Canadian Idol – Recap – July 4

This should be an interesting recap, as Ed and I have some differing opinions on how the night went. But that’s the beauty of having two people in one review – diversity of opinions. Anything to say before we start Ed?

Before I get crackin’ there’s a little thing I’ve noticed so far this season. I don’t know what this means or if it means anything but every time Ashley Coles starts to sing my satellite goes out. No lie! Last week I missed her on the east coast feed and had to catch her on the west coast feed and even then she went out part of the way into her song. And yes, when she came on tonight there my satellite went. Since I had to catch her, Alyssa, and Nancy on the west coast feed again it gave me the opportunity to watch the first 6 again. They were just as good the second time around.

OK then, here we go!

Opening Credits

Here’s Ben Mulroney, and this is Canadian Idol. Let’s give some well deserved props to pianist Mark Lalama. Let’s say hi to our nine female singers!

Now here are the judges: Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex and Zack Werner.

Question/mic check time!

Zack – It would be unimaginable that the winner wouldn’t be doing Top 40 songs.
Flex – Like I told the German coach when he called and asked what went wrong, the best offence is a good defence, also the best defence is a good offence, so you figure it out.
Sass – The stakes are going up every week, so I understand the fear.
Jake – I think there’s three people who should be in the top ten and the other two spots are up for grabs.

Like last night, we’re getting right into it with Ashley Coulter singing Melissa Ethridge’s “I’m the Only One”.

Jake – Last week you did a kind of a bar song, and this week, you kind of did the same thing, and you did it well. Step out of your realm a bit.
Sass – I love that you get into it so much. I’d love to see you do something a little more softer.
Flex – I’d like to see you do something more different.
Zack – You have that Sheena Easton/Pat Benetar/elflike quality.

Kevin: Remember how the judges keep stressing song selection? They’re not just talking about what’s good for your voice – they’re also talking about what sounds good with only a piano accompaniment. Ashley’s voice is great for the song, but the song is not that great with just a piano. Ashley’s good, but she won’t be memorable after eight other performances. But as the first singer of the night, Ashley gets a 6.5/10

Can I also say that Mark Lalama kicked it to another level tonight? 9.5/10 on the night for him!

Ed: Starting off the night was Ashley Coulter whom I like but she has yet to blow me away. Tonight while she was good singing “I’m the Only One”, I felt like the only one who thinks she should just sing and not force the song. She did do a pretty good job but I want to hear sing a song that let’s us hear her full voice. Zack hit the nail on the head when he said she had the Pat Benetar/Sheena Easton thing going on and to that I say she should sing the great Sheena hit from the 70s next week “9 to 5/Morning Train”. If she can pull of that song she will be in the top 5. Good start though. Grade: B+

Ben – Great way to kick off the show.

Eva and Alisha are up after the

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We’re back, and Quebec’s last hope, Eva Avila, will be singing “Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack, but more recently made popular by the Fugees.

Sass – That was absolutely beautiful.
Flex – It was very believable.
Zack – If I could give you any advice, I think you’ve got to search for what is definitive of you.
Jake – I felt that you rushed the song a bit at the beginning. You’ve got to be in the pocket.

Eva Avila is the one I was anxious to hear tonight. Could she match that great performance of last week? It looked like she felt the pressure was on. She did not look at ease as much this week. She did look stunning though. She could not be more beautiful. Singing “Killing Me Softly”, a song I have never heard on any Idol show and always wondered why, Eva did a good job but for me over sang it a bit and moved a little awkward on stage. Still quite the singer and she did nothing to take her out of the favored position. I love the ending where she put her own little spin. She certainly looks like the Idol. Grade: A-

Something felt… lacking here. It was almost like Eva was holding back a little. I mean it was still very good, and Eva’s clearly one of the best females out here, but it just felt like there could’ve been more. Maybe she overdid it a bit? 8/10

Ben – Part of what’s great about this show is competitors discovering who they are.

Alicia Nauth is up now, and she’ll be singing one of the songs I call “Idol Killers”, “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins.

Flex – While I don’t think it was your best performance, you’ll still be standing.
Zack – Like Eva, you’re a serious thoroughbred in this competition. You’re fearless, you should be here for a long time.
Jake – Like Eva, I think you rushed a bit. You have to get in the pocket.
Sass – There’s something so appealing about you when you sing.

The reason this song sounded so good was because Alicia, like Eva, didn’t go all out and reach hard for the big notes. This, by the way, is actually a good thing because that’s normally the downfall of the competitors who sing this song (see Savol, Scott). Still, it could’ve used more emotion. As for staying in the pocket, I guess Jake wants them all to be Peyton Manning?7.5/10

Oh, and what’s up with the monitors being out of sync with the audio?

