The Toronto Round 1 -
198 aspiring singers have
received gold tickets in the audition round. Now, they arrive in Toronto for 4
of the most grueling days of the competition. Today, we see the first 2 days.
As usual, the episode starts
with various contestants at their homes, preparing to make the trip to Toronto.
This includes Jaydee Bixby (16; Drumheller, AB), Ryan Langlois (28; Pierceland,
SK), Jessyka Lapierre (18; St. Lambert, QC), Brenna Daley (20; Granum, AB), Todd
Scott (24; Conception Bay South, NL), and Naomi-Joy Blackhall (25; Halifax,
NS). Soon enough, they all arrive in Toronto, some by plane, some by train, and
they're greeted by Dave Kerr, who helps pack their luggage into the buses. Some
of it is guitar-shaped, of course. Eventually, they all get to the hotel where
they'll be staying for the week (or however long they're able to stay in the
competition), where they check in and head to their rooms and get to know each
The next day, bright and
early, the group heads into a theater where they will be performing in front of
the judges for the 4 days. There, the judges offer their advice for this
phase. With that, it's time to begin. Singers will take to the stage in
groups, but one at a time, they'll step forward, explain why they think they
should be the next Canadian Idol, and sing. And they had better impress the
judges, or else their stay in Toronto will be a very short one. It should also
be noted that Farley is away for the morning, so a number of the singers will
only have 3 judges to impress.
Dwight D'Eon (28; West
Pubnico, NS) [guitar] starts it off, and he seemed to impress everyone. Paul
Fracassi (17; Toronto, ON) was at this point last year, and he hopes to make it
further this year. Geoffrey Stone (25; Belleville, ON) [piano] gets quite the
ovation for his performance. On to the next group, and here's Dan Legrand (26;
Winnipeg, MB). He and his buddy Travis made it through the Winnipeg auditions,
but Travis decided not to go to Toronto. Dan wasn't sure if he'd fit into this,
considering his heavy metal background, but he would like to make things more
diverse around here. He goes into a Led Zeppelin song, and he sings it rather
well! Of course, he eventually brings in the deep voice at the end. Sass asks
the other judges if he can stay for at least one more day. Heh.
Tyler Mullendore (19; Lake
Ainslie, NS) [guitar] says he can write great songs that everyone can relate to,
then rocks the stage, getting a nice applause. Joel Martin (22; Russell, ON)
[guitar] goes with an acoustic arrangement of... "Baby Got Back" by Sir
Mix-a-Lot? Wow. Believe it or not, though, he manages to pull it off quite
well, getting a standing ovation from most of the other competitors, and even
Zack! I don't know if anyone put this up on YouTube or not (I haven't checked
as of this writing), but if you can find a clip of this, you gotta check it out!
We then get a montage of
various hopefuls explaining why they think they should be the next "Canadian
Idol". One person screws this up, saying "American Idol" instead. I won't say
who, mainly because no name was given. Oh, and Farley has returned by this
time. Afterwards, once Ben explains that picking a good song is important in
showing the judges that they deserve to stay, we see Keir Harper (25; Ottawa,
ON), Devin Herbert (17; Richmond Hill, ON) [piano], Jesse Friend (21; Arnprior,
ON), and others proving this point with bad song selections. Joshua Grant (20;
Saskatoon, SK) closes this portion of the day.
Now, it's time for some
cuts. Ben says that close to 80 of the 198 have to be sent home, as the judges
deliberate. Once they're ready, each of the groups that have performed so far
returns to the stage, one at a time. Most of the groups are split into 2 rows,
before it is revealed which row stays, and which one goes. For the groups that
stay in 1 row, they all share the same fate either way, as is shown by Zack
announcing that an entire group is heading home, stunning everyone else. We see
heartbreak from those that are out.
On to the remainder of the
groups. Christine Hanlon (21; Toronto, ON) starts this set off, saying that
though she's sick at the moment, she's going to do her best. And with her
rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, she proves to be quite good. Morgan
Donaldson (20; Truro, NS) [guitar] is showing that the nerves that held him back
last year are gone. And he impresses the judges so much, that they tell him to
sit down, sending him through to the next day right away! Naomi-Joy Blackhall
does her best to impress just as much, and though she doesn't get the immediate
pass, it sounds like she shouldn't have much of a problem advancing anyway.
Tara Oram (23; Hare Bay, NL)
goes country, and does it so well, that she also moves on immediately! It's a
tough act for Montana Martin Iles (16; Sainte-Julienne, QC) [guitar] to follow,
but she pulls through. Maud Coussa-Jandl (25; Sherbrooke, QC) [guitar] takes a
mellow approach. Brian Melo (24; Hamilton, ON) [guitar] appears to have picked
a good song for himself. Todd Scott sounds good as well, and Paul Clifford (25;
Port Moody, BC) touched the crowd, to the point that he got a standing ovation!
