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The Toronto Round 2 - June 19

Last time, we left off with a cliffhanger, as one group, who kicked someone out due to being "uncooperative", awaited their fate at the end of Day 2 in Toronto.  Will any of them be advancing?  And what about the one that was kicked out, who ended up performing by herself?

To recap, Montana Martin Iles (16; Sainte-Julienne, QC) [guitar] was forced to go on her own for the group performances after Martha Joy (16; Toronto, ON), Kat Harper (17; Newmarket, ON), and Katrina Melody (17; Rexdale, ON) figured that they didn't need her.  But when it came to the actual performances, they didn't exactly sound too good, while Montana sounded just fine.  Now, it's time to find out what the judges are going to do.  Martha, Kat, and Katrina have stepped onto the stage.  Sass delivers the news; only Martha gets to stick around.  The other two are gone.  With that done, it's time to find out if not being in a group will cost Montana, despite how well she did.  Jake says that it has been a tough day for her, but it's only gonna get tougher; she's staying.

With that, the cuts for Day 2 are over, and it's now time to prepare for the next phase; duets.  Everyone returns to the hotel sooner than they did the night before, at 11:45PM, so they'll have some more time to prepare for this one.  But the deal is the same as preparing for the group performances, except this time, each person only has to find 1 partner.  Overall, there's over 30 pairs throughout the hotel, so there's not much space to find a good practice spot.  But some people manage to find good spots, like behind a plant.  And this time, Montana appears to have found a partner that won't ditch her.  So, it looks like duet preparations have gone more smoothly than the group preparations the night before.

Day 3

Bright and early in the morning, and once again, some people are working on little sleep.  And they're showing it.  But they all manage to get some last-minute practicing on the way to the theater.  But once they arrive, it's time to perform.

First up are Christine Hanlon (21; Toronto, ON) and Paul Clifford (25; Port Moody, BC), and Zack has some concern about the way Christine performed; he says that though it's supposed to be a positive song, she sounded ticked.  Ryan Langlois (28; Pierceland, SK) and Arron Reed (23; Toronto, ON) then performed, followed by Dwight d'Eon (28; West Pubnico, NS) and Naomi-Joy Blackhall (25; Halifax, NS).  For that one, Zack wound up giving Dwight and Naomi-Joy some stage directions as they performed, and he gave Dwight some advice about trying to sing without a guitar.  Clifton Murray (27; Port McNeill, BC) and Emily Chambers (18; West Vancouver, BC) seem to be making quite a connection with each other as they sang.  Sam Romijn (16; Goderich, ON) and Annika Odegard (16; Calgary, AB) are proving to be very good at this.

Moving on to Morgan Donaldson (20; Truro, NS) and Bianca Schmutz (18; Mississauga, ON), as they try to impress the judges.  But Morgan isn't too confident about this, as he didn't do as well as he had been in the past.  Ben Griffin (28; Montréal, QC) and Heidi Jutras (20; Drummondville, QC) seem to be determined to get to the Top 22, and it shows.  Zack and Jake had nothing but positive words for these two, so I'm guessing they'll be moving on. 

Derek Hoffman (17; Aurora, ON) and Montana are next, and they sound rather nice!  And they finish their performance with a hug.  Awww...  Scarlett Burke (18; Toronto, ON) and Justyn Wesley (21; Toronto, ON) say that they have chemistry, but will it show on the stage?  Yep!  They both do very well!  Khalila G (23; Dorval, QC) and Matt Rapley (18; Regina, SK) aren't holding back, as they also impress the judges.  Carly Rae Jepsen (21; Mission, BC) and Geoffrey Stone (25; Belleville, ON) didn't do as well, as Jake says they were all over the place, and Zack says it didn't seem real.  Afterwards, Carly seems worried, while Geoffrey tries to comfort her.

On to the cuts.  Everyone is on stage at the same time, but each duet will step forward separately to learn their fate.  Of Arron and Ryan, only Arron moves on.  Clifton stays, while Emily goes.  In a bit of a shocker, Geoffrey is heading home, while Carly keeps going.  Of Annika and Sam, it's Annika that will remain.  Christine and Paul are both staying.  Derek and Montana will stick around as well, and so are Ben and Heidi.  Dwight and Naomi-Joy will also be moving on.  Justyn and Scarlett... both staying.  As for Morgan and Bianca, they'll be packing their bags and heading home.

