Murtzcellanious – LIVE Canadian Idol Thoughts – August 2

Let’s rock and roll…

It was 80’s night at Canadian Idol and I was ready. I arrived at the John Bassett theatre early and picked up a copy of the TV Guide which was made available to the media. Inside was an article on the Idol mansion and the top ten contestants.

As I sa waiting for the show to begin (I was sitting in row M, seat 7 in the right orchestra), I thought about the 80’s theme. I thought that it favoured Rex, Casey and Melissa. I just thought that they would do well with the music of the generation that they were born into. I wasn’t sure how Daryl would fare, considering that I thought he was the best performer last week.

It was also funny that so many of the contestants were born after the heyday of Madonna and Michael Jackson. Would they be able to do well with the music that preceeded them?

I reviewed my notes before the show began and noticed that the first show I attended was on June 15. I can’t believe that it has been more than a month!

Anyway, it was quite clear that the show would be a special one because an 80’s CD was playing in the holding room and most of the CTV staff were in 80’s outfits. I have to admit that I was musing about the fact that I was missing the Backstreet Boys concert that was scheduled for the same night. As many of you know (especially Brendan Campbell), BSB is my favourite group so it was a tough decision for me to decide on which show to attend. Idol won just because I want to try and not miss a show this season. I also thought about what was more fun to watch. A group that I have already seen countless times versus a competition that changes every week. Given my penchant for reality television, it became a non-decision.

I went inside the theatre and sitting in front of me were the families of Melissa, Aaron and Rex. I also saw Elena Juatco from last season mulling around with her family. As I looked around, I noticed that something was different, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Was it the lights? The various signs? The number of people that were there? Nope.

Then it hit me.

Sue Brophy wasn’t here!

I wasn’t sure who would replace her, but I was certainly happy for the welcome change.

The silence was literally music to my ears.

Anyway, I continued to survey the scene and I noticed that the usher who led me to my seat looked exactly like Inside Pulse’s Matt Romanada. It was funny.

Anyway, Melissa O’Neal’s dad was wearing a Daddy’s Little Girl t-shirt and was passing around Melissa memorabilia to the various family members that accompanied him to the show.

I also noticed that I was probably the only Kenyan in the entire audience.

Vince Benenati and Billy Klippert entered and were sitting close to me. They arrived separately but became fast friends when the show started.

Before the show started, the Michael Buffer wannabe introduced John Brunton who started to hype the crowd. Jon Dore came out with some dude named Mike and the cohesively did a sterling job replacing Sue (who was away on vacation). They introduced the judges and I was having a great time already because the show finally received a breath of fresh air.

Now for the fun part.

The seat on my right was filled by a freelance reporter from Chart Magazine. The seat on my left was empty and remained so seconds before the show began. The audience co-ordinators scrambled to find somebody to fill it and they did, much to my chagrin.

This sweaty dude came in and from the second his ass touched the seat, he was a disaster. He started calling the audience co-ordinators over and over again and asked that he be moved back to the balcony because his friends were sitting over there. Realize that he did this before the show began and at almost every commercial break. Right before the show started, he actually got up and attempted to exit but was asked to return to his seat. As Ben Mulroney made his entrance to introduce the program, I was more riveted by the drama that was taking place beside me. The judges started with their commentary.

Jake: One of the frontrunners went home last week, you can easily go from first to worst.

Farley: Rapped something when Ben Mulroney asked him about managing Maestro Fresh Wes.

Sass: Told the contestants to enjoy themselves.

Zack: I was changing your (Mulroney’s) diapers in the 80’s.

At this point, Mulroney played an old video of Zack with long hair playing some rock song.

Let’s get to the performers.

AMBER FLEURY
– In her opening video montage, she said that she liked Madonna as a child.
– Sang Cher’s “Just Like Jesse James.”
– Song did not highlight her powerful voice.
– Song was way too country for the hip 80’s.
– I didn’t dig it.
– Plain and boring are adjectives that come to mind.
Jake: You haven’t gotten out of the ballad mode yet.
Farley: Step out of your shell.
Sass: Nice, I liked it.
Zack: Questionable song, there was no moment for you to kill.

Time for a commercial break. Just when I thought Mike was the coolest audience revver-upper ever, he started getting the audience members to sing. Murtz was not down.

REX GOUDIE
– Sang The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
– Amazing song choice, one of my favourite songs of all-time.
– Decent performance, but I know that he is capable of being better.
– I hated the way that the song was arranged.
Farley: Good job.
Sass: You look the part. What a name. Sexy Rexy. Rowdy Goudie.
Zack: You look the part, you sing like the boy next door and the boy next door delivers papers.
Jake: You tried too much with the song.

Another commercial break.

