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Courtesy of; CTV.CA

Canadian Idol audition dates and locations revealed

Updated Mon. Jan. 7 2008 2:49 PM ET

Eye on Idol


It's time to warm up your singing voice! Canadian Idol is heading out on another cross-Canada talent search, kicking off on Jan. 26, 2008.

The cross-country audition tour will hit ten cities in seven provinces, scouting out the nation's next singing star.

The audition dates and locations include:

Edmonton, AB - January 26/27 - West Edmonton Mall

Calgary, AB - February 2/3 - Sunridge Mall

Vancouver, BC - February 9/10 - Metropolis at Metrotown

Winnipeg, MB - February 23/24 - St. Vital Centre

Hamilton, ON - March 1/2 - To Be Announced

Ottawa, ON - March 8/9 - To Be Announced

Montreal, QC - March 15/16 - To Be Announced

Halifax, NS - March 29/30 - To Be Announced

St. John's, NL - April 12 - To Be Announced

Toronto, ON - April 19-20 - To Be Announced

Last year's audition tour saw 10,000 Canadian singers audition. Among them was Brian Melo, who was ultimately named the 2007 champion of "Canadian Idol" and awarded a recording contract with Sony BMG Music Canada.

After the success of last year's tour, the first in North America to allow competitors to audition with instruments, musicians will once again be able to accompany themselves in this year's audition rooms.

Following Canada's lead, viewers will see instruments on the upcoming season of "American Idol," premiering Jan. 15 on CTV.

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Courtesy of: CTV.ca

Idol returns with the best and worst singers in the country

Updated Tue. Jun. 10 2008 12:13 AM ET


Idol returns with the best and worst singers in the country

Sheri Block, Eye on Idol


Courtney Waldie's rendition of 'Amazing Grace' has the judges crying with laughter.


Franco B's version of 'Sexual Healing' fails to impress the judges.

After more than 150 episodes, Idol kicked off Season 6 by looking back on what got them this far.

The show always starts in the winter -- maybe not the best idea considering it's filmed in Canada, says host Ben Mulroney, who was blasted by a gust of snow.

But people showed up and kept showing up to the auditions -- more than 52,000 competitors since the beginning.

And then there's the judges -- "three guys and one Sass," says Ben, referring to Zack Werner, Farley Flex, Jake Gold and Sass Jordan. "Frankly I don't know how she does it," he adds.

"Everyone who showed up really wanted to be on TV," says Ben, "and we're just cruel enough to put them on TV.

Even the ones who really "stunk," referring to the infamous "Fart Girl" from Season 4.

Along the way the show met some incredible talent, including Theresa Sokyrka, Kalan Porter and Jaydee Bixby.

Making it to the Top 100 was the ultimate dream for some, and the worst nightmare for others.

"The emotion can be overwhelming for all of us," says Ben, referring to how Farley broke down at the judging desk, "and that's just the beginning."

Carly Rae Jepsen's reveal in Season 5 showed how much she wanted this when she fell to her knees sobbing after hearing from Sass, "You are absolutely Top 22."

"Only the best make it to Top 10 and that's when the stars begin to shine," says Ben.

They bring their big voices and get to work with some of the biggest names in music.

It's also the place where the judges get to hear more of what they love -- their own voices.

Every year, Canada has chosen their "Idol" -- Ryan Malcolm, Kalan Porter, Melissa O'Neil, Eva Avila and Brian Melo by voting -- more than 100 million times.

"After five seasons and more than 52,000 auditions, we've discovered the best unknown talent and turned them into the biggest stars in the country," says Ben. "And because you love it and we love it, we're going to do it again. Ready? Titles please."


Judges Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex and Zack Werner say, 'Yahoo!'

Toronto Auditions

"Canada, we're back for Season 6. There is no better way to kick off a summer of hot music than with a free concert in the heart of downtown Toronto," says Ben from the site of Toronto auditions at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Thousands of competitors who braved the cold and rain were treated to performances by current Canadian Idol Brian Melo and Grammy nominee Natasha Bedingfield.

"If you guys want us to rock, make some noise," says Brian Melo as he took the stage.

"I was probably five rows in the middle last year, freezing my butt off like you, the only advice I can give is stay focused, stay positive, just take each performance one step at a time."


New cast member Jully Black coaches a competitor.

Bedingfield brought a "Pocketful of Sunshine" to the crowd while inside thousands lined up, warmed up and got ready for their shot at stardom.

Auditions officially kicked off with the very energetic Gary Sneddon from Toronto singing "Zoot Suit Riot."

"You're just a really weird dude man," says Gold. "I just can't see people voting for you."

"I'm very weird and I don't sing well enough and I'm going home," says Sneddon, on the way out from the audition room.

Next up is Diana Salvatore from Thornhill, ON whose rendition of "Piece of My Heart" made Zack think he just peed.

"You should think about Depends," says Salvatore.

M.C. from Mississauga, ON had a great vibe but just couldn't sing.

And the first Gold Ticket of the episode went to Taylor Abrahamse, 16, from Peterborough, ON even though Zack compared his performance of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" to that of a chewing gum commercial.

Vanessa Kalala, 16, from Ajax, ON had the dance moves but failed to impress the judges with her rendition of "And I am Telling you I'm not Going."

The next Gold Ticket went to Tetiana Ostapowych, 25, who lived in Toronto all her life until last year when she moved out to Los Angeles.

"I'd like to have you around," says Zack. "I'm a 'yes.'"

"You look beautiful, you sing great, but I feel a veneer," says Jake. "So I need you to be vulnerable and emotional. I'm a 'yes', do you understand what I'm getting at?"

"Tetiana I think you have a fair amount of skill as a singer and you're too good to say no to, so I'm a 'yes,'" says Sass.

"I'm an absolute 'yes' and I have to say at this point, welcome to Toronto," adds Farley.

We next are introduced to Omar Lunan, 29, from Scarborough, ON. The first song he learned was "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston when he was seven years old but has since developed his own style and voice on the urban scene.

He's a single dad and his son is the love of his life.

"I want him to look up to me one day and if I get that Gold Ticket, I'm on the right path," says Lunan.

Even though Sass told him he was a little on the runny side, also known as vocal diarrhea, she was a 'yes.' He replied with how he was trying not to be 'Lionel Riffie.'

"I appreciate what you do but I think at best it's wedding singer and I find you very predictable," says Zack.

Zack was over-ruled and Lunan, who auditioned on his birthday, got a Gold Ticket.

Brothers Oliver and Sebastian Pigott were next to audition.

"Growing up in a musical family was integral to our musical development and I think that drove me in a huge way to learn how to be an accomplished musician," says Oliver, 27.

After their dad passed away, they went on vacation to Portugal with their mom and ended up staying. They learned how to play music in bars and became "little karaoke stars."

"We got hired to play for like $50 bucks a night," says Sebastian, 25. "I remember reading my diaries from when I was kid and it was (about) how I did that night ... I had nothing else going on, I was seven."

Oliver has been living and playing live in the UK for about two years.

"It was Idol that brought me back," says Oliver. "I've always been interested in performing on Idol so I'm glad that I'm actually doing it this time."

Oliver sang "Please Help Me I'm Falling" and Jake said it's the best audition he's ever seen on this show.

Zack wanted to reserve judgment until he saw the other brother.

Sebastian came in and sang "Blue Moon of Kentucky" but had to wait until his brother came back in the room to hear the results.

"Oliver is one of the highest caliber performers and musicians we have ever seen on this show," says Sass. "So Welcome."

A Gold Ticket for Oliver, and Sebastian is told by Zack he emanates a cool sexy vibe, and despite some vocal limitations, with the right song he's an "absolute contender."

And with that, both brothers are through to Toronto.

Calgary Auditions

Idol next moved into Mountain Time looking for the next Canadian Idol in Alberta.

"Well there may be a major job boom in Alberta but for the hundreds of hopefuls here, there's only one position they're hoping for," says Ben, from a holding room of eager competitors.

"Canadian Idol!" screams the crowd.

First up is Courtney Waldie, 25, from Alix, AB, singing "I Will Always Love You." Her rendition of "Amazing Grace" had the judges crying with laughter.

She also came closer to the judging table than the judges would've liked.

"I'm sorry but I can't look at you honey," says Jake. "Can you back up like about 50 feet please?"

She's told she can do better.

"Am I comical to watch?"

"A bit," says Sass.

"Courtney, it's really unusual," says Farley.

And no Gold Ticket for her.

Up next is Franco Baccari, 25, from Calgary singing "Sexual Healing."

"Is it time for us to vote?" says Jake.

The result is a resounding no.

"Are you guys serious?" says a disbelieving Baccari.

"No, we were just kidding," says Jake. "Now it's time to go. Out!"

He launches into one more song, and is escorted out by security guard Rick.

We next meet 23-year-old Jesse Cottam from Calgary who is a guitar instructor by day and a musician by night.

He teaches three six year olds to rock out, something he finds really rewarding. He also plays with a band called "Seven's Angel."

"This year I feel is my year," says Cottam, on Canadian Idol. "I'd like to bring my personality and my voice and see what Canada really thinks because I'm just dying to get that chance."

His rendition of "She Talks to Angels" is enough to get him through to Toronto.

We get our first introduction to new cast member Jully Black, "Canada's Queen of R&B.".

She will help show competitors what it takes to get to the top.

"I feel like Oprah Winfrey or something," says Black, after being warmly welcomed by a crowd of competitors.

Next up is 22-year-old Theo Tams from Lethbridge, AB. He definitely caused a reaction by the judges -- before he even sang a word.

"Are you sure you want to be seen on national television with those pit stains?" says Zack, referring to Tams' sweat-soaked blue shirt.

"Anybody got a blow-dryer?" asks Farley.

"I figure that if I make it they're probably going to end up seeing something," says Tams.

The 22-year-old student sang Howie Day's "Collide" and was told he did really good by the judges.

"Your voice is brilliant in the other sense of the word," says Farley.

"I think you're a very strong singer and with the right choices, and you've got a good sense of humour, you could go quite far in this competition. Welcome to Toronto my friend!" says Zack.

And what's a stop in cowtown without a cowboy montage?

"Yahoo!" say the judges as they threw up their cowboy hats to signal the end of Calgary auditions.

Edmonton Auditions

Next up is Edmonton, where we meet Aaron Biblow, 18, who wants to be a rock star. He entertains the crowd while he's waiting to audition.

"It was a great experience singing in front of the people here. I'm never actually had any formal lessons so Canadian Idol's really going to give me the exposure I need to get out there," says Biblow.

