Canadian Idol – Recap – June 26

Today’s teaser is in honour of Pride Week.

We’re gonna try something a little different today. Joining me is IP’s newest recapper, “Idolhead” Ed Hampton. What did you think of tonight’s show, Ed?

I was hoping for more, got less, but not too disappointed. Only a few made me think they had a chance.

As you can see, Ed’s comments for each singer will be in red, while my comments will be in yellow. I’ll be rating the singers on a sort of bell curve, with the first singer getting a 6.5 regardless of how well they sang, and everyone else ranked based off of that. Meanwhile, Ed’s gonna give out letter grades.

Got it? OK, let’s go!

Ben Mulroney is here, and he welcomes us to the first live performance of this year’s Canadian Idol. The guys are singing tonight, and for two of them, it will be their last time singing on a voting day. He gives the 411 on how to vote (in case you’ve forgotten), and now he introduces the judges: Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex and Zack Werner, and asks them for some comments to his puffball questions.

Jake – thinks the new format is a real true test of singing.
Sass – thinks that the singers have to look at this as their one chance to get through to the next round.
Farley – says like the second round of the World Cup finals, it’s all about elimination.
Zack – says its all testosterone tonight, and it makes you want to throw a garbage can.

But there’s one more guy here, and its pianist Mark Lalama. And now here are the guys!

First up tonight is Jeremy Koz, who thinks that Canadian Idol needs rock. Because that worked so well for Suzie Rawn last year. He’s singing “It’s Only Love” by Bryan Adams and Tina Turner.

Ed: Jeremy Koz looked the part but for the Idolhead, he didn’t quite sound it. It was more like “look at me I can sing loud and sound like a rocker”, except for me he didn’t. I think he’ll be around next week to change my mind. He reminds me of Constantine. I don’t know if that’s such a good thing. C-

Kevin: Well, he sounds rock, if you think Scott Stapp is rock. He’s off key in places, forgets the words at times and really, shouts a lot. Eh. 6.5/10

Jake – I think that was really good, that was a big loud brassy song, but it’ll be good to see you do the subtle stuff.
Sass – You’ve got a great voice.
Farley – You stepped up and you represented.
Zack – I thought it was a little Idol-ly. We’ll see if it stands up.

Ben thinks he probably belongs more in a stadium than a theatre. And then he gives people a lesson on how to text message. And his phone has his picture on it. That’s just sad.

Craig and Nathan are up after the

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We’re back, and Nathan Brown is building a recording studio on his dad’s farm. But up now is Craig Sharpe, singing Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most”.

Kevin: Craig said he wanted to get away from pop and sing country, but the arrangement pretty much makes it pop anyways. His voice is very smooth though, it’s not what you’d expect from him, and he definitely tries for a connection with the audience. Good stuff. 8.5/10

Ed: Craig Sharpe at 17 outdid he predecessor by a mile for me. I don’t particularly like his high voice but he does have good control and tone and should be safe. He will have the prepubescent speed dialers (PPSDs) all season long which will make him hard to knock off. The good news is, at least he can sing a bit. B

Sass – You have this clarity and ability to phrase. That was a fantastic job.
Farley – The last man standing might be you.
Zack – You have a completely unique set of pipes. It’s gonna be interesting to watch you grow up.
Jake – Newfoundland’s gonna see another person in the top ten this year.
Ben – You don’t have a voice; you have an absolute gift.

Nathan Brown recalls that the judges didn’t even remember him during the top 200. He sings Otis Redding/Sam Cooke/etc. “A Change is Gonna Come”.

Ed: Nathan Brown looks the part as well but I don’t think, from what I heard tonight, he will be long for this competition. He tried to too hard to get our attention with that first note and he did. He made me notice how weak he could be. I did like his intro. That made me like him before he sang. Too bad after he sang I liked him less. I don’t see him in the top 10. He was pitchy and just plain… well, plain. Not even any jelly on that peanut butter sandwich. He might last ’til the last round but I think he will even have to pick it up to do that. C-

Kevin: Nathan brings the soul, and really, I can’t find too much fault with it. But I’m still puzzling over what to make of Craig, and it’s unfortunate that he was in the same segment as him. 8/10

Before the judges speak, he shows them his ticket.

Farley – You showed a lot of control. Good on you.
Zack – You bit off a lot trying to do this song. You did your own vibe.
Jake – I thought it was pretty good. I found it a little bit retro for me.
Sass – I think you’re GOHgeous. You sing good too.

Ben – That was great. Fantastic.

