Time for round two. On Tuesday night, the top 11 girls on this season of Canadian Idol took the stage at Trinity Studios for their first live performances of the evening.
While I thought that the show delivered in spades once again (there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Canadian Idol is significantly superior to American Idol), I was the most uncomfortable that I have ever been during an Idol performance last evening (including all four seasons prior) as I was requested to switch seats seconds before the show started. The problem was that my new seat was next to fans sitting on the steps beside me and the show’s photographer who kept getting up to snap shots every two minutes. This made for some pretty close quarters as you can imagine. I was closer to them than I am with some family members. Haha, just kidding. I guess I can’t complain too much though, because his pics are the ones that accompany this article! It’s all good though. I was determined to not let the handicap affect the best Idol recap around. I just want to see the show without interruption for once.
Let’s get to it folks.
The show began with a montage of the Top 11 girls, spliced from their audition footage. Ben Mulroney came out and said that the summer was “getting a whole lot hotter.” I felt like saying it was already hot enough! Yesterday was probably the hottest day of the year (and not just because Murtz Jaffer was in the house). Toronto is in the midst of a major heat wave and I was definitely not ready for it.
Ben then said that the ladies were “ready to turn up the heat even more…” and then asked the judges for their opening thoughts. Jake said there was definitely a lot of growth from the top 100 stage of the competition and highlighted the fact that the contestants were allowed to sing whatever they wanted at this point of the competition. I think that this is a pretty relevant point to consider.
*Insert tangent* Before the ‘theme’ nights are introduced which can be advantageous to some and a detriment to others (depending on whom the theme favors in a given week), this is the only time (next to the finale of course) that the contestants have free reign and can choose to sing whatever they want. This means that if they are bad, they can’t blame anyone but themselves and this is a very fair way to determine who makes the Top 10. *End tangent*
Anyway, Sass said that at the risk of sounding redundant, the contestants needed to connect emotionally with the song. Farley said that the biggest challenge was to connect with the nation as a whole and that connecting with all the provinces (not just one) is a trait that all the past winners shared. He also said that they were only the gatekeepers up to this point in the competition. Zack urged people to vote for contestants who meant something to them and this earned applause from the crowd.
This actually led to my favorite moment of the young Idol season thus far and it was Ben’s transition when he said that “since Zack got applause, it was definitely time to move on.” I really do not think Ben Mulroney gets enough credit for the job that he does on Canadian Idol, he is consistently awesome and rarely flubs a line. I have noticed that he is also good when he is covering stuff on the red carpet for eTalk. When you compare him to that disastrous girl who hosts On The Lot, he is vastly superior.
Anyway, after introducing the top 11 girls on stage… Ben talked to Tara about her like for something called a ‘Cold Plate’ and asks her to explain. She says it is a dish from Newfoundland that consists of salad, turkey, dressing, tomatoes, lettuce and jell-o, and to keep it cold… two Styrofoam plates taped together. Yuck. Anyway, she’s up first.
Hare Bay, NL
– In her opening video she said that she wanted to bring her country roots into the show and not her country twang.
– Sang “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” by Martina McBride.
– Wearing some super cool boots.
– Looks good on camera and in-person which is good for potential voters.
– Smart choice to go with country song which is her strength.
– Performance is average, but she is a good-looking girl and Newfoundland’s only representative.
– Newfoundland will undoubtedly propel her to the Top 10 and beyond, as they are notoriously the strongest voting province.
Jake: Bit breathy and you’re cutting the notes off.
Farley: Made a lot of sense of you to reaffirm your identity in that genre.
Sass: You really make me want to watch you.
Zack: You are who you are. Opening jitters. Good performance.
We’re back and Ben talks to Martha and Montana who are up next. How great is the delicious irony that they are performing back-to-back. Wasn’t Martha in the group that screwed Montana over in the group stages? Love it. Montana said that her influences are the Sex Pistols and that Pikachu helped her a lot. Martha said that her mom being there all the time is comforting.
– In her opening video, she said that her family means everything to her.
– Sang “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (Regina Velasquez version).
– Brilliant song choice.
– I am very glad she did not decide to do the Aerosmith version.
– She is much better suited to this one.
– Sounds great!
– Crisp and clear tone.
– Looks a little angry while singing, so believability is a problem.
– Hitting huge notes.
