This will come as a shock to no one, but if I didn't have to cover Canadian Idol this week for The Toronto Star, I probably wouldn't have watched last night's two hour finale. At this point, I pretty much have to be paid to do it. No disrespect to the participants or the producers or the fans. Everybody works damn hard to put on a fine show. It's just not my scene and I've seen it too many times before.
Still, in other years, I have sat out the season only to be wowed at the finale. Not this year.
Theo Tams, from Lethbridge, Alta., was the winner. He and runner-up Mitch McDonald seemed like nice chaps on the phone this weekend, good luck to them both. But have to say I was not impressed with the talent level on stage last night. The 10 Idol finalists were an uneven bunch, and not just because they were mainly men.
Coming at this as someone who is not a fan, not down at the Bassett Theatre every week, I just found this group of finalists to be utterly forgettable. I honestly thought I'd be pleasantly surprised by somebody, that they would exceed my expectations. I'm sure they're all nice kids, that they love their hometowns, that any parent would be proud of any one of them. I just couldn't get too excited about their singing or their stage presence, and the producers must have felt the same way. The 10 finalists had very limited exposure last night, off stage for an hour between the opening rock medley and another ensemble song around the 9:22 mark.
It makes you wonder if, after six cross-country talent search sessions, that the pool for this show hasn't already been drained.
The judges, too, were largely sidelined last night, retired to these big, goofy-looking red chairs. They looked like they were waiting to be picked up at the LaZboy warehouse centre.
That is the pattern at these Idol finales--showcase the special guest headliners--but it did seem as if the regular Idol kids were marginalized more than usual last night. Announcing the winner at the last minute was almost like an after thought, like paying the babysitter.
Part of the problem, I guess, is that we've seen this six times now, 13 if you count all the American Idol finales. You know the thing lasts two hours, that we'll go via satellite to the kids' hometowns, that somebody's Grade Five music teacher will be pulled in front of a microphone. We also knows that there will be a zillion promos for whatever CTV is hyping next, that network news stars will get a little face time. (Funny CTV could not lure some big names from the neighboring Toronto film fest into the mix.)
You can read more about the Idol finale in my report for The Star here.
Idol chatter also takes up much of this week's radio chit chat with CHML's Scott Thompson, recorded before Tams victory was announced. Listen in here. There's also some blather about that Alaskan hockey mom and all the electioneering turning up on talk shows south of the border. Is Palin tailor made for The View or what?