Murtzcellanious: LIVE Canadian Idol Recap – July 2

Let’s get this party started.

It was a beautiful day in Toronto as the second week of Canadian Idol performances began taping at the Trinity Studios. The guys would perform again on Monday and as I arrived to the venue, I noticed that there were significantly more people in line than usual. I found this to be very interesting. As I have said before, the first few Idol shows take place on a much smaller stage before the Top 10 is revealed and the production moves to the John Bassett theatre. As a result, I had an insatiable curiosity to find out why so many more people were there this evening and how everyone would be accommodated considering the limited number of seats.

One trait that is common in reporters is this insatiable curiosity or desire to know everything (you could even call it being nosy). I feel like if I wanted to know, most people also would want to know. I asked one of the audience coordinators why there was such an inordinate amount of people outside and I was told that because of the Canada Day long weekend, more people wanted to be in the house. I asked if more seats were added and I was told that there were. When I entered the studio, everything looked normal and as the crowd started to file in, the difference became more noticeable. With the extra amount of people, this show certainly felt like it was one of the Top 10 shows, instead of just the first half of the Top 18 episode.

With everything moving quickly and the place filling up fast, it seems Idol has found its stride and once again solidified its position as Canada’s top reality program. Just as I type that, I also want to point out that the show actually would beat a lot of the American voyeuristic programming that is out there.

Anyway, tonight my pre-taping predictions were that Andrew, Clifton, Brian and Matt were in trouble. I felt like Clifton was a definite goner and while Brian is outstanding, we cannot forget the fact that Ontario is notoriously bad in Idol voting.

As I scanned the songlist for the evening, I remembered that tonight was the first time in Canadian Idol history that contestants were given the chance to play instruments while they sang. I think it’s a revolutionary idea and reason #23,421 why the Canadian version of the show is so much better than its American counterpart.

I also thought that it was interesting that Dwight D’Eon had chosen not to play with his guitar after saying that he felt naked without it earlier in the competition. Perhaps he heeded the advice that he received from the judges and felt like it would be a crutch (although I have no doubt that he will eventually bust it out at some point). Another interesting point to note from the songlist was the fact that Tyler Mullendore had drawn the main event spot and would be performing last. With Liam Styles Chang opening and Mullendore wrapping everything up, I knew that we would have a hot beginning and end. I just hoped the middle performers would be able to keep up.

The show began and host Ben Mulroney said that the fireworks from last night (Canada Day) would continue on stage. He also explained that the contestants were given the option to use instruments if they desired.

After the guys came out and the girls were introduced in the TD Comfort Zone, it was time for the judges to be introduced. Zack said the contestants better do something different. Farley said something about confidence and risk all being part of a good performance. Sass said that everybody has off-nights and to ‘pout it on thick.’ Jake was the most poignant as he mused that every night was a finale for somebody.

Let’s get to the performances.

Liam Styles Chang
Age: 17
Victoria, BC
– Sang “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman
– No opening videos tonight.
– Not rocking out on the performance like he did last week.
– Singing well, but I am concerned about his lack of stage presence.
– Kicks it into high gear for a second when he starts singing to a girl in the front row, but didn’t do it enough.
– A great vocal performance, but definitely not as good as last week’s.
Jake: You have ability to sing low and sing low very well. Like velvet.
Farley: You did your thing.
Sass: Hit the high stuff and the low stuff. Loved it!
Zack: Don’t know if you would release an album that I would buy, but I am wrong all the time. You’re a rock star and you belong here.


Andrew Austin
Age: 27
Sarnia, ON
– Sang “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 With Guitar
– Farley into it immediately as he starts bobbing his head right at the beginning of the song.
– Sass also starts bobbing her head.
– He is much better than last week.
– Interesting that his partner during the audition stage of the show (Greg Neufeld sang Maroon 5 last week).
– Maybe Andrew thinks he can emulate Neufeld’s success?
– Despite a solid performance, I still think Andrew is in major trouble this week and probably in the bottom.
Farley: Well done! Perfect song for you.
Sass: Really enjoyable. Love you with the guitar!.
Zack: Looks like you are competing with Ben (Mulroney) in the Eddie Munster lookalike contest. It was light and fluffy around the edges. Pretty good.
Jake: First contestant to play instrument on stage! This will go down in history! Looked like you really felt the band. Seemed very real to me.

