Itís time for the final stage of Canadaís search for the next Canadian Idol. Ben describes the journey to the Top 10 as one that left us all breathless. Right. Bonus points if you could remember more than 3 of them without help.
Surprise, surprise, Ben has chosen to ask the judges about this stage of the competition and the larger venue. Benís as predictable as Kalanís win was last year. The judges respond just as they did the previous two seasons and Zack calls Ben Ďdudeí. Once again, the first theme of the Top 10 is Canadian Hits.
Starting off the night is Aaron Walpole from St. Thomas. Weíre treated to the usual montage about his community and what led him to the Top 10. In the interest of time and space, let me give you the Coles Notes version; his community and family support him and heís thrilled to have made it this far. Iím going out on a limb to predict that this will be much the same for the remaining 9 contestents.
Aaron sings Ainít Seen Nothing Yet. He wastes no time infusing his theatrical background into his performance. Jake likes it, but it didnít win over Farley. Sass says heís an entertaining guy, but itís much like Tom Jones singing BTO. Zack says he felt the performance was a bit too showtuney for his liking. Zackís getting as predictable as Ben.
Ottawaís Emily Vinette is next and has selected Crying by Roy Orbison, who isnít Canadian, but also performed by kd lang, who is. Itís no Donít Cry Out Loud but itís close. Iím sure Tom Cruise would recommend some vitamins for poor Emily. Farley says her performance left him cold as he felt she skipped the journey on way to her Star Search moment. Sass thought she played it safe, but otherwise thought she did a good job. Zack thinks she chooses songs with Star Search moments in mind, but says this isnít the Miss Teen Canada pageant. Jake agrees and comments that Zack is reading his mind tonight.
Taking to the stage next is the epitome of non-threatening, Daryl Brunt from Sudbury. Letís face it, if you had a 15 year old girl, isnít this the boy youíd want her to be dating? Daryl sings With These Eyes, which, surprise, is a slower ballad. Sass says Daryl is her favourite scaredy cat. Zack believes Daryl will continue to grow and thought his performance was just fine despite the fact that Farley could snap him with one hand. I really donít know what that has to do with anything, though. Jakes says there are performers that are way better than him and thinks he needs to add more muscle into his performance while Farley commends Daryl on his intelligent song choices.
Suzi Rawn, everyoneís favourite rock goddess from Kamloops is next with Lubaís Everytime I See Your Picture, an understated song choice. Zack predicts Suzi will be around for a long time. Jake says that most people wonít remember Lubaís version, but they will now associate the song with Suzi. Sass says Suzi embodies her group, King Sized Suziís name. While most women would be offended, itís meant as a compliment and Suzi takes it that way.
Given that tonightís theme is Canadian Hits, what is more fitting than Canadaís favourite dork, Jon Dore, paying homage to our many contributions. Included in those notable contributions are insulin, Wayne Gretzky, Walter Gretzky, the rest of the Gretzkys and the unnecessary apology. Oh Jon, I feel so patriotic.
Melissa OíNeill, from Calgary, follows with Amanda Marshallís I Believe In You. Melissa knows how to work the camera and gives a very natural performance. Jake believes her playfulness will take her a long way. Farley says she wins him over every time. Sass compliments her on the clarity of her tone. Zack hopes sheíll become an exceptional singer and finds her absolutely loveable.
If one Amanda Marshall performance isnít enough for you, than youíll be thrilled with Ashley Leitao, from Burnaby, BC, who takes to the stage with Let It Rain. Itís a rather powerful and despondent kind of song, and Ashely does a great job with it, until she lets out a big whoop in the middle of it like sheís straight from the Calgary Stampede. The judges donít seem to care as both Sass and Farley praise her for a great performance. Zack is thrilled that they have a game to play and says she can really sing. Unlike the competitors to this point that have been pretending, I suppose. Making it unanimous, Jake adds that Canadians hasnít seen all that Ashley has to offer, but tonight she proved she can rock.
Burlington, Newfoundlandís Rex Goudie, minus his white hat, follows with Born To Be Wild. Kalan Porter made it memorable last season, but Rex gives it his own personal touch and does well. Sass, a fan of sexual innuendoes as well as the occasional bad pun, manages to unite the two when she says his performance was well greased and oiled, alluding to his job as a mechanic. Zack says he needs subtitles when Rex speaks, but fares better as a singer, naming him Canadaís rockstar in training. Jake misses the hat, but likes the song choice, as does Farley, who labels him a natural.
Amber Fleury from Calgary, who blew the judges away during her Group 3 appearance, has selected Sarah McLachlanís Possession. I have always hated the song, so I canít say that I was particularly moved. Jake, however, was moved and he was moved in places Iíd rather not discuss. Not one to let Sass be the only one that can hoochify comments, he tells Amber every time she opens her mouth, his body starts to vibrate. Letís file that under comments no one really needed to know. Farley, once he can contain his laughter, says that she does something extraordinary each time she sings. Zack and Sass are still big fans and Zack goes so far as to say she makes a sound that is almost holy.
Saskatoonís Josh Palmer is next with Leonard Cohenís Hallelujah. The song is a good fit and as youíd expect, puts his own personal touches on the song. I guess this is what the judges are always talking about when theyíre preaching Ďartistí. Jake is pleased that he selected this song, as Canadians never witnessed his performance for his audition. Farley in his neverending quest for soul says that Josh fills the void. What, did you think he was going to go with Daryl? Sass says heís already a rockstar and Zack has no idea why he hasnít been signed.
Casey Leblanc, the morale booster from Nackawic, New Brunswick closes off the night with Shania Twainís From This Moment On. I like Casey, I really want to like Casey, but it reminded me of when the brideís niece sings at a wedding. Farley shares my view and says heís less than impressed. Sass says it felt very karaoke to her and Zack says sheís on a short list of performers on their way out of the mansion. Jake does his best to cushion the blow and says she recovered from a shaky start and should be proud she got through it.
Ö and that was the first Top Ten show for this season. Did they make you forget all about last year? DO you remember some of their names now? Well, letís hope so, because weíll do it all again tonight when the first eliminated performer is revealed.