Murtzcellanious – LIVE Canadian Thoughts – July 6

Time to tell you what happened at the Canadian Idol results show.

I arrived early and was escorted in by one of the CTV PR people. At the performance program on Tuesday and for most of the performance programs, I kept telling this one girl (Erica) that worked there that she looked exactly like Toni Ferrari from Paradise Hotel. It has kind of been a running joke between us for a couple of weeks. So on Tuesday, I promised that when I would be there for the Wednesday show, I would bring along Murtz With Famous People Vol. 2 (an album with pictures of me with various celebs, where I have a couple with Toni).

So as soon as I arrived at the Masonic Temple, Erica asked if I brought along the picture. Honestly? I really think that she thought that I didn’t. No way. I busted out the album, and while she said that they do have similar characteristics, they aren’t carbon copies of each other (which was the indication that I was giving them). I still told her that she was a 99.9 per cent match. Erica also asked me what I would do if Suzi Rawn didn’t move forward, and I told her that if my house burned down in a fire, the first thing that I would save would be the photo album that I just showed her. It is my most prized possession. I told her that if Suzi didn’t move on tonight, she could have the album. She laughed. I was confident.

Before the show started, a massive ladder was brought in and set-up on centre stage to fix the lights.

Unfortunately, I did not have the same front row seat that I did for Tuesday’s show, but I was still quite satisfied. Some of Geneveve’s family were in front of me.

As people gradually started to arrive, I noticed Devika’s dad. I immediately realized that Devika was one of the wildcard contenders. For those that don’t know, this year on Canadian Idol, the judges pick 11 contenders and then the Canadian public chooses 8 who will perform in an attempt to secure the two remaining Top 10 positions.

The warm-up CD was played as the audience walked through the door. Same CD as always. Let’s Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas, Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, Somebody Told Me by The Killers and In Spite Of It All by Kalan Porter. Lather, rinse, repeat. If I never hear those songs again, it will be too soon as they are starting to resonate in my sleep.

My new theory is that they repeatedly play the CD so that the audience remembers the songs and auditions with them next year. Or perhaps it is some Kalan Porter brain-washing technique.

It was at this point that I was supposed to meet Emily, but she mysteriously never arrived after promising to entertain. Emily, you know who you are. Boourns.

I started writing some notes for this review, when Devika’s dad leaned over and asked what I was writing. This resulted in a long conversation about life, singing, and Devika Mathur. I told him that I had seen him before (since I sat behind him for Group 3 resutls show), but we hadn’t met officially. We talked for almost the entire time until the show started and he actually e-mailed me when I got back to say that he had been reading these articles, but didn’t know that it was me writing them.

Anyway, I noticed some other people in the crowd had brought these Newfoundland flags. Yes, I know it is Canadian Idol and people are going to be patriotic. But I am sorry. Bringing a flag to a results show is hack. Although, I used to bring flags whenever I went to wrestling shows… so color me hypocritical.

Sue (the warm-up woman) was late this week and I thought my prayers had finally been answered. She did show up with a few minutes to spare before showtime, and you guys know what happened. Don’t chew gum. Keep feet in. Fire exit locations. Bah.

The judges, Ben Mulroney and the final group of eight were introduced. As this happened, I noticed where they were seated on the couch.

BACK ROW: Melissa, Suzi, Luke, Keeley.
FRONT ROW: Geneveve, Danian, Aaron, Matt

Immediately this told me a lot. I expected that either Melissa, Suzi, or Luke had not made the top three because then Keeley would be left sitting by herself. I also expected Aaron to make the top 3, so I had already concluded that Suzi, Aaron, and Melissa were moving on (as everyone expected).

Because of all the wildcard stuff that was happening, the results were rushed through.

Keeley: No.
Luke: No (in a shocker).
Suzi: Yes.
Melissa: Yes.
Geneveve: No.
Danian: No.
Aaron : Yes.
Matt: No (by default).

The vote went exactly as suspected. I was baffled by Luke not making it and was happy to be Canadian, because for once the pretty-boy did not beat out people that sang better. I was surprised that the girls that seemingly inserted Rex/Barrett into the top 3 were absent for Luke. Did the girl vote just disappear? Were they tired from dialing for Rex? No real theory here, I am just speculating.

At this point, I was predicting that Suzi and Aaron would move on. I thought that Melissa might have had the best performance on Tuesday, but Aaron and Suzi are bigger personalities. Once again, I was wrong.

Melissa received the highest number of votes and made Zach Werner happy with another rendition of “Concrete Angel” before she comfortably took her position in the Top 10. I was shocked for two reasons. Not only had she made it in, but she also received a higher number of votes that Suzi (my pick to win).

I thought that the public had made the right decision. It was just surprising.

At the commercial break, the stools were removed. The couches that the contestants were sitting on were now moved to where people had been sitting in the audience (CTV seat-holders). A podium was set-up on stage. The entire change happened in less than 2 minutes. When I saw the podium, I was concerned that the contestants who were making their plea to get voted into the wild card round would come off as cheesy. I was right.

I’ll just go through the list of who was brought back to compete for the wildcard and what I thought of their 20-second speech to the nation.

BARRETT.
– I don’t think he should have been a contender.
– Sass said that he should make it because he enjoys himself.
– Sorry Sass, I enjoy myself when I am eating ice cream and watching old Survivor episodes. Doesn’t mean that I should move forward in the competition.
– Jake said that Barrett wasn’t a great singer and that he wasn’t real. I agreed with Mr. Gold.
– In his speech, Barrett said that he wanted to “go for the Gold. Jake Gold.”
– I was horrified by the cheesiness.
– Barrett will make it into the wild card show, but that’s it for him.

