After weeks of judge reprimands for choosing songs from eras past, Canadian Idol's Top 9 had a good excuse to rock the hits from the good old days - 1960s theme week. Choosing some of the decade's grittiest songs, the competitors showed their ability to relate to music well beyond their years.
They gave one of the best performance shows so far this year, and according to judge Sass Jordan after the show finished, the best show the series has ever seen in its five years.
Before the singing got started, judges Farley Flex and Jake Gold both noted how important it would be for the competitors to choose songs they could relate to considering none were alive in the decade the music was made.
"It was such a meaningful era," said Farley. "I hope each contestant buys into what the theme is all about. It's a great opportunity to show who you are and what is meaningful to you."
"I think the times today are a lot like the sixties in terms of political and social situations," added Jake. "At the same time I think they really have to connect to the lyrics. From the list I see in front of me, I think they're going to do really well tonight."
Greg Neufeld - Long Black Veil
After admitting earlier in the week that he'd had trouble choosing a song because he doesn't listen to a lot of 1960s music, Greg Neufeld settled on a song that had a recent life as well. Choosing "Long Black Veil," a song originally by Johnny Cash but later covered by Dave Matthews Band, he gave a subdued performance, emulating the Man in Black himself in a black shirt and dress pants.
"My guess is that was better on TV than it was for me," said Zack. "It sounded kind of uptight and really not in the pocket. Lucky for you, you're Canada's next Top Model, so it probably doesn't matter."
"That was so smooth and so calm and so together," added Jake. "It really showed your ability to be a pro, and that's what you are, a pro."
Brian Melo also seemed to finally be coming into his own with his performance, owning the stage during his performance of "Bold As Love," a song initially sung by Jimi Hendrix and more recently redone by John Mayer. He finished off his song by throwing the mic stand across the stand in perfect time with the final beats, earning him a somewhat stern talking-to from the show's concerned host.
"How much is the band loving you right now, getting to kick some Hendrix?" said a beaming Sass. "That was an excellent performance. I really enjoyed it."
"One of the good things I can say about tonight is that only one person goes home tomorrow," mused Zack. "Right now everyone is stepping up. Dude, that was the first time that I completely bought in. That was you being you. It was a real fierce performance."
Next up, Tara Oram kicked her country charm into high gear with an energized version of Dwight Yoakam's take on "Suspicious Minds," originally performed by Elvis Presley. The judges were highly impressed with the way she'd out their advice to be more physical to good use.
"It took you vocally a couple places I haven't seen you go," said Farley. "It showed a lot of things I haven't seen you do before."
"That was the best performance I have seen from you by far," added Sass. "Awesome, awesome energy."