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Today is

Auditions 2 - June 12

6 cities down, 4 to go.  Let's see how many more hopefuls will make it through to Toronto, and who should probably reconsider trying for any kind of a singing career...

Montréal, QC

We start this show in Montréal, where, just like in the other cities, thousands of hopefuls are waiting for their chance.  And the first one up is Maxime Tremblay (17; Saguenay), who is having a bit of a problem speaking English.  So, host Ben Mulroney helps with the translation.  As for his singing... it starts out a bit too quiet, though he does get louder as he goes.  Still, it's not good enough.  Alexis Lambert Aumont (22; Joliette) belts out "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness.  But after that, Alexis goes into his own rendition of "Baby One More Time".  What is with certain guys and that song this year?  Man, I need earplugs.  Needless to say, he's rejected.

Gina Cuffaro (16) was apparently nervous, but either way, she didn't sing too well.  She begs for another chance, but it's not working here.  Afterwards, Gina says she'll be back next year.  She'd better practice a lot between now and then.  Amanda Ferri (19) couldn't seem to stay in key.  Jake sees potential in her, but the others say "no".  Kira Lina (25) is asked to "wow" the judges, but though she had a good tone, it was a bit too quiet.  She does get another chance, being asked to sing louder, and she does.  But Jake says she needs to "let loose", and as Zack says "maybe next year", Kira does "let loose", going into "Day-O"!  Apparently, this was enough for her to get a gold ticket!  Soon after Kira leaves the room, Jake catches up with her to explain that she should continue to "let loose" when singing if she wants to go far.  At first, Jake thought that Bruno Poitras (26; Repentigny) looked like someone's dad, but no, he's here to audition.  He sings "My Girl" by the Temptations, complete with "doo doo doo"s at the beginning.  It was interesting, but it wasn't good.

Benoît Cliché (24; Québec) [spoons] has decided to go in a bit of a different direction as far as instruments go, going with a pair of spoons.  After his singing, he shows off a bit more of his spoon-playing.  But it's about the singing, and Farley didn't think he was singing seriously.  As a teacher, Ben Griffin (28) [guitar] plays music for the kids at times.  But for his audition, he focuses on Sass while singing.  It seems to work, as the judges say "yes", sending him through to the next round!

After profiles of the judges are shown, we find out that Jake had to step out for the day.  So, Jason Howell (28) [guitar] rocks out for the other 3 judges.  But though he showed a lot of passion, his voice just isn't the type for this competition.  Diego Vega (23) and Arthur Kalimidis (22) [guitar] have some trouble with where they should each stand at first, then Diego hits the judges with his best shot.  He sounds rough, though, and the scream at the end didn't help.  As for Arthur, he goes with a song that he wrote, and he's much better.  So, only Arthur gets a ticket.  Jessyka Lapierre (18; St. Lambert) starts with a French song, since she's not quite comfortable with English.  She sounds great, and that's all the judges need to hear to give her a ticket!  This is followed by a montage of others who sounded good enough to move on to Toronto!  In the end, Montréal saw 22 gold tickets awarded this year!

Vancouver, BC

Now, it's Vancouver's turn to show Canada what they've got!  The hopefuls are all excited, but when Ben tries to introduce them to the new roving reporter, Dave Kerr, everyone is silent.  He tries to start a wave... no dice.  Ouch.

Anyway, Abbas "Strings" Khan (25; White Rock) [electric guitar] starts with some "Purple Haze".  He's okay with the guitar, even going so far as to play it with his teeth at the end!  But it didn't help his singing.  Liam Styles Chang (16; Victoria) [guitar] is much better, with both guitar and voice.  Jake is concerned about whether his voice will be powerful enough, but it doesn't matter; he, Sass and Farley give him the support he needs to go to the next round!  Samuel Liu (22; Burnaby) sings "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson, and though he showed a lot of passion, the singing itself wasn't too good.

Sergiy Zakharov (26; Kiev, Ukraine) says that he was inspired by Eva Avila, last year's winner, and he hopes that he'll have the confidence for this.  But during the song, I'm just not seeing that confidence.  He tried, but he just couldn't sing well.  Afterwards, Sergiy sends a message to Eva; her performance of "Angel" moved him to tears, and he's going to keep singing.  Um, yeah.

