Murtzcellanious: LIVE Canadian Idol Recap – June 27

Alrighty, let’s get it rolling.

After a thrilling opening to the show with the male performances, the girls were under the gun to make their mark on the competition.

I am finally starting to feel more comfortable in the new venue. I have made some new friends and I think I was even the recipient of a practical joke or two at last night’s proceedings. Just kidding. Thanks to my special friends who made the evening great and very tolerable 🙂 You know who you are.

After being asked to switch seats, I settled in for what was going to be an enjoyable evening of good music.

After Sue Brophy came out to do her opening instructions to the audience, she introduced Ben Mulroney. Mulroney has a long-standing tradition of introducing one of his friends whenever he is in attendance, and he once again seized the opportunity to embarrass his pal Glenn. While he usually refers to him as the ‘superfan,’ apparently Glenn had now graduated to the moniker of “DJ Z-Jay.” The judges were then introduced, and it was surprising to see that Farley Flex was not there. Apparently, he was occupied with his daughter’s graduation. I found that interesting as well. I have had four graduations and none of them happened in the evening. The parties did, but certainly not the actual ceremony. The audience also learned that it was judge Zack Werner’s birthday and this called for an impromptu singing of that dreadful birthday song. As longtime readers know, the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ at Canadian Idol performances is the bane of my existence. I hope this was a trend that would not continue!

After the top 11 male contestants were introduced and took their place in the audience, we were ready to rock and proverbially roll.

The show began as Ben announced that 1.1 million votes were cast on Monday night and that this was a “serious showdown of serious talent.”

Ben then explained Farley’s absence to the viewing audience and asked for their opening thoughts.

Jake Gold: I come to these shows in a certain mood, good singing puts me in a good mood. Last night, I was in a great mood.

Sass Jordan: Most importantly, the audience hasn’t fallen in love with you yet.

Zack Werner:: If that was my top 10 that performed last night, I’d watch all summer.

The Top 11 girls were then introduced. For those analysts like me who think that the order they are introduced in is an indicator of how far they will go, here they are.

Ashley Coulter, Anna-Belle Oliva, Nancy Silverman, Eva Avila, Alisha Nauth, Sarah Loverock, Ashley Coles, Kati Durst, Alyssa Klazek, Valerie Jalbert, and Steffi DiDomenicantonio.

Ben asked Ashley Coles about what she thought of having another Ashley in the competition. She said that they shouldn’t be compared because their music styles are completely different, even though she loves Ashley Coulter “to death.”

Ashley Coles
Age: 16
Caledonia, ON
– Singing “Alone” by Heart.
– In her opening video she said that while the experience is scary on one hand, it’s fun to express yourself on the other. She also said that she hopes Canada will take her through.
– This was the song that last year’s Idol winner, Melissa O’Neil made famous.
– Don’t tell anyone, but it is one of the Murtzinator’s favorite songs as well. What else can you expect from a guy that believes that the Backstreet Boys are the greatest group of our generation (damn you Kevin!)
– Okay, tangent over. I think Ashley Coles is one of the top four contenders in this competition, based on age, singing ability, location and screen time.
– Very curious to see if she lives up to my hype.
– She performs perfectly.
– Tone and pitch are perfect.
– Singing the song on a slower playback.
– Not singing with as much gusto and conviction that Melissa had.
– I believe that with performances like this, the competition is already sealed.
– While she didn’t rock out and I worry about her stage presence, she is clearly the class of the competition.
– I think she will suffer from going first and being forgotten with so many competitors.

Jake: That song I would have waited until you had a band behind you. It was sung by two previous Idol winners. Choose a different song.
Sass: That song was beyond your capabilities.
Zack: You have certain skills that nobody else possesses. You should be here long enough to sing with a real band.

Commercial.
Kati and Alyssa are up next.

When the show resumes, Alyssa admits that she fell in love with fellow contestant Matt Higgson during the previous stage of the competition. She said that he rejuvenates her, takes her away and makes her herself again. Matt was also in tonight’s audience.

Katie admits that she doesn’t have a TV at home. I cannot even imagine my life without the tube. Ready for a revelation? I seriously watch 6-7 hours a day. I think it is modern man’s greatest invention. Well, reality television more specifically, is modern man’s greatest invention, right after Coca-Cola, Tim Horton’s coffee and Murtz Jaffer.

Kati Durst
Age: 26
Goderich, ON
– Singing “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray.
– In her opening video, she says that she goes somewhere else when she is singing.
– Notice immediate similarity to Karen-Lee Batten from the first season of the show.
– She is not showing her powerful vocal chords.
– I am worried that she is forgettable.
– There is a divide between her and the audience, despite their clapping. There is no connection or synergy.
– Her big note was weak.