Alisha Nauth came out with a confident smile on her face and looking as dapper as ever. Singing the dreaded “Against all Odds” I was figuring ear pain. While she didn’t give the pain she did hit a power note way to early in the song (the 4th note in) but for the most part it was just good. I think she over sings it and I don’t know why everyone thinks they have to belt every chance they get. Most of the time less is more. I am so sick of this song I don’t think anyone could make me like it. Alisha did pick up pretty much where she left off last week. No better, no worse. She will be one of the five no question. Grade: A-

Ben – Why the guy songs? (Alisha: It’s a good song)

A trio of ladies are singing after the

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Back from the break, and after Ben talks to Sheldon Elter in the audience, we go to Sarah Loverock singing Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be”.

Zack – You’re eventually gonna have to really rip. You probably are, technically the best singer here.
Jake – Highlight of the night so far. You nailed it.
Sass – You tore it up.
Flex – Show your skill. Blast everybody away.

Sarah Loverock is singing “I Don’t want to be”. Another song about to be sung to death on Idol. When I heard she was going to sing this I thought it would be horrific mainly because it is a guy song and it really has a weak melody. Elliott and Bo did very good jobs on this and I just couldn’t see a girl doing anything with it. The whole time I was thinking “What are these folks thinking picking this stuff?”

Was I surprised? I couldn’t believe how great she did on this. I liked it for the first time. She sang it like she owned it. Every note pure and clean and unlike the Idol boys, I could understand every word. This is the shock of the night for me (so far). Sarah even showed a little personality and emotion. I never expected this from her. She should, with that performance, move on into the top 5. Beautiful! I’m a fan. How did she not make it last year? Grade: A+

This didn’t work for me. The song could work with just a piano, but not the way Sarah’s done it. She’s acting as if she has a full band behind her, and it really doesn’t work for me. 5.5/10

Ben – Well done.

Following Sarah is Steffi D, and she’s singing “White Flag” by Dido.

Jake – That song was so good for you. Really good, really entertaining.
Sass – Loved that. It was amazing.
Flex – I think you’ll be here as long as your last name.
Zack – “D?” That was the right blend, and that blend will get better and better. That was the first performance that reminded me of the year we’re living in.

For me, the benchmark for Dido covers comes from Howard Jones. He did the song really well, and of course did it while playing the piano. Speaking of which, why doesn’t anyone sing Howard Jones? “Noone is to Blame” is tailor made for this stage of the competition, plus if you’re feeling it you can go for audience participation. I’m adding that song to my “want to hear” list along with “Angels”. The original from Robbie Williams, that is. Anyone who tries to do the soul-sucking rendition that Jessica Simpson pulled gets a big fat zero.

Oh yeah, Steffi. She turned it into a musical number. Eh. 6/10

Steffi D gets out of the 20s and roars into the 2000s with “White Flag”. Well the boys will be the ones holding up the white flag if the girls keep bringing it like this night. What a great job by Steffi D. Like Sass says she is really cute but more importantly can sing, sing, sing! I don’t care for this song but I like what she did with it and how it showcased her. This is what you are supposed to do. I liked her voice on this better than the older stuff she likes to perform. She may have well sung her way into the top 5. Her tone was exquisite and enunciation perfect. Love her too. And no, she couldn’t be any cuter. Grade A-

Now, singing Leann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”, it’s Kati “not related to Fred” Durst.

Sass – That was your most confident performance so far. Good job. Heartfelt.
Flex – I really, really enjoyed that performance.
Zack – And I really, really didn’t. I think the audience at home got a good view of your eyelids.
Jake – I completely disagree. I thought that was natural. You were great.

Kati Durst sings a country type song “I Hope You Can Dance”. After a second listen I realized I have heard this. And Kati killed it. I didn’t know she could sing this well. I loved every minute of it. She hit the highs and lows and I too disagree with Zack here. I thought she put some real feeling in that song. Her real tone, power and control were displayed. I liked her in the audition shows and thought she was OK last week but this week she proved to the Idolhead she belongs in the top five. Whoopi! I’m lovin’ it tonight! Grade: A

This song proves to be right in Kati’s wheelhouse, and I think she nailed the song. But what makes this sound that much better is that Kati follows two mediocre performances. Just like in poker, position matters, and Kati took full advantage by going “All In” and making Sarah and Steffi irrelevant tonight. 7.5/10

Ben – I didn’t understand a word Zack even said. (Flex: Neither did he)

Well after these first 6 sang I don’t know what the last three could possibly do to top them. For me without even hearing the last three of the night would go ahead and pick our top 5 from the first 6. Let’s see if any of the next 3 can change my mind. They will have to have the performances of their life to impress me now.

Something old, something new, something soulful and something Pink is coming up after the

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We’re back, and singing “Misery” by Pink is Ashley Coles.

Flex – That sharp tone in your voice? I liked it a lot.
Zack – There are some things you do that are really cool, and there are some things that are really sixteen.
Jake – I think you really redeemed yourself from last week.
Sass – I think you showed the most improvement since last week for me.