"I think you way overdo that stuff," says Zack, after Biblow's audition that included plenty of high-pitched screaming. "It just sounds like a tribute, like you're a mediocre singer from a cover band."

And no Gold Ticket for him.

The next attempt comes from Jason Morgan, 26, from Wetaskiwin, AB, who along with Alena Cherry, 23, from Red Deer, AB went home Gold Ticket-less.

"I can't sing right now," says Cherry, clutching her throat, after attempting Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."

"No kidding," replies Zack.

No luck for Greg McKenna, 28, from Stettler, AB, but Brianne Chalifour, 17, from Leoville, SK, got a reprieve, even though Zack questioned her style choices.

"What year is it in Leoville?" asks Zack.

After a powerful rendition of Heart's "Barracuda," a tearful Brianna says she really wants this because it's going to help her grow and get experience.

"I don't think you have a hope in hell of making it to the Top 10, but I think it will be a life-changing opportunity for you so on that note Brianne, pick up the ticket kid because you're coming to Toronto," says Zack.

And after many more heart-broken competitors who left empty-handed, we meet Earl Stevenson, 23, a snowboarder who found music after hurting his knee.

He works at Bob's Backhoe in Lloydminster, AB, and says his job can be boring.

"That's why I'm stoked on Canadian Idol 'cause whether you're snowboarding or singing it's always fun when your heart skips a beat," says Stevenson.

Sass grooved to his version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."

"Earl I think you're unbelievably great," says Sass. "You've got soul, you've got rhythm, you've got phrasing. I love your voice; I'd take you on the road with me."

"You're one of the coolest people we've ever had," echoes Zack.

It's a unanimous 'yes.'

Tune in next Monday at 9 pm ET for Episode 2 of the Audition Tour featuring highlights from Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg!

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Opera, death metal and a 'vomiting song': Idol Eps. 2

Updated Tue. Jun. 10 2008 12:00 AM ET


Opera, death metal and a 'vomiting song': Idol Eps. 2

Sheri Block, CTV.ca

After Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton in Episode 1, the next stop on the Canadian Idol audition tour brings us to Vancouver, Montreal and Winnipeg.

Vancouver auditions kick off with a surprise auditioner - CTV National News host Lloyd Robertson.

"I'm very nervous about this so please don't make fun," says Robertson, dressed impeccably in a blue suit and tie.

"You have a great voice for television," says Jake Gold.

"I've never really done anything like this before," says Robertson.

"Did anyone check your ID on the way in," asks Zack Werner.

Robertson sings "As Time Goes By" from his favourite movie "Casablanca."

He gets a Gold Ticket and is going to Toronto!

"And that's the kind of day it's been," says host Ben Mulroney. "So far at least. But breaking news, the real competition is about to begin. Canadian Idol starts right now."

Montreal Auditions:

"We are travelling right across this country to give singers from coast to coast an opportunity that could change their lives forever," says Ben. "Our next stop - Montreal.

"This year Quebec is celebrating its 400th birthday and it sent us a present. Hundreds of potential Idols. And like everything in La Belle Provence, these auditions seemed a bit more fashionable. Well, almost everything."


Philippe Bournival launches into an operatic version of Alice Cooper's 'School's Out.'

First up is Philippe Bournival, 22, from Sorel-Tracy, QC.

He's an Alice Cooper fan, who launches into an unusual operatic version of "School's Out."

"I'm going to have to say 'no' because it's not going to work for Idol," says Sass Jordan.

"Yeah, I kind of agree," says Jake. "It's not really an Idol type of voice. But we appreciate you coming in."

And next is Adam Olszewski, 25, from Montreal, accompanied by an instrument rarely seen on Idol - an accordion.

His rendition of "Hallelujah" leaves the judges in tears. Of laughter.

"It's very heartfelt. If you had a case open, I'd be throwing quarters," says Jake. "But unfortunately we're not throwing quarters."

No Gold Ticket for him.


Ben Mulroney gets a dance lesson from a competitor.

We meet Ralph Zeidan, 20, from Laval, QC, who taught himself how to play guitar.

"I do think Canada will fall in love with me for the following reasons: first off, I am very talented. So basically I take them little pop songs and blend it all in with my rock and roll style and you know, make a whole concert out of it every week, baby. I'm expecting a 'yes' obviously."

His rendition of "I'll Be" has Sass covering her eyes.

"Ok we're going to stop you right there," says Jake, "because the one thing we don't, is belong together."

"You have a lot of energy but not a whole lot of musical talent," says Farley Flex.

"Well that's just going to be too bad for them," says Zeidan, as he's leaving the audition room. "Because they just passed on a big talent and that's extremely expensive for them and the competition."


Khuram Sher sings Avril Lavigne's 'Complicated,' complete with some nifty dance moves.

Next up is Khuram Sher, 25, from Montreal. He hails from Pakistan and has been in Canada for about three years - he sings Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," complete with some nifty dance moves.

"Have you ever thought of being a comedian?" asks Sass.

"Not really," says Sher. "I like hockey, music, acting."

"The dance moves were good, the singing, bad. I'm a 'no,'" says Jake.

Then we meet Melanie Ouimet, 26, from Ingleside, ON.

She's a junior webmaster who wants to be the next Canadian Idol to show people her personality.

She shares a song called "Melalicious."

"Do you have a lucky man who you share your 'melaliciousness' with?" asks Zack.

"No, I've never dated, except for prom."

And although the judges thanked her for coming, she left without a Gold Ticket.

Next up is Amberly Thiessen, 19, from Seven Persons, AB.

"My one concern is having that home run note and being able to really 'wow' the audience. But I think song choice and really moving people emotionally is going to be critical for you but I'm an absolute 'yes,'" says Farley.

"I'm as big of 'yes' as I have been for anybody in the country," says Zack.

"I never have any idea who's going to be the next Canadian Idol but if I was going to pick one I think it might be someone very much like you. I'm definitely a 'yes,'" says Sass.

Thiessen had tears of joy as she left the audition room.

"They think you could be the next Canadian Idol. Do you think you're the next Canadian Idol?" asks Ben.

"Yes," she nods as she waves her Gold Ticket in the air.

After some bloopers from Ben and an audition that would've been a better fit at the "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" auditions, jokes Ben, we meet Philippe Langelier.


Philippe Langelier sings death metal for the judges.

Langelier, 27, from Boucherville, QC, sings death metal.

His dad Louie is an opera singer and they do a duet.

"Just for the hell of it give the guy a ticket," says Zack.

"Canada, prepare yourself for steel," Langelier says into camera as he leaves the audition room.

Ben even tries out his "death metal" voice while interviewing Langelier.

And from a dark overlord to Katherine St-Laurent, 16, from Otterburn Park, QC, who sings "Love is a Battlefield."

"You're spectacular," says Zack. "You rock."

"In addition to what Zack said, you look good, you sing with emotion, and it's very rare for someone who is 16, Oh My God," says Jake.

And she's through to Toronto, along with many others who came running out of the room with a Gold Ticket.

Vancouver Auditions:

"Hundreds of hopefuls have turned up in Vancouver and each and every one of them is here because they know that Idol can change their life!" says Ben, in front of an excited crowd of hopefuls.

Every year, there has been at least one person from Vancouver auditions who have made it to the Top 10 - an impressive track record and the reason why they're back, says Ben.

And welcome back Shaun Francisco, 25, from Vancouver, BC.

He sings "I'm Yours."

"I like the way he sings," says Sass.

"I like him a lot," adds Farley.

"I like the way he sings but I just don't find you interesting," says Jake.

"Help me to understand what does 'interesting' look like to you," says Francisco.

"If I knew what it was I'd tell you but I know it when I see it," replies Jake.

"I watched you articulate all season long about that though and Jake I'm not trying to be cheeky...," says Francisco.

"Ok, I'll tell you what," answers Jake. "I find you boring."

"So what do you want me to do? You want me to wear stripes?" asks Francisco.

"Exactly," says Jake. "I can't help it if you're boring to me and you can't help it."

"Let me tell you Jake. Everything in life is a progression and you can tell me that you didn't get to the top like (snaps fingers) that either," says Francisco.

"I was never boring," says Jake.

"You're boring to me right now because you're not articulating your speech enough," says Francisco.

"Vote!" interrupts Zack.

And despite Jake being a 'no,' the other judges were a 'yes' and he was through.

Next up is James Thomas-Hall, 26, an Australian living in Nanaimo, BC.

He sings "The Vomiting Song" - something that took him 10 seconds to write, but gets him kicked out of several places, including the mall.

He goes on to sing for the judges another song called "This Song's Going to Get Stuck in Your Head."

The song might have got stuck, but no Gold Ticket was handed out.

Next up was Andrew Hennings, 25, from Burnaby, BC, singing Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

It went on. And on. And on.

He got a round of applause but no Gold Ticket.

And dressed sharply in black pants and a white jacket was Pat Milino, 22, a swing singer from Vancouver.

He sings regularly at a hotel in Vancouver with Dal Richards, Canada's "King of Swing."

"Who doesn't like Frank Sinatra and who doesn't like Bobby Darin? I haven't seen anybody else my age singing these tunes," says Milino.

He sings "Moondance" for the judges. He is asked to sing the end of "Oh Canada" and he is through to Toronto.

Jully Black gives some advice to competitors and learns the unusual things people do to get ready for a performance, such as drinking canola oil or eating a raw egg.

"He better come out singing like Luther Vandross after that," says Black.

Next we meet Mozhdah Jamalzadah, 26, who lives in Vancouver but who is originally from Afghanistan. She's already experienced some YouTube success and has an incredible story to tell.

"When I came to Canada to me this place was like Heaven. As I was growing up my parents kept reminding me of my past and where I came from and they kept reminding me that Canada's a land of opportunity so just do whatever you can, you're free to do whatever you can."

She told the judges how her family escaped from Afghanistan when she was eight years old and how they were refugees in Pakistan for about a year. The Soviets had invaded and were after her dad because he spoke out against Communism. They dropped everything, left in the back of a truck with five other families and moved to Canada.

She sang Nelly Furtado's "Say it Right."

"I really like the tones in your voice but you're not ready to sing at this level," says Farley.

The judges thanked her for coming.

Vincent Vorkpor, 23, from Burnaby, BC, has also come a long way to see the judges.

He's originally from Liberia and he always wanted to sing a song to Sass. He sang his own rendition of "I'm Every Woman."

"I think I'm the next Canadian Idol because guys look at me, I'm way from West Africa, I'm right here and Canada is making my dream come true."