CASEY LEBLANC
– I think she was wearing hair extensions?
– Sang Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.”
– I think Kevin Wong’s nickname for her is very funny
– I dug the song and her voice, but I thinks he should have danced more.
– I thought it was her best technical performance to date, and was a contender for being my favourite of the night.
– Not sure if that was because of her performance or because she chose such a classic piece.
Sass: Great song choice.
Zack: You sound like you’r singing “Welcome To New Brunswick.”
Jake: You nailed the beginning, but you failed to sell the song.
Farley: You’re not selling the lyrics of the song. Feel it a little more.
– I thought that Farley’s comment was particularly astute.

DARYL BRUNT
– I had high expectations because I am starting to think that my initial assessment of him was wrong. I didn’t think this guy was here to dance, but he clearly is playing to win.
– Sang “Tainted Love.”
– Once again proving that he is the most improved.
– WICKED performance!
– Excellent arrangement, and I particularly liked how he was moving his feet with the beat.
– I initially thought that it was creepy for a 16-year old to sing “Tainted Love” but he rocked.
– Outstanding job.
Zack: That was odd, but so are you.
Jake: My first thought was how much tainted love could a 16-year old have had?
Farley: Wasn’t feeling you during the audition process, but you’re starting to evolve. You gave it all a boy could give.
Sass: You’re the Jerry Lewis of the Idol’s.
– I didn’t appreciate Jake stealing my line!
– For once, I am finding Farley to be incredibly witty.

SUZI RAWN
– Sang Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.”
– Excellent choice
– Immediately I thought of Ty Taylor’s performance of it on Rockstar: INXS.
– I liked Ty’s arrangement of the song a little more.
– I loved Suzi’s voice (as she is still my personal favourite), but I didn’t like the slow movements and gyrations that she was making during this week’s performance.
– Minor complaint, because she still rocked as per usual.
Jake: You sell the song, you want to win.
Farley: You’re just like me. You don’t need a stylist.
Sass: I am glad we got you in this thing.
Zack: Didn’t look as relaxed this time.
– I would once again like to remind everyone that I have bet like everyone at CTV that Suzi will win this thing. I am sticking to it, although Rex is becoming the clear-cut favourite.

The guy beside me is now barking. No joke.

AARON
– Sang Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend.
– Ha, you can tell that Wong and I really dig our musical reality shows. We both thought of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” immediately.
– Decent performance.
– I liked how he ran into the audience.
– Hit all the notes.
– Had a sound tone.
– Wasn’t nasal which is a fear with this particular tune.
Farley: Your exuberance wins people over.
Zack: It was okay (then models his short to the audience).
Jake: Who cares about his shirt? Let’s talk about this gentleman’s great performance!
– I agree with Jake. I thought it was asinine of Zack not to critique Aaron’s performance and model clothes instead. His job is offer his opinions on the performances every week for 5 minutes. He should have had the courtesy to do so.

At this point, Jon Dore came out wearing a leotard for an aerobics segment with the audience and Zack.

JOSH PALMER
– Sang Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.”
– Started off very strong.
– Then, of course, went into his wailing.
– He just started screaming.
– I would like to personally invite readers who think that Josh can sing to e-mail me. I just don’t think this guy can, and I want to see if I am missing something. Does he remind you of another singer? I know his fans and the judges always talk about how original he is, but can any parallels be drawn with somebody else? I want to be objective, so I am willing to listen to other stuff if I am missing something.
Sass: You pick songs that suit you.
Zack: Liked the lack of pretension in the song, really cool.
Jake: You really delivered the pain in the song.
Farley: Asks crowd how many of them would buy Josh’s record.
– I want to scream NOT ME!
– I did agree with Jake’s comment though. I also liked how he delivered the pain of the song, which is something that I haven’t heard in any other version.

I forgot that Melissa still had to sing. Does this mean that she is a forgettable performer and that’s why she has consistently been in the Bottom 3? We shall see…

MELISSA O’NEAL
– Sang Bonnie Taylor’s “Holding Out For A Hero.”
– Good song.
– Decent performance.
– I liked how she held the mic stand and moved around on stage.
– Had a powerful presence.
Zack: Only person, aside from Josh, who shows a spark of originality.
Jake: You were a #1 vote getter, you should never be in the bottom 3.
Farley: You personality is well-rounded.
Sass: Hate the song, but you won me over. You’re my kind of Idol.
– I disagreed with Zack. I think many of the contestants showed their originality tonight. Suzi and Rex for sure.

Alright, let’s get to it. How did I rank ’em?

1. DARYL (second week in a row!)
2. SUZI
3. REX
4. CASEY
5. MELISSA
6. AARON
7. AMBER
8. JOSH

The Palmer challenge is on. Let me know what you think about him.

I’ll see you after the results show.

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