It’s time for the first group of 12 semi-finalists to perform live on Canadian Idol 6. Jake Gold tells us that unlike other years, the top 24 is mostly experienced musicians. Let’s find out who can deliver.
Lindsay Barr is up first. She wants to “come out of the ring running.” A raven-haired pseudo-rocker, she sings “Burnin’ Love” by Elvis Presley. She has a lot of energy while performing, but it’s mostly all bravado. The entire performance is very karaoke and the song choice does nothing for her. Jake echoes this thought with “the singing reminded me of some really bad bar singing.” Zach adds, “It was a shining example of what not to do.”
Martin Kerr, the redheaded British ex-pat performs “Lost Together” by Blue Rodeo. When he sings, he makes several strained facial expressions and the veins on his neck look like they could pop at any second. His performance lacks real emotion and is very subdued. “I really liked the dynamics,” says Sass. “It was a nerve job off the top and your voice lacked resonance. You were David Bowie-lite,” says Zach.
Known mostly for kissing Ben Mulroney on the lips and being the only competitor in the top 24 to audition online, Gary Morisette sings “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard. He puts a rock spin on his rendition and spends half of the song not singing but playing his guitar. “Fruitvale better pick up the phone, Cyberboy is here to stay,” says Zach. Jake disagrees. “The performance was strong but you’re more than that. You’re a better singer than what you just showed us,” he says.
With the oddest song choice of the night, Tetiana Ostapowych sings “Feelings” by Morris Albert. She plays to the camera, but her performance is underwhelming. “Bizarre song choice but the vibe was cool. It had an Esthero-esque vibe but the uptempo stuff was borderline cruise ship,” says Zach. “Best singing tonight so far for me. You connected with the song and that’s why it connected with me,” says Sass.
Mitch MacDonald performs “Follow Through” by Gavin Degraw. It’s reminiscent of seeing someone perform in a college bar or coffee shop. He finishes the song with the lyrics “This is the start of something good, don’t you agree?” No. But the judges do. “There’s something sweet, pure and innocent in the vibe that you give off. It’s really refreshing,” says Sass. “You have a natural grace that I think people should buy into,” adds Zach.
The third time was a charm for Paul Clifford, who has finally made it to the semi-finals after auditioning twice before this season. He sings “Broken” by Seether. He lacks relevance and exhibits little to no star power. There was a reason why he didn’t make it the first two times auditioning. “It seemed like you were holding back a bit,” says Sass. “You have one of the most distinct voices among the 24. I would recognize you on the radio and to me, that’s what it’s about,” says Farley.
The Dave Matthews version of “All Along the Watchtower” is performed by Earl Stevenson. He plays with an acoustic guitar but for the most part, his performance is forgettable. “You just ooze soul. You’re exactly what this show is about,” says Farley. “I can’t get over how much you remind me of Kramer. But that aside, that is exactly what you should be doing,” says Zach. “I just hope Canada gets this because you are the real deal,” adds Sass.
“People want to listen to your heart, not just your voice. And I have heart,” says Lisa Bell in her pre-performance video package. She sings “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers. Lisa has a strong voice, perhaps the strongest, but her performance is more middle of the road than memorizing. “For me, it’s just too show busy. I want people to show what kind of record they’re going to make, not what they’re going to play at a bar mitzvah,” says Zach. The other judges disagree. “I loved what you just did,” says Sass.
Next up is Mookie Morris, who is named after baseball player Mookie Wilson. He sings “Twist And Shout” by the Beatles. Mookie’s young and appeals to a teenybopper type of audience, very much in the same vein as The Jonas Brothers. “You made the whole thing really aunthetic. I really do believe you’re a star,” says Jake. “I think if there was a record deal on the table right now, you’re the one who gets it. You’re the real star so far,” adds Zach.
Drew Wright sings the appropriately titled “Under Pressure” by Queen. The song is too big for him and he struggles with the vocals. It’s one of the weaker performance of the night. “That’s a big song to fight. That’s a hard to sing,” says Sass. “I found it bizarre. You showed a lot of talent but I would have gone for a different arrangement. That was a bit catastrophic,” says Zach. “I think you bit off a little more than you could chew,” adds Jake.
The judge’s golden boy, Oliver Pigott, performs the Dave Edmunds version of “I Hear You Knocking.” In the most bizarre performance ever, Oliver starts the song off wearing a hood and spends the majority of the song with his legs wide apart, occasionally thrusting his hips throughout the song. It’s a trainwreck. “That made no sense to me whatsoever,” says Zach. “I think that was a little too much. A little too over the top,” says Jake.
Closing the show is Katherine St. Laurent, the youngest singer in the top 24 at age 17. Katherine is missing her prom to perform on tonight’s show. She sings “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. Her performance is okay but she lacks stage presence. “I think you’re one of the very few potential real stars we have,” says Zach. “You hit a note that was immaculate and memorable and really warm,” says Farley. “You competed admirably against some real seasoned veterans. Good on you,” says Jake.
And that’s it for tonight’s show. The second group of 12 will perform Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EST on CTV.