing my AA23 shirt at the moment.

As always, the TV rankings differ from the other lists in that only shows that I like make the list, which varies in size every year. So, just to be #16 is a big achievement. And it matters.

16           How I Met Your Mother
15           Flight of the Conchords
14           The Chaser’s War on Everything
13           Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation
12           Desperate Housewives
11           Family Guy
10           The Colbert Report
9              Greek
8              South Park
7              30 Rock
6              Beautiful People (UK)
5              United States of Tara
4              The Office (US)
3              Jeopardy!
2              Survivor: Samoa
1              Survivor: Toncantins

A note on #14: the Make a Realistic Wish sketch was the single funniest moment of the year, beating out Rosemarie de Witt’s breasts from USoT, hardcore parkour from The Office, Tyson’s antics in S:T and the whole Rural Juror story arc in 30R. People who were offended by that should be injected with colon cancer and then ridiculed in a subsequent sketch.

Music Video

The end is in sight old friends. The music lists always come last in the Year in Review, so if you’ve come this far you deserve an award. If you are a recently deposed member of the Liberal Party, you can look forward to a plum posting to a foreign embassy. Everyone else gets to choose between a green tax, censored internet or prohibition. No wait, you’re getting all three regardless. I should make this bit more about music videos.

As always, the Music Video of the Year goes to the award that most sexually objectifies women. I did break with tradition lastyear to give the award to Kings of Leon, but that’s only because we were all legally compelled to give Kings of Leon every award available. I still don’t understand how they won Australian of the Year or Nobel Prize for Economics, but rules are rules.

There are two main contenders for this award in 2009. The first contender (and it’s not the winner, I’m building up suspense) is She Wolf by Shakira, which is not only a reasonably good song, it also taps into the nascent werewolf craze. In this video, Shakira, who has breasts that are small and humble, which is lucky, as it avoids confusion with mountains, dresses in a full body skin suit and then performs a series of moves which are only legal in Thailand, New Jersey and certain parts of North Korea. It’s truly spectacular, and I recommend you checking it out on YouTube. And look, here it is:

But it’s hard for a woman to win this award, as the sexual objectification is more pure when it is a man exploiting the women, such as in the classic video for Call On Me by Eric Prydz:

So the award this year goes to other main contender. The 2009 Music Video of the Year is Sexy Bitch (David Guetta & Akon):

Analysis is too strong a word, but I have thought a bit about this song, and I have to say, I don’t think Akon is trying that hard to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful. Admittedly, he does concede that she isn’t comparable to your run-of-the-mill neighbourhood whore.

Albums

A number of good ones in 2009, though I think all of them were actually released in 2008 (or even earlier). I don’t care, this is about me giving my opinion and, just like Today Tonight, I never let facts get in the way of a good opinion.

The well-regarded albums of 2009 are:

No One’s First And You’re Next (Modest Mouse)
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (Modest Mouse)
Twilight Saga: New Moon (Original Soundtrack)
Neon Bible (Arcade Fire)
The Sunset Tree (Mountain Goats)
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Phoenix)
It’s Not Me, It’s You (Lily Allen)

The second best album of 2009 is:

The Fame (Lady Gaga)

The 2009 Album of the Year is Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend).

Finally!