I get it now. Ashley thinks she’s Emily Vinette with her overemoting. OK, that’s not fair, but doing Pink doing Joss Stone-lite won’t convince me that she’s still worth being in this competition. It was a good photocopy, nothing spectacular. 6.5/10

Last week I thought Ashley Coles should have gone and I wasn’t the only one. She didn’t even taste the bottom 4. And after that performance of “Misery” she won’t again. This was the absolute most improved someone could be from one week to the next. How did she do some of those things with her voice? She really impressed me tonight. I naturally assumed, since I had to wait to see her perform because of satellite issues, which she would flounder like last week. So not the case. What is going on? Awesome. Grade: A+

Ben – That was great.

We’ve got two more singers, and Alyssa is singing next after the

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It’s time for Alyssa Klazek and she’s singing Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”.

Zack – If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.
Jake – It was very brave to do what you did. I don’t think you pulled it off.
Sass – There’s such a thing as overenunciating at times. It was brave.
Flex – You’ve got to get your stuff together.

Alyssa Klazek chooses to sing… “Magic Carpet Ride”? What? Of all the songs to pick. And boy was this a bad choice. She just couldn’t do anything with it and I’m going to go with Zack on the Bambi thing. The only thin I will say is she should be able to go off into the sunset with her new found love after tomorrow night. Grade: D

I thought for a minute we were going to have a perfect night. You know those are rarer than a perfect game. I never actually have seen one. I almost saw one this year on American Idol Standards week but Kellie messed that one up. She got bewildered if you remember.

What. The. F–k? This was probably the most puzzling song choice I’ve heard to be sung with a piano since that guy on American Idol sang “Thank You” by Boyz II Men. I gather from Murtz that it played well to the studio audience, but on television it was seriously painful. This makes the awkward pause seem like a confidence builder. 0/10

Ben – The judges didn’t say nice things last week and you’re still here.

One singer left, and she’s up after the

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The last singer is 905er Nancy Silverman, and she’s singing “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys.

Jake – No respect to the guys, but you just nailed it. The women won this week.
Sass – You are the best drama queen I’ve ever seen. You come out here and you KICK it.
Flex – You’ve got so much soul, and you just nailed the living daylights out of that song.
Zack – Nancy Silverman is da bomb.

This was another WTF performance, but in a good way. I think Nancy is probably the only woman who’s staying true to what she is, and she definitely knows how to take a song and play it to her strengths. Nancy is clearly not your “diva”-type singer, and by taking a “diva” song and putting a slight twist to it, she’s come up with something that is both brilliant and difficult to appreciate if you dislike her deliberate off-kilter delivery. Then again, I love reading Nextwave, so maybe my tastes are skewed. 7.5/10

Nancy Silverman is in the pimp spot tonight. She has never really done it for me. I’m not into quirky. She’ll be singing the most over sung song in Idol history Alicia Keyes’s “Fallin'”. There is no way I’ll like this. I’m dead tired of the song and Nancy hasn’t begun to win me over.

Well, get out of here! That is great! Absolutely perfect pitch and she has made this her own and made me pay attention every second. Yeah that’s my mouth hanging wide open. I’m a fan now. Whoa! I need to see that again. Brilliant! (I didn’t telegraph this praise did I?) Could be the best of the night. Grade A+

Now it’s time for the Name Brand Cereal recap and with that, it’s time to vote!

Ed: What did they put in the water? The girls kicked the guy’s asses royally tonight. In all honesty, only one person deserves to go and that is Alyssa and I think there is no question she will go this week. Someone is going to leave tomorrow night that does not deserve to at all. I think they should just go ahead and take the 8 girls who brought in tonight and put Keith and Greg in there and let’s get started with the top 10 next week.

This was solid entertainment tonight and I couldn’t even guess who goes home along with Alyssa tomorrow. But if I had to guess, which I do because that’s why they pay me the big bucks, I think Ashley Coulter could leave because she was first and everyone after her made her a bit forgettable. I would hope she does come back and sing “Morning Train”.

It looks to me like three great singers will not be in the top 5 this season. It is a shame too because they deserve to be there after tonight because she, whoever she turns out to be, is better than at least three of the other top five guys. As far as Eva and Alisha go, they have some real competition now. I still think they will both be in the top 5 but need to bring the house next week. My revised top 5; Eva, Alisha, Sarah, Nancy, and Kati. That’s a damn good top 5 people. Oooooo! I’m all excited now.

A great night and I’m going to watch it again.

Kevin: Once again, we’ve got Eva and Alisha on top, with Nancy and Kati about a level below. Alyssa was rock bottom and deserves to be headed home, while the other person we’ll say goodbye to comes from a group of pretenders. I’m wavering between Sarah, Ashley Coles and Steffi, and while I don’t think that any of them will make it into the top ten, I’m gonna say that the uber-perky (we’re talking Paige Davis x100 folks) Steffi D. will be taking that long trip back to the 20’s tomorrow.