JULIE
– I was surprised that she made it in, but happy with the selection
– She was underrated in the competition
– Zach said that he thought that she would make the 10 because she was soulful and graceful and said that Quebec should put her in.
– Farley said that she didn’t sing well and isn’t ready. She would be in three years.
– In her speech, she said that she has grown etc. etc.
– I don’t understand why these speeches were so lame? I thought they would sing, or dance or showcase something unique as to why they should move on. This just didn’t happen. I know it’s 20 seconds, but a lot can happen in 20 seconds. Nicholas Cage could steal a quarter car in 20 seconds. All I am asking for is something originality!

LUKE
– While I originally liked Luke’s performance on Tuesday, I was not impressed with him tonight.
– A long time ago, my friend and I talked about spotlights and how there are people who will constantly earn them and others who try to steal them. I think Luke is in the latter category.
– When Suzi was announced to make the Top 10, he bear-hugged her and lifted her off the ground. It was like dude, just let her be and take your eviction with some class.
– While they might have gotten along really well, I just thought it was a cheesy attempt to come off as the nice guy and I would have given him the benefit of the doubt if… he hadn’t done it again at the end of the show when he started to lift another contestant up.
– Farley said that he was an academic singer.
– Once again, Jake laid down the law by saying that Like was Kalan-like, phony and needed more experience. He said that Luke couldn’t win the competition, and if he couldn’t win, he shouldn’t get a wild card spot over someone else.
– In his speech, Luke said that he would show the “real Luke” if he was given another chance. Heh.

DIANELYS
– Good pick.
– I was hoping she would get another chance. I feel for all of those people in the first group, because they were all pretty good.
– She was a unique singer.
– All the judges reaffirmed that she deserved another shot. While Zach wanted to say why she shouldn’t make it, he wasn’t given the chance.
– I didn’t really like her speech in-studio, but when I rewatched the show on tape, I thought that it came off as honest and real.

As another commercial was taken, I was just waiting for the primetime players to arrive. Devika, Vince, Aaron and Josh all hadn’t been announced as of yet so it was just a big waiting game. I thought that the timing that CTV was employing was interesting since I didn’t think any of the first four were serious contenders to earn one of the two wild card berths.

STEPHANE
– Another good pick.
– Stephane was killed by being in a good group.
– Jake said that he sounded affected.
– Stephane’s speech was one of my favourites because he outlined what he did wrong the last time and how he would improve. He said that he would get rid of the cheese if given another opportunity.

JENN
– What?!
– I hated Jenn Beaupre’s last performance. There are always contestants like these on Canadian Idol. The judges call them artists. I call them crap. I didn’t like Jenny Gear’s style and Beaupre comes from the same school.
– Jake said that she picked a bad song and is a true artist.
– This was the first and only time that I disagreed with Jake in the night.
– Zach said that she needed to demonstrate her artist’s side.
– In her speech, Jenn said that she would have big surprises and wouldn’t sing anymore jazz songs.
– I will give her the benefit of the doubt, but I will be watching her next performance quite carefully to validate my suspicions.

During the commercial, I was thinking about what I was watching. While I didn’t agree with the initial strategy of saving the big contenders until the end, now I was enjoying CTV’s technique. They were building up anticipation and expectation. That’s the hallmark of a successful reality show.

AARON:
– Obvious pick.
– Farley said that he was versatile and charming.
– Sass said that he was a nice singer with no star power.
– I knew that someone would play the tears-angle, but I was surprised that it was Aaron who got “choked up” while making his speech.
– Brilliant strategy, because with moves like that, this guy would kick ass on Survivor
– One of the favorites for not only the wild card show next week, but to win the wild card outright.

DANIAN:
– Shocker!
– Zach tells her not to talk during her 20 seconds and just to sing.
– Sass said that she has doesn’t have the emotional capacity to break the wall between her and the audience.
– She just makes a lame speech.
– I am baffled as to why she isn’t taking Zach’s advice and singing.

JOSH:
– No question that he would be there.
– Zach advises him to sing songs that people know and also tells him to use his 20 seconds to sing.
– Farley also advocating that he should be there next week.
– I liked Josh’s speech the best because it was original. He said that he had 20 seconds and 20 words and then just read them.
– Inspiration, artist, fans etc.
– I am not a big fan of his, but his speech was the best one of the night.

At this point Ben sneezed on camera, much to the delight of the crowd. During the commercial break, he took a fair degree of mocking from the crowd.

DEVIKA:
– I had no doubt that she would be on the wild card show.
– Along with Aaron, I think that she is one of the major contenders.
– Personally, I think that Devika moving forward depends strictly on song choice. I think that she should pick something where she can use her higher register like a Whitney Houston song or something.
– Sass said that she has a pleasing tone and is an ambassador of grace.
– Zach said that when he watched her again on TV, she didn’t impress him as much with her pipes.
– For her speech, she read a letter to her mom.
– I liked this speech as well. I just wanted something different from each person and I was tired of the lameosity that everyone else had employed (prior to Josh and Devika).

VINCE:
– The favorite.
– He ran out in a track suit and brought a towel with him.
– I knew that he would make reference to Farley calling him an all-star and he went the predictable route.
– I thought that his speech would use the Rocky routine.
– Farley said that he had the best tone in the competition and would do well.
– Jake advised him to play his age and not sing songs that are too old for him like “What A Wonderful World.”
– He choked on his prepared speech, but unzipped his jacket that said that he would “convince fans.”
– Very cheesy.
– Very smart.

There we go. Vince already has a wild card locked up, so I think everyone else is fighting for the other spot. I think that Danian, Julie and Jenn will be eliminated before they can perform again. I believe that the contenders to join Vince will be Devika, Aaron, Josh and Luke. We shall see what happens.

Peace.