"What you just did, the 'My Every Woman' thing, that moment it felt pro, it felt right on, so I'm a 'yes,' bro," says Zack.

"We were just saying see how compelling somebody who has some rhythm is and rhythm is what makes a singer great," says Sass.

He was on to Toronto and started crying after getting a Gold Ticket.

Winnipeg Auditions:

With Ben covering the Oscars in L.A., Jully Black welcomes Canada to the 'Peg.

Hundreds showed up and it was cold, says Jully, so she wanted to find out what was going on by listening to some of the competitors in line.

Back over in the audition room, Kayla Luky, 19, from Venlaw, MB, sings "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree."

"Can we just stay here for the rest of the day and listen to this?" says Sass.

"I think we just got 'Luky,'" says Zack.

"I think Luky is going to Toronto!" says Sass.

Next up is Laura Gallant, 25, from Winnipeg, MB, who sings "Love is a Battlefield."

The judges next ask her to sing "Alone" and it's met with roaring laughter from the four of them.

"Laura," says Farley, the only judge that isn't laughing so hard he can't speak, "How did that feel for you?"

"I did the best I could," she says.

"We always want to make sure people do the best they can do," says Farley.

"Possibly in the Top 3 of all time," says Jake, after she left the room.

And we don't think he meant the best.

Next Idol travels to Steinbach, MB, the home of 18-year-old Katelyn Dawn.

She's a huge animal lover and does pet visitations at the local nursing home.

"I am so excited to sing for the judges. I got my parents to act like the judges. I sang for them and they were all like, 'Hmm, I don't think you did that properly.'"

She sings KT Tunstall's "Hold On."

"If you're not in the Top 10 on this show, I'm a monkey's uncle. I'm a definite 'yes,'" says Zack.

"I always make the analogy if I heard you on the radio would I recognize you and right now I'm not sure how easily I could recognize you, that's my only thing but I'm an absolute 'yes,'" says Farley.

"I think I'm the sole voice of dissent on the panel tonight," says Sass. "I find what you do totally non-descript so I'm going to say no."

"I closed my eyes so I could hear your voice and I thought there was some great moments in there. Pick up the ticket, you're going to Toronto!" says Jake.

Next up is Steven Porter, 16, from Lorette, MB, who sings "Moondance" by Michael Buble.

"This is the best kid so far," says Jake, while Porter is still singing.

Farley and Jake were a 'yes' and Sass was a 'massive yes' because he had charisma, sings like a bird and is hugely talented.

"So far you've got three and unfortunately it's up to me, which is kind of a bummer for you because I think you're going to go a long way and be away for a long time. Pick up the ticket bro; we'll see you in Toronto," says Zack.

Watch Episode 3 of the Audition Tour Tuesday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET with highlights from Hamilton, Ottawa, St. John's and Halifax, plus featured online submissions.

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Tears of sadness, joy and laughter: Idol Eps. 3

Updated Wed. Jun. 11 2008 10:19 AM ET


Tears of sadness, joy and laughter: Idol Eps. 3

Sheri Block, CTV.ca

It may be six seasons in, but the Canadian Idol judges are looking younger and younger. Child-like in fact.

We meet "miniature" versions of Zack Werner, Farley Flex, Sass Jordan and Jake Gold.

They welcome in the first competitor, who belts out "At Last."

"Stop singing! Stop singing, for the love of God," says the mini Zack.

"Saying your performance was bad would be an insult to bad," says the mini Jake.

"I'm a no," adds mini Zack.

"It's the fourth down with just inches to go and you just fumbled the ball," says the mini Farley.

"I'm sorry, you're just not good enough but it was nice to meet you," says the mini Sass.

The competitor is consoled by a mini Ben Mulroney, who gets moved out of the way by the real host, who announces that "Canadian Idol begins right now."

Ottawa Auditions:

"Remember the snow?" asks Ben, referring to the 50 cm of the white stuff that fell in Ottawa during the auditions. "Yeah, that sucked. Let's go to the mall!"

"Last year no one from Ottawa made it to the Top 10 but this year hundreds have shown up to try and turn things around in our nation's capital," says Mulroney.

Excited hopefuls waved Canadian flags and hoisted the Idol host up on the crowd.

"Ottawa has been good to Canadian Idol. But does a city that has already given us two winners have yet another superstar in the making?"


Cpl. Jonny Whitehead celebrates his Gold Ticket with his troop at CFB Petawawa.

We meet Cpl. Jonny Whitehead, 23, on a Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in Petawawa, ON.

"I'm the coyote gunner," says Whitehead. "When we go overseas, we're ready to go with anything that they're going to throw at us."

He's lived at the CFB in Petawawa for four years.

"The most difficult thing about my job is the time away from the family. We train as we fight 'cause what you're going to do here, you're going to do in Afghanistan."

He tells how while they were there, they hit a roadside bomb, got blown off the ground and were covered in blood.

"All I remember is the commander saying, 'Go, go, go.' It was my first tour and that definitely put life into perspective. Just being over there, the women, the children, that's priceless."

He's wanted to audition for Canadian Idol since the show began.

"I'm going to have to go in there, I'm just thinking I'm playing for the troops. If I can go overseas and have bullets flying over my head, I can go and sing in front of the judges."

The judges say it's an honour to have him there.

He sings "Let Her Cry" by Hootie and the Blowfish.

"I think your eyes and your vibe is really charismatic so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt just because you'll understand what competing is about, obviously," says Zack.

"There's a nice sort of friendly vibe. I think there's enough charisma there, you might go through, I don't necessarily see you winning the show but I'm going to say 'yes,' you're going to Toronto," says Farley.

He celebrates with his troops back in Petawawa.

Next up is Kelsi Schauerte, who sings Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This." She's been told that she sounds very much like Clarkson.

"If that was Kelly Clarkson, it was Kelly Clarkson tied to a chair being tortured," says Jake.

"I do have a feeling you may be one of the two or three most huggable people alive," says Zack, who gave her a hug, instead of a Gold Ticket.

Next up is Lisa Closs, 20, from Port Perry, ON. Zack pretends the mirror he's holding has shattered from her voice.

Jake plugs his ears.

"You're a terrible, terrible singer," says Zack. "Terrible."

Next is Celene Donnelly, 17, from Prescott, ON, who sings "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

"Celene I think that your tone is not conducive to the kind of tone we need for this show," says Jake. "So I'm a 'no.'"

"Your tone is not conducive to keeping my breakfast down," adds Zack.

Next up is Dan Young, 22, from Ottawa, ON. He says music is pretty much his life and he came out to Canadian Idol because his mom really wants him to do this.

"She doesn't have a whole lot of time left in terms of a lifeline because she's got cancer and she's dying so I kind of want to do this before she dies. She's happy that I'm actually not procrastinating for once and coming forward and doing something."

"I don't find you unique enough," says Farley after Young's audition. "I'm going to say no."

"Strangely enough, I'm going to say 'yes'," says Sass.

But Zack likes him and he is through to Toronto.

With Gold Ticket in hand, Young has one important stop to make before Toronto - visiting his mom in the hospital.

"What are you doing?" says his mom, Carolyn Annette Wells. "Oh my God, I hope you succeed. And I'm always going to be with you and always wishing you the best."

"I love you, I love you," says Young.

"I know," says Wells. "He's my baby and he's my caretaker and he's going to be part of my life for the rest of my life. I love you, too."

"That's for my baby," says Wells, as she holds up her son's Gold Ticket.

Since the show aired, Wells lost her battle to cancer and the episode is dedicated to her memory.


Jully Black and Ryan Mawla share an emotional moment.

Back at the Ottawa auditions, Jully Black was on hand to give competitors some audition advice.

"Confidence," she tells one competitor. "The way you practice is the way you perform."

"You have a big voice. So just lead into it," she tells another. "Don't give them the dessert before you give them the appetizer."

We meet Kristine Lankinen, 23, from Kanata, ON. She just graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in business and is currently working as a bartender.

"Every Friday night they have a rock/country theme, I'm the main attraction, I'm the singer and the rest of the girls dance with me and we spray water sometimes. Idol is a TV show that epitomizes performance and also it caters to my desire to perform and be in the limelight," says Lankinen.

She sings "Alone."

"I think you're probably Top 10. I'm a definite yes," says Zack.

"I like the aggression with which you sing - it's wonderful," says Farley.

"I like the aggression but I think you need to create more dynamics the way you sing but I'm a yes," says Jake.

"I think you have the brains it takes. Really important - welcome to Toronto," says Sass.


Ryan Mawla wants people to know it's ok to be yourself.

Next up is Ryan Mawla, 17, from Almonte, ON who is a male who is becoming a female.

"I realized I never really fit in in school and stuff and when I was 13 and I learned the definition of homosexual. I kind of knew that's not what I wanted to be and I kind of knew I didn't like girls so that made it even more confusing so I knew I was supposed to be a girl and I was trapped in a boy's body," says Mawla.

"Being on Canadian Idol would allow me to tell people there are other people like you. It's ok to be yourself."

Mawla sings "Rehab."

"You are not a highly skilled singer but if that's the vehicle for sharing your message, which I think is an important message, especially for kids in their teens who are going through, every teenager is going through a lot but I don't know if music's the vehicle for you to get it out but I think just being the person you are, you send out a pretty good message to people," says Zack.

He gets overwhelmed meeting Jully Black and starts crying.

"The bottom line is that the music is the message, music is the language and we all speak it and we understand it. It doesn't matter if we're not from the same race, religion, creed, nationality, just know you have to keep the music alive no matter what colour your ticket is .... really the music is the ticket so please everybody keep it alive," says Jully.

Hamilton Auditions:

"Last year Brian Melo brought the Idol title home to Hamilton so this year we decided to bring the entire show to Canada's Steeltown," says Ben from the site of the Hamilton auditions.

"Can lightning strike twice in Hamilton? The massive numbers that came out to audition for us seemed to think so."

We meet Nicholaus J. Gordon, 16 from London, ON, who writes, arranges and records his own music.

He sings Amy Winehouse's "Rehab."

"It was so unique," says Sass.

"Is that your tone for all your songs?" asks Jake.

Zack asks him how he developed his tone.

"I love him. I'm a 'yes,'" says Sass.

"I think you have a very unique sound and I think it deserves to have its own place," says Jake. "So I'm a 'no.'"

But Zack's a 'yes' and he's through to Toronto.

Next up is Rufus, 26, from Kitchener, ON, who sings "Get Down Tonight."

"I think you're so much fun Rufus so I'm 100 percent yes," says Jake.

