The king has returned.
I think that many of you know that I have been in Los Angeles for the last few months, working on my new television show, Reality Obsessed. While there were many things that I missed about being in Toronto, Canadian Idol was at the top of the list.
Here’s the thing. Over the last five years and seasons of Idol, I have only missed three live tapings.
Yes, I am being serious. That’s hundreds upon hundreds of shows. It’s funny because while my moniker for years has been the ‘world’s foremost reality television expert,’ if it were ever to be replaced it would almost certainly be with ‘king of Canadian Idol.’
Anyway, back to the point. I made my illustrious return yesterday, and I was shocked to see that my throne had completely changed.
In addition to a completely new stage set-up at the John Bassett Ttheatre, I was also shocked to see 7 guys in the top 9. While I was in LA, I had heard rumors that Idol had drastically changed since I had last seen the show, but nothing could have prepared me for how different things actually were.
Let me preface this article by saying that until last night’s Top 9 performance show, I hadn’t seen a single episode of Canadian Idol this season. Shocking right? The thing about it is that while I initially had concerns about not familiarizing myself with the talent before the fact, this actually worked out in my favor on Monday night because it allowed me to have a fresh look at this year’s new crop of contestants (that being said, I still plan on watching all the episodes I missed this weekend In an Idol marathon)!
The theme on Monday night was “Rock ‘N Roll Heaven” and the Idols chose songs from music legends who had passed on. It was a little macabre, but at the same time… resulted in some great music.
On Monday, I think that the contestants that stood out to me were Theo Tams, Drew Wright, Mookie Morris and Mark Day. I also was a big fan of Katherine St-Laurent.
I think that Theo Tams’ version of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” was great. I also like the fact that he is from Alberta which is notoriously strong for voting well (Kalan Porter, Melissa O’Neil, and Jaydee Bixby). I think he is a lock to go deep.
Drew Wright chose a phenomenal song with “No Rain” by Blind Melon. He also had a different look than the other contestants and I think being older definitely contributed to the maturity he showed on stage.
There was definitely a lot of anticipation for Mookie Morris’ performance. When I was standing outside the theatre (before the show began), I saw a huge group of his fans yelling and screaming. I think that while Morris definitely will benefit from having the home-field advantage being from Toronto, he will be hurt by the city’s reputation for not voting well. That being said, Brian Melo was last year’s winner and he is from Kingston so perhaps things will change. What I can say is that Morris’ take on the James Brown classic “I Got You (I Feel Good)” was the highlight of the show for me. Morris took his performance to another level by venturing out into the crowd and for a rock and roll theme, I was surprised that more contestants didn’t do this.
Mark Day closed out the show and I enjoyed his version of “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross as well. The song obviously meant a lot to Day as he teared up immediately upon its completion, and told host Ben Mulroney a story about his dad losing a leg which made a lot of people cry in the audience. I thought that Day delivered a solid performance which not only showed his serious side but also highlighted his voice. Day also has a unique look which will serve him well in the competition. Let’s also not forget the fact that he is from Newfoundland which always votes well.
I loved Katherine St-Laurent’s look and song and I thought that the judges were too tough on demanding that she sing the song with a meaner attitude (considering her vocal was spectacular).
The crowd really seemed to like Earl Stevenson’s “Light My Fire” and while I thought his stage ability was great, I definitely was left with questions about his singing ability. I think he will be safe though, so I am very interested in seeing his performance next week.
My predictions? Glad you asked. I think the people at risk are Katherine, Sebastian and Mookie (because of location). I think Sebastian will be going home.
I think that one of the girls is a lock to make it to the final two and after only seeing one episode, my best guess at this point would be Amberly Thiessen. When you put two girls up against 7 guys… it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that the female vote will mobilize and that’s what I anticipate.
I do want to say that Monday night was one of the best Idol experiences that I have had in the last five seasons. I loved the new set and I think it even looked better than its American counterpart. I thought that everything was organized incredibly well. It was quite honestly, the best way for me to return home that I could have ever.
I am back.
Tags: Canadian Idol