Carly Rae Jepsen (21; Mission) [guitar] has been singing for a while, so she'd better not screw this up.  She goes with a song that she wrote, and she sounded really cool!  She gets a gold ticket, though Zack would have preferred she sign with his label instead!  Now, while most people bring their family, Victoria Tishchishina (25) opted to bring 2 snakes and a bird!  And she sings to the bird!  It wasn't good enough, though, and that starts a montage of others who have to hear "no".

Then along comes a familiar face from last year; Greg Neufeld (23; Abbotsford) [guitar].  For those who don't remember, he made it to the Top 22, before being voted out in the round of 18.  He wants another shot at singing for Canada's vote, and he easily gets one step closer to that, getting a gold ticket once again!  But this comes with a warning from Jake; he feels that the viewers will think he had his shot, and they'll want someone new, and he'll have to try and prove them wrong.  Nonetheless, he is one of 19 hopefuls who will be heading to Toronto!

Saskatoon, SK

On to the next city; hundreds of people, many with instruments, are ready to go in Saskatoon!  Derrick Pernitzky (21) is up first, and he doesn't sound good at all.  James Turner (18) apparently thought that standing right up to the judges' desk would help.  I don't see how that would help a bad singing voice, to be honest.  Nathan Groot (19) apparently has to read the lyrics from a songbook while singing.  And I still want to hit the mute button!

Enter Ryan Langlois (28; Pierceland) [guitar], who is considered to be a great father, and is currently an apprentice gas fitter.  But can he make a better living through singing?  Sure, why not?  It sounds like he can!  And the judges agree; Ryan is going to Toronto!

We see some more silliness from Dave Kerr, then we move on to Jennifer Kunitz (25).  She says that people tell her she can do a great version of "How Do I Live".  Sounds like we didn't get that version here, though.  Sarah & Cammy Romanuck (18) [piano and violin] play some nice music, but there's just one problem: they're not singing.  At all.  Yes, people are allowed to bring instruments this year, but it's still supposed to be about the singing!  Near the end of a long day, Steven Jesmer (25) [guitar] tries to impress the judges.  Doesn't work, though.

Joshua Grant (20) [guitar] is another hopeful that currently fronts a rock band.  His audition gets a mixed reaction, though.  Zack says "no", and Sass and Jake say "yes", so it's down to Farley.  He asks for Joshua to sing the last line of "O Canada".  After that, Farley hands over a gold ticket!  He is one of 15 hopefuls that made it out of Saskatoon with gold tickets!

London, ON

One more stop before the next round, and there's a whole lot of people here!  First up in London is Sergio Fazari (17; Innisfil), who has that 'fro look!  That's about the only thing he has going for him, though.  Paul Jutras (23; Sarnia) [guitar] tries a medley, but he sounds bad with each song in it.  Norm Fraser (27; Camlachie) [guitar] didn't do too well, either, but afterwards, he can't believe that Zack's comment inferred that he's ugly! 

Sam Romjin (16; Goderich) starts by playing a violin while a younger kid dances!  Well, it was a nice performance, but again, it's a singing competition.  So after the kid leaves, Sam sings.  And while he looks a bit nerdy, he sings quite well!  The judges say "yes", and he's on his way to the next round!  Sharon McCracken (18; Scarborough) says most people compare her singing to that of Whitney Houston, but she feels that she has her own voice.  After hearing her audition, I'm inclined to believe Sharon.  But not in a good way.  She still thinks she'll get on TV in a few years, though.  Well, she was just on TV, and personally, I hope this is the only time.

Martha Joy (16; Toronto) does plenty of hugging outside the audition room, but inside, she wows the judges with her rendition of "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston!  She gets a ticket, but not before Zack advises her to come up with something that'll let her stand out from others.  Afterwards, yes, there's more hugging!  Speaking of which, Jessica Sheppard (21; Bowmanville) gets a hug from her mom before heading in to audition.  She obviously has that support, and though she forgets a lyric, she sings very well!  Jessica has no problem advancing to the next round, and it sounds like she could be a contender to go far!  Afterwards, her mother is ecstatic!

This brings the audition phase to an end, and a grand total of 198 hopefuls are on their way to the next round!  Next week, they arrive in Toronto for 4 grueling days of competition, all hoping to become part of this year's Top 22!


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