"What you lack in certain areas of your voice, you make up for with some personality and some stage presence, which I respect," says Sass.

He says he knows his abilities and that's enough for Zack. Farley likes how he is free-spirited and Rufus gets a Gold Ticket.


Barbara Griffore says no one at the office knows she can sing. 'Guess what? You can't!' replies Jake Gold.

Barbara Griffore, 23, from Bothwell, ON is next. She says her husband didn't know she could sing until she sang at their wedding.

She screeches out "From This Moment" and then tells the judges she's a law clerk.

"Nobody in the office knows I can sing," she says.

"Guess what? You can't!" replies Jake.

"This clinches it," says Ben. "We are definitely getting a deejay for my wedding."


Bill Smith tells Zack Werner he should switch to decaf.

Up next is Bill Smith, 23, from Hamilton, ON singing Sarah Harmer's "Silver Road."

"Come on dude, get a grip," says Zack.

"Should I stop?" asks Smith. "I was told that somebody raises their hand when I was told to stop."

"No when we start screaming and making noises to stop the anguish of having to listen to you namble and damble like that," says Zack.

"Oh you're so harsh, man. You might want to switch to decaf, sir."


Sarah Dillon gets the award for worst singer this year.

Next is Sarah Dillon, 18, from Hamilton, ON, who attempts Alicia Key's "Falling."

"I can quite honestly say you are the worst singer we've seen this year," says Zack. "Congratulations. We actually give out an award to the worst singer we see during the year and so right now you're in first place."

"I'm not what they're looking for," says Dillon, as she leaves the room. "But yeah, that's cool."

We meet Jade Padua, 19, from Pickering, ON, who is taking musical theatre in Oakville, ON and calls herself a "triple threat" because she sings, dances and acts. "I've always loved to be on stage and love to be centre of attention and performing for everyone," says Padua.

"Canadian Idol, I think it's a great opportunity for all artists. You bring who you are to the table and I'm just going to bring what I got, put myself out there."

She sings "When I Fall in Love" and Sass, Farley and Zack are all a 'yes.'

"I actually think that Jade is really talented and come Top 100 week that it is so tough on you that it will actually beat you into being yourself instead of acting," says Jake.

And she's through to Toronto.

Remember Jessica Sheppard? She's back.

We get a look back at the Top 22 reveal last year and how Sheppard, 22, from Toronto, ON, didn't make the final cut by one spot.

Flash forward to Hamilton and Sheppard admits to Ben she is nervous.

"I'm nervous because I got so close and it was taken away so now it's like, 'holy crap, I've got to go through the whole process again.'"

She sings "Killing Me Softly."

"She's one of the only people who we've had come in and we say, 'riff all you want' because most of them can't riff," says Jake.

"I'm a 'yes' but I think you're going to have problems," says Zack.

"You just gotta pick great songs and be smart," says Farley.

"I still think you're one of the best singers we've ever had on the show," says Sass.

And while blinking back tears, Jessica picks up her Gold Ticket.

Next we meet Adam Castelli, 26, from Hamilton, ON.

"During the day I'm a carpenter. I work for my brother. He's really cool about giving me an opportunity to do what I got to do with my music pursuits."

A few years ago, Adam says he was in a band with his brother Ryan and they were just about to release their album when Ryan was in a serious accident on a construction site.

"The dream sort of slipped away at that point," says Castelli.

"I think it's his turn to take the reins and let the world see what he's all about," says Adam's brother Ryan.

Castelli says he's ready to hang up the tool belt and pick up the guitar full-time.

For his audition, Castelli sings "Ready or Not."

Zack tells him he's the only person so far that has emotionally affected him.

"Emotionally the best thing across the country for me," adds Jake. "Someone who has actually touched me inside man. You've got something going on. Pick up the ticket you're coming with us to Toronto."

And a total of 27 singers are sent to Toronto.

This year for the first time ever, Canadian Idol hopefuls could audition online. Competitors logged on from right across the country.

Some wanted to show off their unique talents - from dancing and knitting to one who was an archeologist by day, rock star by night.

And in the end, 11 people moved from online to onstage for the Top 200.

East Coast Auditions

"Canada's East Coast. Of course we come for the lobster but we stay for the musical talent," says Ben, adding that hundreds showed up for their shot at stardom.

Going in first is Mark Day, 19, from Portugal Cove, NL.

"Mark Day has like a 90-year-old baby face," says Zack.

He sings Celine Dion's "Power of Love."

Farley tells him his upper register is good but when he goes lower he ends up as "whisper man."

He is asked to sing the same song again with full voice.

"I think you're an ok singer. I think you have zero star potential and I'm a 'no,'" says Jake.

"You do kind of to me have a goofy kind of charisma that would really work if you had the stage experience and knew how to use it. The fact you don't have that experience makes me a no, a borderline no," says Zack.

But Farley and Sass were both a 'yes' and he got a Gold Ticket.

We get to hear some of comments and noises the judges have made in trying to explain things to the competitors.

"Once again we met a lot of guitar players and I'm using the term 'players' loosely," says Ben.

Then we meet Lindsay Barr, 26, from Halifax.

"I'm going to say yes because I think you have huge potential," says Jake.

"You've got great natural performance ability. I think you'd be great on our show," says Sass.

Zack was "radically unconvinced by all the things that have been said by the other two judges" and was a 'no.' Farley disagrees with Zack and Barr is going to Toronto.

Mitch MacDonald, 22, from Port Hood, NS is the youngest of seven kids. He grew up in a really musical family and his mom teaches traditional Cape Breton step dancing world-wide.

"I really like indie music. I kind of like more mellow stuff. Songs that are well-written, if they tell a good story is the stuff I really, really like. Hopefully my voice really stands out you know. I'm confident that I have a good voice, I've been doing a lot of singing over the last while," says MacDonald.

"Tell me something interesting about yourself," says Zack.

He replied with he was just over in Europe, teaching little kids about Cape Breton Island.

"I think you've got great taste in music and a great understanding of a lyric and how to sell a song. I'm a definite yes," says Zack.

"Beyond great taste, you have smart taste, which is a really appealing thing for me," says Farley.

"I don't know if there's anyone that sounds like you and you would be instantly recognizable and that's a good thing for us," says Jake.

"You had me at hello," says Sass. "You're going to Toronto."

"To me, Mitchell's the kind of guy that sneaks up and wins this kind of show," says Sass, after MacDonald leaves the room.

Next comes Luke and Jock, 27 and 25, from Beaverbank & Mahone Bay, NS, with an original song about being turned down by Canadian Idol.

Tune in next Monday, June 16 at 9 pm ET to watch the first episode of the Top 200 in Toronto!

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Top 200 Showdown: Idol Eps. 4

Updated Tue. Jun. 17 2008 12:02 AM ET


Top 200 Showdown: Idol Eps. 4

Sheri Block, CTV.ca

"We've been all across the country and we saw over 10,000 singers and a lot of them, quite frankly sucked," said host Ben Mulroney, as we take a look back at some of the worst.

"But 200 of them totally rocked it and they are coming to Toronto where they will take part in the most important and demanding audition of their lives. There are no guarantees. Dreams will be shattered. This is the Top 200."


Competitors arrive from all across the country to compete in the Top 200.

Competitors arrived from across Canada for the toughest music competition in the nation and everyone knows exactly what's on the line.

The first day of the competition began with Sass Jordan addressing the crowd.

"I just want to talk to you this morning about performance. The thing that people are going to connect with is how you feel that song, you've got to feel that song because I've got to buy that from you. Do you understand what I mean?" said Sass.

"Put your spin on whatever song you're being asked to sing," said Jake Gold. "That's going to be the most important thing on this show for all of you."

"You have to have a vision of yourself on this stage with confetti and balloons falling on your head or else you shouldn't be here," said Farley Flex.

"Do something to make us believe that you are an entertainer who could win this show," said Zack Werner. "You've got three days to live through; you better think it through as to why you are the one. Welcome to Canadian Idol my friends! Let's have a great day."


Welcome to Toronto!

"If these hopefuls didn't feel the pressure to become the 'one' before, they do now," said Ben. "The most intense three days of their lives is about to begin.

"Performing one at a time, each competition has just one chance to impress our judges. Those who don't will be heading home after just one day."

First up was Adam Castelli from Hamilton, ON, who rocked out early in the competition.

The pressure is on and while everyone thinks they deserve to be here, by the end of the day almost 90 singers will be sent home.

Philippe Langelier from Boucherville, QC, was next on stage. Dressed in black goth, he sang "I Would Do Anything For Love."

Alex Simpson from Gatineau, QC, sang next, followed by Regan Hiebert from Abbotsford, BC.

Mark Masztalerz from Montreal, QC, entertained with his guitar and harmonica and Mark Sparks from Toronto, ON, had the audience snapping along.

Greg Von Euw from Burnaby, BC sang "Stepping Out" and the judges cut him off mid-song.

"Hey, that was my big finale," he said.

"That's a prime example of not knowing when to stop," said Jake.

"The judges are about to make the first cuts of the day. For some of these 200 hopefuls, their trip to Toronto is about to get cut very short," said Ben.

The judges deliberate and then ask competitors to step front or back, with the front row staying and the back row going home.


Whoo-hoo! These competitors celebrate making it through the first round.

"With the first cuts of the day done, reality sets in," said Ben.

"It sucks, but whatever," said one competitor who was cut.

"This is what they call the 'walk of shame' I guess," said another.

Competitors are consoled by their families out in the holding area.

"I'm too extreme for Canada and I know that," said Philippe Langelier.

"Oh man, I'm so relieved that that's over," said Adam Castelli. "On to Day 2."

We get re-introduced to Dan Young, from Ottawa, ON, who lost his mom to cancer on April 14th.

"My mom wanted this for me more than anything. She brought extra people to open mics for me so that I'd have an audience and if she's here right now, which I guarantee she is, probably standing behind me doing something, she's definitely going to be giving me all the strength she can give to perform."

He sang Our Lady Peace's "Innocent" with his guitar and made it through to the next round.

Oliver Pigott from Toronto, ON was next up with "Fields of Gold."

"Oliver really impressed the judges at his first audition. Can he do it again?" asked Ben.

His performance is met with roaring applause from the audience.

"Those who really impress the judges are given a free pass to Day 2," said Ben.

"It's too bad this is actually a competition because that's what you're all up against," said Zack, standing up to address the competitors in the audience.

Katelyn Dawn, from Winnipeg, MB, sang KT Tunstalls' "Stoppin' the Love."

