Canadian Idol

198 golden ticket winners have arrived in Toronto for the most intense week of Idol competition. Tonight will see some of the best ever performances on the Canadian Idol stage as hopefuls put it all on the line for the greatest musical prize in the country.

Tonight, many dreams will be made but many more will be denied. The fight for the Top 22 begins now.

They’ve come from all across the country for the opportunity of a lifetime and are congregating at the historic Fairmont Royal York.

The judges give the contestants a pep talk before the stage is handed over to them where they will each get one chance to impress the judges and try and secure a spot in the next round.

First up was Dwight D’eon and with Farley away for the morning, he only had three judges to impress. Dwight impresses with the Goo Goo Doll’s Iris. Last years top 100 contestant Paul Fracassi has a spirited performance. Geoffrey Stone tinkers away on the piano and adds real talent to the stage.

In the next group is Dan Legrand whose buddy has abandoned the trip to Toronto. Dan rocks it up with some metal and Sass asks if they can keep him for one more day. Tyler Mullendore is such a pro and looks like such a rocker. He gets the other contestants all rocking and clapping along. Joel Martin performs an old school classic with an acoustic twist. Baby’s Got Back!

Keir Harper offers up a rocky version of Leyla. Devin Herbert plays along to some Mika while Jesse Friend and Doreen do themselves no favours with their song choices. Gary Patey, Josh Barrett and Joshua Grant all try big notes and squeeze out something else.

The judges have to eliminate close to 80 competitors on the first day. Whole lines are being cut which hits home with the contestants that the competition really is on.

Christine Hanlon is singing some Queen with some beautiful tones. Morgan Donaldson will be this years token emo and felt as though his nerves really let him down which prevented him from making the top 100. Morgan gets put through to day two without having to stand in a line.

Naomi-Joy Blackhall, Tara Oram and Montana Martin Iles all put their stamp on spots in tomorrows round as does Maud Coussa-Jandl. Brian Melo shows how well it can work when you choose the right song. Todd Scott is one of six from Newfoundland. Paul Clifford moved everyone in the room with his performance.

Jaydee Bixby is fantastic for 16 and once again lets all the other contestants know that there is some serious competition in Canadian Idol in 2007.

128 have made it past the first cut of the competition.

1:15am and roving reporter Dave Kerr is back at the hotel as the contestants arrive back from the theatre and says they have 8 hours to rehearse for tomorrow, and that includes sleep. The remaining competitors have their next challenge – the group performances. Everyone has to find their own groups. Girls with Girls. Guys with Guys. And put together a performance that will blow away the judges.

After a long night, some groups are ready, some are not, and some are in trouble. Montana doesn’t have a group and metaller Dan Legrand has left the building.

After one night of rehearsals, the groups are on stage. First up is Cindy Whiteman, Krystle Pederson, Amanda De Freitas and Venus Bertrand look like a girl group.

Jason Remington Ford’s group isn’t very good or well rehearsed.

Sabrina Korva, Brenna Daley and Pamela Sabara’s group sing Kiss Me and it’s really not very good at all.

Jessica Charland and Jessyka Lapierre’s(who has the english lyrics written on her hand) group have had some language barriers. Jessyka is clearly upset by the challenges of performing in her second language.

Morgan, Liam and Cole are up next but Zack gets upset and jumps up on stage to show them how to perform. He’s pushing them around out of frustration at not seeing performances that are actually performances.

It’s time for the pep talk. Lets see if anyone has taken any notice.

Adam Karch, Dani Star, Ryan Langlois and Duane Lauzon, Aaron Reed, Mark Wolf, Jaydee Bixby, Paul MacIntosh, Greg Sykes are “taking it easy” but it was pretty hard on the ear. Zack says that they should pray that the never have to do that again.

Paul Filek, Greg Neufeld and Andrew finally put some reasonable harmonies together and an all round good performance much to Sass’s delight.

Khalila G and Jessica Sheppard’s group are great but the tones are all very low.

Katrina Melody and Kat Harper’s group was terrible.

Montana performs Kiss Me by herself because of her group troubles but will that be ok with the judges?

Last year, for the first time ever, our Idol came from the province of Québec and now we’re back in Montréal where thousands of hopefuls are trying to make it two in a row.

Poor Ben Mulroney gets roped into the judging room when Maxime Tremblay, 17 from Saguenay, QC arrives and speaks more French than he does English and so needs a translator. It’s not that great with all the arms waving everywhere and the judges ask Ben’s opinion to which he replies he was only there to translate. Afterwards, Ben tells them never to invite him into the judgeing room again.