Brandon and Rob will sing after the

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We’re back, and Ben talks to the ladies. He then talks to Rob James, and asks him if he still gets nervous, seeing as he was one half of McMaster and James. Rob says “Uhhh, YEAH.”

Ben then talks to Brandon Jones, who mentions that he just got his braces off. We see him talking with voice coach Deborah Byrd, and now he sings “Lady” by Lionel Richie.

Kevin: There’s absolutely nothing special about Brandon’s performance, and in face he’s kinda boring, doing all the standard boy band inflections and points that might get him votes but won’t impress the judges. It doesn’t help that the song isn’t the greatest song either. 3/10

Ed: Brandon Jones reminds me of Kalan Porter in the looks department and more like Quincy Jones in the voice department. This is a good thing. I like this kid’s tone and presence. For 16 he seems to have a good grip on what it takes to get ‘r done. The boppers will like him and he will compete for the PPSDs. He is one of the few I like so far. We’ll see how he does next week because he ain’t goin’ nowhere. A-

Zack – I thought it was a demonstration of what you couldn’t do, and (it’s) probably what little girls will vote for.
Jake – For me, that song didn’t show any personality.
Sass – Totally, totally, totally, totally disagree. You’re a natural born performer.
Farley – You’re a composite of a lot of things. You started “Lady” shaky but you left a lot of ladies shaky.

Ben – Was it wrong that I thought you were singing just for me?

Now it’s time for Rob James. He hopes that Canada wants to get to know him. He’s singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stick Together”.

Ed: Rob James did and adequate job but he should be much better than adequate from where he’s been. It felt to me like he was trying too hard to convince us he deserved to be here and get his second shot. I may be alone but I don’t think he will be a top 10 guy. I’m with Zack here. B-

Kevin: Remember Dave Moffatt butchering Stevie Wonder last year? Of course you do. Well, Rob’s performance is nothing like that. He nails the song, but unfortunately he’s also nailed to his mark, and I’m not sure how well that will play to the audience, especially with everyone else moving around. 7/10

Jake – I thought you started off shaky but you got a lot better as you went a long. I know there’s a lot of talk about how you’ve “had your shot” but you deserve to be here because you’re as good as anybody we’ve had on the show.
Sass – There’s no such thing as “a” shot – you get as many shots as you want. You’re an amazing pro, but you need to lighten up.
Farley – You left a piece of yourself on that floor.
Zack – There’s no way to say that it was bad. I need to see who you’re gonna be when you win.

Ben – I think we all said “Wow” back there (backstage).

The performances keep on coming with Keith after the

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Keith MacPherson is singing a song that reminds him of a girl who he dated and subsequently made out with another guy while on the same date. And you thought that only happened in the U.S. He’s singing the craptastic “Collide” by Howie Day, which by the way is an automatic 1 point deduction from me.

Kevin: Keith has a creepy look about him when he plays to the camera, which is good because his singing alone would put you to sleep. I’m really not feeling a whole lot of emotion, but then again, it IS a Howie Day song. 2/10 (3 minus the point)

Ed: Keith MacPherson is the only guy in the competition that doesn’t look like an Idol but he sure as hell sounds like one and for me is the best of the night to this point by far. This guy can sing great and he did more than justice to his song. I love this guy’s attitude and personality. He should go a long way in this competition and maybe even to the top. The only guy I really like so far. Could we possibly get the MacPheever up north? A+

Sass – You may be a joker, but when you sing, you are in a league of your own.
Farley – I hate to be a downer but that was terrible for everybody on the couch.
Zack – You sing without ego. That’s the most gracious thing I’ve seen on the show.
Jake – I just find you so natural. At the end of the day, there’s only one winner. It could be you.

Ben – (to the girl who was making out) Bad move, sister.

Hmm, this guy could be this year’s Josh Palmer.

Chris Labelle will be singing after the

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We’re back, and Ben gives a plug for a television magazine that you may subscribe to.

Chris Labelle is happy to have a second chance (he was the number 12 guy) and he wants to do something unique every show, and he’s singing “Walking in Memphis” which is the exact opposite of “unique” for these types of shows.

Ed: Chris LaBelle was not with the program for me at all and I think he will be singing us off on Wednesday. Chris Daughtry he ain’t. Nothing there vocally for me and nothing Cosmologically either. See you in the funny papers. C-

Kevin: I suppose that the song is note perfect, but I don’t think the punk stylings really work when you’ve only got piano accompaniment. Still, there’s nothing wrong with it, and he definitely knows how to play to the camera and the studio audience. So in the end, it doesn’t matter what I say, he’s staying for at least another week. 6.5/10

Farley – You’re not Patti Labelle, but you might be as entertaining.
Zack – Dude has charisma.
Jake – Really entertaining. You do it better than anybody.
Sass – I want you to stick around long enough to prove that you are a marathon man.