Omar Lunan from Scarborough, ON, was next. He sang "To Be with You," followed by Jessica Sheppard from Whitby, ON, who offered some soul with "Unbreak My Heart."

Lindsay Barr, from Halifax, NS, rocked it out with "Where Did you Sleep Last Night?"

"That was for Sass," she said after her song.

Vincent Vorkpor from Vancouver, BC, wanted to tell the judges he made his entire outfit. He sang "I Want You to Want Me."

The judges deliberated.

"We don't always agree up here and we have our own rules of how we vote so I'm not saying who doesn't agree with all these decisions but it is what it is and my apologies in advance," said Zack.

"Everybody stay," he continued, to a group of shocked competitors on stage.

Martin Kerr was next to take the stage.

"Let's get a couple things straight here before we start. Firstly, I may look like Prince Harry, I may sound like Hugh Grant but actually I'm just Martin Kerr and also Zack has made it very clear that he doesn't like me but he doesn't know that he's actually my favourite judge so..."

"I don't like you either now," said Jake.

Kerr sang Coldplay's "Yellow."

The judges told him to sit down right away -- he got a free pass to the next round. "Hey Martin," said Zack. "I've changed my mind, too."

We meet Carly Campbell from Vancouver, BC.

"I'm just going to sing my guts out ... When I auditioned in Vancouver, getting the Gold Ticket just kind of symbolized the beginning of a big new change in my life and something exciting to come. I've been in the studio a lot, a couple of times a week working on my own stuff, doing a lot of my own writing, getting as much exposure as I possibly can," said Campbell.

She said she works at a nightclub in downtown Vancouver and as much as she loves her job, she wants to be doing something she's completely passionate about.

She sang "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and was through to the next round.

Kristine Lankinen from Ottawa, ON, was featured next.

"It's hard to talk about chances because there are so many good people out there. I think I've got my own unique thing so if they're looking for something different I think I have a very good chance because I don't think there's anybody quite like me."

She sang "Every Time I see your Picture I Cry."

The judges didn't like her performance but they liked her. They make an exception and give her a chance to learn a different song.

Next up is Cpl. Jonathan Whitehead from Wilno, ON.

"Being in the Top 200, it's a dream come true," he said. "I have it going for me, I think I have the look, I can sing, I can play guitar."

He said one of the skills he learned in the military was to how to complete the task and he wants to do the same on Canadian Idol. He sang "Kryptonite."

He gets cut and told Ben afterwards how he changed his song last minute because it seemed like the judges wanted something up tempo.

"I don't often say this but that sounds like a mistake," said Ben.

"Oh, big time," said Whitehead.

Up next is Lindsay Robins from Montreal, QC.

"It's been a great thing to be part of the Top 200. I had a lot of misconceptions about the show. I was really hesitant going in. I always thought it was going to be this cheesy singing competition but there's so many well-rounded musicians and artists it makes me proud to be a Canadian."

She sang "The Show Must Go On."

Remember Theo Tams from Lethbridge, AB? He was so nervous he sweated right through his shirt during his first audition.

"This experience has been crazy," said Tams. "That's the only word I have for it right now. As much as this is a talent competition I can't sing a song without an emotional connection to it and I think that's what I'm made of, being able to take something that's not mine and feel that's the best thing I've ever written."

He sang an emotional version of "Angel" while playing the piano and had the audience on their feet.

Jake even gave him a standing ovation and he was through to the next round.

Meanwhile, Kristine Lankinen was working hard on another song.

"I think the nerves got the best of me so I think the second time out there I've got to just loosen up a bit and I think that's what they want to hear. It may not be my voice per se, it may just be my overall presence on stage."

She chose to sing "Alone."

"It was really disappointing Kristine, I gotta tell you," said Zack.

"And I will you this that your song choice earlier in the day was horrendous," said Jake. "So it's something to think about for tomorrow. You get to stay."

All the competitors who made it through the first day now have one night to learn a group number for the second round in the fight for the Top 22.


Jully Black offers these competitors some song advice during a late-night practice at the hotel.

It's very late and Jully Black is at the hotel helping the competitors with their songs and talking to groups about how the practicing is going.

She barges into a room with the Pigott brothers, Tetiana Ostapowych and Mookie Morris, who are practicing "Who Has Seen the Rain."

She thought Morris needed to step up and have more of a role.

She wishes other competitors a good night's sleep.

Back in the practicing room Jully said "A lot of these competitors are still rehearsing and I had a thought, 'Why ain't I in bed? Well that's where I'm going so good luck and I'll catch you in the morning."

It's Day 2 of the competition and the competitors are up bright and early.

It's time to face the judges once again for the group number.

"We're always trying new and different things here on Idol. This year marks the first year we've had mixed male/female group performances," said Ben.

After great solo performances from Shaun Francisco, Martin Kerr, Lindsay Robins and Paul Clifford the expectations were high for this group.

They sang "Who Has Seen the Rain" and Zack said it may be one of the single best group performances that has ever been on the show.

"It was like four pros," said Sass.

"And I've gotta say Martin, for a guy who I was really abhorred and could not stand and vehemently lobbied against in every way, shape and form, you're becoming one of my favourite people here," said Zack.

The comments weren't as good for Dominique Vouk's group who sang "To Be With You."

"At one point there it just felt like one big mess of everyone yelling," said Jake.

Next was Carly Campbell's group and Jake told Campbell she sang really good.

Jen Dell'Unto's group were also told they was good.

Omar Lunan and his group hoped their late night paid off. They sang "Wishing Well" and were told they did a nice job by Sass.

Group performances continued and the stress was extreme. For one group, the stress may have cost them a member.

Lisa Bell had to go see a doctor after becoming short of breath the night before.

Her group members Marie Pierre-Bellerose and Hugo Desmarais were stressed because they didn't know if she was going to be there or not.

Groups that were ready continued on stage. We saw highlights from the groups of Jenna Rae Walker, Earl Stevenson, Taylor Abrahamse, Theo Tams, Katelyn Dawn, Nicholaus J. Gordon and Gary Morissette who all sang "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree."

"Hey cyber boy," said Zack, referring to Morissette's online audition, "You just may just be a rockstar."

"That's what I'm here for man," said Morissette.

"Rockstars are rare commodities around here, bro," said Zack.

Gordon said he struggled with learning the words and him and Abrahamse are worried they're not going to make it.

Lisa Bell has returned and her group told her they've already worked it out as two. They agreed to try it with her.

Bell and Bellerose end with a singing dual, egged on by Zack.

Next up is Mookie Morris, Tetiana Ostapowych and the Pigott brothers - all who've impressed the judges individually.

"It makes the expectations that much higher," said Ben.

They sing "Who Has Seen the Rain" and the judges cheered.

"Every group has had the chance to sing for the judges," said Ben. "All that's left is the deliberations and the eliminations."

Close to half the people who sang today will be sent home.

The judges bring all the groups in one by one and tell them who's staying and who's going.

Among those going home are Pat Milino and Dan Young, while the groups of Martin Kerr, Shaun Francisco, Lindsay Robins and Paul Clifford, as well as Mookie Morris, the Pigott brothers and Tetiana Ostapowych are all staying for another day.


Mark Sparks from Toronto, ON, had the audience snapping along.

Watch the final episode of the Top 200 Tuesday, June 17 at 9 pm ET &PT to see who makes it into the Top 22!

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Top 24 Revealed! Idol Eps. 5

Updated Thu. Jun. 19 2008 12:45 PM ET


Top 24 Revealed! Idol Eps. 5

Sheri Block, CTV.ca

"200 singers arrived in Toronto with dreams that met a heavy dose of reality," said Canadian Idol host Ben Mulroney.

"Judgment came swiftly."

"Those who did make it to Day 2 sang in groups and were judged again. For some, it was near disaster. And it all ended in a vocal show-down."

Will the judges like what they heard?

For Lisa Bell, Marie-Pierre Bellerose and Hugo Desmarais, it's decision time.

Zack Werner told Desmarais it makes no sense for him so he'll be going home but told Bell and Bellerose, who took part in a sing-off in Day 2, were both through to the next round.

"The second day of the Top 200 comes to a close. The number of hopefuls gone or leaving far exceeds the ones still here. With everything on the line, those who remain know how important their final solo performance will be," said Ben.

Day 3 begins and the pressure is unrelenting, even for those who have been here before.

Mookie Morris from Toronto, ON, said he could've done it last year but he just didn't have his head in it. This year, he feels like he's totally focused. He took his music career in his own hands and started building a studio in his home, writing his own tunes and playing more shows.

"It's the final day of the auditions and the stress is pushing many of our performers to the breaking point. But today everyone is stepping up one last time for that chance to go all the way," said Ben.

Morris performs "These Eyes" and has the judges happy with what they hear.

Omar Lunan from Scarborough, ON, is next. He told Jake Gold that he spent an hour the night before crying about a song he had never heard before. He explained that in December of last year somebody made an attempt on his brother's life and the next day he succumbed. He sang "Break it to Them Gently" for his brother.

Lunan left the stage and broke down in tears.

Up next are the Pigott brothers. Older brother Oliver said if he gets to the Top 22 he would feel a sense of honour because he's seen the other competitors and the level of talent and he's very impressed.

Younger brother Sebastian said you never want to let an opportunity slip through your fingers and he would love to make it. He would love to be on the show with his brother because when they're 50 years old, that's the kind of thing they'd love to look back on.

Sebastian sings first with "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Oliver is next, singing an acoustic version of "Umbrella."


Kristine Lankinen performs 'Simple Man.'

Kristine Lankinen from Ottawa, ON, is next - she barely made it to this round and she knows she has to nail it. She sang "Simple Man."

Vincent Vorkpor from Vancouver, BC, sang "She Will Be Loved."

Ramil Omosura from Vancouver, BC, and Jade Padua from Pickering, ON, were next up.

Mitch MacDonald from Port Hood, NS, sang "She Will Be Loved" and got a "yeahhh!" from Sass Jordan.


Competitors chat as they wait to hear if they've made it through to the next round.

Now all they could do was wait.

Drew Wright from Collingwood, ON, is next. He lost his grandmother a few days earlier. He said she was very important to him and he was contemplating not coming at all, but his family encouraged him to go for it.

He sang "She Will Be Loved."

The judges said they really enjoyed it.

Katelyn Dawn from Winnipeg, MB, was next. She sang "Umbrella" and forgot some of her words.

Earl Stevenson from Lloydminster, AB, sang "Weak in the Knees" and also forgot some words.

"Man, I screwed up bad," he told the judges.

Nicholaus J. Gordon from London, ON, is next and he also can't remember the words to his song, "Break it to Them Gently."

