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Thread: The Rise and Thrall of an Idol

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    eny
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    The Rise and Thrall of an Idol

    From the Star . I wonder who the Canadian talent is that refused? I have a few good guesses.


    The rise and thrall of an Idol


    VINAY MENON

    Kalan Porter seems both overjoyed and horrified.

    It's 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, less than two hours since the porcelain 18-year-old from Medicine Hat was declared champion on CTV's wildly popular Canadian Idol.

    Porter enters Schmooze nightclub on Mercer St. for the glitzy after-party. As we snake toward an empty storage room, a temporary refuge from throbbing dance music and peering eyes, he exhales.

    "It hasn't sunk in yet," he says, looking dazed. "It doesn't feel real."

    Just before 10 p.m., inside the John Bassett Theatre, Porter stood on stage, holding hands with finalist Theresa Sokyrka.

    When Porter's name was announced, Sokyrka threw her arms around him, a physical catharsis ending months of toil and escalating stress. Porter averted his blue eyes and mustered a shy, sloping smile in the downpour of red and white confetti.

    "The first thing that went through my head is, `Oh, crap, I have to sing that song now,'" he says, referring to "Awake In A Dream," his single that is already getting radio airplay. BMG Canada will release it next month.

    He says, strangely, there is guilt in winning.

    "I would have been happy either way," he says. "It's hard. I would have been just as happy if Theresa won because we've become such close friends."

    A few months ago, Porter was an unknown musician from Alberta. Tonight, after months of national exposure, his newfound celebrity is both palpable and astonishing.

    We re-enter the bar. As "Celebration" segues into "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," Porter is mobbed by wide-eyed admirers. He looks disoriented, graciously signing posters as cameras flash. He is congratulated. Praised. Hugged. Worshipped.

    It's now after midnight and I'm standing outside with Sokyrka.

    "I'm really proud of Kalan," she says. "I truly believe he worked very hard to earn this."

    Her advice to Kalan: "Stay as humble as he is but gain confidence, because I know he can do so much in this world. All he needs to do is believe in himself."

    Earlier in the night, Jacob Hoggard, the rowdy Idol eliminated last week, says something similar, albeit with off-camera language.

    "You did it!" he screams, grabbing at Porter's throat. "Now follow your dreams, you motherf----r!"

    If unruly behaviour is a prerequisite to life in the music business, Hoggard is poised to have a legendary career. On this night, I've witnessed him emerge from a black limo shouting, with a martini shaker in hand; dance atop the bar; kiss a nubile admirer; and bolt through Schmooze in a cropped white tank top with the erratic speed of a cougar on crack.

    A record 3.6 million votes were cast in the Porter-Sokyrka showdown on Wednesday night. The voting breakdown is a heavily guarded secret. It was not, however, a runaway.

    "I will just say this vote was closer than some people may have thought," says a beaming Ivan Fecan, chief executive at CTV. "It was not a landslide."

    Fecan says Canadian Idol was a risk that succeeded.

    "It's a very expensive show to do," he says. "The worry I had as an executive is I wanted to make sure we had enough resources to do it right. If we did, I thought we had a pretty good chance of being successful."

    The only person in Canada who understands how Porter's life is about to change is Ryan Malcolm, who went through all of this last year. It's now approaching 1 a.m. as we walk down Mercer St.

    "It kind of feels like last year when you and I were sitting on the patio," Malcolm says, lighting a cigarette. "Only I'm wearing a more expensive suit!"

    Malcolm has sold more than 100,000 albums since winning the rookie competition. He's relieved to be sharing the Idol crown with Porter, a man too young to order a drink at his own party.

    "When I won last year, I didn't have anybody to work with," he says. "Now that there's another Idol, I have somebody to hang out with and tour with.

    "And the girls love him. I'm hoping he can help me with the women."

    Jake Gold, one of the four judges, hopes the success of this year's show will convince skeptics and demolish the haughty snickers echoing from certain corners.

    "The industry has to wake up and understand that this is a serious vehicle," he says. "This is the only show of its kind in Canada."

    Gold is also disappointed with some Canadian performers who not only declined to participate in recent weeks but refused to clear rights for their songs to be used on telecasts.

    "We asked many Canadian artists and they turned us down," he says, with a shrug. "I won't name names. But they wouldn't come on the show. They wouldn't work with the kids."

    Maybe that will change. Maybe it won't.

    From judge Farley Flex entering the bar in a cream-coloured suit while holding a vanilla ice cream cone, to a bouncer grabbing Hoggard's tumbler and dumping the mystery contents on the sidewalk, it's been a night of disjointed spectacle.

    The Idols are now in a semi-circle on the dance floor, jumping to a pounding beat, pumping their arms triumphantly upward, revelling in the ephemeral moment.

    "That's so cute," says a semi-clad woman as she sips a blue martini. "They're having so much fun."
    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=969483191630

  2. #2
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Doesn't Jake manage The Hip? I have always wondered why we haven't ever heard anything from them.
    Last edited by Miss Filangi; 09-20-2004 at 10:17 AM.
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


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    eny
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    He was their first manager. I think they are with a bigger management group now.

    I think they refused rights, as Idol would be way too commercial a thing for their liking. They wouldn't even help out a hometown boy (Ryan) .

    There was huge concert for charity last weekend here , with members from every local act who has made it big - except for Malcolm and Bryan Adams ( In fairness - Adams does his own charity shows here).
    Last edited by eny; 09-20-2004 at 01:10 PM.

