Canadian Idol – Recap – June 27

Hey, it’s Kevin and Ed providing you with Canadian Idol coverage for Tuesday. Ed, what do you have to say about the show?

Tonight the ladies go shopping… for votes. Some carts will be full and some others…well…

OK then, let’s get started!

Last night, the men sang and Ben has nothing but positive things to say. It’s the girls night to shine tonight… right now.

Opening Credits

Ben Mulroney is back, and tonight is ladies’ night here on the Idol stage. A quick reminder on how to vote, and here are the judges: Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner.

In absentia is Farley Flex, and that’s because his daughter Mika is having her eighth grade graduation tonight, and he needs to be on hand to beat away any guys that want to dance with her.

Now it’s time for the puffball questions.

Jake – It’s the singing that puts me in a good or bad mood. Last night, I left in a great mood.
Sass – Thinks song selection is very important because the audience hasn’t had time to fall in love with you yet.
Zack – You never know who was going home but if last night was the top ten (?) and it was all testosterone I’d watch all summer.

Let’s get to it, but first we give props to pianist Mark Lalama. And now here are the eleven ladies!

First up tonight is Ashley Coles, who is just happy to be here in the Top 22, but now she has higher expectations. She’s singing Heart’s “Alone”, which I believe Idol winners Carrie Underwhelming and Melissa O’Neil rocked on. Yeah, I just gave Carrie props. I can’t believe it either.

Kevin: Second viewer voting episode and I’m forced to ditch my “bell curve” rating because this was horrid. Ashley’s a cute kid, but she was shouting, was off key, and at times she was singing the wrong words. But she started off well, and that prevents her from getting the big fat zero.1/10

Ed: Usually the first performer of the night sets the stage. If they are great the show tends to be great as well. Ashley Coles did not set a good stage tonight. This was not good for me… at all. It was so pitchy it hurt and if you have read any of my columns in the past you know it is not something I say lightly. I try to give these guys the benefit of the doubt but this was just not good. I don’t like the song but Ashley didn’t make me want to try to like it either. I’m sure her nerves had a lot to do with it but… oh my. I’m now hoping the other Ashley C. can do better but for now… I fear for the show. Grade D

Jake – I would’ve chosen a different song.
Sass – I find that it’s a little bit beyond your capabilities, vocally, at this time.
Zack – You’ve got some serious skills and you should be here long enough to sing with a real band.

Ben – I think you did yourself justice.

Kati and Alyssa are up after the

Ad Break

We’re back, and after some banter with Alyssa and her new boyfriend, it’s time for Kati Durst, who reminds me of a 90s French-Canadian singer whose name currently escapes me. She’s singing Doby Gray’s “Drift Away”.

Kati did a bit better but I was expecting more from her as well. This is a bad song to start your Idol career off with especially if you are female. Boring and no glory notes. And if you make glory notes where there aren’t any, they aren’t glorious at all. Not bad but not great. I think we shall see her again and I hope she chooses a better tune for herself. Grade B-

My wife, the mistress of subtlety, thought that Kati looked pregnant with her top. I think her take on the song is interesting – it’s all bluesy and jazzy as opposed to the soulful rendition that you normally associate with the song. Unless Uncle Kracker is singing it, of course. It’s decent, but not real memorable, but it earns my baseline mark. 6.5/10

Sass – I think it lacked the spark that I know you’re capable of.
Zack – If you survive, you just gotta be Katie.
Jake – I don’t necessarily LIKE the song choice, but you sang it the way you would sing it.

Ben – Talks about Katie’s many foster siblings.

Alyssa Klazek is wearing what looks like a dashiki-like dress, but I don’t know of anyone who would wear a dashiki that looks like that. She’s singing India.Arie’s “Ready For Love”. It figures.