Katherine St-Laurent from Otterburn Park, QC, had to restart her song "Complicated" a couple times.

"Even the best singer cracks under the intense pressure," said Ben.

The competitors show their emotion as they leave the stage.

Adam Castelli from Hamilton, ON, has a banter with the judges and then has trouble getting through his song "Umbrella."

He is also not happy with his performance and said he's at a loss for words about what just happened.

Tetiana Ostapowych from Toronto, ON, is next. She sang "She Will Be Loved" and is overcome with emotion by the experience.

Gary Morissette from Fruitvale, BC, is next. He said he originally planned to audition in Vancouver but the highway was closed due to a snowstorm so he thought he had lost his chance. But when Idol announced online auditions, his mom encouraged him to submit one. He said being chosen online, he almost felt like a mystery to everyone when he got here so he felt he had something more to prove.

"I'm a great player and I'm a great singer and I've always felt that I'm on par with everyone else. I'm a performer and that's what I do," said Morissette.

He sang "Simple Man."

Mark Day from Portugal Cove, NL, is on deck. He said he got his first cab ride yesterday and he giggled the entire time. He comes from such a small place, there is nowhere to get performance experience. He said there's no time to get nervous because it's something he's wanted forever.

He sang "She Will Be Loved."


Jade Padua and Carly Campbell learn they will not be in the Top 24.

Carly Campbell from Kamloops, BC, was next with "Big Girls Don't Cry."

Jesse Cottam from Calgary, AB was next with "Simple Man."

Amberly Thiessen from Seven Person, AB, sang "Complicated."

Paul Clifford from Port Moody, BC, was next. This is his third year and he said every year it always falls short for him and this is the year he wants to be heard. He sang "Simple Man" on the piano.

Shaun Francisco from Vancouver, BC, said not getting into the Top 22 last year was the best thing that could've happened to him in terms of his development as a singer. He said Jake put a label on him this year and all he wanted to do was prove him wrong.

He sang "She Will Be Loved" and Jake told him it was really good.

The final performance of the day ended on a high note, said Ben.

It was time for the competitors to learn their fate. Each one had to go in front of the judges to hear if they made it to the Top 22.

Mark Day was up first. Sass told him his true calling was as a comedian but they all love a singer who could make them smile. He was through to the next round and Day started crying.

"Is there paramedics standing by? Because I'm going to pass out," he said.

But the news wasn't good for everyone.


An emotional Ramil Omosura says he was just happy to be here.

Ramil Omosura broke down and said he was just happy to be here. He would not be going on to the next round.

Joe Nolan and Mookie Morris were up next.

They told Nolan he wasn't ready yet but that Morris was on to the next round.

Mitch MacDonald and Earl Stevenson were next. Sass told them they had great and not so great moments.

But they were both going through to the next round.

Omar Lunan was next.

Sass told him an artist to her is someone who is not afraid to show their heart. He's through to the next round.

Kristine Lankinen does not get through to the next round.

Katherine St-Laurent does make it through despite a difficult day. Katelyn Dawn and Amberly Thiessen are also through.

Lindsay Robins from Montreal, QC, and Martin Kerr from Edmonton, AB, are also in.

The Top 22 is filling up quickly, said Ben.

Tetiana Ostapowych is next. Farley Flex asked what she's learned about herself through the process.

She said she's learning how to trust herself. She made it through to the next round.

Marie-Pierre Bellerose and Lisa Bell -- the members of yesterday's sing-off -- were next. They were both put through.

After a disappointing day, Adam Castelli faced the judges alone. They tell him he dropped the ball today.

Castelli said he should've just came in, laid it down and shut up. The judges told him they had high expectations for him. Jake asked him if he can handle the pressure. Adam said he could and he was through to the next round.


Nicholaus J. Gordon will not be going on to the next round.

Nicholaus J. Gordon and Taylor Abrahamse were told they had a lot of potential but won't be staying on this year.

Gary Morissette was next. Zack told him it was a big risk to invest in someone who got in through an online audition. But they will be investing in him and he's made it through.

Morissette celebrated by giving Ben a hug - and a kiss!

Shaun Francisco, Jesse Cottam and Theo Tams were up next. But with eight spots already handed out to guys, can there be room for all three?

Sass told them it's not just about the singing but on that note, all three are going through.

That made 11 guys through to the Top 22.

The hopefuls that are still waiting have already seen 18 people move on to the next round.


The judges thanked Vincent Vorkpor for his grace and dignity, but he will not be going through.

Vincent Vorkpor is next but the judges told him he is not right for the show -- yet -- but he's represented himself with grace and dignity.

The Pigott brothers are next but they may be on the outside with 11 guys already chosen.

Farley called them a 'pleasant surprise' and hoped they support each other with the news they're both going through to the next round.

That made it a lucky 13 guys through to the next round - Canadian Idol officially has taken on a new look.

Lindsay Barr is up next. She said she was lost because she didn't know how many spots were left. But she was staying regardless.

There's one last spot left for the Top 22.

Jade Padua and Carly Campbell were hoping it was one of them but neither made it through.

Drew Wright was up next and he was told he was through.

And with Wright, the Top 22 was complete.

Jessica Sheppard and Paul Clifford, the same two competitors who were eliminated at this point last year, were up next.

"What's going through your minds right now?" asked Jake.

"I'm hoping to get a chance," said Sheppard.

"I'm hoping for a record deal and balloons and confetti," said Clifford.

Jake told them if they've been keeping track out there it's a little different this year. There are more guys than girls and they already have the 22.

"So welcome to the Top 24!" said Jake.

Sheppard and Clifford started crying.

"Top 24 baby!" said Sheppard as she ran into the room to hug her mom.

Canadian Idol history had been made with the first ever Top 24.

The new Top 24 shared the news with their families back home.

From a field of more than 10,000 the new Top 24 is:

Amberly Thiessen - 18, Seven Persons, AB

Adam Castelli - 26, Hamilton, ON

Tetiana Ostapowych, 25 - Toronto, ON

Mitch MacDonald, 22 - Port Hood, NS

Lindsay Barr, 26 - Halifax, NS

Mark Day, 19 - Portugal Cove, NL

Lindsay Robins, 21 - Montreal, QC

Mookie Morris, 18 - Toronto, ON

Gary Morissette, 21 - Fruitvale, BC

Lisa Bell, 27 - Winnipeg, MB

Sebastian Pigott, 25 - Toronto, ON

Oliver Pigott, 27 - Toronto, ON

Katherine St-Laurent, 17 - Otterburn Park, QC

Earl Stevenson, 22 - Lloydminster, AB

Jessica Sheppard, 22 - Toronto, ON

Omar Lunan, 28 - Scarborough, ON

Martin Kerr, 25 - Edmonton, AB

Theo Tams, 22 - Lethbridge, AB

Katelyn Dawn, 18 - Winnipeg, MB

Paul Clifford, 25 - Port Moody, BC

Jesse Cottam, 23 - Calgary, AB

Marie-Pierre Bellerose, 25 - Quebec City, PQ

Shaun Francisco, 25 - Vancouver, BC

Drew Wright, 28 - Collingwood, ON

It all starts next Monday night at a special time - 8 pm ET/PT.

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I need someone to remind me when this show is on. Sorry I am late again!!


Courtesy of: CTV.ca

Idol competitors rock the first live show

Updated Wed. Jun. 25 2008 12:30 AM ET


Idol competitors rock the first live show

Sheri Block, CTV.ca

With the most talented and seasoned group of performers Canadian Idol has ever seen, it's not surprising that the first live show of the year rocked the stage like never before.


Canadian Idol kicked off its first live show of the season with host Ben Mulroney commenting on how thing are very different this year when it comes to the competitors.

"Things are very different this year," said host Ben Mulroney. "We've got more guys than girls and because we found so much incredible talent, we've got ourselves a Top 24."

He explained that half of the competitors would be performing tonight and the other half tomorrow night before introducing Orin Isaacs and the Canadian Idol band, as well as judges Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex and Zack Werner.

"So Zack, a Top 24, you guys couldn't you make up your minds?" asked Ben.

"Dude we made up our minds right away," replied Zack. "We decided that this was going to be the best year of Canadian Idol from the minute they start singing until the confetti drops, baby."

"The real exciting thing for me, not just as a judge but as a fan, I'm really excited to see what these people are going to offer us," said Farley.

"I don't think that music or entertainment is gender-related specifically," said Sass, regarding the uneven split of guys to girls. "We just pick the best people for the job."

"Unlike other years I feel we have a more experienced group this year, an experienced group of musicians particularly and I think that the result is going to be a lot of pressure in the competition and we're going to see who can actually deliver under that two minutes of pressure," said Jake.

The night kicked off with Lindsay Barr singing "Burning Love." The Halifax, NS, performer danced around the stage wearing a black leather jacket that she slipped off her shoulder to reveal her tattoo.

Jake said her performance was ok in terms of her energy but thought her singing reminded him of some bad bar singing.

Sass Jordan told her she looked great and also liked her energy but she didn't take advantage of it as much as she could've because she sang the song in a key that was too low.

Farley agreed with Sass about the song key, but appreciated how she used the stage.

"Your extroverted personality came out in that performance for sure," said Farley.

Zack said it took her a while to find the key and that the song had no challenge for her.

"I think it was a shining example my friends of what not to do," he said.

Martin Kerr may hail from England originally but he won the judges over with his version of "Lost Together" from one of Canada's most beloved bands - Blue Rodeo.

"That was a good performance, Martin. I really liked it dynamically. The dynamics were really, really cool," said Sass.

Farley and Zack both commented how Kerr, who now calls Edmonton, AB, home, sounded a little nervous off the top but Jake said it was a really strong performance.

"I think you showed people who you are and that's really all you can do right now," said Jake.

Gary Morissette, or "cyber boy" as Zack likes to call him because he received his Gold Ticket after auditioning online, came out rockin' with "Good Golly, Miss Molly," on electric guitar and finishing up his performance with a jump kick.

"Way to liven up the stage there buddy. I'll tell you one person that enjoyed that. Mr. Orin Isaacs had a good time backing you up there. Really good performance, way to show your personality," said Farley.

"I like the motto, that's like the 'Keep it Simple Stupid' thing. Fruitvale (B.C.) better pick up the phone, cyber boy is here to stay," said Zack.

Sass told him energy is what sells it and he had it in spades but Jake thought he was a better singer than what his performance demonstrated.

A bizarre song choice is what Zack called Tetiana Ostapowych's version of "Feelings."

