Season 6 Top 24 Announced

The talent was too good and the stakes too high. On tonight’s Canadian Idol broadcast on CTV, it was revealed that the standard group of 22 semifinalists would expand to 24 this season to accommodate the wealth of talent seen by the judges during this week’s Top 200 episodes. The names of the Top 24 revealed on tonight’s broadcast also indicated another change: the Top 24 semifinals and Top 10 finals will no longer be split along gender lines. Fifteen men and nine women begin competing for Canada’s votes with the first live Top 24 performance episode next Monday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

Top 24 Girls

For the first time ever, the Top 24 will perform in mixed groups over the next three weeks, instead of in groups of guys and girls – meaning that there will be no gender division when it comes to eliminations. The most talented performers will move forward regardless of gender, resulting in the best group of Top 10 performers possible.

Canadian Idol now moves into its most crucial and important stage. In total, 14 competitors will be eliminated in just three short weeks.

“There were just too many good singers,” said Executive Producer John Brunton. ”The judges felt it wouldn’t be fair to viewers to limit ourselves to 22. This is one kick-ass, rocking group of artists.”

“We do it different in Canada,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “We continue to offer fresh twists and surprises for Canadian Idol viewers and this season is no different. The Top 24 format changes are guaranteed to result in one of our most dynamic Top 10 groups ever.”

Top 24 Guys

For those who missed last night and/or tonight’s episodes, and in advance of next week’s live Top 24 episodes, CTV will rebroadcast this week’s Top 200 shows back to back this Saturday, June 21 from 8-10 p.m. ET. As well, watch Top 200 highlights, including never-seen-before backstage footage, on demand on the CTV Video Player at idol.CTV.ca.

The Top 24 were selected after Canadian Idol’s sixth exhaustive, cross-country search in 10 cities and, for the first time, online as well. Among the Top 24 singers chosen from 10,000 auditions is a carpenter, a student, a house painter, a respite care worker, a music teacher, a massage therapist and a backhoe operator – all hoping to realize the same dream as past competitors by making music a full-time career.

It’s one of the oldest semi-finalist groups in years, with 20 of the 24 competitors aged 20 or older. Additionally, 20 of the Top 24 play instruments, with over two-thirds having already played in episodes this season. Representing eight provinces, they come from 19 communities from coast to coast, from Vancouver to Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. The provincial breakdown of the Top 24 is: British Columbia (3), Alberta (5), Manitoba (2), Ontario (8), Quebec (3), Nova Scotia (2) and Newfoundland (1). As well, two Albertan competitors were born in Saskatchewan.

Among the Top 24 is a competitor who auditioned online for Canadian Idol, yet another North American first for the series. As well, for the first time ever in the history of the series, the semifinalist group includes two siblings.

This year’s Top 24 is an even more intense and important stage in the competition, with 14 competitors being sent home in the first three weeks alone. Overwhelmed by the diverse and plentiful talent displayed by this year’s competitors, the judges felt compelled to push limits and allow 24 competitors to move to the next phase of the competition and let Canada decide who should stay and compete for their chance to become the next Canadian Idol. Committed to delivering the most talented group of hopefuls possible to the finals, the judges have selected a dynamic, diverse, and unpredictable bunch of finalists that Canada has ever seen.

When Canadian Idol moves to live shows for the balance of the season on Monday, June 23, 12 competitors will perform for viewer votes in a special 90-minute episode. The second group of competitors will take their turn to sing for votes on Tuesday, June 24 in another 90-minute episode. The results of both nights’ voting will be revealed on Wednesday, June 25 in a half-hour results show (go to idol.CTV.ca for local broadcast times). Performances episodes continue Mondays and Tuesdays with results episodes on Wednesdays until the Top 10 is finally revealed on Wednesday, July 9.

Meet the 2008 Canadian Idol Top 24:

Lindsay Barr, 26, Halifax, Singer, Writer, Art Student

Lisa Bell, 27, Winnipeg, Coffee Shop Manager

Marie-Pierre Bellerose, 25, Quebec City, Bartender

Adam Castelli, 26, Hamilton, ON, Carpenter, Singer/Songwriter

Paul Clifford, 26, Port Moody, BC, Bartender

Jesse Cottam, 23, Calgary, Music Teacher, Musician

Katelyn Dawn, 19, Winnipeg, Singer/Songwriter

Mark Day, 20, Portugal Cove, NL, Student, Respite Care Worker

Shaun Francisco, 25, Vancouver, Coffee Shop Barista

Martin Kerr, 25, Edmonton, Independent Singer/Songwriter

Omar Lunan, 29, Scarborough, ON, Registered Massage Therapist

Mitch MacDonald, 22, Port Hood, NS, Carpenter, Musician

Gary Morissette, 21, Fruitvale, BC, Musician, Construction Worker

Mookie Morris, 18, Toronto, Musician

Tetiana Ostapowych, 25, Toronto, Session Singer/Songwriter/Server

Oliver Pigott, 27, Toronto, Singer/Songwriter

Sebastian Pigott, 25, Toronto, Actor, Writer

Lindsay Robins, 21, Montreal, Singer/Songwriter

Jessica Sheppard, 22, Toronto, Visual Manager

Earl Stevenson, 23, Lloydminster, AB, Swamper for a Backhoe Operator

Katherine St-Laurent, 17, Otterburn Park, QC, Student

Theo Tams, 22, Lethbridge, AB, Student

Amberly Thiessen, 19, Seven Persons, AB, Student

Drew Wright, 28, Collingwood, ON, Musician, House Painter

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  • peter

    so i dont get it, theres a top 24, how is there a top 10, are they going to dived them into 4 groups of 6’s, and then pick the top 2 that has the highest amount of votes, then they enter in the top 10? huh, i dont get it, are they doing it like that way this year, or what? im really confussed can someone explain to me, whats going on this year?

  • amy

    i dont get it either, they are going to have one top 12 perform on monday, and then on tuesday other 12, and then on wednesday results nights, and they will be doing this every week taking out 4 ppl until they find there top 10, how can that be, do they mean top 12, not top 10, cause if 4 will get out every week for 3 weeks theres going to be a top 12, or top 8 if its going for another week, i dont get it either, im very confussed

    this show is very confussing, i like american idol better

  • Tony

    Earl Stevenson was great even though he screwed up a little bit. The little bit we saw of him in the group performances and the part before he messed up the solo song was stellar. I’m a fan and glad he made it.