Toronto, Ontario (August 29, 2005) – Did the Fab Four ever meet Elvis? Well the Canadian Idol Final Four met the ghost of Elvis this weekend at Graceland in Memphis, TN. After flying south via a private jet on Friday night, the Top Four narrowly escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina last night and returned to Toronto for final preparations for tomorrow’s night’s tribute to Elvis Presley. Segments from the jet-setting trip, which also included a trip to the legendary Sun Studio and the Gibson Guitar factory, will air tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
The Idols spent a full day touring Presley’s Graceland mansion, one of the most sacred shrines in music. Among the tour highlights: the music room, the TV room (with its three old school television sets), the billiard room, the jungle room (with its indoor waterfall), an awe inspiring visit to the trophy room that showcases Elvis’ countless gold and platinum records, and The King’s final resting place in the meditation garden. By the end of the tour, the four Canadian Idol finalists were almost moved to tears.
“Elvis was 22 when he bought this place – that’s how old I am now!” said Kamloops’ Suzi Rawn. “It’s like you can still feel him here, it’s both weird and exciting. You can just imagine him in these rooms, hanging out with his friends – it’s really touching.”
Newfoundland’s Rex Goudie, 19, was equally enthusiastic. “This trip has been unforgettable!” he said. “I mean, this is Elvis, this is his house. He lived here and he influenced so much music around the world – it’s such an honour to just be here – he was THE King.”
The finalists also stopped in at the famous Sun Studio where Elvis recorded his first single at the age of 18. Rehearsing their upcoming songs with vocal coach Debra Byrd was a dream come true for St. Thomas resident Aaron Walpole, 26. “Wow, to get to visit Sun Studios – the place where it literally all began is truly incredible,” he said. “Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash … it’s like they still have a presence in this room.”
Calgary’s Melissa O’Neil, 17, also found the experience a thrill. “This whole trip is about music, this whole city is about music,” she said. “I feel like we’re joining a host of other musicians who have made this same pilgrimage to Memphis to walk in the footsteps of the legends. It’s both humbling and exciting and encouraging. I can’t wait to get on that stage on Tuesday and make Elvis proud.”
The Canadian Idol Top Four will compete in this week’s show by singing two songs each from Elvis Presley’s huge repertoire. Song choices for Tuesday’s show are: Love Me Tender, Blue Suede Shoes, A Little Less Conversation, Heartbreak Hotel, If I Can Dream, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Can’t Help Falling in Love and (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear. Results from the nation-wide following Tuesday’s show will be announced Wednesday, August 31 at 7:30 p.m. on CTV.