But Ostapowych, who hails from Toronto, ON, defended herself by saying she was taking a chance and trusting herself - something she learned over the course of the Top 200 weekend.

"The vibe of it was cool in that sort of blues sort of Esthero-esque kind of vibe around the edges. I thought the up tempo stuff really had borderline cruise ship-iness to it but the girl can sing and she's going to grow as we go," said Zack.

But Jake disagreed.

"I thought you were definitely believable and to me, as you wanted to do, you made that song yours and that's what I wanted to see from you so it worked as far as I'm concerned and without a doubt, the best singing tonight so far."

Sass also thought she was the best singer she'd heard so far for the way she was able to connect to the song.

Farley thought she had some memorable tones in her voice and thought it was extremely credible.

Mitch MacDonald from Port Hood, NS, is no stranger to Cape Breton traditional music but wanted to find a song that was less well known. He picked "Follow Through" by Gavin DeGraw.

It reminded Jake of why they picked him for the Top 24.

"You have a very unique tone and that's one of the reasons why I think we picked you for your tone and you got a chance to show that today. At times your voice went a little bit pitchy but overall I thought you represented yourself well," he said.

"Mitch there's something like sweet, pure and innocent, I could be completely wrong, what do I know, but that's the vibe you give off and I find that really refreshing. There's something really lovely just about listening to you sing," said Sass.

Farley said although Mitch comes off very likeable, he agreed with Jake that at times his voice got a little thin.

Zack said the performance may not be all that one way or another, but he has a natural grace that people should buy into.

Paul Clifford, from Vancouver, BC, who tried out for Idol two times before but could never quite crack the Top 22, sang "Broken."

Sass said it was a good performance, but thought he was holding back a bit.

"You have one of the most distinct voices amongst the multitude of 24 and I'm a big fan, always have been. I think I'd just recognize you on the radio and that's what to me, it's partially about," said Farley of Clifford, who also originally hails from England.

Zack thought it was pretty good but said he wasn't cautious in holding notes to make sure he stayed on pitch.

"Paul, I thought it was a really powerful performance. I think it's about time you got your shot to show Canada how good you are," said Jake.

And with plenty of soul, Earl Stevenson from Lloydminster, AB sang an acoustic version of "All Along the Watchtower."

"Earl, you just ooze soul. You're exactly what to me this show is about. We travel around this country and we look for new and special things. You're absolutely that. I get such a vibe when you sing. You're the bomb son, straight up," said Farley.

"If we had shining examples of what not to do, dude that was exactly what you should be doing. Do something that no one else here can do and that was only Earl and only Earl could've done that. Good on ya brother," said Zack.

Jake thought if he heard the song for the first time he'd think it was an "Earl" song and Sass hoped Canada gets this because he is the real deal.

Lisa Bell from Winnipeg, MB, showed off her pipes with "Long Train Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers and worked the stage by moving around and singing with the band.

"I'm glad you had fun doing that and Winnipegger to Winnipegger, I gotta be careful how wintery I get here but for me that's just too showbiz-y. I want people to come up and do things that represent the kinds of records they're going to make, not what they're going to play at a Bar Mitzvah so it was ok but it's not enough and you've got to do something else," said Zack.

"I completely disagree. I thought you, Lisa, you have a really really strong voice and I think you needed to show Canada how strong it was and you did just that," said Jake.

Sass and Farley both thought she did a fantastic job.

Mookie Morris from Toronto, ON, who was named after baseball player Mookie Wilson, rocked it out with "Twist and Shout."

"I think that's the first time anyone's ever done that song on the show ... I think you're extremely believable and I really do believe you're a star," said Jake.

"I think if there was a record deal on the table so far you're the one who gets it, you're the real star so far," said Zack.

Sass thought he had already won three quarters of the battle with tons of presence and charisma and Farley said he was a "two-minute brother," making the most of his time on stage.

Drew Wright from Collingwood, ON, who describes himself as one of the more reserved ones of the group until he gets on stage, also took a chance with his choice of Queen's "Under Pressure."

And while Zack thought it was a bizarre and weird choice and Jake thought the song didn't show what a good singer he really is, Sass and Farley thought differently.

"That's a big song to bite. But you know, that was a pretty good job. That's a hard song to sing. I really like you," said Sass.

"I really like you even had the guts to do it," said Farley. "I mean, we talk about song choice all the time and how important it is and it really seemed to me you put a lot of thought process into that and we know you're a seasoned musician, so good on you. I thought it was good."

Oliver Pigott from Toronto, ON, who is competing with his brother, was next with a rousing version of "I Hear You Knockin.'"

"I haven't seen that side of you before but to use Sass' comments, that was a man on stage," said Farley.

But Zack thought it made no sense to him and he couldn't relate to it.

"Oliver, I think you have a certain sense of controlled emotion, what we've seen of you in the past. A controlled emotion that really comes out to you when you do it and I think that maybe was a little too much, maybe a little too over the top," said Jake.

But Sass said he was right to go for it and she really liked it.

And the last performance of the night was from the youngest competitor of the competition at 17 years old -- Katherine St-Laurent from Otterburn Park, QC -- who sang "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

Zack thought she showed she should be here for the very long haul of the show.

"I think that you're one of the very very few potential real stars that have ever come across the show, I think you've got a lot going on and my Canadian Idol includes Katherine. Quebec better vote because we can't lose another great Quebec singer so early," said Zack.

"First of all, it was a great song choice for you. Perfectly in your pocket and secondly, you're one of the youngest, if not the youngest competitor in this competition and you competed admirably against some real seasoned veterans so good on you," said Jake.

Farley agreed her age wasn't a factor as she hit every note and Sass felt the same.

And since she was also missing her graduation and prom that night, Ben presented her with a bouquet of flowers following her performance.

Tune in Tuesday, June 24 to watch the second group of 12 competitors take the stage for the first time at 8 ET/8 PT!

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A touch of nerves and powerful moments: Idol Group 2

Updated Thu. Jun. 26 2008 2:07 PM ET


A touch of nerves and powerful moments: Idol Group 2

Sheri Block, CTV.ca


Canadian Idol host Ben Mulroney tells the crowd to vote for their favourite competitor because the race to the Top 10 is on.

Nerves may have been at play for some competitors, but the second half of the Top 24 also brought plenty of powerful moments to the stage.

After hearing the first half of the competitors perform the night before, judges Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex and Zack Werner took a moment to reflect on the show.

"After watching the show back on television last night, some of the performances played better on TV than they actually did in the room last night but I won't say who. Secondly, some of what I would say they should have already been through by now cause it's kind of too late. Anything I'm going to say is really for next week and all of them have to think about what they're singing and what's right for them," said Jake.

Host Ben Mulroney asked Sass what competitors needed to do to stay loose and focused.

"I don't think they are going to stay loose and focused because that's not usually what happens in a performance of this nature. Ben, I think you've got to take the nerves and you've just got to channel it into the performance," said Sass.

Ben asked Farley about some of the retro songs chosen the night before.

"I think it's ok if the song suits the individual tonally, range-wise, etc., you know people have picked those classic songs because they figure more people know them and they're more entrenched but the key is to be creative and pick stuff that suits you."

Ben asked Zack what his mood was like and he just let out a scream.

The first person up from Group 2 was Jesse Cottam from Calgary, AB. Cottam started the night off with a bang, singing "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol.

Jake thought Jesse started off a little shaky but got a better as he got into it.

"You know Jesse, you really surprised me. I thought you were going to be way more nervous than that, like I would've been. There was like an ease and a confidence in that performance plus I didn't think you were going to be that good. You were great," said Sass.

Farley was a little concerned that the song didn't allow him to project his voice around the room but thought the chorus was good.

Zack thought it was the wrong song all together.

"You definitely chose the wrong song. Dude, that song has nothing to do with the way you sing with your pipes you couldn't even come close to it. That was as wrong as it could possibly be. I don't know what to say except for 'next.'"

And up next was Mark Day from Portugal Cove, NL.

Always the comedian, Mark gave a serious performance with his rendition of "Alone."

Sass said the second anyone sees him he creates giggles in their stomachs and that's a powerful thing for a performer to do. She thought he stumbled a bit near the end of the song, but there were a lot of fantastic moments.

Farley suggested he use the stage more and be the big person he is.

Zack told him back in the day he would've gotten his own comedy show on CBC so from that perspective, it was kind of weird.

"That was constructive," said Jake. "I thought it was a good song choice for you. I agree with Sass, it got a little shaky near the end. I just don't think from an arrangement standpoint you picked the right time to do the right thing. It was just near the end but overall you hit the right notes. When you hit the course Sass and I both commented we got chills, so good on ya."

Jessica Sheppard from Toronto, ON, sang "Get Here" by Oleta Adams and set out to prove she deserved to be here with some powerful notes.

Farley thought she was suppressing her natural tone a little bit at the beginning but when she got to the chorus she couldn't help but open up and so the latter half was much better.

"It felt like you were holding back a little bit. Like maybe you didn't want to show everybody every trick in the bag right this minute," said Zack. "I think you've got to be careful as well with your diction and the choice to purposefully mispronounce words but you're clearly one of the best voices around here so hopefully your star power will measure up to your singing ability."

"It's interesting because I think we all sort of heard the same thing. I felt like you were almost singing 'affected' at the top, almost singing from your throat, as opposed to your diaphragm and then it opened up when you got to the chorus. You have what, one minute and 15 seconds, well, for all of you, you've got to get your point across right off the top," said Jake.

Sass thought Jessica has amazing control when she sings and she should let 'er rip.

Shaun Francisco from Vancouver, BC, was next singing "Yellow" by Coldplay with his own arrangement and Zack gave him a B+ for cool factor.

"You played the rockstar pose in a natural way that I dug, there just wasn't a whole lot of singing going on there. And while you may have had a cool arrangement of the piece of music, there wasn't a whole lot of singing going on," said Zack.

Jake thought it was a little off at first but he got into it and liked how he played with the band like it was his own.

Sass also thought he looked great and it was good.

"I had a couple issues vocally, overall I like your vibe in general. I think you're a really genuine performer and I like the fact that you arranged and were confident enough to talk about it as well. Not the best you could've done, but I enjoyed it," said Farley.

Lindsay Robins from Montreal, PQ, was next with Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" with plenty of high energy and high notes.

"If you set out to make that song yours, you did a good job of that," said Jake. "On the other hand I thought some of the chorus parts were a little screechy but I really liked the performance and I really liked your energy and I think you've got a great vibe going on Lindsay."

