Canadian Idol 08/04 Recap Ė Everybody in Leather!
I was not looking forward to rock week.
My heart darkened with terror, thinking about all the lame jokes Ben Mulroney and his team of nitwit writers would dream up. Something like, Heíll rock your world, heís Shane Wiebe! or If Theresa rocked your world, vote, blah, blah, blah, or Heíll rock your world, heís Kalan Porter! Ben isnít all that creative, you know. In fact, the prospect of a night filled with lame rock puns and referenced almost led me to a drinking game, but I have to recap this show and Iíd be drunk before the third performer.
I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night
So Rock Week was off and running with Ben wearing the predictable black leather jacket. What was not predictable, however, was that so many others would follow suit. Ben reminded Canadians early to not assume your favourite is safe and get out there and rock the vote. See? That would have been a shot right there!
Ben commences his weekly ritual of making awkward small talk with the judges.
Jake, who is also dressed also in leather jacket, says itís most important for the audience to think about who will best represent Canada when they vote. Sure, if itís an election, but this is a talent competition. Jake is starting to lose his ever loviní mind. Farley comments that heís impressed with the idol, as heís watched them grow as artists and develop with their song interpretation. Yes Farley, but how do they stand on the issues? Sass, who has also gone with the leather jacket look, gives Ben an ĎLí shaped wave with her hand. Coincidence? Iím not sure, but they seem chummy enough and Ben doesnít seem to take offence. Sheís asked what it will take to win. Sass insists brains, brawn and big, big singing. Thanks again for an utterly useless answer. Zack, who has opted for a black, worn out muscle shirt instead of the leather jacket look insists Canada will demand that there be no fakers in this competition and are looking for the real deal. I suppose that means the judge immediately to his right would be disqualified.
Finally, the stars of the show are brought out. Ben introduces Jason as the man from the Rock whoís on a roll. Iím sorry, I didnít catch the rest of the intros as I was desperately searching for any alcohol in the house. Ben must have been saving that gem for weeks. Before we get to the actual performances, we discover the Idols went to Cleveland to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Imagine following a bunch of tourists around with a video camera. Thatís about all I got out of it too.
Rock With You
Jason starts off the show this week with Ike & Tina Turnerís Proud Mary. If you remember, Zack criticized Jason for not taking any chances or showing any of his personality. Jason has chosen to take a chance by wearing a bandana and performing exactly the same way as he has each time. While itís a surprising song choice, I donít think weíre seeing anything new and different from Jason, bandana aside.
Jake says heís not sure if itís singing, but it is performing. Iím not sure if thatís a compliment, an insult, or an endorsement of Jason as a representative of Canada. Farley adds that he finds Jason entertaining, but would like to hear more of his pure voice. Sass, obviously in the midst of PMS tells her one time sweetheart that heís getting a bit one-trick pony for her liking. Zack, not surprisingly, agrees with Sass, and asks Jason to step up and show him the real deal. He adds put it away and start to play. I have no idea what that means, itís only slightly more incomprehensible than It Is What It Is.
Shane follows with The Darknessí I Believe In A Thing Called Love. If you are familiar with the song, youíll know itís an ambitious choice and obviously Shane is trying to venture outside of his safe zone. Itís a very difficult song to sing and Shane was very careful to balance a technically sound performance with an entertaining one.
Farley says he pulled it off and when he first heard of the song choice, he expected Shane to do a light version, but pleased that he was wrong. Sass says it sounded good, even though some notes resemble that of a chick being plucked, but that he did an excellent job. Zack makes a joke about needing an air sickness bag for Shaneís shirt and called the performance jokey karaoke. Jake says he needs an air sick bag for Zackís arms and tells Shane that theyíve been bugging him about stepping up and good for him for taking the advice to heart.
Up next is Josh with Iris. Josh, also wearing leather, sounds a little weak in spots but is obviously putting as much emotion as he can into the song. Sass feels it was just okay. Zack says between the jokey karaoke and Benís leather, it was the best of top 10 so far. I think Zack has possibly lost his mind. Jake says song has never been rock and roll and neither was the performance. Aside from that, he thinks it was okay. Farley is more positive and comments that Josh was able to hit the Star Search moments when he needed to.