Ben – I want you to come out of your shell a little bit. Ah, the Canadian sarcasm.

Tyler and Shelton are up after the

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We’re back, and it’s time for Tyler Lewis. He’s singing “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down.

Kevin: I’m not sure what he’s trying to do, but I don’t think it’s really working. The stepping, deep knee bends, and rather sub-par singing at the beginning (although it did pick up during the bridge) all don’t work for me. Tyler is my first pick to go. 3/10

Ed: Tyler Lewis is another guy who could possibly do well. My wife liked him. Of course that’s not worth too much. She liked me too. He does have a good enough voice and charisma to make things interesting. I like him, in an Idol kind of way mind you, and look forward to seeing what he can bring us next week.B+

Zack – That wasn’t what I think you can do.
Jake – Started a little bit shaky but you really brought it home.
Sass – I think you have a voice that really stands out.
Farley – Like the Ukraine said to their goalie today, “Nice save.”

Ben – You’ve got the voice of a man.

Ben’s married, right?

Shelton Elter wants to be true to himself, and he’s singing “Gonna Move” and Google tells me that it’s by Susan Tedeschi. (Jake later says Paul Pena.)

Ed: Sheldon Elter reminded me of what it was like to go bar hopping in my 20s. Not because I felt like he was one of my buddies, but more like the kind of singer we would find in one. You know, the ones we never listened to because we had more important things on our mind. Background noise for the prowl. I think the audience will feel the same. They will have better singers on their mind and he’ll be joining Chris on Wednesday. D+

Kevin: You know Ed, up here it’s the women that go on the prowl, and we call those “cougars”. An example of one is sitting at the judges table. Anyways, it’s an upbeat song, but it’s kinda obscure, Shelton doesn’t sing it great, and he’s got that Bobby Bennett “I’m just happy I made it this far” vibe about him. Not a good segment, folks. 2/10

Jake – You got the audience into it, you really entertained
Sass – There’s something about you, you exude this joy.
Farley – I like you as an individual but that song didn’t do it for me.
Zack – I’m a big no, dude.

Ben – No comments for Shelton, just wordplay with Zack. Which is probably the kiss of death for Shelton.

Two more to go after the

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Chad Doucette is missing his Senior Prom to be here. He apparently didn’t have a date though. He’s singing Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry”.

Kevin: Nerves are apparent in his voice, but he rises above it by constantly maintaining eye contact with the camera, knowing that that’s who he needs to focus on to get the votes. But was it anything special? No. 6.5/10

Ed: Chad Douchette was a pleasant surprise. At 17 he is better than at least five older competitors. I agree with Sass that his voice is unmistakable and quite polished for his age. I think that is why they didn’t let him through last year to give him a chance to mature a bit. He won’t win this but I think he will do very well. If he can pick the right songs and pick up where he left off tonight he’ll be a top 10’er. B-

Sass – You got one of those voices that completely stands out. That was wicked sweet.
Farley – You’ve got a really distinct aura about you. Good on you.
Zack – You’re what I hope Canadian Idol should be about.
Jake – You’re memorable and you know how to show vulnerability. You did a fantastic job.

Ben – Notes that the song talks about being drunk enough and that CTV doesn’t endorse underage drinking.

I’m sure that was a major storyline on Degrassi: TNG though.

One more singer left to come after the

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We’re back, and the last singer is Greg Neufeld. He’s singing “You and I Both” be Jason Mraz.

Ed: Greg Neufield was last for a good reason. They always save the best for last and where Keith had the voice but not the look, Greg has both in spades. I didn’t realize how much I liked him until the others sang before him. A sharp contrast to the rest of the night save for a couple of singers. Greg is the guy to beat. And it will be tough to beat him if he continues to pick the right songs and perform like he did tonight. We better start thinking of his fan nicknames now. A+

Kevin: I’m not as impressed with Greg as Ed was. He’s good, to be sure, but the best? I dunno. Of course, part of that may be due to his song choice – Jason Mraz has got some wordy songs, and I think it’s something that isn’t well suited to a singing competition. 7.5/10

Farley – That was a great song for your voice. You sang big notes well.
Zack – This kid’s a monster.
Jake – You were amazing tonight.
Sass – You can sing your butt off, and if Brad Pitt could sing his name would be Greg Neufeld.

Ben – You’re a great singer.

Now, here’s the show recap (brought to you by a tasty whole grain cereal). We’re done for tonight.