"On the upside and it's a really great upside in my mind, is that I heard some moments of real female rock'n roll singer in there and that's refreshing on this show. I agree with Jake, there was some screechy moments but overall I really liked some of the tones I heard in your voice," said Farley.

Sass thought that she definitely had charisma but that she has more energy than what she was letting out.

Zack thought she should learn how to play the game - it was pretty good and pretty awful.

Omar Lunan's rendition of "Every Breath You Take" was called "transcendent" by Sass.

"That was really good. There was a spiritual element to that performance that came through that was so powerful. Awesome," she told the singer from Scarborough, ON.

"I like the phrasing big time, I thought the phrasing in terms of taking ownership of the song was really smart, you took it into your element. When you got up into the upper register, a little bit uncomfortable for me but overall a good approach, good decisions," said Farley.

Zack thought his performance will speak for itself - either transcendent or not - and it will be an interesting vote.

Jake can't see how people won't love it and really liked the arrangement.

Marie-Pierre Bellerose from Quebec City, QC, was up next, singing Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good."

It was a tough song to sing, without being compared to Winehouse, said Sass, and thought Marie-Pierre has a fabulous voice and could've found a better song.

"I thought it was really good but you need to take the professionalism down a notch and just have a little more blood and guts and let it rip and really show people a little less slick and a little more cool but I thought it was good," said Zack.

Jake agreed and added it was a little too safe and he wanted to see more edge. Farley said it missed the "molasses and sticky stuff" that Winehouse does so well.

Looking just as much like a movie star as a rockstar, according to Jake, Sebastian Pigott of Toronto, ON took the stage next with "Dark Horse."

"I thought overall vocally it could've been a little bit more powerful, especially in the choruses, I think you could've pushed the choruses, but the actual performance, you look like a movie star man, sitting on the stage like that, the whole thing was really, really good," said Jake.

Sass thought he took the weakest parts of the song and made them incredibly strong, which takes skill.

Zack said he uses his inability to sing as a complete virtue, which was cool. He thought he is potentially the weakest singer here, but so far the best performance of the night.

"That was a fantastic performance and you are a movie star and a TV star and all that stuff and I'm really glad you're here and I gotta say you and your brother must be connected at the gyrating hip," said Farley.

Theo Tams from Lethbridge, AB, was the first competitor of the night to play the piano. He sang "Apologize."

"Of the 21 performances we've seen so far without a doubt the best thing we've seen," said Jake.

Sass thought it was so good it was "ridonculous."

Farley really enjoyed watching him perform with his wacky hair but also thought he's really artistic.

"It wasn't note perfect but I think as far as this competition is concerned, Canadian Idol starts now, right there," said Zack.

"That's my line," piped in Ben.

Amberly Thiessen from Seven Persons, AB, sang Norah Jones' "What Am I to You" in a pretty lilac dress and bare feet.

Sass thought she showed a real purity and sweetness to her performance and thought she picked the perfect song.

"I have to agree. You looked incredibly comfortable up there. The tone, everything was great. I really really enjoyed that," said Farley.

"That was awesome and I think you could go down as one of the great discoveries we've ever had on this program," said Zack.

Jake thought her song choice was really good and also for the first time from anyone, she showed a sense of vulnerability and it felt really honest and natural.

Adam Castelli from Hamilton, ON, was up next. Dressed in a black pinstriped suit and white shirt, he rocked it out with Ray Charles' "Mess Around."

Farley thought he had a really cool thing about him and said he was a man of intent and purpose that is really cool and strong.

Zack thought the guys who did retro the night before could've learned from him because it's not retro if it's great and that was great.

"You stayed true to the blue collar roots, you're playing the telly like Springsteen, you've got the whole vibe, the band, it felt like I was watching your show with your band, you were inclusive with everybody on the stage. It really felt like a real concert performance. We haven't seen that yet. That's really, really strong," said Jake.

"Adam, it was interesting because your phrasing, which to me is what singing is, is phrasing, was like right on in the beginning and then you started speeding up in the middle and it was kind of odd but it's very you. But that being said I'd like to say you are one of the reasons why this show is super exciting this year and I think I'd even watch it," said Sass.

Katelyn Dawn from Winnipeg, MB, was the last performer of the night, singing Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" with her acoustic guitar.

"I thought it was pretty good, the first verse it took you a while to get into it and to relax and the second verse was really strong. Going to that harmony note in that Buckley-esque version of the song in the chorus, kind of felt a little uncomfortable to me and I think it's going to confuse people at home a little bit ... but I think you're strong enough to stick around next week that's for sure so good on you," said Zack.

Jake thought she had some pitch issues and that she sounded really nervous. He didn't think it was a good song choice for her at this stage of the game.

Sass thought she should try something a little more up-tempo to see the beauty in her, which is pretty awesome.

"It's almost like a 1500m race, you started off pacing yourself and then you got to the second verse. I thought the second verse was really, really good but then the choruses were a little shaky. But you're a talented young person and you're here for a distinct reason so just keep with it, song choice," said Farley.

Once all the performances were finished, Ben asked Farley what he thought of the night.

"Tonight to me was just a touch of nerves, a lot of really good preparation but overall a nice big watch out for next week," said Farley.

Tune in tonight, Wednesday, June 25 at 7:30 PM ET/PT to watch the results show and see who will be going home first.

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Idol Results Show: First four competitors eliminated

Updated Fri. Jun. 27 2008 11:17 AM ET


Idol Results Show: First four competitors eliminated

Sheri Block, CTV.ca


Canada has voted and Tetiana Ostapowych of Toronto, ON, Lindsay Barr of Halifax, NS, Lindsay Robins of Montreal, PQ, and Shaun Francisco of Vancouver, BC, are the first members of the Top 24 to be eliminated.

Idol host Ben Mulroney explained that the singers who received the fewest votes from each performance night - Monday and Tuesday - would be heading home.

"We're going to start with Monday night," said Ben. "Canada voted - Tetiana and Lindsay Barr, you did not receive enough votes. You're heading home."

And there were still two more cuts to be made.

"Canada voted - Lindsay Robins and Shaun, I'm sorry; you're heading home, too."

Ben asked Ostapowych if she still stood by her song choice.

"Absolutely, absolutely," said Ostapowych. "One thousand per cent."

He then asked Lindsay Barr what was next.

"What's up guys? Not enough votes?" said Barr. "Ouch. Continue on, continue on, sing. That's what's next."

He asked Robins what it meant for her.

"Honestly I had such a fantastic time and everybody here is really insanely, insanely talented and everybody is so different and it's just been so fantastic to be here so thank you for the opportunity."

He asked Francisco what's going on in his head right now.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity and feel thankful to the judges for investing in me and helping me develop as an artist. I don't feel by any means this is the end of the road. I feel like everything is a blur right now but everybody at home who supported me I'm just going to keep on going and haven't ever forgotten what you've guys have done for me."

Ben said the four of them helped make this Top 24 absolutely incredible.

"You helped take Canadian Idol to places never been before. We couldn't have done it without you, thank you very much."

The format of the results show was a first for Canadian Idol.

Earlier in the evening, competitors performed intimate group numbers with their own instrumentation and no backing from the band.

"Last week the Top 24 did a showcase performance that was so well-received that we decided we had to share it with you so tonight we're giving you a results show like we've never done before," said Mulroney.

The first group up was Lindsay Robins, Paul Clifford, Shaun Francisco and Martin Kerr singing "Who Has Seen The Rain."

Ben asked Kerr how they put the group together.

"It all happened like magic and I think it was because the three of us were already attracted to working with Paul because he has this incredible because this incredible voice and he's such a good person," said Kerr.

"Oh, stop it," stop Clifford.

Lindsay Barr and Adam Castelli were up next with "Midnight Hour."

"Great job. Man, I love that song. You guys work really well together," said Ben following their performance.

It was followed by Mookie Morris, Jessica Sheppard, Mark Day and Earl Stevenson singing "Old Time Rock 'n Roll."

"Excellent work people," said Ben, who asked Day what it was like to spend time with the other 23 musicians.

"It's been fantastic actually. I've learned a lot from them about the different types of music that are out there and stuff and hopefully they're learning from what I do," said Day.

And were the others learning from him?

"Absolutely. He's really funny," said Sheppard.

"She only learns my funny, nothing about my talent," said Day.

"Funny is a talent my friend," said Ben.

Jesse Cottam, Katelyn Dawn, Amberly Thiessen and Mitch MacDonald were next with "Yellow."

"I've got to say, I'm sure I'm speaking for more than just myself here, that's one of the nicest sounds four people have ever made on this stage together," said Ben.

Gary Morissette, Omar Lunan and Drew Wright were next with "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."

Ben asked Gary if the experience has been what he's expected so far.

"Totally different really, just the emotional dynamics of the whole thing, the ups and downs, everyone's sort of all over the place," said Morissette.

Tetiana Ostapowych, Oliver Pigott and Sebastian Pigott were next with "Fly Like an Eagle."

Ben asked Ostapowych whether she thought she'd get to do a showcase like this.

"I'd watched the previous seasons so I knew there was going to be a group performance and as soon as we were told to get in our groups I was like, 'hello,'" said Ostapowych as she grabbed onto Oliver.

Theo Tams, Katherine St-Laurent, Marie-Pierre Bellerose and Lisa Bell were next with "Imagine."

"Well done guys," said Ben.

Ben then asked the judges their thoughts.

"I think tonight showed what a spectacular group of people we managed to find. They are amazing, these people," said Sass Jordan, right before the results were revealed. "And I also think that the songs they sang tonight should be like a message to you guys how great it is when you sing the right song."

"I think we have without doubt the most remarkably talented group of people we've had on the show and regardless of, I have faith in Canada, regardless of how they vote we're going to have a ridiculously strong Top 10 no matter how it goes," said Zack Werner. "But the nature of the beast, just like life is, you can have somebody with tremendous talent, that will not stop them from making a really bad decision and that's what we saw a little bit of the last two nights."

Ben wanted to hear from Jake Gold what the people who would be leaving should take with them.

"This year more than any year I think they should go home with the idea that they made some great relationships here and potentially great collaborations in the future with some of the people they met here," said Jake.

Farley Flex wasn't at the show because he was attending his daughter's graduation.

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  • 5 months later...

oh Geez!!!!! I am sooooo sorry, I completely forgot about this show.....Why didn't someone PM me!!!!!



American Idol: Canadian Idol Will Take A Hiatus in 2009

December 20, 2008 02:00:39 by Paulene Hinds

The Canadian version of American Idol is being put on hold next season. CTV announced that Canadian Idol won

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