The first show has yet to begin but this was recently published about Aaron from last season! I really liked him and am glad he is doing so well.
Hometown: St. Thomas, ON
Audition City: London, ON
Almost a year after placing third in Season 3 of Canadian Idol, easy-going guy-next-door Aaron Walpole has plenty going for him -- but then again, he always did.
As with many Idol finalists, Walpole had already started to establish himself in the entertainment business before trying out for the show. He went right back to his day job, stage acting, after finishing last year's competition, as well as quickly getting to work on his debut album.
Last April, the 27-year-old Stratford Festival veteran appeared in a month-long run of the musical "Rock and Roll" at London, Ont.'s Grand Theatre (he played Parker, the lead role).
"Even if I hadn't participated in Idol, I'd still be entertaining today," Walpole told Eye on Idol, moments before judging the Kitchener-Waterloo Media Idol contest with Sass Jordan during this year's Canadian Idol auditions in that city. "But Idol definitely sped things up for me as far as recording goes."
Walpole is currently trying to finalize distribution details for his finished album, which he hopes to release sometime this summer. The graduate of Sheridan College's musical theatre program says the music on the album was selected to please all his fans, which vary in age from grade school students to senior citizens.
"I recently got the chance to meet my oldest fan that I have heard of yet," said Walpole, referring to 102-year-old St. Thomas resident Leah Campbell. "She's a sweet old lady, and was apparently calling in to the show constantly to vote for me on her rotary phone!"
The upcoming release includes a cover of the Guess Who's "These Eyes" and concludes with a mystery track that Walpole is keeping mum about until it hits the stores.
"It's going to be a big surprise," he said. "All I'll say is it's me recording with my idols."
In past interviews, Walpole has listed acts including the Barenaked Ladies, Meatloaf, Blues Traveler, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jeff Healy as among his inspirations.
In November 2005, he played with the Barenaked Ladies at London's John Labatt Centre, singing the band's "Break Your Heart" (which he performed on Canadian Idol) with their accompaniment.
Earlier that month, he performed in a massive United Way benefit concert with that year's Idol winner and runner-up, Melissa O'Neil and Rex Goudie, as well as R & B singer Shawn Desman and Glass Tiger vocalist Alan Frew.
He has played in front of crowds as large as 15,000 (although he refers to the Barenaked Ladies show, in front of just 5,000, as the "highlight" of his concert career), and is looking forward to a cross-country tour to promote his CD.
"I can't wait to see all the amazing places in this wicked country of ours," said Walpole.
The level-headed rocker is blunt about the risks he took leaving an established acting career to try his luck on the show.
"I sacrificed months of income to be on Canadian Idol," he said, noting being older than many of the show's competitors meant he had more financial obligations to juggle while taking part in the competition.
"But I made it all back from the promotion I got from being on the show. It was a risk, but I'm so glad I took it."