Day 4

Now, only 46 remain.  And there's just 1 thing between them and the Top 22; another set of solo performances.  They'll take to the stage one at a time, to show the judges that they deserve to sing for Canada's vote.

Naomi-Joy Blackhall is first, and for the most part, she sings well, but she did struggle to remember some lyrics at one point, and she did sound a bit screechy at another.  She is still confident, though.  Brian Melo (24; Hamilton, ON) goes with a Natasha Bedingfield song, which he says is out of his element.  It's a risky move, but he sounds good, so it might pay off.  Ben Griffin follows, and he was also good.  Khalila G wants to challenge herself, and she also did good.  Carly Rae Jepsen needs to show that she can pull off a performance that seems real.  And judging by the judges' reaction as she leaves, she might have done enough.

We then get comments from a few more singers as they prepare for their final performances of the week.  After that, we hear some more performances from people like Justyn Wesley, Tyler Mullendore (19; Lake Ainslie, NS), and Ritchea Hodge (16; Brampton, ON).  Nothing too bad in this bunch from what I can hear.  Afterwards, they each reflect on what they just went through.  They are each hopeful that it'll be enough for them to advance, but only time will tell...

Andrew Austin (27; Sarnia, ON) made it to this point last year, only to fall short of the Top 22.  He's hoping that a year of practice will help him move further this year, and from the sound of it, I'd say he has a good chance.  Annika Odegard says that she can belt it out, and she did alright with "Breakaway".  Kamila Miller (17; Toronto, ON) seems rather confident, especially for someone that appears to have lyrics written on her hand.  And she does read those lyrics from her hand while singing, which is likely not a good idea in the eyes of the judges.  Paul Clifford has his fingers crossed, and he sounds good.  Martha Joy says she's nervous, but she does quite well despite that.

Christine Hanlon and Jessica Sheppard (21; Bowmanville, ON) had to visit a doctor minutes before performing.  As Christine was being examined, Jessica decided to try rehearsing a bit while waiting.  After examination, Christine is told that she has a throat infection, so she gets a prescription.  She does get to perform, though, and despite the ailment, she sounded good!  As for Jessica, her voice sounded hoarse when she talked, but not when she sang.  She sang alright, but whether or not it's good enough, we'll find out soon enough.

With that, the performances are done, and all that's left is for the judges to decide who is the Top 22.  Once they have their decision made, each singer will go in, one at a time (sometimes 2 or 3 at a time), and be given their fate; either they will go on to sing for Canada's vote, or they'll be heading home.  It's a tense process, and for those that make it through, it's quite the emotional moment.  For those who don't, the reactions vary, with some taking it harder than others.

So who are the Top 22?  I'll just cut to the chase, and show the list...


- Andrew Austin (27; Sarnia, ON)
- Jaydee Bixby (16; Drumheller, AB)
- Liam Styles Chang (17; Victoria, BC)
- Dwight d'Eon (28; West Pubnico, NS)
- Derek Hoffman (17; Aurora, ON)
- Brian Melo (24; Hamilton, ON)
- Tyler Mullendore (19; Lake Ainslie, NS)
- Clifton Murray (27; Port McNeill, BC)
- Greg Neufeld (23; Abbotsford, BC) [second straight Top 22 appearance]
- Matt Rapley (18; Regina, SK)
- Justyn Wesley (21; Toronto, ON)


- Naomi-Joy Blackhall (25; Halifax, NS)
- Maud Coussa-Jandl (25; Sherbrooke, QC)
- Khalila G (23; Dorval, QC)
- Christine Hanlon (21; Toronto, ON)
- Ritchea Hodge (16; Brampton, ON)
- Carly Rae Jepsen (21; Mission, BC)
- Martha Joy (16; Toronto, ON)
- Montana Martin Iles (16; Sainte-Julienne, QC)
- Kamila Miller (17; Toronto, ON)
- Annika Odegard (16; Calgary, AB)
- Tara Oram (23; Hare Bay, NL)

One of these people is the next Canadian Idol.  But wait!  At the end of the show, Ben Mulroney tells us that someone had to leave due to personal reasons.  We'll have to wait and find out who, as well as who will come in as a substitute.

Next week, the Top 22 will get their first chance to sing for Canada's vote.  The men sing on Monday, the women sing on Tuesday, and 2 of each will be on their way home after the results on Wednesday.


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