After one contestant gets a solid no for having no real charisma despite having reasonable tone, in walks Kira Lina, 25 from Montréal, QC. She is told why the last girl didn’t get through and then proceeds to repeat the same mistakes. They say no and she’s just walking out the door when they tell her she should have powered up. She sings again and convinces them to change their minds. Off to Toronto she goes.

There have been plenty of guitars during the Canadian Idol auditions but this is the first time that anyone has bought in a pair of spoons. Benoît Cliché, 24 from Québec, QC can’t sing to save himself but he’s a real pro with the spoons.

Ben Griffin, 28 from Montréal, QC is a teacher, has a beautiful voice and is a real performer. He gets a golden ticket for sure.

Sass Jordan has sold over 1 million albums and continues to rock and says that performing today is no different from what it used to be. After managing acts like Maesto, Farley Flex established Canada’s first urban radio station Flow. Zack Werner’s band Thick as Thieves was a mainstay in Los Angeles until he realised that his talent didn’t lie in making the music himself but understanding how others were making the music and how he could help them. Jake Gold is one of the best managers in the industry and has turn many local bands into national icons.

Arthur Kalimidis, 22 from Montréal, QC plays his own original song which actually really nice. The judges like him but his screaming friend doesn’t get a look in.

We haven’t seen many French speakers make it through on Canadian Idol but Jessyka Lapierre, 18 from St Lambert, QC is one. She struggles with her english but her French sounds as gorgeous as she looks so it’s Golden Ticket Time for her.

22 hopefuls made it through to the next round in Toronto from Montréal.

Vancouver is the next stop on the audition tour.

Liam Styles Chang, 16 from Victoria, BC would have got a no from me and Zack but the other three make him Vancouver’s first golden ticket.

Carly Rae Jepsen, 21 from Misssion, BC tells the judges before she sings that just because she is playing a guitar, that doesn’t make her a guitar player. She’s great but her guitar is out of tune. Zack hopes that she doesn’t get through so she can come and work with him instead. They all love her.

Back auditioning again is Greg Neufeld, 23 Abbotsford, BC. This time he has a guitar. They give him a yes but they tell that it’s likely to work against him so he’s going to have to really prove himself to the Canadian public.

19 dreams are still alive from everyone that auditioned in Vancouver.

The Paris of the Prairies is next on the tour to find the next Canadian Idol.

Apprentice gasfitter Ryan Langlois, 28 from Pierceland, SK is firstly a dad but he really wants a shot at music via Canadian Idol. He doesn’t have the strongest voice but he sold the story of the song so he’s getting a golden ticket to Toronto.

Joshua Grant, 20 from Saskatoon, SK is next and is another well established performer. Zack says that if Kalan Porter was in the room he’d smoke him left right and centre. The rest of the judges give him his golden ticket though.

15 tickets of gold to Toronto are handed out in Saskatoon before the tour heads off to the next stop of London.

Sam Romijm, 16 from Goderich, ON has a 4 foot sidekick who dances a merry jig as he saws away on his violin. When he gets to singing, he’s actually quite nice to listen to. He completely looks out of place but they love his tone. Definitely needs some styling. They all love him so he’s off to Toronto.

Stepping into the room is 16 year old Martha Joy from Toronto, ON. She looks good and sounds a lot older than she actually is. She blows the judges away with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing. They love her and think she might be the best 16 year old they’ve ever had on the show and Zack goes as far as thinking she might very well be the next Canadian Idol.

Jessica Sheppard, 21 from Bowmanville, ON is the last contestant to audition we’ll get to see this season and they’ve saved the best till last. They absolutely love her and Jake says it’s the first time he’s had chills this season while Sass says she might very well be the best singer they’ve ever had on the show. Outside her mother is over the moon.

In total, the judges have made 198 Canadian Idol dreams a little closer to reality. Next week is going to gut-wrenching at the judges cut the numbers down to our Top 22.

Broadcast Schedule Revealed as Canadian Idol Gets Set to Rock the Nation, Starting June 5 on CTV

– Canada’s most-watched Summer series returns –
– New rules allowing instruments produces new crop of talent for Top 200 –

Toronto, ON (May 29, 2007) –Thirty-three CDs. Seven No. 1 singles. Almost one million units sold. Sixteen JUNO nominations. Over the past four years, Canadian Idol has not only changed the lives of hundreds of singers across the country, but the Canadian music industry as well. Now, the dream-making series returns for a fifth blockbuster season next Tuesday, June 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times) with a 90-minute audition episode featuring the best and worst of this year’s cross-Canada audition tour. Thirty-one episodes later, another life will be changed when the next Canadian Idol is crowned.

