Whaaa?? Was this Canadian Idol? Some decent singers, lots of heartwarming backstories, only a few screechers and posers, happy friendly smiling helpful judges? Can producers and editors re-edit a show for airing in less than a week? Did they hear the outcry from all the fans who hated the judge's antics last week and the lack of decent singers and quickly put together a totally different show? Maybe. It sure was less abrasive and crazy this week compared to last. And oddly enough, as much as some of the stupidity last week bothered me, this week was kind of meh.
But let's get to recapping. It'll be fairly short and sweet, as the hassles of moving sure put a crimp in lolling around watching tv and gabbing about a show afterwards. Ottawa is our first stop tonight. Chris Labelle is up and he really doesn't want to take off his hat when Jake asks him to. No wonder! His hairdresser has bleached and fried the hair right off his head! It looks like he's wearing one of those rubber mask thingies, but he's bright and well spoken and likeable and sings with gusto even though I could do without the pelvic grabs and thrusts. Zack thinks he's all flash and no substance but he gets right into singing another song and shows a surprisingly good voice and gets his gold ticket. Julian bops around crazily and Kyle goes to the other extreme. Lylian washes out too. Katie Beetham is up next and shows off a great voice until she hits the phrase "losing everything" and her growl gets Farley reacting. Good thing they liked eighty percent of her singing. It's enough to get her a ticket to Toronto as did D.J. Eyamie, a good looking dude if you like the George Michael stubble look.
They got a deluge of men auditioning in Ottawa and arranged their appearances rather effectively into an "It's Raining Men" montage and gave out a smack of gold tickets. They didn't show a name, but I caught a quick peek at one cute blond guy belting You Raise me Up with what sounded like a great voice, so I'll be looking for him in Toronto. Of course they had to give goofy Al McKinnon a whole singout and I agreed with Zack who told him "A little of you goes a long way", but the judges are being very benevolent, or they're getting punchy at the end of a long day, and even he gets a ticket. What?? Outside, Ben asks him to describe himself in one word, and Al is too spaced to manage even that.
Canadian Idol has finally found a pair of sisters to showcase in Vanessa and Tiffany Williams, devout church goers who croon a gospel tune. It wasn't bad, but I heard a lot of pitchyness in there and I wonder whether they can carry a tune on their own. Guess we'll find out as they were put through and they and their whole family are as excited as all getout. It's family day in Ottawa, as next Marc Perron gets a long testimonial from his mom about how everybody loves him and he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and he's kind and he's good and he's sweet and he's caring. All right already! Can he sing? Ehh, not bad, not great, but not bad. I dunno, we've seen lots of not bad singers turned down everywhere else, but they must have put something in the water in Ottawa and even Marc gets his ticket. Steffi DiDomenicantonio (I had to type that out just because I don't think I've ever seen so many vowels in one last name before!) only gets two out of four judges on her side, but they spout some new rule I haven't heard before about the final vote being the one that counts (huh?) and she's off to T.O. All the judges love Jenn Kee who sings Kiss From a Rose and she's one of the twenty-nine excited people who get their gold tickets in Ottawa.
Zack's home town of Winnipeg has never had, much to his dismay, a Top 10 contestant. He's so desperate he says yes to Erica Jacobson's screaming even though she admits herself she'd crap her pants if she got put through. David Maclean, Tiny Tim wannabe Jennifer Walker, and Despina Rougalas all do their best (worst) to maintain that record of futility. Jessica Parsons from way up north in Thompson roller skates in wearing a ditzy outfit to match her personality and chirps she's a Barbie Girl in a Barbie World but even stripping down to a bikini which went really well with her Pippi Longstocking stockings and falling on her backside doesn't impress anyone. Really, is 10 seconds of t.v. time worth making such a fool out of yourself? Shawn Newman gets a big N O too.
Finally, we get to some talent and Constantine lookalike Jeremy Koz gets a fair bit of face time, albeit a less than enthusiastic thumbs up from the judges. Lucy Beardy, only 22 years old but already with two kids plus assorted siblings she took in after the death of her mother sings Cottonfields in a good ole twangy countrified way. She's got talent, but it's really really raw. I wonder if her story will be enough to get her through to Top 22 where she might get some lessons and develop into something special. Rob James had some success and released a cd or two with the group McMaster and James. Guess he's one of the one-hit wonders the judges touted before the show. I like his voice, but his affectation really bugs. It's shoulder, Rob, not sho--ul---d-er, older not o---u--l--der. Dylan Acorn, Elsaida Alerta, Cory Bosecke, and Natalie Desautels are among twenty-four successful auditioners. Let's hope that one of them does Zack and my old hometown proud.
Elena gets her weekly shot at fame and fortune. Is it my imagination that her bits are getting shorter and shorter? Maybe if she found a more unique spin on the audition experience than showing kids playing cards and doing crosswords she'd get more air time.
Last stop of the cross country audition tour. Yay!!! Halifax has had some successful contestants in past years. Will we find another one? Not in Deresa Johnson or Chris Townsend. I know it's usually good to put your own twist on a song, but when the song is Twist, shouldn't you be able to tell? And if not from the singing, at least from the dancing? Sasha and Kyle Blaikie try a duet. Oh well, at least we dispose of two bad contestants in one fell swoop. One of the judges, Jake(?) says "that was so squicky." Jennifer Hallihan sings You're No Good. Yup, got that right. Chad Hatcher even got normally sweet Sass saying snarky things. Drew Spears, gets a pimp clip showing him singing to the trees and the birds and the water and the boats, but he can't get past the judges although they do have some fun with his eyes closed style, dangling gold tickets in front of him that he'll never see.
Jesse Cox, a lobster fisherman from Cape Breton, has been singing and songwriting for a number of years now and sees Canadian Idol as opportunity to get out there and expose himself. Bwah!! I think you can get arrested for that Jesse! The producers finally choose to show us how the judges help some of the singers, like Shane Colley, whose trills and frills drove them crazy, and they gave him some really good pointers on how to present a song. Let's hope he remembers his lesson in Toronto, because he has a terrific voice. Philip King is uh, vertically challenged. He says he's a smaller person but has a powerful voice which we heard a bit of in the clip, but geez, his audition sounded dreadful to me. Just a lot of shouting and not much tune, but the judges thought he was rocker great. What do I know? I had heard a rumour that Kaleb Simmon's brother made it to Toronto, but of the twenty-two gold tickets handed out, I didn't spot anyone that looked like Kaleb.
So next week, over two hundred hopefuls will fight it out in Toronto. There are going to be an awful lot of broken dreams and broken hearts after they pare it down to just twenty-two, but I'm looking forward to the show. Hopefully I'll have a tv and vcr hooked up by then so I can watch and report on all the action.