News Release – Rex Goudie And Melissa O'Neil To Compete For Canadian Idol

Toronto, ON (September 7, 2005) – Male versus female. East versus west. Rex versus Melissa. With the elimination of Aaron Walpole tonight, the stage is now set for next week’s dramatic Canadian Idol finale. Newfoundland’s Rex Goudie, 19, will go head-to-head with Calgary’s Melissa O’Neil, 17, for the Canadian Idol crown, it was revealed on CTV tonight. After another 2.5 million viewers watched last night’s “Salute to the Barenaked Ladies” episode, tonight’s live results broadcast saw the elimination of Aaron Walpole, 26, from the competition. The St. Thomas, ON resident received the fewest votes out of 3.5 million cast last night.

Last night’s massive vote has now pushed this season’s voting total past last year’s record-breaking number. With a grand total of 33,817,561 votes received so far – enough for one vote from every person in the country. Canadian Idol voting has increased 21 per cent compared to Season Two.

Goudie and O’Neil’s performance on next week’s expanded, 90 minute performance episode, airing Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, is their last chance to convince voters that they deserve the Canadian Idol title. The following night, the winner will be revealed at the end of a spectacular two-hour grand finale, live on CTV Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET (taped delayed in some markets).

In next week’s performance episode, Goudie and O’Neil will sing three songs each, including the debut of “Alive,” the new Canadian Idol single that will be released to radio stations moments after the next Idol is crowned next Wednesday night. The single will be released commercially in October by Sony BMG Music (Canada), Inc. Last year’s single, Kalan Porter’s “Awake in a Dream,” became eight times platinum and remained on the top of Canada’s single charts for over three months. It was the biggest-selling single debut ever for a Canadian artist.

In tonight’s live broadcast, Goudie, O’Neil and Walpole continued last night’s salute to the Barenaked Ladies when they joined together to perform the quintet’s hit songs “Pinch Me” and “It’s All Been Done.”

Later in the show, special guest and 2004 Canadian Idol Top Three finalist Jacob Hoggard made his long-awaited return to the Canadian Idol stage with his band Hedley. The group performed their new single “On My Own,” which recently entered Nielsen’s SoundScan Singles Chart at Number One. Hedley’s self-titled debut CD was released yesterday by Universal Music Canada.

Then it was time to reveal the name of the eliminated competitor. After grouping the three singers together at centre stage, host Ben Mulroney announced that Walpole had become the eighth competitor to be eliminated from the competition. Walpole closed with show with a reprise of Barenaked Ladies’ “Break Your Heart,” which he had performed on last night’s show.

Tomorrow, Walpole will be seen live on CTV’s Canada AM at 7:40 a.m. ET and later on The Comedy Network’s Popcultured with Elvira Kurt at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Walpole returns to Canadian Idol next Wednesday night to perform with the seven other eliminated competitors from the Top 10 in the two-hour grand finale.

Tickets to Canadian Idol’s final performance and results show will go on sale on Friday, Sept. 9 at 12 noon at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by telephone (check local listings). Rush tickets will also available to the most enthusiastic fans showing up at the John Bassett Theatre two hours before show time. Visit idol.ctv.ca for more information.

Credit: CTV