Toronto, ON (July 6, 2005) – Calgary high school student Melissa O’Neil, 16, and Kamloops singer/songwriter Suzi Rawn, 22, beat out six other singers to advance to the Canadian Idol Top 10, it was announced live on CTV tonight. O’Neil and Rawn become the seventh and eighth members of the Top 10 after 1.5 million voted last night. The episode was watched by 1.9 million people, BBM confirms. Now, only two spots in the Canadian Idol Top 10 remain to be filled.
Tonight’s live broadcast was expanded to an hour as 11 nominees for next week’s Wild Card show were revealed (see separate release). For the first time ever, viewers will decide which previously eliminated competitors should have a second chance at Top 10 glory.
Before the 11 Wild Card contenders were revealed, host Ben Mulroney announced the results of last-night’s nation-wide vote. O’Neil, Rawn and London, Ontario’s Aaron Walpole, 26, were invited to sit on the Canadian Idol hot seats as the competitors who received the most votes after last night’s performance episode featuring the fourth, Top 32 Group of Eight.
But it was to be O’Neil and Rawn’s night. Walpole returned to the competitor couch after it was revealed that O’Neil had received the most votes for her performance of Martina McBride’s Concrete Angel followed by Rawn for her performance of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son. Walpole, however, did not go home empty-handed. The singer/actor from London, ON, was granted a shot at the Canadian Idol Wild Card group when he was invited to state his case in front of viewers at home, along with Group Four colleagues Luke O’Reilly and Danian Vickers. Voting lines opened immediately after the show and the results will be revealed live next Tuesday night.
O’Neil and Rawn join previously announced Top 10 finalists Daryl Brunt (16, from Sudbury, ON), Amber Fleury (26, from Calgary, AB), Rex Goudie(19, from Burlington, NL), Casey LeBlanc (17, from Nackawic, NB), Ashley Leitao (18, from Burnaby, BC) and Emily Vinette (17, from Ottawa, ON). The finalists return to Canadian Idol on Tuesday, July 19 in the first live, Top 10 performance show.
Canadian Idol is Canada’s Number One show in all demos. Performance episodes in Season Three are attracting an average audience of 2.04 million viewers, up eight per cent compared to 2004.