– Definitely a contender.
– Will suffer because of her resemblance to Eva Avila.
Farley: One of the best technical singers. Come off a little academic.
Sass: Martha, you are a gifted girl. Mom must be so proud!
Zack: So theatrical and pageantry. I want to see you grow in this thing. You’ll be here for awhile.
Jake: I just don’t feel it. You need to find who you are.
Montana Martin Iles
– In her opening video she said that the picked her because of how unique she is and that she is not emo and not punk.
– Hilarious when you consider her song choice.
– Sang “The Bird and The Worm” by The Used.
– HUGE performance.
– Crowd completely into it.
-Tyler Mullendore headbanging from the TD Comfort Zone (where the guys are sitting).
– Rocked the house.
– Unquestionably and undeniably the best performance of the evening and one of the best performances in Idol history.
– I wasn’t even a big fan of hers until this showstopper.
Sass: Holy crap! Drama, intense, powerful, wicked, fantastic!
Zack: My favorite performance since I ever sat in this seat on this show.
Jake: People will buy your records today.
Farley: You have an understanding of who you are as a human being.
What you didn’t see on TV was Zack hugging Montana during the break.
We return to see Ben talking to the guys for a minute and he asks Brian what he thinks. Brian says that Montana was incredible. I have to concur.
Ben then went over to talk to Maud and ‘Mila’ (the artist formerly known as Kamila). Maud says that the stage gives her confidence. Mila explains the name change and says she didn’t want to be confused with Khalila. A veteran move from a relatively young performer.
– In her opening video she said that she likes to exude passion when she is on stage.
– Sang “I’m Goin’ Down” by Mary J. Blige.
– Crowd likes.
– I am not that into it.
– Will she just be remembered as the girl with the afro?
– I think she is in trouble.
– Nothing special about the performance at all.
– Zack: Just for the record, who told you to take your hair out (referring to the afro)? Really sassy, really vibe-y, you go so much star vibe going on… I am all over it.
– Jake: Really impassioned. Really worked for you.
– Farley: You definitely represented yourself. Great performance!
– Sass: You exude a certain sense of joy. You’re wicked!
– In her opening video, she said that the way she was going to stand out was just that she was going to be herself.
– Sang “Dreams” by The Cranberries.
– I love this song!
– One of my all-time favorites.
– I am a fan of Maud’s.
– I liked her in the audition phase and I like her now.
– Has a huge Chantal Kreviazuk thing going on.
– Next to Montana, one of the best performances of the night in my not-so-humble opinion.
– Jake: I think you have to step out of that. That’s really stylized. Choose songs that let you be you.
– Farley: Song selection is critical. Song has to win people over. That didn’t win me over.
– Sass: Sounded pitchy in the room.
– Zack: Just being you is fantastic. Doing what you did there is horrific.
Before she starts, she tells Ben that her friends went crazy when they learned she had made the top 22. They even made Team Annika t-shirts.
– In her opening video, she says that her defining moment was her solo performance to clinch her spot in the top 22.
– Also says that she is here now and that she is ready.
– Sang “Helplessly, Hopelessly” by Jessica Andrews.
– Definitely a bad song choice.
– Coming from a strong voting area that brought us Billy Klippert, Melissa O’Neil and Kalan Porter so her campaign has legs.
– She’s usually good, but not her best night.
– Ended on a low note (which I didn’t like) and a smile (which I loved).
– Farley: You didn’t take any vocal risk there.
– Sass: Afraid to sing it in the right key. Taking no risk. Good try.
– Zack: Dressed like a bad bridesmaid and pageant hair. This ain’t Ms. Teen Canada Pageant. Forget about trying to win a tiara.
– Jake: Limp and cheesy.
We’re back and Naomi tells Ben that she likes all genres of music.
– In her opening video, she says that it isn’t just a singing competition for her and she wants to learn from the experience for her future career.
– Sang “Judgement Day” by Whitesnake.
– Interesting song choice.
– Didn’t do much for me.
– I didn’t know the song and as a result, it was hard for me to get into.
– I think she can definitely sing, but needs to make smarter choices.
– Sass: You look amazing! Pitchy.
– Zack: The key of huh? (makes loud and annoying sound that is impossible to translate into text).
– Jake: It was really pitchy.
– Farley: You tried something specific. Unfortunately the vocal didn’t really happen for you.
