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Auditions: Vancouver/Yellowknife/Kitchener-Waterloo/Saskatoon - May 29

Here we go again! Canadian Idol is back for a 4th season! Last year, we saw Melissa O'Neil win it all, and both she and runner-up Rex Goudie have gone on to do well with their careers. Who will win it this time?

As always, the journey starts with the auditions. And this time, we get right to it, with Aaron Hernadez (25; Yellowknife, NT), who goes by the name "God Son", the Arctic Rapper, as he refers to himself. But we don't see his audition (not yet, anyway); it's just leading into a music video that they appear to have made. It features Aaron rapping about the show. Cute.

Anyway, now they roll the opening, then they reiterate the success of singers that had come from the past few seasons. Of course, there's Melissa, Rex, season 2 winner Kalan Porter, and even Jacob Hoggard, whose band Hedley has managed a few hits. But now, we turn to the present, as we see the 4 judges (Jake Gold, Sass Jordan, Farley Flex, Zack Werner), who are back once again.

[Like fellow Canadian Ryan Vickers did in the past few years, if I don't mention the city a person is from, that person is from the auditioning city. Same goes with the province/territory.]

Vancouver, BC

The audition process begins in the west once again, and here, we start with Innocent Kanjedzana (28; Surrey), who doesn't seem to be showing much promise, as far as I can tell. Liz Blair (24; Langley) does her best impressions of Britney, Cher, and Shakira, getting the judges laughing. Chelsea Johnson (19; Sydney, NS) is showing her persistence, as this is her 4th attempt in as many seasons. But we don't see her singing; we see her, or should I say hear her, um, farting. This causes even more laughter from the judges. Who says we don't have comedy in our auditions up here?

Josh Clements (22) says he has the moves, the looks, the image, and the voice. He's confident, but after he gives his performance in front of the judges, Jake says the dancing is okay, but the singing isn't so good. Farley asks for Josh's girlfriend, who is there, to enter, and she compliments her man's singing. Josh sings some more, but though the couple thinks he can sing, the judges say no. So, no gold ticket for him, though it didn't seem to affect his cockiness much.

Greg Neufeld (22; Abbotsford) hopes to make a living out of singing, and it appears that he has impressed the judges, as they send a gold ticket his way after telling him to lose the hat! So, he's moving on to the next round, while Callie Cheveallier (21) acts out every syllable in her singing, which doesn't do much for them. Christina Sing (25) does her best to impress, but Jake says it seems like an act, and it's just not for him. But the other judges liked what they saw, and with that, she gets a ticket! And we see her head home to her family, who got really excited upon seeing the ticket in her hand.

Since we're on the subject of family, Giovanni Zenone (16; New Westminster) apparently saw it fit to fill the audition room with his whole family to see his attempt, and man, is it ever a big family. I'd call this a big risk, as he's risking the possibility of being embarrassed in front of everyone there. But thankfully, he does well enough to impress Zack, Jake, and Farley (Sass said no), and his family witnesses him receiving his ticket! Afterwards, Giovanni tells host Ben Mulroney that he feels the whole group may have helped to sway the decision.

Yellowknife, NT

For the first time, Idol lands in Yellowknife for auditions. However, here, they're just looking for good singers to send to Vancouver to sing for the judges.

Miranda Tschirhart (16) sings a bit dull. Ronell Landry (17) is looking for "Somebody to Love". Tawm Foliot (18) screams his lungs out. Erich Hintz (18) goes with something a bit calmer. Sarah Malu (18) goes with something in another language. Marvin Migwi & Melvin Lafferty (18 & 19; Rae), together, sing the same word over and over. And Jeremy Jaud (28) sings loudly, then hums quietly.

Noel Taylor (19) is apparently with a rock band, and it seems that he got past the Yellowknife audition, so...

Back to Vancouver

..he makes it to Vancouver to sing for the judges. Noel goes with "Time of Your Life" from Green Day, though he admits afterwards that he was a bit outside of his comfort zone with that. Nonetheless, he gets a ticket! And that's all we'll see from Vancouver, as we see that a total of 24 singers have advanced to the next round.

