Murtzcellanious: LIVE Canadian Idol Recap – July 9

We are almost there!

Monday’s Canadian Idol performance show featured the top seven guys remaining in the competition. After this week, the seven guys will be cut to five and the show will be narrowed down to the Top 10 who will then take the stage at the John Bassett theatre in downtown Toronto.

For now, however, it was back to the Trinity Studios as the guys got their last chance to impress Canada before the next elimination.

There was obviously a lot riding on tonight’s episode and this was evident by the electric atmosphere in the studio. As I was led inside, I walked in with one of the contestant’s mother’s who commented that she read my post-performance analysis every week and that I was “tough on the contestants.” I explained that in the best Canadian Idol recap around, I strive to provide a sense of what the cameras didn’t catch and what the contestants sounded like live and in-person, whether they are great or not-so-great. That’s what you expect and that’s what Murtz delivers. There is no question that this is the best Canadian Idol cast of all-time and as a result, judging singers of this caliber will be even harder as they move further into the competition.

Anyway, back to Monday’s show. One thing that I noted almost immediately was the fact that there were a TON of Brian Melo supporters in the audience. This included his band, his family members, and a bunch of randoms. No one can deny the fact that Melo needs all the votes that he can muster up this week as I felt like he was the most in danger (next to Matt Rapley). With so many supporters in the crowd, I just hoped that they all made it back home in time to vote.

In terms of my predictions for the week, as I explained above, with heavy hitters like Tyler, Liam and Jaydee still around, I really didn’t think that Brian and Matt had any hope of breaking the top-contender bottleneck. In Brian’s case, I really hope that I am wrong. The better question is who will round out the bottom four for the guys. While I believe that host Ben Mulroney will only call out the bottom three and then eliminate two from there, I think that Dwight and Greg will be close to the plank but certainly will not be the ones who are walking off of it.

Before the show began, Sue Brophy (Idol producer) made her return to the show to lead the audience warm-up. Those of you familiar with my past Idol reports know where I stand on that front, and Brophy started things off by introducing the band, the judges and host Ben Mulroney. The top 7 girls took a bow and then took their places in the TD Comfort Zone area as the show began.

Ben Mulroney started things off by saying that “this is it” and explaining that this was the final week of performances before the Top 10 was determined.

He then asked the judges for their thoughts.

Jake said that the reality is that this is it. “The beginning of the Top 10.” Sass told the contestants that people needed to be able to relate to them. Farley compared the situation to the playoffs and that there was no time for them to have any reservations. Zack wanted to just get on with the singing and passed on “the whole mundane question thing.”

The guys were then introduced and there was (obviously) a big pop for Brian Melo.

Matt Rapley was first-up and he told Ben about the faith that his singing teacher had in him by driving him all the way from Regina to Saskatoon for the auditions before sitting in front of the piano to start things off.

Matt Rapley
Age: 18
Regina, SK
– Sang “I’ll Be There” by Jackson 5 With Piano.
– In his opening video he talked about being more of a performer.
– Playing the piano and singing well, but not performing at all.
– Did he already forget that he said he wanted to be more of a performer in his opening video?
– Jake seems to like as he keeps bobbing his head to the beat during the song.
– I think Rapley is finished.
– I am bored out of my mind.
– He’s a great singer but does not have the ability to capture, let alone retain the audience’s attention.
– Not the best performer… what’s new?
– Matt is a perfect example of why the show is about more than just singing.
– You can be the greatest singer in the world and record a great album, but unless you can make the audience believe in you on-stage, you won’t sell any tickets… or get any votes.
– He’s done like dinner.
Jake: Vocally really strong, at times you sang too close to the mic. Really good.
Farley: Up the excitement.
Sass: Quiet confidence that you have that I find so appealing.
Zack: I do not believe in the last three weeks you have demonstrated enough maturity. I don’t see you in the Top 10. I just don’t see you at that level yet.


Before his performance, Greg tells Ben that his family has been very supportive and has been flying in to see him.

Greg Neufeld
Age: 23
Vancouver, BC
– Sang “Daughters” by John Mayer With Guitar
– In his opening video, he said that song choice was very important and that he wanted to share an intimate moment with Canada with this week’s selection. He said that hopefully Canada could see that there was a spot for him in the Top 10.
– Alright performance.
– Smart choice to get in the Top 10.
– Girls will go crazy for him and vote in droves.
– Greg chose to sing a stripped-down version of the song and elected not to use the band.
– I kind of missed the band during the performance, which is an interesting development considering the band has never played alongside the contestants before the Top 10 until this season.
– Shows how integral the band has become.
– Neufeld is performing wel, but the song is too slow, tender and boring for me.
– I am pretty sure that more girls watch Idol than guys do, so if he is playing for votes… he is doing a good job.
– Singing well, but if it is a choice between him and Brian Melo, I’d vote for Melo to stay.
Farley: You never cease to amaze me! Hearts and minds have to be captivated out there.
Sass: You have charisma in your eyes.
Zack: You may be a little too perfect. Might be too perfect for the public.
Zack: I think you can never be too perfect. I feel like I am at the Greg Neufeld show. Ladies, that’s your competition right there!.


After the break, host Ben Mulroney talked to Tyler and Liam before they took the stage. Liam got in a plug for his band, Two Asians & A White Guy. Tyler joked that he was working on a new album called “Better Than Ben.” Heh.

