Toronto, ON (May 2, 2005) –The first stage of the most extensive talent search in Canadian history came to a close last night in Toronto when Canadian Idol judges awarded the last Gold Ticket to the coveted Top 100. Now, with the Audition Tour complete, it's time for the fan-demonium to begin.
CTV announced today that Canada's favourite summer series returns with one-hour Audition Tour highlights airing on three consecutive nights, Monday, May 30; Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings) on CTV.
"Who knows what incredible stories lie ahead, what interesting personalities will triumph, which communities will unite together to cheer for their own," said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the Media Group. "But we do know it's another summer of celebration of this country's most outstanding undiscovered musical talent."
Canadian Idol's massive 13-week, 13-city Audition Tour was the best yet, with a final tally of 187 Gold Tickets, an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2004. Viewers get their first look at the 2005 Audition Tour on May 30 when Canadian Idol presents Western auditions in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Whitehorse and Winnipeg. The following night (May 31), Canadian Idol travels to the East for auditions in St. John's, Charlottetown, Sydney, Moncton and Montreal. Episode Three (June 1) presents the final auditions in London, Sudbury and Toronto.
In the second week, 155 Gold Ticket winners are eliminated as Canadian Idol's "Top 187" is reduced to the "Top 32" over the course of two, hour-long, nail-biting episodes, airing Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings) on CTV. The first "Top 32" performance show airs Tuesday, June 14, again at 8 p.m. ET, with the first two "Top 10" finalists to be revealed live on Wednesday, June 15 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings).
Music magistrates Farley Flex, Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner return, as opinionated as ever, to offer criticism, compliments and everything in between. The foursome were confronted with over 750 hopefuls who made it to the third tier "Celebrity Judging" round before selecting 187 to send to Toronto. The panel faces the tough decision of further reducing the ranks of competitors to a "Top 32" next week in Toronto. After that, it's up to Canadian Idol viewers to decide the rest. Host Ben Mulroney, "big brother" to the competitors and friendly foe to the judging panel, also returns, along with comedic correspondent Jon Dore.
The format for Canadian Idol remains the same as last season: Following Audition Tour highlights and the "Top 187" shows, four groups of eight compete over four weeks with an additional Wild Card week to determine the Canadian Idol Top 10. Over the two months, one competitor is eliminated each week until the next Canadian Idol is crowned.
The Canadian Idol production team conducts the most extensive talent search in Canadian history, a 13-week tour from coast to coast that touches down in every single province and one territory as well: Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Whitehorse and Winnipeg (Episode One); Charlottetown, Sydney, St. John's, Moncton and Montreal (Episode Two); and Sudbury, London and Toronto (Episode Three).
A combined total of 187 competitors advance to Toronto where they face the next round of elimination. Over a four-day period, judges eliminate up to 40 each day in an intensive audition process in which the competitors perform alone, in groups and in duos. In Episode Five, the "Top 32" is revealed. One of these competitors will be the next Canadian Idol.
Now, it's time for the viewing audience to take over. For the next four weeks (eight episodes), separate groups of eight performers hit the stage. Following each "Performance Episode," viewers vote for their favourite competitor. The two competitors with the most votes are announced in a live show the following evening and advance to the "Top 10." A total of eight competitors after four weeks advance to the "Top 10."
During Episode 13, eight competitors who were eliminated earlier in the "Top 32" rounds are invited back to compete for the chance to become the show's two Wild Card finalists in Episode 14. In Episode 15, the winners are revealed, joining the other eight to become the last "Top 10" finalists.
During these eight weeks, the "Top 10" finalists perform live in themed shows before a studio audience and broadcast live on CTV. As the show progresses, these 10 amateur singers will become household names and instant celebrities. Competitors will be voted off by the home viewing audience, announced live the following evening, until there are nine (9), eight (8), seven (7), six (6), five (5), four (4), three (3), then ultimately, two (2) left.
In the live, two-part grand finale, the final two semi-finalists will perform selected numbers in an exhausting, nail-biting duel. For each of them, it's the last chance to win the hearts of viewers everywhere. Once part one of the finale wraps, it's time for the biggest vote of the series. The results will be revealed live in the grand finale the very next night on CTV and, for one former unknown, it's a dream realized, instant stardom, the title of Canadian Idol and the promise of a lucrative recording contract with Sony / BMG Music Canada.
Recognized as one of the most innovation productions of the Idol format in the world, Canadian Idol remains Canada's most-watched (English-language) Canadian series since the advent of electronic measurement.* With an average audience of 2.2 million, audiences for Season Two increased 14 per cent compared to Season One. The two-hour season finale last September reached over 6.6 million people. By the end of the 34-episode run, the series had been viewed by over 17 million Canadians, representing 64 per cent of the English population. And with 32 million votes cast, voting exploded by 57 percent in the second season, including an extraordinary 3.6 million votes received after the final showdown.
The winner of the competition was 18-year-old ranch hand Kalan Porter from Medicine Hat, AB. Porter went on to release Awake in a Dream, a ballad that became eight times platinum and remained on the top of Canada's Singles' Chart for over two months. It was the biggest-selling single debut ever for a Canadian artist. His debut full-length CD, 219 Days, was released on November 23, 2004 and debuted at Number Four on Nielsen's SoundScan charts, just behind U2, Eminem and Shania Twain. The CD eventually went double platinum (over 200,000 units), an amazing feat for a Canadian artist. In February of 2005, Porter kicked off a cross-country tour in which he sold-out over 40 venues in 50 nights, including Toronto's legendary Massey Hall. In April of this year, Porter performed at The 2005 JUNO Awards. Canadian Idol Top Five finalists Shane Wiebe, Jason Greeley, Jacob Hoggard and Theresa Sokyrka have also all secured recording deals and either have already released CDs or will in the next few months.
The Canadian Idol Web site, idol.ctv.ca, is the on-line portal for the series and the source for everything Idol. The site features exclusive content including Eye on Idol – on-line columns, video and photography by the site's embedded reporter. Visitors can play games, participate in quizzes and polls, add their thoughts and comments to the message boards or sign-up for Canadian Idol alerts. Fans can post their own audition photos, browse photo galleries of the competitors, judges and host, or view video clips of the competitor's performances. Finally, L'Oréal's "Backstage" section features exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and beauty tips.