My wife’s first reaction to Alyssa is “what the f— is she wearing?” Anyways, one of my big peeves is the 20-note run, best exemplified by Jose “Sway” Penala and Keith Sweat, and I think Alyssa tops that. Just to refresh you, people normally do giant runs because they can’t hit a note otherwise, and it “hides” that inability. But in a competition like this, it’s done for flair, and often it becomes too much flair, as it was here. She’s made the song very boring, and tries to put all the emphasis on her runs. 5/10

Alyssa had to have on the ugliest outfit I’ve ever seen. And she needs to keep her fingers out of the electrical sockets before the show. What’s up with that hair? She’s too young to be a hippie. Whatever. She did sound pretty good for a 17 year old. Not Melissa O’Neil good, but good. She has a very good tone and it appears she has a fairly good range as well. I hope she too picks a better song next week because I think she’ll get the chance. Grade B

Zack – In this competition you have to compete with people who are the full package and vocally you came up way, way, way short. So… yeah.
Jake – I felt that you took the soul out of that song.
Sass – It’s great to see somebody in love and singing about it.

Ben – Talks to Zack about the confidence thing.

Two more singers are coming up after the

Ad Break

We come back with Ben talking to Chad Doucette about what the guys did last night. Chad declines to comment, but Greg Neufeld tells us that they had some beers. Ben then talks to Steffi “D” about her family before we get to our next singer:

Valérie Jalbert, who is very excited to be singing. She’s singing “Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill. No, I’ve never heard of it either.

Valérie Jalbert looked very good in her Kelly Clarkson hairdo. Too bad she got stabbed in the eyebrow with that toothpick. Lucky for her it didn’t affect her singing too much because she did quite well. I like that she and a few others gave it a second shot on Idol and made it. She gets points for that alone. Did she wow me? No. Could she? Maybe, if she gets to stay another week. Grade C

Like some of the other female French-Canadian singers that end up in the voting rounds of Idol (not including 2004 Valérie), Valérie is a strong, soulful singer. But Valérie seems to be the best yet, as she’s trying hard to connect to the audience through her singing and movements. The only problem as I see it is that Quebec doesn’t really seem to care about this competition, so it’ll be up to the rest of Canada to get Valérie into that Top Ten. 8.5/10

Jake – It’s really great to have you back. I thought that was a really good performance.
Sass – You have some of the sweetest spots that I’ve ever heard, but there’s some edges that I call “cry singing” (probably the Céline Dion inflections) that you don’t need to do.
Zack – I think sometimes you’re overly emotional in the way you sing. I’m really happy that you came back this time and be who you are.

Ben – Talks to Valérie about her biggest fan – her little sister.

Now it’s time for Steffi DiDomenicantonio. She says her style is “20’s” but it’s more Leave it to Beaver domesticated housewife late 50’s. She’s singing the standard “I Only Have Eyes For You”.

It’s not often that I hear such a flat rendition of an upbeat standard, but that’s exactly what Steffi does in the first half of the song. Chalk it up to nerves, because she picks it up at the end. But as she noted, first impressions count and if the audience noticed the hesitance at the beginning, Steffi could be gone. 6.5/10

Steffi Di{Last name that would not fit on a jersey}o, did a very good job on a song I love but a song that will never win an Idol title. Yes I agree with the judges here. I thought at the beginning it was going to be a bad thing but she shored it up and I was entertained. She too has a great tone and a decent range. I would like to see her survive just to see if she can step out of that zone. She is very likable and who needs to be a doctor anyway. Grade B

Sass – You are our little Liza. I think you do that stuff incredibly well. I’d like to see you step out of that.
Zack – I think that may be enough of that (Steffi’s choice of song).
Jake – I think it was a good choice tonight. It’s important that you introduce to the Canadian public who you are and then show them what else you can do.

Ben – Noone has ever made me smile the way you make me smile.

More performances to come after the

Ad Break

Music runs in the family of Sarah Loverock, who made it to the Top 100 last season, and she’s singing what I suppose is a blues standard in “Since I Fell For You”, and she thinks everyone will like it.