We are back to our first vignette of the season, advertising Pantene. Once you start getting the hair and make-up product placement, you know the season has really started!
Show resumes with Scarlett telling Ben that even though she hasn’t had as much prep time as the other contestants, “you get in where you fit in.”
Christine talks about why she identifies herself as being from Rexdale (even though the area is now part of Toronto). She babbles on about something, but nothing worth noting. The photographer beside me astutely points out that she alienated herself from the rest of Toronto with the comment. I told him that it would only matter if Toronto actually voted and given years past… they don’t support their contestants as much as the other cities do.
– Sang “Possession by Sarah McLachlan
– Seems off-key.
– Song is good, but she definitely isn’t.
– Once again, like so many of the singers tonight… they just aren’t standing out.
– I like Christine, so I am a little disappointed.
– I am hoping she gets another week.
– Zack: That was just so wrong for all the tools you have.
– Jake: You weren’t in the pocket. You need to get in the pocket.
– Farley: I remember you being much more edgy.
– Sass: That song just wasn’t you.
– In her opening video, she said that when she sings it is for real and that it is her blood, sweat and tears.
– Sang “I Learned From The Best” by Whitney Houston.
– Very hard to write about this one.
– There’s very little to say.
– It was completely irrelevant, forgettable and nothing about it stood out to me.
– I think she is a goner.
– Jake: Really uninspiring for me. Don’t sing Whitney Houston.
– Farley: The beginning, middle and end matters.
– Sass: You gotta grab us right away.
– Zack: I could barely hear it.
Show comes back and Ben Mulroney asks Khalila about the daycare place where she works and asks if the kids stay up to watch Idol. She says that she has heard that they do.
– Sang “Family Portrait” by Pink.
– Interesting song choice.
– Performs it well.
– She can sing.
– Nice run in the latter part of the song.
– Good ending.
– Going near the end is an advantage.
– Farley: Nice, composed, cool and calm
– Sass: Lit a fire that went out during the last 3 performances!
– Zack: Living in the moment.
– Jake Believable.
Time for my favorite girl and I had to wait until the last performance of the evening to see her. Carly Rae Jepsen tells Ben that her grandfather had a dream on the day that she was born that she would group up to be a world-famous golfer, so he keeps buying her clubs even though she says she can’t play.
Carly Rae Jepsen
– In her opening video, she talks about vulnerability which the judges keep saying she has.
– Sang “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae.
– Looks HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– Obviously sings it amazingly well.
– Great song choice.
– Like the start of the song with her sitting beside guitar player and then rising up to get the crowd more involved.
– A seasoned professional.
– Sass: You know exactly what you’re doing. I love you!
– Zack: I wouldn’t have stood up and kicked it into Idol mode (referring to the fact that she should have highlighted her vulnerability by remaining seated like she did at the top of the song). You’re top 10!
– Jake: Almost tapped into that vulnerability again. Vocal performance was really strong.
– Farley: It was natural.
Honeynut Cheerio recap time.
Alright… it’s prediction time. 2 guys and 2 girls are going home this week.
For the guys, I think it is going to be Derek and Justyn going home.
For the girls, I say it will be Mila and Scarlett.
Looks like the Romeo & Juliet story of Justyn and Scarlett will end tragically. It would suck if Scarlett goes after just having reentered the competition. The fact that she got a second chance might make her supporters vote even harder and in that scenario, I think Naomi is also in trouble.
As for the end of the show, I got out of seat as quickly as possible. Jenn from The Real World Denver and The Inferno 3 was in the house and I interviewed her earlier in the day. Yes, I know. It’s a tough life being a media icon, traveling from event to event and interviewing girls that redefine hotosity on reality programming.
Anyway, the interview with Jenn went amazingly well. In fact, I am so happy with it… I might even say it is the best interview I have ever conducted (next to my one with Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof). Look for the Jenn interview next week.
I wanted to make sure I said bye to her before I left, and I did.
Another interesting side note? I ran into Laura Vandervoort from Instant Star at the show as well. I interviewed her awhile back and we were at the same party last week. It’s not very often you get to talk to girls like Jenn and Laura on the same day.
So overall, the day was a success.
I will talk to you tomorrow when we find out the results!
Sir Linksalot: Canadian Idol
Tags: Canadian Idol