In 2003, Canadian Idol made Canadian television history by becoming the most-watched, home-grown (English language) series of all time. Four seasons later, Canadian Idol continues to hold that title as well as Summer’s No. 1 show overall. Last September’s finale peaked at 3.4 million viewers when Eva Avila was crowned the 2006 Canadian Idol champion.

Now, Canadian Idol returns with a format change that has dramatically changed the game: instruments. The North American-first resulted in a whole new crop of talent which, for the first time, saw more guys than girls land the coveted “Gold Ticket” to the Top 200 round.

“Canadian Idol is one of those rare shows that actually makes a difference,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the Media Group. “Not only to the competitors whose lives are changed by the experience, but to viewers at home as well.”

“This is one of the best cross-country auditions we’ve ever had,” said Executive Producer John Brunton. “Allowing competitors to audition with instruments has attracted a level of talent that we haven’t seen before. Get ready for one of the best seasons ever.”

The season begins with a 90-minute episode on June 5 (8:30 – 10 p.m. ET) with highlights from auditions in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg, St. John’s and Halifax. The broadcast schedule then unfolds as follows (all times ET; times and dates subject to change; go to idol.ctv.ca to confirm local broadcast times):

Continuing Tuesday, June 12 with a 90-minute episode from 8:30 – 10 p.m. featuring auditions from Saskatoon, Montreal, Vancouver and London.
Top 200 episodes air Monday, June 18 from 9-10 p.m. and Tuesday, June 19 from 8:30 – 10 p.m.
Top 22 performance episodes air Mondays/Tuesdays from 9 – 10 p.m. beginning June 25
Top 22 results episodes air Wednesdays from 7:30 – 8 p.m. beginning June 27
First Top 10 shows airs Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18
Top 10 shows move to their regular timeslot on Mondays/Tuesdays beginning July 23
Looking for their own shot at Idol success, nearly 10,000 hopefuls lined up in shopping mall corridors after the 2007 audition tour kicked off in Vancouver in January. Representing hometowns from B.C. to Newfoundland, this year’s Canadian Idol Top 22 were culled from 198 competitors who gathered in Toronto during an intense, four-day showdown in May.

Last season’s success will be hard to beat: more than 36 million votes were cast over the course of the season – more than one vote for each man, woman and child in the country, adding to an overall total over four seasons of more than 200 million votes. Additionally, Canadian Idol was viewed in some part by over 14 million Canadians – more than half of Canada’s English-language population.

The series also continues to be a major career opportunity for undiscovered singers looking to get a break in a challenging industry. More than 30 former Canadian Idol Top 10 finalists have recorded and released albums, resulting in sales of nearly 1 million units.

Last year’s champion, Eva Avila, followed up her Platinum-selling first single with a well-received CD that went Gold in Canada. In the midst of a cross-country tour in support of the CD, Avila signed with Ford Models and became the first ever Canadian face for Maybelline New York. Next up for Avila is the creation of a new album that will feature material in English and French.

Meanwhile, other former Idols continue to keep busy. Largely responsible for the writing and music, Season 2 winner Kalan Porter has been hard at work on his sophomore CD expected to be released August 23. Fellow Season 2 competitor Jacob Hoggard and his band Hedley were nominated for three MMVAs last week, following two MMVA nominations last year (and three 2007 JUNO Award nominations). Earlier this year, the first Canadian Idol Ryan Malcolm released his second CD “Urgency” along with his new band, Low Level Flight, which is continually being added to playlists at radio stations across the country. More updates on past competitors are available on the “Where Are They Now” section at idol.ctv.ca.

The Canadian Idol website, idol.ctv.ca, is the on-line portal for the series and the source for everything Idol. Offering more features than ever for Season 5, the site features exclusive video, interviews, competitor blogs and photography. Visitors can experience full-length interviews with the judges; custom behind-the-scenes footage; telecast out-takes; past competitor updates; message boards; merchandise; games; and much more.

Music industry experts Farley Flex, Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner are back with as many opinions as ever, to offer criticism, compliments and most of all, guidance as Canadian Idol’s four-member judging panel. Host Ben Mulroney also returns, offering a healthy dose of charm and light-heartedness to the show. New to the cast for 2007 is roving reporter Dave Kerr.

Canadian Idol judge Farley Fledge has come out swinging at American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and saying there will be no Sanjaya in this years season of Canadian Idol.