Jaydee Bixby proves to be a natural on stage. I think it's safe to say he's
moving on. Overall, 128 of these competitors have proven to be good enough to
make it through to the next day. But the competition is just getting started.
That's because it's time for
the group performances. They'll have to decide for themselves who they'll sing
with, as well as what song they'll sing. They arrive at 1:15AM to get going,
and as Dave Kerr explains, they have only 8 hours to prepare, and that includes
A number of groups seem to
have it down rather quickly, and are ready to head off to bed. But of course,
others have problems. Montana Martin Iles had apparently been kicked out of her
group already, and Dave goes with her to try to resolve this issue and get her
back into it. Martha Joy (16; Toronto, ON) says that she hadn't exactly been
cooperative enough, and she and the rest of the group, including Kat Harper (17;
Newmarket, ON), are refusing to let her back in. Montana is understandably
worried, because she may be going into this day without a group. Meanwhile,
over with another group, one of the guys doesn't want to practice when the
others want to, because he wants to sleep and rest his voice. But soon enough,
he does head out of the bedroom, though the group still isn't happy about what
he did. We then see other groups, who are united and making sure they're ready
before getting that much-needed rest.
Soon enough, it's time to
get up, and the lack of sleep is apparent after see a number of them, who appear
to still be tired. There's still time for some last-minute rehearsals, though.
As for Montana, she says she still doesn't have a group, so she plans to go in
solo. Hmm. But before the performances get started, Dan Legrand steps onto the
stage by himself. The reason for this is that he says he can't continue on in
the competition, because his voice can't take it after so little sleep.
Afterwards, he adds that after hearing everyone else, he might not be able to
rise to their level anyway. So, he's heading home early.
Alright, on to the
performances. The first group consists of Cindy Whiteman (25; Montréal, QC),
Krystle Pederson (24; Martensville, SK), Amanda De Freitas (26; Burlington, ON),
and Venus Bertrand (25; Montréal, QC). These 4 get the day off to a really good
start. Moving on to the next group, which was the one with one guy wanting to
sleep instead of practice. That one is Jason Remington Ford (21; Montréal, QC),
and though he did eventually get practicing with the group, it doesn't exactly
sound great. Sabrina Korva (20; Vancouver, BC) [guitar], Brenna Daley, Pamela
Sabara (26; Kingsville, ON), and one other didn't do much better. In fact,
Brenna described their performance as awful. Ouch. In the next group, Jessyka
Lapierre is having trouble remembering lyrics. That could be a disaster. And
it was, as her group's performance is described by Jake as a train wreck
During another performance,
Zack sees a lack of excitement from the group, and gets up on stage to try to
get them moving around the stage! Heh. With that, the judges head outside to
meet the remainder of the groups, telling them that they need to not just sing,
but also perform! And it looks like they got the message, as we see a number of
groups singing "Take It Easy" with plenty of enthusiasm! Moving on to Paul
Filek (25; Kamloops, BC) [guitar], Greg Neufeld (23; Abbotsford, BC) [guitar],
and another person, named Andrew, and they manage to pull off a great
performance! They rocked the stage, and I'd be surprised if any of them were
sent home after that! The next group, including Khalila G (23; Dorval, QC),
also do very well with a nice performance!
Now, it's time for the group
that abandoned Montana the night before. With Montana watching backstage,
Martha Joy, Kat Harper, and Katrina Melody (17; Rexdale, ON) perform "Kiss Me",
but I'm not hearing much harmony from them. Maybe Montana should be thankful to
not be a part of that mess. Speaking of whom, she now takes the stage... solo.
Montana explains the situation to the judges, before performing her own
rendition of "Kiss Me". It sounded good, but will the fact that she wasn't part
of a group come back to haunt her?
Now, the judges have to
decide who is sticking around. With 51 about to be on their way home, the
groups each take the stage one at a time to see who is headed home. In the
first group, Cindy and Venus advance, while the other two leave. In another
group, Todd Scott is out, while Jaydee Bixby is in. Jessyka Lapierre is on her
way home, while another group finds out that they're all staying. Paul, Greg,
and Andrew are all sticking around. Jason and one other in his group are gone.
As for Brenna's group, they're all out of the competition.
After another group is told
that they're all staying, it's time for Martha, Kat, and Katrina to learn their
fate. Again, Montana is watching backstage. However, we'll have to wait until
next time to find out how this turns out.
Also next time, we'll see
the remainder of the week; Day 3 sees the competitors sing in duets, while Day 4
will give them one more chance to perform solo before finding out who will be a
part of this year's Top 22.