Dwight D’Eon
Age: 28
West Pubnico, NS
– Sang “Used To Be Alright” by I Mother Earth
– I don’t like song.
– He is still an amazing performer.
– Captivating to watch.
– Weird ending to the song.
– I expect judges to rip his song selection.
Sass: What you lack in technique, you make up in performance.
Zack: First balls-to-the-walls Canadian rocker we have ever had.
Jake: I would have chosen a different song if you are trying to get votes.
Farley: Song could have been a little bit more widely appreciated but you are a great performer unto yourself..


Clifton Murray
Age: 27
Port McNeill, BC
– Sang “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison
– He’s done like dinner.
– Horrible song choice.
– I actually like to stay awake during performances and he was putting me to sleep.
– Singing is bad and performance was weak.
– His good looks won’t save him this week.
Zack: Me no likey. I didn’t get it man.
Jake: You were using some of your acting chops.
Farley: Gotta have the grit that the song commands.
Sass: Felt like you were a little bit uncomfortable with the song.

Greg Neufeld
Age: 23
Vancouver, BC
– Sang “Geek In The Pink” by Jason Mraz With Guitar
– Immediately reminded me of Chris Richardson on American Idol
– I preferred the upbeat and contemporary Richardson version.
– I think using the guitar was hurting him.
– Why does he always have to move his feet like that when he is singing?
– Blech.
– Song finished very suddenly.
Jake: A lot of words. Explosive!
Farley: You stay in the pocket just like lint.
Sass: Hard to believe you’re not playing somewhere every night because you’re that good.
Zack: You’re every bit as good as anybody on this show.

Brian Melo
Age: 24
Hamilton, ON
– Sang “Angels” by Robbie Williams
– Sass and Farley into the performance as soon as it starts, bobbing their heads almost immediately.
– Very strong.
– Good ballad choice.
– Rocking it out!
– Sass going crazy at the judges desk… resembles Paula Abdul.
– Best performance of the night?
– Great song choice.
– Awesome tone and pitch.
Farley: You and Greg back-to-back, that’s not fair for the judges! Your face is beaming and it has a reason to. Fantastic performance!
Sass: You killed it! Awesome!
Zack: I thought you were pitchy in your lower register.
Jake: Spectacular as far as I am concerned.


Jaydee Bixby
Age: 16
Drumheller, AB
– Sang “I Got A Woman” by Ray Charles With Guitar
– Kid is a crowd favorite.
– Eclectic showman.
– Audience was way into it as some started dancing to the upbeat.
– Great arrangement.
– Amazing end.
– Bixby knows exactly what he is doing.
– Second-best after Melo.
Sass: Does the word charisma mean anything to you? Like watching a young Elvis without the hips.
Zack: Stiff, cheeseorama around the edges, but if anyone from Nashville is watching, this kid is a slam-dunk for a career.
Jake: Felt like it was going to be a little bit more explosive.
Farley: Composite of who you are. Vulnerable. Who you are is great.


Matt Rapley
Age: 18
Regina, SK
– Sang “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.
– Challenging song.
– It’s a very Idol song.
– Rapley does a pretty good job.
– He is still in danger.
Zack: I hate that song. I have faith in your future. You made me shiver and I thank you for singing that song.
Jake: Watch the vibrato.
Farley: Vibrato compliments the style of singer that you are. Add showmanship.
Sass: You blew me away. I had chills too.


Tyler Mullendore
Age: 19
Lake Ainslie, NS
– Sang “Have A Little Faith In Me” by John Haitt.
– Sounds slightly nasal-y off the top.
– Breaks it down in second verse and sounds better.
– Amazing performance.
– Shows that Mullendore is multi-dimensional and can croon out a ballad when he wants to.
– Amazing performance.
– I am not sure if it means anything, but he is the one you are waiting to see each night.
– Girls immediately stand when he is finished.
– I liked the stripped-down song.
Jake: I would definitely buy the records that you made.
Farley: So natural on the stage. Love watching you do what you do.
Sass: I’d buy a ticket to see you.
Zack: Unlike the last one, that was absolutely one of my favorite songs but you lost focus toward the end. This is going to be tough to see who belongs in the Top 10 .

End show.

My thoughts? I thought that Brian and Jaydee were the best. I think Clifton is gone and that Andrew and Matt are also in trouble.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Murtz out.