Sass: Lacked spark, some good stuff.
Zack: You can’t lose the hippie chick vibe. You just gotta be Kati!
Jake: You made it into more of a folk song. Good job for you!

Alyssa Klazek
Age: 17
Calgary, AB
– Singing “Ready For Love” by India.Arie.
– In her opening video, she says the competition really makes you see who you are and how you deal with pressure.
– I am optimistic because she hails from the power Idol voting block of Alberta.
– She sings a horrible run in the middle of the song.
– I do like her unique look.
– I think she is in trouble, despite her hometown.
– Bad song choice as India.Arie is pretty boring.

Zack:: Props on honesty. Usually you come up way short. Okay, cute.
Jake: You took the soul out of that song.
Sass: Great to see somebody in love, and singing about it.

Commercial.
Valerie and Steffi D are up next. During the commercial break, it appears that Alyssa is on the verge of tears after the harsh reaction from the judges, but she manages to breathe deeply and keep it in check.

When the show resumes, Ben goes over to talk to the guys. Chris admits that “the ladies are doing a redonkulously good. He said that he didn’t go out last night and would yield to someone who did. Greg said that he had dinner with his parents and then went out with some of the boys where they “cheers’d summer.”

Ben then goes over to talk to the ladies. Steffi says that it hasn’t been hard coming from a family of doctors. “My parents support me in anything I do. Have to have passion for what you do.” She says she likes being the black sheep.

Valerie says that it has been fun coming back to the competition after being eliminated before. She says that she hopes that tonight is going to be the night.

Valerie Jalbert
– Singing “Remember Me this Way” by Jordan Hill.
– In her opening video she says that she was eliminated two years ago.
– She says that she lives in a music world (although I don’t think she meant the retail chain).
– She says that she could not live without music.
– Seems most of the ladies are all going for the ballad.
– She has clearly matured from the last time I saw her.
– I think she is singing in a strained fashion with a degree of forced emotion.
– Not very natural, but still a decent performance.
– I still don’t understand why these people sing songs that no one knows.
– I liked her soft tone.
– I still think the judges will like it.

Jake: Better than ever when you are singing the music that you love.
Sass: You have the sweetest spots in your voice, but there are edges of “cry singing.”
Zack: Sometimes, you are overly emotional. Happy you came and did who you are .

Steffi DiDomenicantonio
Age: 17
Orleans, ON
– Singing “I Only Have Eyes For You” by Ella Fitzgerald.
– In her opening video she describes her wardrobe style as “pearls, frills and bows.”
– Seems to live in the 20’s era.
– Says that her musical style involves theater, pop and jazz.
– She reminds Murtz of a female John Stevens from American Idol.
– I do like her retro look.
– In this case, I don’t think her voice matches her great look.
– I still think her look will push her through this round.
– Big notes are weak.
– Definitely has a cutesy appeal.
– She is an audience favorite.

Sass: Our little Liza Minelli. You’re going to have to step out of that.
Zack: I didn’t want the most successful universal person here.
Jake: Good job. Important to introduce to the public who you are.

Commercial.

After the break, Sarah Loverock says that her dad and mother-in-law have a musical background. She also has a son.

Sarah Loverock
Age: 25
Gibsons, BC
– Singing “Since I Fell For You” by Michael Bolton.
– In her opening video, she says that she has been singing it for a long time and she knows everyone will like it.
– Has a rich tone.
– Has a bluesy-jazzy feel to her performance.
– Picked up tempo in the middle.
– Needs to watch her shouting.
– Decent performance.

Zack: What’s important is that it’s not the kind of record that the winning Canadian Idol will make. You got great pipes. This is about my winner. Not my survivor.
Jake: They are trying to show who they are. Technically, the best performance of the night.
Sass: I thought that was really really really good.

Commercial.
Alisha is up next.

Alisha Nauth
Age: 19
Kitchener, ON
– Singing “Always” by Jon Bon Jovi.
– In her opening video, she says that she tried out for the show when she was 16.
– Now she feels like she is ready for it.
– Very nice performance.
– Got crowd into it.
– Interesting that she sang with a smile.
– Audience liked the song, I knew it.
– It never ceases to amaze me why contestants choose songs that no one knows. If it is a popular cover, more people will get into it and vote for it. Screw originality and artistry! This is a competition. If I was in it, I would definitely be doing “Get Down” by the Backstreet Boys (to answer all of those people who e-mailed me).
– One of the best singers of the evening.

