Canadian Idol 06/16 Ė This Sure Ainít 'Up With People!'
Last night, the leaders of the 4 major political parties tried to earn our vote and not bore us to tears. Tonight, the first 8 of the 32 finalists will do the same on Canadian Idol. Which group will be more entertaining? They have some stiff competitionÖ that Jack Laytonís a pretty feisty guy. But enough with the Federal Election comparisons, Iím sure there will be plenty of that during the commercials.
This phase of the competition means more Ben, more awkward conversation, more bad puns and oh right, the opening of the phone lines. New this year is the introduction of the audience, filled mostly with the family of the competitors. I am personally happy with this first change as I found the lack of an audience somewhat creepy. Ben explains that this will give the singers a chance to connect with the audience, or not, as the case may be.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ben engages the judges in small talk. Confusing Farley with Randy Jackson, apparently, Ben asks if he has a catch phrase this year. Ever the nice guy, Farley tells him it is If You Canít Sing It, Donít Bring It. Or heís giving Ben a hint. Zack tells Ben he didnít expect either one of them to be back this year and suggests that they be friends this year. Zack already tires of the charade before Ben gets through the rest of the intros.
Anabelle Lumayag from Port Coquitlam, BC starts off the show with How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. Like any song performed by Michael Bolton, I immediately have the urge to run screaming from the room. Of course, I cannot. Anabelle does a good job although her choice of a silver shiny sequined shirt leaves something to be desired.
Jake tells her it was technically good, but explains he didnít feel anything. Farley says it was well done, but had some shaky moments. Sass felt it was overly ambitious but an overall good performance. Zack tells Anabelle sheís a quality singer, but that it wasnít original.
Up next is Kyla Sanulak, representing the Prairie provinces, who lives in Edmonton but was raised in Saskatchewan. Kyla tells Ben she was torn between three choices but selected the song she felt meant the most to her, God Bless The Child.
Farley comments that he felt Kyla was a bit nervous, but enjoyed her performance. Sass thinks it was another ambitious performance, but loves her rich tones. Zack calls her a quality performer, but Jake wasnít impressed and says he didnít feel the emotion.
Just when you thought we were safe, along comes Tanya Kim with the
LíOreal commercial! This year we meet Shannon and Andrea who decide to Ďrock upí Tanya. Then it gets crazy whenÖnever mind, you donít care and neither do I. Bring back Jon Dore and send Tanya back to the Ben Mulroney School of Bland, sheís about to graduate, even if she is Ďrocked upí.
Up next is curly haired hottubber Joshua Seller from Brigden, Ontario. Josh selects Somewhere Out There as well as a pink shirt with striped pants. Josh looks like heís either trying a bit too hard or is still living out of his car and ran out of clean clothes. Either way, he gives a strong performance.
Sass tells him that real men wear pink, but apparently canít carry a note as she criticizes his lack of technical perfection. Zack canít get over the resemblance to the Greatest American Hero and continues to complain about the lack of originality in the competition so far.
Continuing the move eastward across the country, and province, is Jessica Mitchell from London, Ontario. Jessica sings Alicia KeysíIf I Donít Have You, continuing the slower, torch song trend of the night.
She fares a bit better from the judges though. Sass loves her performance and thinks sheís one of the best in the competition. Zack tells her sheíll be alright if she loosens up and to just be herself. Jake thinks itís the best performance so far and Farley applauds her song choice.
Raj Ramawad, from Brampton, Ontario follows with Stevie Wonderís Overjoyed. Itís not an easy song to sing and Raj does a good job hitting all the notes without going over the top.
Jake notices that Raj was shaky at the beginning, but came through with a strong performance. Farley says that like Jake, heís a big fan of Raj and thought he was technically sound. Sass thought there was a problem with the tempo but thought it was incredible. Zack says the song had a screwy vibe and thought he was at ďUp With PeopleĒ at first but then adds he thought Raj gave a good performance. I think Zack has a screwy haircut and I canít wait until it grows out some more or he throws some gel in there.
Gatineau, Quebecís Annie Lefebvre follows with The Impossible Dream. The favourite in the early rounds gives a solid, but boring performance. While she was technically very good, there was no energy, much like almost everyone else so far.
The judges are also not impressed. Farley kindly tells her he felt her nerves really got to her and affected her performance. Sass bluntly says it wasnít Annieís best performance. Zack and Jake are both disappointed in her song choice and Zack keeps mumbling Ďbizarreí. Backstage, Ben tries to lift her spirits with bad puns, pretty much like he does with all the performers, but it isnít working on Annie. You canít even blame this one on the language barrier.
Andrae Ennis from Scarborough, Ontario, made the top 48 last year, but was cut before he could reach the top 32. Calling himself Canadaís GQ, he takes to the stage with Here And Now. Andrae is all over the place, but like the rest, has about zero energy.
Sass and Zack both agree heís well dressed, but it didnít translate to his performance. Jake says he thought Andrae would bring it, to steal Farleyís catch phrase, but was disappointed by his performance. Farley tries to stress the importance of singing on key to Andrae. Is that really necessary to point out Farley? Backstage, Ben tries again with his pitiful pep rally urging Canadians to give Andrae the one fingered ovation and text-message their vote for him. Um Ben? Iím not sure about you, but in my neighbourhood, a one fingered ovation doesnít exactly sound like something you want.
Finally is Brandy Callahan from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Brandy says she was overwhelmed by the standing ovation she received from the other competitors on her first day of auditions in Toronto. Surely Brandy can save us from the tedium this evening has turned into, right?
Brandy selects Greatest Love of All. I feel nothing. I realize I could have tuned into an easy listening radio station and avoid all the election commercials and the frightening appearance of Tanya Kim and the LíOreal gang.
Zack tells Brandy she has a shouty tone and it didnít work with the song tonight. I didnít realize shouty tones ever work. Jake commends Brandy for trying to make the song her own. Farley isnít specific, but observes that nerves really killed many of the performances tonight. Sass tells Brandy that Halifax has a big sea, big snow, oh no, please donít say it, and Brandy has a big voice. Whew.
Now itís up to Canada to vote the first two finalists through. That is if they managed to stay awake.