Sarah Loverock was another that tried out last season and I actually remembered her. She did seem kind of plain last year but this year… well she still is. But that’s OK, I still I like her. I thought she did a very good job on “If I Fell”. I’m with the judges on her; I think she was to this point the best of the night. The last time I heard that song was… oh yeah. Katharine McPhee killed it, in the same round. But not to compare because Sarah’s version was so different and I liked it a ton. She did it justice and she sang… in tune. I’m kind of with the judges here but I’m still looking for my A of the night. Grade B+

Off the subject of her singing, did you notice that she had a Treble clef tattoo on her left shoulder and a bass clef on her right? I’d say music is more a part of her than we know.

Sarah goes run crazy in the middle of the song, which again I hate, especially with a bluesy song, because again to me it’s saying “hey, I know how to fake sing”. Yes, I know that the so-called pop “divas” do it a lot, but often they don’t use it to excess like Sarah did here. Her performance was pretty good otherwise, which makes it more puzzling to me why Sarah even needed to add the runs. 6/10

Zack – What’s important is that’s not the kind of record that the person that wins Canadian Idol is gonna make. So singing that song tonight so that you make it through to next week is valid, but you got to make choices that make Canada go “Yes, this is my winner,” not “This is my survivor”.
Jake – I think at this round the women are showing who they are, who I am. Technically, it was the best performance so far.
Sass – I thought it was a great choice for your voice.

Ben – Asks Sarah if making the Top 22 after not making last year was worth the wait.

Alisha sings after the

Ad Break

We’re back, and it’s time for Alisha Nauth to sing. Music is everything to her, and she’s singing “Always” by Bon Jovi.

I didn’t think that this was a female-friendly song, but Alisha proved me wrong. She found a key that made it perfect for her alto voice, but the only thing is – the song is not that challenging to the vocal range and while this will definitely get her through to the next round, it’ll be interesting to see how she handles the song themes should she make it to the Top Ten. But aside from that, Alisha was the first person tonight that genuinely looked like she was ENJOYING her time onstage throughout her 90 seconds, and I think that that, more than anything else, will resonate with the voters. 9/10

Alisha is one beautiful girl and not a bad singer either. I’m not going to jump on the Alisha train just yet, although it looks like our Farleyless judges have. She did sound quite good but for me she seemed to want to show that she could belt and she didn’t have to. To me it was a bit over the top. Still one of the better ones of the night. I think she will survive and I’m looking quite forward to her next performance. Grade B+

Jake – We’ve been looking for the “Wow” factor tonight, and we finally found it.
Sass – That was the best performance of the night so far. That was a perfect example of really good song choice.
Zack – Over the course of the show you’re going to grow and Alisha you’re a great reason to watch this show all summer.

Ben – Asks whose idea it was to move to Kitchener from Alberta.

Eva and Nancy are coming up after the

Ad Break

Back and Ben asks Nancy Silverman, the apprentice hairstylist, what he should do with his hair, and she suggests a mohawk like Chris Labelle. If Jon Dore’s still around, it’d be better for him. Ben would probably be ok with the faux-hawk though. He then asks Eva to say something in Spanish. She’s up.

Eva Avila is a firm believer in destiny, and she’s singing Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”, which is perfect for the musical setup of this round. But that does remind me that I’m still waiting for someone to try singing “Angels” by Robbie Williams.

Eva certainly looks the part and has the last name of former American Idol Amanda Avila, who has done quite well considering where she jumped off the Idol train. Could Eva do as well? How about better. Finally a performance I could call a wow performance. This was very good. I agree with Zack that the other girls now have a measuring stick and it’s a tough one to measure up to. This was on pitch and just a wonderful job all the way around. Give up the hairdresser job Eva because you’ll be here for a while. Great vocal, great vibe. Best of the night. I don’t see how anyone will top this but I am hoping. Grade A+

The only real complaint I have is that Eva at times went a bit Broadway with the singing, but aside from that, really, really good. She was smart to try something slightly different with the song, as her voice obviously doesn’t have the ethereal quality that Sarah McLachlan has. And note that she left her runs until the end of the song, which allows it to act as an exclamation point to her performance as opposed to the focal point that Sarah Loverock created with her runs. The difference is pretty crystal – you might remember Sarah’s performance outside of the runs, but you WILL remember Eva’s performance as a whole.9.5/10

Sass – That performance definitely had a huge “Wow” factor.
Zack – I think it’s amazing what great judges we are. Week after week, you are going to be the standard to which we measure the other competitors.
Jake – I thought it was fantastic. That was at least as good (as Gary Beals in season one) if not better.

