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Canadian Idol 3: Local news
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Idol dream ends for some
Sask. competitors happy with Toronto experience despite being eliminated
Joanne Paulson and Jennifer Jacoby-Smith
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
It was tough in Toronto, but Rochelle Bondarenko, Kathleen Wolfe and Lindsay Weeseekase returned to Saskatoon with great Idol experiences in their memory banks.
"It was nerve-wracking, to say the least," said Bondarenko in an interview. "Not only were we kind of strangers to the big city of Toronto, but we were set up with strangers as well as roommates, in our hotel.
"So, you were trying to focus on what you were going to sing the next day and prepare, as well as just get acquainted with everything around you.
"I'm not a morning person so waking up at 6 a.m. every day didn't help. But I really enjoyed it. I've actually never been east of Saskatchewan, and so just experiencing the city life itself, and seeing a little bit of the city was great. My family actually came out and visited as well, so we had a really good time."
Canadian Idol judges brought down their collective gavel on 10 of 13 Saskatchewan hopefuls in the elimination rounds leading up to Tuesday night's broadcast.
Still in the running for the top 32, which will be revealed tonight, are Josh Palmer, 22, of Saskatoon; Danny Papadatos, 20, of Saskatoon; and Steve Wilde, 21, of Regina.
The four judges had the huge job of trimming 187 hopefuls down to 32 over four gruelling days, distilled into two hour-long broadcasts on CTV.
Other Saskatchewan singers taking long flights home from the Toronto competition were Philip Brost of Saskatoon, David Light of Prince Albert, Kailla Pilot and Sarah Schmaltz of Battleford, Mark Levesque of Regina (who made it to the top 32 last year) and Meredith Shareski and Savannah McBean of Moose Jaw.
Bondarenko sang Stronger by Faith Hill, and was happy with her performance.
"I thought it was a song that really showcased off my voice. Although Faith Hill is country, it wasn't a huge country song, and I knew no one else would be singing it so I thought that was a good advantage."
Bondarenko, 23, said she received great comments from the judges in Saskatoon, "but in Toronto there was no explanation for anything. Even though I thought I did really well, you just didn't really know what they were looking for because there was no explanation."
Bondarenko will keep on singing. The psychology major performs in a country vocal duo called Second Glance with friend Lindsay Wawryk, and the two have had a song on the country airwaves.
"We're releasing another song, and we're really excited about it. It's called Tell You, and that will be released to country radio in the next week. I think it's going to be a good one."
Wolfe, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at St. Joseph High School, said she too will keep singing.
"I think the biggest thing I took away from it is to be fearless. It just doesn't make any sense to me to worry about trying things. I mean if it doesn't turn out, it doesn't turn out."
In Saskatoon, judge Zack Werner told her she would probably get sent home the first day in Toronto.
"That was fine with me," said Wolfe, who sang Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones and One Fine Day as part of a group in Toronto.
"I think probably my favourite part was it was one of the producer's birthday. Everybody that was still there sang Happy Birthday to them. Singing with over a hundred people that can sing in tune is amazing. It sounded so good. The classic Happy Birthday is painful."
Wolfe, who sang in the Saskatoon Children's Choir for eight years, will perform with the high school All-Star Band and Choir at the Broadway Theatre during the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
The entire experience was a blast for Weeseekase, 20, who sang Midnight Train to Georgia.
"It was my first time on a plane, and my first time to Toronto. It was awesome. I don't regret anything about it."
She would have liked to see more of Toronto, but there just wasn't time.
"You're just busy, and you have a schedule, and they send you to this place and that place. I did get to meet some of the (Chicago) White Sox players. They were in the lobby, and we had seen them later in the restaurant. On Sunday, they were playing against the Toronto Blue Jays. That was pretty cool."
Weeseekase agreed with Bondarenko that more reaction from the judges would have been nice.
"In the rounds I was eliminated from, they didn't say anything. It was just to eliminate as many people as they could.
"I think I would have appreciated it more if we could have had a little more of their input."
For now, Weeseekase is focusing on school at Marca College, but she says she could never stop singing. She likes everything, from soul to R&B to country.
"Singing is what I've been doing since I was little. This is a TV show; it's not necessarily a career. It's something to do for fun, something to put on your resume."
Brost had his two minutes of fame Tuesday night as he sang on TV in a quartet before the judges. Brost is a classically trained pianist and a second-year medical student at the University of Saskatchewan.
"It was a wonderful experience," said Brost, who was grateful to be sent home early in order to prepare for final exams. Brost will keep singing, but said he is content to focus on his career in medicine, at least for now.
On Tuesday, a tired-looking Sass Jordan tried to give the Idol hopefuls some helpful words of advice.
"You can't take this so seriously that it breaks your heart," she said to the 187 young people gathered in the studio.
Jake Gold was encouraging but matter-of-fact.
"The good news is you guys represent Canada . . . the bad news is a lot of you go home today."
I didn't realize that so many Saskatchewaners received gold tickets...the audition show that featured SK didn't do these singers justice. I can't remember if Theresa Sokyrka had major exposure before the final 32, but I'm sure I remember hearing about her well before she made it into the top 12.
Also, I thought that former contestants who had made it to the final 32 were ineligible to compete again. Mark Levesque made it last year and the article reports he was eliminated again this year from the top 100. Does anyone know the rule on this?
Nice article. I got the sense watching last night that some of the eliminated contestants were blind-sided....and the fact that they received no feedback from the judges would make it that much harder!
Don't let the small things sweat
I'm with you in that I thought if you got into the Top 32 you were inelligible to come back again. They must have changed the rule this year. I don't think they even showed Mark or did he change his look from last year. He mustn't have improved much from last year and they cut him early rather than drag on the inevitable.
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