Jake: We found the wow factor!
Sass: Really good song choice, best performance of the night!
Zack: Alisha is a great reason to watch this show all summer.

Commercial.
Eva and Nancy are up next.

When the show returns, Nancy says that she is a hairdresser and says that she would probably give Ben the “Chris Labelle Mohawk” treatment. Eva thanks everybody for their support.

Eva Avila
Age: 19
Hull, QC
– Singing “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.
– In her opening video, she says that it is not just about having a voice. It’s about being able to reach out to people.
– Says that she is a firm believer in destiny.
– Hot opening to her song.
– Singing in a non-depressing style like the original artist intended for the piece, which is a good thing.
– Brilliant tone.
– Playing to the cameras well.
– Judges will probably dig the vulnerability.
– Awesome performance.

Sass: Had a huge wow factor. You did it gospel-y. Fantastic job.
Zack: Amazing what great judges we are. You are the standard to which we measure all other contestants.
Jake: She’s not the first to do it in a gospel style. Gary Beals did it gospel-y in the first season.

Nancy Silverman
Age: 19
Thornhill, ON
– Singing “Could I Be Your Girl” by Jann Arden.
– In her opening video, she says that her friends dared her to audition and that everyday’s a bonus.
– She says that her philosophy is to find the truth in what you’re singing and people will believe it.
– Fantastic voice.
– I believe that people won’t like the nasal-y tone, but I do.
– I can see people saying that it sounded like Fran Drescher at karaoke, but I am not one of them because I think it is totally unique.
– Big Alanis Morrissette vibe.
– Crazy performance, but it is definitely memorable.
– This is AWESOME!
– I like the song choice, even though it probably isn’t a popular one.
– She is very playful with camera.

Zack: Did you lose your place in the arrangement. That was cool! You are my taste. First person to do something unique and wonderful.
Jake: Alanis Morrissette doing Jann Arden. FANTASTIC!
Sass: Nancy, you are a killer. I love you. You got rhythm. You know when you got a star search moment.

Commercial.
Anna-Belle and Ashley Coulter are up next.

After the break, Anna-Belle says that even though English is her second-language, she is able to express herself with music.

Anna-Belle Oliva
Age: 20
Montreal, QC
– Singing “Someone Like You” from Jekyll And Hyde.
– In her opening video she says something about the people, their eyes, her voice and the music.
– Also chooses to sing a ballad.
– She is very very hot. Like mind-numbingly good-looking.
– Nothing really stands out about the performance?
– If Murtz was Randy Jackson, not only would be be overweight, he would also say “it was alright for me dawg.”
– Nice moment at the end.
– The guy in me hopes she makes it through.

Jake: Reached a little much with the song. Big notes were sharp and flat.
Sass: Nice tones in your lower register. Higher stuff needs work.
Zack: Heartfelt ballads are good for moments. If you are around next week, do something really unexpected.

Ashley Coulter
Age: 23
Emeryville, ON
– Singing “Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke.
– She tells Ben that she didn’t expect to be sitting on the couch, and didn’t tell anyone that she auditioned.
– In her opening video, she says that it is hard to make it in the music business and that you continuously have to learn.
– It seems like they saved the best for last.
– Ashley is the main event and one of my main picks for the competition.
– She also chose the perfect closing song.
– Started to deliver in the middle.
– I like her runs/ad-libs.
– Near the end of the song, she started to come into her own and bust the big notes (of expectation! Ha, how’s that for witty?)
– Phenomenal.
– Looks like a seasoned veteran.
– Starting to think that her slow start might have been intentional.
– Big ovation from the audience.

Sass: Such conviction when you sing. Vocally it’s a little rough. Sing a little more your age.
Zack: To step up and do classic bar song isn’t a bad thing, that’s where Canadian music was born. This is the deepest pool of Canadian talent we have ever had.
Jake: May be bar singing, and even though I don’t drink, I’d definitely go to a bar if you were singing.

Then the recap and show is over.

Alrighty folks. It’s just about that time. First let’s start with my predictions.

I think that your final four will be:

BRANDON JONES
CRAIG SHARPE
ASHLEY COLES
ASHLEY COULTER

I am actually pretty sure about it.

As for who is in trouble on Wednesday night?

For the guys, it is Sheldon Elter, Nathan Brown, and Tyler Lewis… with Sheldon Elter and Tyler Lewis being my top picks.

For the girls, it is Valerie Jalbert, Kati Durst, Alyssa Klazek and Anna-Belle Oliva… with Valerie Jalbert and Alyssa Klazek being my top picks.

See you after the results.