Idol fans oust panel favourites in Top 18 cuts
Eye on Idol
In a vote that proved Canadian Idol viewers are more likely to listen to their intuition than the show's judges, fans eliminated three panel favourites on Wednesday's night's episode.
Of the four members of the Top 18 to say goodbye, only one was forseen by the show's judges. Hippie chick Alyssa Klazek was the only singer in last week's bottom eight to end her Idol run this round, joined by heartthrob Greg Neufeld, R & B princess Alisha Nauth and class clown Chris Labelle.
The judges -- who, among them, mistakenly predicted the ouster of small town rocker Tyler Lewis, country girl Kati Durst, one-hit wonder Rob James, blues belter Ashley Coulter and charismatic playwright Sheldon Elter -- were shocked.
Zack Werner, usually one of the panel's most vocal, was speechless when asked by host Ben Mulroney what he thought of Canada's selections. While declining to make predictions after last night's performance show, he did say he thought Sheldon, Tyler, Alyssa and Ashley Coles deserved to be cut.
Ashley Coles, Ashley Coulter, Sheldon and Rob were indeed called onstage when Ben announced the bottom eight, but returned to their seats unscathed -- to shocked looks from all four members of the panel.
But while his departure wasn't predicted, Greg's exit wasn't completely out of thin air. After rocking the house Jason Mraz-style in his first performance, he failed to live up to the first week's glowing praise with his song on Monday, a version of Elton's John's "Rocket Man" that showed his limitations more than his abilities, according to the judges.
Alisha had earned nothing but accolades in her two live performances, Bon Jovi's "Always" and Phil Collins' "Against All Odds." The worst they had to say was that she'd slightly rushed her second song.
"You deserve to be here for a long time," Zack told her Tuesday night.
Labelle had earned similarly positive reviews, but more for his showmanship than his vocals. After a display this week where he threw Monopoly money on the crowd and cozied up to pianist Mark Lalama, judge Jake Gold said he was the only competitor who acted like he really wanted the Idol title.
But even after learning of his dismal fate, Labelle kept entertaining. When asked what he planned to do next, he used his last televised moment to gun for a new gig.
"If anybody's watching out there I want to be a weatherman," he said, adding "watch out, because I'm going to be dropping an album in January. January!"
It was the lightest moment in a night that left many, including judge Farley Flex, questioning how such talented entertainers were leaving so early in the voting process.
"There's a lot to be said for the wild card," he told Ben near the show's closing. "I think we've got to bring it back."