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    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'm a big fan of the Hip, and I find it very disappointing they won't help out young talent. Idol is certainly very commercial, but I think the Canadian version is really carving out its own niche in the franchise. Come on, guys, support the youngsters and leave your pretensions at the door. They probably have your CDs at home, after all.

    A little acknowledgment from some really big names in Canadian music, like Bryan Adams and Nickelback, would be nice.

    Oh yeah, and Ryan, settle down, buddy. It's really not cool to expect poor little Kalan to pimp some chicks for you.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
    I don't want to "go with the flow". The flow just washes you down the drain. I want to fight the flow.- Henry Rollins
    All this spiritual talk is great and everything...but at the end of the day, there's nothing like a pair of skinny jeans. - Jillian Michaels

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    FORT Fanatic Ogopogo's Avatar
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    I wonder if the fact that this year's CI was so superior to last year's (and to most AI's) might make a difference in future. Can almost (and I stress the almost) understand the attitude of many of our Canadian stars when CI first came out as a Simon Fuller/Cowel gimmick and hadn't earned itself any stripes, but the quality of the talent this year might change a few of their minds. And I would think it's a fair guess to say Gordon Lightfoot saw a spike in sales after his wonderful night, and that might open some eyes as well when other artists see how well it can be done and the end result. Money usually talks pretty loudly.

    And I wonder if a small change in attitude might have been responsible for the Guess Who's 'Share the Land'. With all the wonderful variety of songs Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Guess Who and BTO have put out, it would be a surprise if none of their songs would have been sung if the rights had been available. We can only hope that it all bodes well for next years' songs. Of course, we'll also have to hope CI3 doesn't take a major dive like AI3 did

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    eny
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    I thought one of things that made this show was the cancon songs. It was great to hear them sung with whole new voice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane
    Interesting. I'm a big fan of the Hip, and I find it very disappointing they won't help out young talent. Idol is certainly very commercial, but I think the Canadian version is really carving out its own niche in the franchise. Come on, guys, support the youngsters and leave your pretensions at the door. They probably have your CDs at home, after all.

    A little acknowledgment from some really big names in Canadian music, like Bryan Adams and Nickelback, would be nice.

    Oh yeah, and Ryan, settle down, buddy. It's really not cool to expect poor little Kalan to pimp some chicks for you.
    I think Ryan's comment was meant as a joke. He seems like a very down-to-earth guy, especially after you read this article he wrote for the Kingston paper.

    The eligible songs are determined weeks in advance. I don't think Bryan Adams is one of the ones who refused. After all, several of his songs were used in this year's competition alone. For all his success as a recording artist, I think he might still consider himself a songwriter first and foremost. He writes a lot of stuff for other people to sing.

    I suspect, of the more recent top-selling recording artists, that Avril Lavigne is one who refused. She's good but frankly she's getting an overly-inflated ego with all her success. One of the reasons she gets so much radio airplay is because her record company pays a lot of money to broadcast conglomerates which control many radio stations. Sorry, Avril, but it wasn't all because of your talent. The Barenaked Ladies might have refused too, as I don't recall hearing ANY of their songs sung during CI in either year.

    For those who've refused to release their songs to be used, imo it's their loss. I'm quite happy to re-discover some old favourites as well as stuff I'd never previously considered, including The Guess Who, The Band, Gordon Lightfoot, Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis, Lifehouse, Leonard Cohen, Nelly Furtado, Blue Rodeo. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who'll be looking through their local music stores for those CDs.

    Also, whatever one thinks about the Idol franchise, it's still a lot of publicity. Matt Dusk saw sales of his album go up after his appearance on the show. Even Ryan Malcolm's single from last year's CI, "Something More" is back on the singles sales chart after his appearance on the finale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogopogo
    And I wonder if a small change in attitude might have been responsible for the Guess Who's 'Share the Land'. With all the wonderful variety of songs Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Guess Who and BTO have put out, it would be a surprise if none of their songs would have been sung if the rights had been available. We can only hope that it all bodes well for next years' songs. Of course, we'll also have to hope CI3 doesn't take a major dive like AI3 did
    Don't know about Burton Cummings but Randy Bachman has obviously already bought into the Idol idea since he was part of the "songwriting camp" for Ryan Malcolm's first album last year and co-wrote one of the tracks, "Ride".

    If the next edition of CI is to maintain the quality, a lot depends on the judges' ability to pick the really talented performers. I place much of the blame for AI3's underwhelming top 12 at the feet of Simon, Paula and Randy.

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    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remus Lupin
    I think Ryan's comment was meant as a joke.
    So was mine.

    I'm still not convinced Bryan Adams didn't turn down CI. Considering HE has a new album on the verge of release, one would think that CI would be a perfect opportunity to promote it.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
    I don't want to "go with the flow". The flow just washes you down the drain. I want to fight the flow.- Henry Rollins
    All this spiritual talk is great and everything...but at the end of the day, there's nothing like a pair of skinny jeans. - Jillian Michaels

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane
    I'm still not convinced Bryan Adams didn't turn down CI. Considering HE has a new album on the verge of release, one would think that CI would be a perfect opportunity to promote it.
    He may have turned down being on it like Lionel Richie or Gordon Lightfoot but I don't consider that rejecting the show. He just might not be comfortable in the spotlight in that fashion. Or he might feel he isn't really qualified to advise others on singing since he's not really a technically strong singer.

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