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Heading right to Ontario now, as Idol makes its way into Kitchener-Waterloo for the first time. This time, we start with Elizabeth Bly (25; Oakridges), who seems to like the "always sing as loud as possible" approach. And man, does it sound bad. The judges also think that, and they say no, even after she asks for a yellow slip. (Ahem... Up here, they're gold tickets, not yellow slips.) Zack even goes as far as saying she's probably the worst woman they've seen in the country! Ouch. Even after that, she claims she'll have a CD coming out next year. Geez, I certainly hope that doesn't happen.

Wendy Blok-Kehoe (28; Comber) is asked to take her hat off before singing. She does so, then seems nervous. Then, she pulls a different hat out of her pocket just as she starts singing! Zack approves, but it seems the other judges say no, so we won't get to see if she has any other hats on her. Darn.

Tyanna Thorrington (19; Whitby) sings badly, and learns a new word from Zack (tripe). Erin Tipping (26; Milton) doesn't impress Zack either, as he shoots a few disses her way. And it seems he's in one of those moods, as during some singing from Lauren Ward (21; Brantford), he gets a broom and sweeps the floor in front of her! Then, as Mike Lorbetski (28; Brantford) makes his attempt, Zack wheels his chair backwards, almost sending himself off the stage that these auditions are taking place on! Yipes. And as Farley explains to Mike how bad his singing is, Zack is still wheeling his chair around, to the point that it falls over (not off the stage, thankfully)! Now that deserves an "ouch".

Tim Cooper (17; Fort McMurray, AB) came a long way for his audition, and though the judges thought he was a bit wacky, he does do well enough to get a gold ticket! Ashley Coulter (22; London) came from a family that has had to struggle a bit in the past, and she's nervous going into her audition. But she seems to do very well, and though Farley is a bit iffy, she impresses the others, and she gets her gold ticket!

Kati Durst (26; Goderich) has a lot of musical instruments in her house, and she's excited about this opportunity. She performs, and the judges like what they hear. So, she gets a ticket, and I think she could be a contender this year! Thor Bonfig (28; Elliot Lake) did his thing, as did Mario DeAngelis (22; Hamilton), Heidi Joshua (29; Niagara Falls), Alisha Nauth (19; Kitchener), and Ashley Coles (16; Caledonia). And we see Ashley, Mario, Thor, Heidi, and others get gold tickets! Overall, 29 hopefuls from this location will be moving on, bringing the total so far to 53!

At this point, Ben introduces Canadian Idol's newest correspondent. She finished in 6th place in season 2; Elena Juatco! This week, she looks at what various Idol hopefuls wear to their auditions. Needless to say, there's quite the variety, from normal to just plain weird. And of course, it's all to catch the eyes of the judges.

Edmonton, AB

It's home to the Oilers, who are in the Stanley Cup Finals this year, and the West Edmonton Mall, where we have more auditions to go through. Dennis Deveaux (26; Calgary) starts this set with his rendition of "Zoot Suit Riot". Next, Kayla Albrecht (18; Panoka) sings like a "tone-deaf angel", as Ben says in a voice-over. Billy Coo (27; Barrie, ON) has been in the music biz for a grand total of 4 days, and it shows, though it wasn't too bad for someone who hasn't been singing for too long. Nonetheless, Sass and Jake say yes, but Farley and Zack say no. And an evenly split panel means no ticket for Billy (3 yes votes are needed to advance). Maybe next year, if he keeps practicing...

Next, we get a montage of various personalities; a juggler, someone who gets to dance with Elena, someone who pulls some interesting moves, a lady who dances just for Farley, and others who get rejected. And then, there's Melissa Stahr & Roxy Doctor (26 & 28; Edmonton & Lamont). They sing "Amazing Grace". Together. Badly. Like, ear-bleeding badly. I wish I had earplugs. And, unsurprisingly (except to those two), the judges say no.

Then, along comes Jesse Lipscombe (25; St. Albert), a high jumper whose nickname is "Lips", and he does pretty well. He gets a ticket, then backflips with joy! Jinting Zhao (20) also advances, as does Mariam Farook (17), Nevada Von Bieker (21), and others. And in the end, Edmonton produces 28 singers to head to the next round, bringing the current total to 81!

4 cities down, 7 to go. Next time, we check out Regina, Montreal, St. John's, and Toronto. Screamers and rockers will show up, and at some point, one of the judges apparently gets really ticked off. This could result in an explosive situation, so it will certainly be one to watch!

As the show wraps up for tonight, we get a tribute to Alberta's oil workers, a good number of whom auditioned this year.


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