Farley says that there’s no chance he and fellow Canuck judges Sass Jordan, Zack Werner and Jake Gold could have a similar lapse in judgement.

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Last year we made another dream come true. Canada voted and the next Canadian Idol was Eva Avila. Eva exploded onto the scene with a gold album, two hit singles and a best new artist Juno nomination which solidified her Idol status alongside stars like season one winner Ryan Malcolm who is breaking new ground with his band Low Level Flight. Kalan Porter went straight into Canadian music history with the biggest selling debut single of all time with Awake in a Dream. Melissa O’Neil’s debut album earned her a Best New Artist Juno nomination.

It’s not just the winners that are making it big either. Billy Klippert recently won indie music’s Pop Artist of the Year. Rex Goudie sold over 100,000 copies of his debut album Under the Lights. Theresa Sokyrka’s intense fanbase helped her Juno nominated album These Old Charms go gold. Jacob Hoggard’s band Hedley have had international success with their self titled double platinum album.

With 30 CDs released and over one million albums sold, each and every one of our Canadian Idol winners has gone straight to number one. This is the real deal. A real shot at stardom. This is Canadian Idol.

After ten different cities and thousands of hopefuls, there was only one thing on the minds of everyone auditioning – striking gold.

The four judges are back, Zack Werner, Farley Flex, Jake Gold and Sass Jordan but this year there is a new twist this year. In 2007, the contestants can use instruments during their auditions which will no likely mean that during the audition stages of the show, we’ll not only get to put up with some bad singing, but some bad guitar playing as well.

Ben Mulroney introduces this season as the boldest and best season ever. The auditions started kicked off in Toronto and to make the event even bigger, Canadian Idol staged a concert in the middle of downtown with Vancouver’s rock band Faber Drive and last years winner Eva Avila, and last years American Idol runner up Kathryn McPhee.

First up Brian Melo, 24 from Hamilton, ON auditions with If You Could Only See the way by Tonic. Jake liked it. He liked it a lot and thinks he is believeable. They like him all round although Zack isn’t so sure.

Choir member Yonatan Watts, 18 from Hamilton, ON sings Lately from Stevie Wonder and the choir practice pays off as the judges all love him.

Dave Kerr is the new roving reporter for season five. He’s asking auditionees what their secret weapons are. Boring time filler segment.

Off to Ottawa next where we found Eva Avila last year. There’s a whole bunch of talk about people trilling and putting on an Arkansas twanging accent. Zack says that if Nashville demands a twang then move there.

Melissa Roy, 24 from Rockland, ON is a country chick who sings Terri Clark’s Better Things to Do. Zack says no because he is afraid they don’t have the resources to cope with her head exploding because she goes red in the face with strain when she sings. That doesn’t matter though because everyone else loves her and it’s golden ticket time.

In Calgary, first up is a guitar strumming Jaydee Bixby, 16 from Drumheller, AB. He seems incredibly naive but they like his genuineness and they think Canada is going to love him and that he’s going to be a star.

Here’s something different. Nathan Gignac, 24 from Tecumseh, ON asks Selena Scott to marry him after he serenades her in front of the judges. She answers with “Of course you fool”. How romantic! Proposing on nationwide television.

Season two contestant Trevor Paul, 28 from Calgary, AB is back for another shot after he walked out of the show during the Toronto round. Jake tells him that because of that, if they put him through, he can pay his own way to Toronto. He stumbles over his words. Sass reckons that his voice is so good that if he was going to make it, he would have already. Zack tells him that they will print off some lyrics and give him an hour to rehearse. They are worried he is going to choke but they’re giving him another shot anyway. Trevor picks The Gambler which has a lot of lyrics. He can’t do it. He’s outta there.

20 year old Brenna Daley is a ranch girl from Granum, AB. She’s very operatic. They like her voice though. She’s through.

While Ben is in Hollywood covering the Oscars, Dave Kerr is covering the Winnipeg auditions. Dan Legrand, 26 from Winnipeg, NB is in a metal band. You don’t think he’ll get through? Guess again. Zack gives him a golden ticket and reckons he is really going to entertain. Travis Thompson, 23 from Winnipeg MB is Dan’s bandmate and guitarist. For some weird reason, he’s getting a golden ticket too. Jake says it’s because he doesn’t think anyone will want to share a room with Dan.

While there have been plenty of people using their guitars, 24 year old Todd Scott from Conception Bay South, NL is asked to put it down so the judges can hear his voice by itself. It’s quick decision from the judges after that. Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Hoping to make her parents and home town of Hare Bay, NL proud is 23 year odl Tara Oram. She’s got the whole girl from a hard done by family story. She’s singing I will survive and Zack didn’t like it. Sass does but Jake wants to hear her sing something like she means it. She sings Something More by Sugarland which plays to her story. Farley likes her Charisma. She’s through to Toronto.