Ben – Asks Eva if that guy in the audience is her boyfriend. When she says yes, he says “I can take him”.

Nancy Silverman is a local girl from Thornhill, Ontario who auditioned on a dare and is another of those “just happy to be here” competitors. She’s singing “Can I be Your Girl” by Jann Arden.

If you ever wondered what would happen if someone tried to mesh Barbra Streisand and Alanis Morissette’s singing styles, listen to Nancy. Everything she does here – from the song selection to the deliberate inflections – tell me that she’s just here to have fun, and that’s a problem because she’s not really taking this seriously. I can’t call it bad because the performance is almost satirical in a way, but I just don’t see it resonating with the voters. 6/10

Nancy Silverman never struck me as someone that would appeal to me. And while she does her thing well it’s just not my cup of tea, or in my case, Dr. Pepper. She is like the female equivalent of Josh Palmer. Even though Zack loved her I’m not so sure she will be around next week. Since I’ll grade on actual performance instead of my taste, Nancy gets a B+.

Zack – It was cool. You are my taste. You’re the first person who showed something unique and wonderful tonight.
Jake – You’re soulful but you’re really quirky. That’s what I love about you. That was fantastic.
Sass – You are a killer, I love you. You’ve got the rhythm, and you’ve got the pipes.

Ben – Asks what was up with the punching. Apparently, it’s “Nancy Style”.

Two more singers left, and they’re coming up after the

Ad Break

We’re back and it’s time for Anna-Belle Oliva. She also can’t believe she’s here. And since her English isn’t great, she ‘opes dat ‘er message gonna be clear. She’s singing “Someone Like You” from what Google tells me is either a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or a Disney movie.

Anna-Belle Oliva disappointed the judges but not the Idolhead. I thought there was nothing wrong with this. She emoted well and sang, although Jake didn’t here it this way, every note on pitch. Her tone is awesome and she is able to go from high to low effortlessly. This French Canadian can go far if the judges will get off her case. I thought it was the second best of the night. I think this blonde is going to have more fun. Grade A

Yep, it definitely sounds like it’s from a musical, and with just a piano I can’t fault Anna-Belle for trying something like that, but to be honest it’s not something that I can honestly buy as a performance in a singing competition. I can’t fault her for her singing, as it sounded note-perfect, but the “musical” aspect takes it down a notch for me. 7/10

Jake – I think that you may have reached a little much with that song. Nice try, but not great.
Sass – There’s some really nice tones in your lower register but your higher tones need work.
Zack – I think you’ve got some star vibes. If you’re around next week do something completely unexpected.

Ben – I think that was fantastic.

We started with an Ashley C., and we’re going to end with an Ashley C. after the

Ad Break.

Ashley Coulter is our last singer tonight, and she is continuously trying to learn. She’s singing Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me.”

It’s funny, because in her preview Farley asked “What differentiates you from any bar singer” and the answer, apparently, is “Not a whole lot”. She knows how to work the stage, she knows how to work the audience, but her singing style is about the same, except that unlike the bar singer, she gives a shit. 6/10

I was expecting a lot from Ashley Coulter. Maybe too much. For me the song choice was weak and the performance was a little over the top and over sung. I think she will survive or at least I hope so, because I think she is better than this. Grade B-

Sass – You’ve got such conviction when you sing, that’s what pulls you through. I’d like to see you sing something more your age.
Zack – You are competitive, you should be around.
Jake – Even though I don’t drink, it’s definitely a bar I’d go to if you were singing in it.

Ben – There were so many “Wow” notes there – that was unbelievable.

And that brings us to our Name Brand Cereal recap and with that, it’s time to vote!