Tyler Mullendore
Age: 19
Lake Ainslie, NS
– Sang “Rock N Me” by Steve Miller Band With Guitar.
– In his opening video, he said that knowing what songs will and won’t work for you is key.
– The guy is AWESOME from the first note.
– He has an ability to immediately capture the crowd’s attention, including his fellow competitors (as the girls started clapping along instantly).
– Compare this to Matt Rapley.
– I highly doubt anything can beat Mullendore’s dominance this evening.
– While he may not be the best singer, he is the best performer by far (just like his female counterpart Carly Rae Jepsen).
– Loved it!
Sass: Singing was not the best you have ever done, but I really enjoyed that.
Zack: Somebody should sniff the cup (referencing Sass’s beverage). Just like the Macho Man Randy Savage said…. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Yeah!!! (Murtz note: LOVE the wrestling reference as I am sure all you Inside Pulsers do as well).
Jake: Just continue to do what you’re doing. Thank you very much.
Farley: I am cool with what you do and it transmits the way it should.

Liam Styles Chang
Age: 17
Victoria, BC
– Sang “Over My Head” by The Fray
– In his opening video he said that he was going to sing like it was his last night on Earth.
– Decent.
– He is consistently good.
– The thing is that I have seen him better and when I see somebody as good as Liam is, you kind of want to see him achieve the highest possible standard that you know he is capable of.
– Tone is good, but should definitely be rocking out more.
– He will deservedly be in the Top 10.
Zack: You’re so consistently bang-on. You got a long way to go on this show .
Jake: I need to see more explosiveness from you in performances.
Farley: Exquisite song selection. You’re here for the long haul.
Sass: You’re genuine.


Before he sang, Dwight told Ben that he brought the guitar back because this is what he did best.

Dwight D’Eon
Age: 28
West Pubnico, NS
– Sang “Bright Lights” by Matchbox 20 With Guitar
– In his opening video, Dwight continued to explain his decision to bring his guitar back after Zack told him that it was a crutch.
– He said that he wanted to go back to being the real version of himself.
– Average performance.
– For the second week in a row, I am not a big fan of his song selection.
– Broke it down in the second half of the song and turned it into a reasonable performance.
– He really needs to pick songs that people can sing along to.
– It’s frustrating because you know that he is good, but he continues to make bad song choices.
– I am not abandoning him as my final two pick, but he needs to step up his game.
– He will be in danger this week, but hopefully he will be able to survive.
Jake: That was a rockstar moment man.
Farley: Most improved player. I thought that was fantastic.
Sass: You have the vibe but not the voice for me.
Zack: That was a real performance. If you’re going to go down in flames, go down doing your thing.


After the break, Mulroney asked Jaydee about some of his musical influences that were still alive. Jaydee said Johnny Cash before realizing that the singer had passed away, and said that he admired George Jones.

Jaydee Bixby
Age: 16
Drumheller, AB
– Sang “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” by John Michael Montgomery
– In his opening video, he said that cowboys hoot and hollered when they were riding and that’s what he does when he sings… he rides the song.
– A contender for the best of the night.
– Another exhilarating performance from the youngest male performer left in the competition.
– This was the first performance where I got a winner vibe and Bixby worked the room so well, that this might have been our first glimpse of this season’s ultimate victor.
– He performs like a seasoned veteran, weaving spot-on notes with undeniable charisma and charm.
– Perfect tone.
– Phenomenal performance.
– Ties with Tyler as the best of the night.
Farley: Going once, going twice… gone to the Top 10.
Sass: You just turned me into Ellie May (Bixby continued the Hillbillies reference by saying he was Jethro).
Zack: (Passed to Jake because he was unfamiliar with the style of music).
Jake: Worked the room.
(At this point Farley yelled out and asked if Bixby knew where Cashville was and said that it was next to Nashville. He said that is where Bixby is headed).


Before his performance, Brian told the host that the support he has received “has been pretty crazy.”

Brian Melo
Age: 24
Hamilton, ON
– Sang “Drive” by Incubus
– In his opening video, Melo said that being in the bottom 4 last week “was the kick in the pants” that he really needed.
– It seemed like Farley and Jake were into the song as soon as it began as they started bobbing to the beat.
– Perfect tone and pitch.
– Clear that Melo knows he is singing for his life.
– Great performance.
– It really sucks that Ontario doesn’t vote, because if he was from anywhere else… I think that Brian would be challenging the top dogs in the competition.
– Instead, the odds are that he is done.
Sass: I love your vibe. I know you’re nervous but you have this calmness about you that trumps the nerves.
Zack: I was kind of surprised that you decided to funk that up a bit from the original version. All through this thing, I expected you to do this ‘I am from the Hammer/Rocker guy’ thing but as it turns out, that doesn’t apparently seem to be who you are. I didn’t love that but at least I am getting a handle on that’s how you want to be represented, so we’ll see how people are gonna vote
Jake: Well Brian, I thought that at times it was a bit screechy, but overall I thought the performance was really strong. I think you’re starting to pick the right songs for your kind of voice and it was good that you did that song Hopefully you’ll be around next week. I hope you are.
Farley: I never quite saw you as ‘Mr. Rock Man.’ Your vibe, your look, I saw a little more in the middle for you. It wasn’t the greatest performance, but your comfort is really cool. I like your vibe. Hopefully your town will get behind you buddy.


End show.

An interesting show to say the least. My predictions remain the same. Matt and Brian are gone with Dwight and Greg rounding the bottom 3 or bottom 4.

I am really digging this season.

I’ll be back tomorrow for the Carly Rae show.