The Top 100 of 2009

100         Wheels —           Foo Fighters
99           Don’t Stop Believing       —           Glee Cast
98           When Love Takes Over —           David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
97           I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)            —           Pitbull
96           Talk You Down  —           The Script
95           Autumn Beds    —           Modest Mouse
94           Panic Switch       —           Silversun Pickups
93           Boom Boom Pow             —           Black Eyed Peas
92           Party In The USA              —           Miley Cyrus
91           Last Day On Earth             —           Kate Miller-Heidke
90           All Of The Dreamers       —           Powderfinger
89           Evacuate The Dancefloor              —           Cascada
88           Good Girls Go Bad           —           Cobra Starship
87           Possibility            —           Lykke Li
86           Run This Town   —           Jay-Z & Rihanna & Kanye West
85           Dead And Gone                —           TI & Justin Timberlake
84           The Violet Hour                —           She-Wolf
83           This Is Who We Are         —           Hawthorne Heights
82           Shooting The Moon        —           OK Go
81           Love Story           —           Taylor Swift
80           Lotus Eater         —           Opeth
79           Inshalla —           Eskimo Joe
78           Broken Hearted Girl        —           Beyonce
77           Russian Roulette              —           Rihanna
76           Little Lion Man  —           Mumford & Sons
75           Second Chance —           Shinedown
74           Boston  —           Vampire Weekend
73           3              —           Britney Spears
72           Aeon     —           Antony & The Johnsons
71           Don’t Trust Me  —           3OH!3 & Katy Perry
70           A White Demon Love Song          —           Killers
69           Who’d Have Known        —           Lily Allen
68           My Timing Is Off               —           Eels
67           Empire State Of Mind    —           Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
66           My Life Would Suck Without You              —           Kelly Clarkson
65           Jai Ho!   —           AR Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls
64           Lasso     —           Phoenix
63           I Gotta Feeling  —           Black Eyed Peas
62           Meet Me Halfway           —           Black Eyed Peas
61           Whatcha Say      —           Jason DeRulo
60           Keep The Car Running   —           Arcade Fire
59           We Made You   —           Eminem
58           Papillon                —           Editors
57           Fences  —           Phoenix
56           White Winter Hymnal    —           Fleet Foxes
55           Breakeven          —           The Script
54           Walcott                —           Vampire Weekend
53           1901       —           Phoenix
52           Her Diamonds   —           Rob Thomas
51           She Wolf              —           Shakira
50           There’s No Secrets This Year       —           Silversun Pickups
49           Starstrukk           —           3OH!3 & Katy Perry
48           Hearing Damage               —           Thom Yorke
47           Bright Eyes 2009               —           Art Garfunkel
46           Down    —           Jay Sean & Lil Wayne
45           Boys Boys Boys —           Lady Gaga
44           Florida  —           Modest Mouse
43           Bodies  —           Robbie Williams
42           Killing In The Name 2009               —           Rage Against The Machine
41           Please Don’t Leave Me  —           Pink
40           Lisztomania        —           Phoenix
39           Dreaming Of You              —           The Coral
38           The Rose             —           Westlife
37           Sexy Bitch           —           David Guetta & Akon
36           Not Fair                —           Lily Allen
35           Guilty Cocker Spaniels   —           Modest Mouse
34           Foreign Land      —           Eskimo Joe
33           Bulletproof         —           La Roux
32           Intervention      —           Arcade Fire
31           The Fear              —           Lily Allen
30           LoveGame          —           Lady Gaga
29           Defying Gravity —           Glee Cast
28           Fire Up —           Modest Mouse
27           Friends —           Band Of Skulls
26           I Will Possess Your Heart               —           Death Cab For Cutie
25           The Man Who Can’t Be Moved  —           The Script
24           Jizz In My Pants                —           The Lonely Island
23           Where Is My Mind? 2009              —           The Pixies
22           Sweet Disposition            —           The Temper Trap
21           Wake Up             —           Arcade Fire
20           Up The Wolves —           Mountain Goats
19           Paparazzi             —           Lady Gaga
18           Halo       —           Beyonce
17           No Cars Go         —           Arcade Fire
16           What A Good Boy            —           Barenaked Ladies
15           No Sound But The Wind                —           Editors
14           Bad Romance    —           Lady Gaga
13           I Dreamed A Dream        —           Susan Boyle
12           You Or Your Memory     —           Mountain Goats
11           Let’s Fall Back In Love     —           Slow Club
10           Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa             —           Vampire Weekend
9              21 Guns                —           Green Day
8              I’m On A Boat    —           The Lonely Island & T-Pain
7              Thunderclap       —           Eskimo Joe
6              Gives You Hell   —           All-American Rejects
5              Oxford Comma —           Vampire Weekend
4              Broken Leg         —           Bluejuice
3              Satellite Skin      —           Modest Mouse
2              Fireflies                —           Owl City
1              Meet Me On The Equinox            —           Death Cab For Cutie

Meet me on the equinox, meet me halfway.

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