Canada will go to the polls again this summer to elect a fourth Canadian Idol.

CTV and producing partners Insight Productions are gearing up for another cross-country search for Canada's next undiscovered singing sensation, an 11-week tour scheduled to begin this February. Canadian Idol is based on FremantleMedia and 19TV's smash-hit international format Idols.

Ben Mulroney, who has hosted the series since it began in 2003, is back on board to host Canadian Idol when it returns to anchor CTV's summer schedule this June.

Four years after it premiered in North America, the Idol phenomenon continues to gather steam on both sides of the border. As 2005 Canadian Idol winner Melissa O'Neil and first runner-up Rex Goudie continue to heat up the charts with their debut CDs released late last year, Billboard magazine reports that American Idol competitors accounted for 17 Number One singles in 2005.

In its third season in 2005, Canadian Idol continued to break records. Viewers cast an astonishing 38 million votes, an increase of 19 per cent compared to 2004 and more than one for every man, woman and child in the country.

On September 14, 2005, 17-year-old Melissa O'Neil became Canada's first female Canadian Idol and the youngest ever. She went on to sign a recording contract with Sony BMG Music (Canada) Inc. and the next day released her first single, Alive, which debuted at the top of the Singles Chart and remained Number One for seven weeks in a row. In the end, the single went Four Times-Platinum and continues to chart high. In November, O'Neil released her self-titled debut CD which has become a Certified Gold Record in Canada. Her second single, "Let it Go," is currently climbing the charts and is in heavy rotation on Much Music. O'Neil begins a 35-city national concert tour with Canadian Idol runner-up Rex Goudie on Feb. 17, 2006.

Goudie's close second place finish has not been disappointing in the least for the Newfoundland native: he too was signed to a recording deal by Sony BMG. In December, Goudie released his first CD Under The Lights. The CD which has gone Gold in Canada and debuted at Number Five on Canada's Album Charts ahead of artists such as INXS, Nickelback and System of A Down. His new single, "Run," is currently Number 22 on the Hot AC radio chart and climbing.

O'Neil and Goudie's 2005 triumphs follow the success of Canadian Idol's 2004 graduating class who continue to make waves in the Canadian music scene. Among their many achievements:

* 2004 winner Kalan Porter's debut CD 219 Days went Double Platinum (over 200,000 units sold) in 2005. In addition to a sold-out concert tour across the country, a blistering performance at the JUNO Awards and a Much Music Video Award win, Porter began work on his sophomore album, due this year.
* 2004 runner-up Theresa Sokyrka and Top 10 finalist Shane Wiebe both signed distribution deals for their original CDs with Maple Music, Canada's Number One independent music label. In addition to becoming Saskatchewan's Centennial Youth Ambassador and entertaining Canadian troupes overseas, Sokyrka's CD These Charms of Mine went Gold in Canada.
* Also in 2005, Universal Music Canada released 2004 third runner-up Jacob Hoggard's debut CD with his band Hedley. The quartet went on to open for Canadian international rockers Simple Plan at arenas and stadiums across the country and found themselves at the top of Much Music's video charts.
* 2004 fourth runner-up Jason Greeley also released his first CD in 2005, Live… Love… Sing… Last week, Greeley was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Country Recording of the Year.
* Top 10 finalist Elena Juatco starred in the hugely successful Christmas panto Snow White and the Group of Seven at Toronto's Elgin Theatre.
* Eight out of the 2004 Top 10 have released CDs or signed record deals, including finalist Joshua Seller who released his debut CD Starving for Attention in November.