Theresa follows with Janis Joplinís Piece of My Heart. Undeniably, Theresa is very talented. Undeniably, this was the wrong choice for her tonight. On the heels of her unfortunate performance last week comes this embarrassment. As talented as she is, Theresa didnít seem to have control of the song the entire time. It was very difficult to watch.
The judges look pained, aware theyíll have to deliver some harsh criticism for the second week in a row. Zack says Theresaís about as capable of singing that song as he is of flying. Jake thinks Joplin is tough to sing and allows that heís not sure if Theresa has a grovely enough voice for it. He adds sheís a great singer but it wasnít working for her tonight. Farley echoes the others and adds sheís gotta be able to pick a good song. Sass says she has the voice, but that song wasnít about who she is, or who Sass thinks Theresa is. Zack pipes in to ask that she please survive long enough to show them who she really is.
Itís a tough night in Toronto so far.
As someone that knows how to pick a song, Kalan takes to the stage with Paint It Black. Kalan once again showcases his amazing voice, but falls short again of exhibiting any sort of personality. Jakes tells him he thinks Kalan is capable of better. Kalan looks crushed. Finally, some personality and Jake almost made the guy cry. Farley praises his ability to pick the right song week after week and adds heís the man at 18 years of age. Sass says he had some mature phrasing, even though she doesnít think anyone knows what sheís talking about and congratulates him on a job well done. Zack adds that he still feels that everyone, including Kalan, is faking it and encourages him to do something real.
Everyoneís favourite freakshow, Jacob follows with Everything by Lifehouse. Unlike previous weeks, Jacob has no gimmicks, props or an over the top performance. Just Jacob with his leather jacket, white t shirt and jeans, well, until he rips off jacket, much to the delight of the screaming girls in the audience. As if heís been listening to Zack backstage, Jacob makes a conscious effort to put something of himself into his performance.
Farley compliments him on a great song choice with a blend of hard, soft & sweet elements. Sass then recites the lines from Everything to Jacob and says, ĎHow can I sit here in front of you and not be movedí. Zack says heíd rather listen to Jacob sing badly than most people sing well. Jake says some people need to fake rock and roll, but Jacob doesnít even have to open his mouth to be rock and roll. So, we have one vote from Zack who would like to hear him sing badly, one vote from Jake who says he doesnít even need to open his mouthÖ this doesnít seem like high praise to me.
After the break, Ben says the line Iíve been dreading all night. Itís only rock and roll but we like it. I knew he would say it. I was just waiting for him to say it. And me without my alcoholÖ
Elena takes to the stage with I Just Wanna Make Love To You. She really looks great, with a pretty dress and a softer look. Rather than basing her performance on someone else, Elena seems to be more relaxed and herself. I think she did a half decent job, but the judges donít agree. Sass says she gave it a great shot, but the song was a little too old for her. Zack says she ainít never had the blues and sure didnít have them tonight. Jake adds that they know that rock and roll was based in blues, she did a good job, not the best thing tonight. Farley disagrees with the others, says he loved it, and canít diss her on that performance.
Closing off tonightís show is Kaleb, with ElvisíHound Dog. Iím not making it a habit to comment on the montages before the performances, but Kaleb says he used to sing the song to himself as a kid, so he figured he may as well sing it now. I am not an Elvis fan. I will never understand what the big deal about him was. This song, especially, Iíve always hated. Kaleb really did a great job with every note and had a lot of fun with it. The judges felt the same as they all stood in appreciation. Zack says he wish they gave Kaleb a cooler track to sing, but claps as a response. Jake says that Elvis is always hard as there is only one Elvis, but now there is only one Kaleb. Farley says Elvis knew where rock was; in the gospel churches. Kaleb just demonstreated why. Sass, ever so disappointingly adds, he made it his own.
As he says goodbye, Ben encourages everyone at home to Rock the Vote. Considering heís likely just warming up with these clever, clever references, Iím off to find some more alcohol.
Next episode: Who didnít rock our world? Find out who goes home!