We’re live at the John Basset Theatre, and Ben Mulroney has suited up…and oh god, Jaydee is singing Conway Twitty. Unless someone else is singing Conway Twitty. Which sounds unlikely. Regardless, there was some rather unfortunate names thrown around in that little preview of the song list (MORE Celine? Bad, Canadian Idol). So let’s see how a rather mediocre Top 10 performs in what could be their last week in Toronto. Unless they hook up with one of the other Idols, they might stick around. Just sayin’.
Dwight D’Eon – “Unwell” (Matchbox 20)
There’s all sorts of hometown stuff, but it’s your usual Fisherman stuff…and he’s singing the same artist as last week. Except this time he’s wearing a straightjacket. I am honestly completely and totally confused right now. Oh, he was just hugging himself with his leather jacket lined up. Still, singing the same artist week after week is a terrible idea. The song doesn’t really make him into anything but a decent singer covering Matchbox 20 songs…none of that screams Canadian Idol to me. He did absolutely nothing with that song.
What the judges think: Jake agrees with me on the Matchbox 20 repetition but liked it, Farley thinks he looked better prepared, Sass would have found it more interesting if he had sang it better (I agree!), and Zack thinks he is on a good growth curve and thinks he’s a rock star…is he seriously the person with the most cred left in this competition? Le sigh.
Estimated Voting Position: With all of Nova Scotia now behind him, Dwight could reach #6.
Khalila Glanville – “Killing Me Softly” (Roberta Flack/The Fugees)
Her hometown stuff is small toddlers mauling her and singing cute daycare songs, and they’re coming together as a family. Awww. Her song choice is great, fantastic even: it was even #1 twice! She is decidedly singing the Roberta Flack version, sped up fairly considerably. The result is that she seems more than a little bit rushed and uncomfortable singing the song. Her voice is as good for the song as you’d expect, but the power of Flack isn’t there and neither is the unique qualities of Lauryn Hill’s voice. It’s disappointing, really: it could have been a whole lot better than that.
What the judges think: Farley really likes that there was a weight to her voice (Really? I didn’t see that), Sass thinks that it was really nice, Zack thinks that mature and nice might not be enough to make him wake up in the morning and say “wow”, while Jake believes that it was good enough to keep her but he wants more interesting performances.
Estimated Voting Position: 8th, which will place her in the Bottom Three.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Inside and Out” (The BeeGees/Feist)
Instead of being all about family and hometown love, Carly Rae talks about her band. Of MUSICIANS. We do get to see her Mission stuff, but still. We start with reasons why she would actually be a good singer. It’s hard to believe. She’s so humble about it, too. I heart her. Okay, she is dressed like Feist. She doesn’t have Leslie’s beautiful haunting quality, but her tone is still fantastic for the song. In fact, she’s kind of a bridge between Feist and the BeeGees actually. She uses her raspiness to her benefit, and while the awesome bridge is sadly cut short the performance still rocks.
What the judges think: Sass thinks it was so cool and references James Bond and “Downtown”, Zack didn’t get it and it seemed like she was short on energy and short on singing, Jake feels that it didn’t seem to have any dynamics (Really?) and didn’t feel the emotion, while Farley thinks that it wasn’t emotional enough. Which is just bizarre to me.
Estimate Voting Position: I have to hope that people will feel she is vulnerable, so she can reach 5th place in voting. Who else are they going to vote for, exactly?
Brian Melo – “If You Could Only See” (Tonic)
He’s from Hamilton, and he loves its people. He has a band named Stoked, and he’s been jamming with them for four years. He also appeears to be part of a really huge family unless there were a lot of spouses in there. This song is a really good choice for his voice, but again it just feels like he isn’t living up to the full potential of the performance. It’s the best he’s been for weeks, but it still seems like something is missing. The audience is clearly having none of it, barely even making a peep during the performance. They should have gone nuts when he rocked out.
What the judges think: Zack thinks that he chopped the intro and it sounded like the top of the song was off (I started singing along and thought the same), Jake thinks he’s lived up to his audition (this song), Farley thought the vocal was a bit shaky, and Sass thinks it was very enjoyable and intense.
Estimate Voting Position: 9th, mainly because of a lack of hometown support. The fact he got in over Liam is strange enough, I don’t see him turning that into a successful run.
Mila Miller – “Sign, Sealed, Delivered” (Stevie Wonder/Peter Frampton)
She plays the Clarinet, which has given her a sense of performance…does she play Clarinet on top of pianos? And then she goes to Canada’s Wonderland with only three friends. The Fro is back on this Stevie Wonder classic…and it sounds kind of bad. Her voice just doesn’t sound interesting when she isn’t singing an interesting song, vocally. It just sounds a little bit out of key every few notes. It wasn’t terrible, but just really generic on the whole.
What the judges think: Jake didn’t think she sang a hard song very well at all (Karaoke), Farley thinks that he is waiting to see someone grab a hold of the competition, Sass felt it was sung well just too safely, while Zack thinks that this Top 10 is just performing like they’re at a bah mitzvah.
Estimated Voting Position: 7th, barely escaping the Bottom Three.
