Monday, September 10, 2007

Bon Idol Finale Tonight

It's Bon Jovi night and the last night of the Canadian Idol competition. This past week, the two surviving Canadian Idols jetted down to New York for some advice from Bon Jovi. Before the show started, I wondered how that would work. I had no idea who could sing Bon Jovi well and would prevail. It was a toss-up between the boy and the man I felt. But in the end it wasn't.

Jaydee started off not well. The first words were a mash with the instruments, but then his singing got stronger. If you closed your eyes, it was good. Unfortunately, he has a way to go with the physical part of his performance. That arm swinging made me want to reach through the screen and grab it and shove it in his pocket.

Brian started strong and stayed strong. He emoted, he controlled his voice much better than ever before so that it didn't go flat, he made a real effort to put everything he had -- emotion, talent, energy -- into the song. And it showed. I didn't recognize it as a "Bon Jovi" song. These guys are singing after CTV airs clips from Bon Jovi's latest video, a hard act to follow, and interpreting the song his way stood Brian in good stead.

"All I Ever Wanted"

Jaydee sang this as his second song, and he redeemed himself. He sounded neither country nor Elvis, which may or may not have been a good thing, and his voice went unchracateristically flat in a couple of places, but he sang it as if he felt it. That made all the difference in the world.

Unusually the Idols-that-be had the two go head-to-head with the Idol song "All I Ever Wanted."

When Brian sang it, we all knew exactly who he ever wanted: the audience. I thought that Jaydee would outsing him on the power notes, but Brian obviously spent this past week rehearsing those notes so that he would retain full control of them and his rasp for the whole nine yards without going flat. Given past performances, not an easy feat for him. Of the two, it's very clear Brian wants this more than Jaydee, and he's ready.

I thought Ben Mulroney was going to wet his pants trying not to laugh when introducing Jaydee for the last and third time. He wasn't kidding when he said we'd be surprised at his song choice. Jaydee sang the Tom Jones hit "It's not Unusual." The judges were not that impressed, but I thought the old Jaydee came out not swaggering but at least swinging. His voice was easily heard this time, and it was entertaining. He's still got a lot to learn, and so I don't think he's ready for the Idol opportunity. But give him a couple of years in comfortable obscurity to gain life experience and to learn how to handle pressure, and he'll blast back onto the stage way better than he is now.

For his final song of the season, Brian chose Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." How would he do? I worried. Could he maintain the standard he set with his first song? No worries. He sang it in tune, with notes I didn't even know he could sing. Wow. Nothing more to be said.

Tomorrow night tune in at 8:00 pm to see Bon Jovi live, first time ever on Canadian television, and Avril Lavigne, first time ever on Idol. It'll make the excruciating two-hour wait for the Idol reveal bearable. In the meanwhile folks, go vote!

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