Halifax is the next stop on the Audition tour. This audition will be good. Ben introduces it by saying “Let’s just say, you’ll be seeing her on YouTube”. Apparently Krista Poirier, 23 from Halifax, NS is a hip hop dance teacher. She can’t sing or dance. Farley says she should stick to the dancing cause it’s fun and good for exercise. Ben was wrong though, it’s not on YouTube… yet!

Naomi-Joy Blackhall, 25 from Halifax, NS believes she has what it takes to be the next Canadian Idol. She’s very nice and polished and has a great look. She blows away the judges and she’s coming for ya Canada.

Dwight D’eon is a 28 year old singer songwriter from West Pubnico, NS. He’s in a band but he’s going to try going it alone. He’s doing Kiss from a Rose and accompanying himself on his guitar. He has a great voice and a fantastic falsetto. He reminds me a lot of Chris Daughtry from American Idol. The judges interrupt him and tell him to get out as they’re busy. Oh, they hand him a golden ticket at the same time.

It’s time for the Emo fans to get excited as 20 year old Morgan Donaldson from Truro, NS auditions with Hinder’s Lips of an Angel. Zack gives him his golden ticket.

Joining Morgan is Tyler Mullendore, 19 from Lake Ainslie, NS who Jake describes as authentic. He has a real grass roots vibe and the judges just love him. With or without his guitar he is fantastic. He’s got attitude and is gonna rock it up in Toronto.

119 dreams are still on track after tonight’s auditions tour. Next Tuesday the audition tour continues.

With a rule change allowing instrument-playing competitors to accompany themselves in their auditions, the show welcomed a vast new crop of undiscovered talent.

Canadian Idol returns to our screens for the summer tonight at 8:00pm on CTV.

The auditions for the fifth season of Canadian Idol have begun, with more than 1200 people showing up in Metrotown for the event. Canadian Idol has said to have been voted the most popular television show across Canada.

Read more.

Do you know anyone auditioning for Canadian Idol this year? Do you think the lines won’t be so long this time around, or will it be bigger than ever, just like American Idol?

As American Idol makes its long-awaited return, CTV announced today further details about the upcoming cross-country, musician-friendly search for the next Canadian Idol. In addition to releasing audition venue information, the network also confirmed today that the tour will now begin Feb. 3-4 in Vancouver, one week later than previously announced, allowing prospective competitors additional time to prepare for the auditions. With the 10-city audition tour now kicking off in less than three weeks on the West coast, full details about how, where and when to audition are now available on the Canadian Idol website at http://www.idol.ctv.ca.

As previously announced, for the first time in North America competitors can audition while playing musical instruments. Like last year, the 2007 Canadian Idol “Easy-Access” tour makes it easier than ever to audition. There is no need to line up as competitors can arrive any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on each day of the auditions. As well, almost all of the auditions are scheduled on weekends and most of the auditions will be held at malls.

The auditions will be held at the following venues (all information subject to change):

City Dates Venues
Vancouver, BC February 3-4 Metropolis at Metrotown
Calgary, AB February 10 – 11 Southcentre Mall
Saskatoon, SK February 17 – 18 Market Mall
Winnipeg, MB February 24 – 25 Portage Place
London, ON March 3 – 4 White Oaks Mall
Montreal, QC March 10 – 11 Triplex/Old Montreal Forum
Ottawa, ON March 17 – 18 St-Laurent Centre
Halifax, NS March 24 – 25 Halifax Shopping Centre
St. John’s, NL April 4 Village Shopping Centre
Toronto, ON Starting April 11 TBC

Auditions for Canadian Idol are open to all Canadians between the ages of 16 and 28 (inclusive) as of February 1, 2007. Prospective competitors are encouraged to visit the Canadian Idol website, http://www.idol.ctv.ca, where they can download and complete a Regional Release Form which is required to audition (Release Forms will also be available at the auditions).

Featuring host Ben Mulroney and judges Farley Flex, Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner, Season 5 of Canadian Idol returns to CTV this June, building on the success of the series’ fourth season. After a record 12,000 auditions kicked off the fourth edition of the series, Season 4 ended with an astonishing 36.4 million votes cast by viewers – more than one for every man, woman and child in the country. Season 4 reached 55 per cent of the English Canadian population, meaning that one out of every two people in the country watched some part of the series last summer.