Jaydee Bixby – “It’s Only Make Believe” (Conway Twitty)
Guess what, Drumheller is the Dinosaur capital of the world. Which perhaps explains where he came from: he’s an animated fossil. It also explains why he says “Holy Mackeral”. He’s got his hair gelled for this important occasion, and he opens singing really quietly and as he continues his voice is ludicrously low. He’s basically singing this as twangy as physically possible. Like, I think he had twang implants. The result is more or less the least enjoyable Canadian Idol performance in the history of mankind. Seriously, Bixby, I need you to be less good at singing country songs.
What the judges think: Farley loves it and thinks he’ll be famous, Sass thinks he’s an animated fossil too (but doesn’t say it), Zack compares him to Michael Buble (Good comparison, I despite both but can’t deny they’re good), and Jake thought he was great from the waist up…Bobby Darrin is also thrown around. The first electric performance of the night…did they have electricity when Conway Twitty wrote that. (And Ben, I made the fossil comment first, stop stealing my lines!)
Estimated Voting Position: 1st. There’s no one else with his fanbase.
Greg Neufeld – “All These Things I’ve Done” (The Killers)
Man, they didn’t even wait until he got out of the airport to mob him. And, well, he deserves to be mobbed for this song choice. The song is being performed as a polytechnic-filled stomper that it, well, isn’t. The whole charm of this song is its haunting moments, its slow pace compared to the rest of the noise surrounding it. Greg doesn’t even get a chance to nail the high notes with any length, as the song just keeps going. Condensing a song this long into a minute and a half is what hurts him here…that and the fact that it wasn’t really good either.
What the judges think: Sass thinks he broke out of his box and really delivered it, Zack thinks that he broke into stuff he shouldn’t be doing (Upper Register was awful), Jake thinks that it was an intense performance, his most intense ever, and Farley sadly agrees with Jake. Zack is the only one who made any sense out of those people on that. It was weak.
Estimated Voting Position: 2nd. I think that Neufeld is a big enough name to carry himself.
Martha Joy – “The Power of Love” (Celine Dion)
Dear Martha Joy: you’re dead to me. The fact that you sang Celine Dion last week was bad enough. This week, the fact that you sang her again shows you are entirely incapable of any level of diversity. The result is that I’ve written you off: until you sing something different, I’m not even going to comment on your singing. I will just assume it to be awful.
What the judges think: Zack thinks it was a weird night and thought it was a strong vocal in certain marketplaces, Jake felt the arrangement was deliberate and slow (Milking it – did they say boo or moo?), Farley thinks she sings well, and Sass found it sleepy. Hee.
Estimate Voting Position: 10th. I think she deserves to go home, and I hope Canada sends her there.
Tara Oram – “You Win My Love” (Shania Twain)
Believe it or not, Newfoundland loves her. And they gave her a lei. Oh Newfoundland. She got a parade…we don’t see anyone actually watching it. She’s going from Martina McBride to Shania, and it’s oddly one of her lesser known #1 singles from her breakthrough album. She looks pretty stunning, and the performance is decent, but the vocal was never quite distinct enough. Certain notes were basically complete clunkers, and she never raised her level beyond her usual upbeat country song standard. Still, the best she’s done, it was all Martina McBride’s fault.
What the judges think: Jake felt it was predictable but her best performance thus far, Farley agrees with it and thinks she got more physical, Sass thinks the performance was really strong but she did a good job with her weak pipes…sort of. She didn’t really say that. Zack says it out loud that she has some limitations, but she uses them in the right way in a professional manner. He dug it.
Estimate Voting Position: 3rd, based on Newfoundland support alone.
Matt Rapley – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye)
I’m not entirely sure what makes Matt Rapley a candidate for the pimp spot: it’s kind of ludicrous, actually. He’s really, really boring. And he’s basically walking around clutching his chest pretending that this counts as performing: it doesn’t. He’s as silky smooth as always with his voice, and there’s more soul than there’s been in the past. But it’s still really generic, and doesn’t show a single bit of musicianship.
What the judges think: Farley felt it was nice and energetic, Sass really loved the arrangement and though he was a glider, Zack thinks that with the background vocalists it was a strong vocal…but that why didn’t he choose something cool?, and Jake understands that Zack is saying but that he relates to those songs better so he can be safe. Jake got no vibe. For good reason.
Estimated Voting Position: If he got this far, he’s doing well, I say he’ll make 4th. Mainly because it’s the only number I left.
Worst. Top 10. Ever. Little to no musicianship, and people were either way too safe or way too bad. This is not a good sign for future weeks.
Best Performance: Carly Rae Jepsen
I like Feist. I liked her twist on it. It was actually, you know, a performance of a song.
Runner-Up: Brian Melo. Even if it was a bit uneven, he made a great song choice and made it count.
Worst Performance: Martha Joy
You’re getting this until you sing something other than Celine, Martha
Runners-Up: Dwight (For singing Matchbox 20 again) and Jaydee (For making me hate myself)
Most Disappointing: Greg Neufeld
That was just a BAD performance of a decent song, rushed and all over the place.
Runner-Up: Khalila Glanville, who picked a great song and just didn’t sing it well.