Sunday, August 05, 2007

Canadian Idol Watch Top 8 Favorite Performances

Canadian Idol's Top 8 had their hands full for unplugged week: an intimate set-up that included seats for fans on the stage, singing with an acoustic band for the only time this season and facing a panel of judges that seemed even more unforgiving than usual.

Before handing out a series of not-so-sparkling reviews, the judges gave out some last minute hints on what they were expecting from the night's unplugged performances.

"I expect intense emotion and hopefully they'll deliver," said judge Jake Gold.

"The thing with being unplugged is you have to supply your own power," concurred Farley Flex after host Ben Mulroney asked for one of his classic puns.

Greg Neufeld - Ready to Love

Ending off the night was another panel golden boy, Abbotsford's Greg Neufeld. Not one to dissapoint, he closed the show with a pitch-perfect rendition of Bryan Adams' "Ready to Love You," making even the world's biggest selling Spanish-language artist feel a tinge of jealousy and prompting yet another post-judging hug from the atypically chummy Zack.

"You have that type of voice that I wish I had," Enrique said to a shocked Neufeld. "That raspiness, it's perfect."

"Fantastic performance," noted Jake. "You have it all, you really do."

Brian Melo - She Talks to Angel

The first grand slam of the night came when Brian Melo took centre stage for a renditon of the Black Crowes gritty ballad "She Talks to Angels." With a rosary wrapped around his left hand, he belted out the tune in a way that helped everyone in the house forget there had ever been another version of the song.

"It already feels like he's a superstar and he's sold millions of albums," said Enrique.

"You used all the flaws in your voice as assets," said Zack. "That was killer, dude."

Always a judge favourite, Carly Rae Jepsen had no trouble wooing the ladies' man/houseguest after singing her acoustic version of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn." The judges seemed to be won over just as easily, with agreement from all sides that Carly Rae has a knack for making cover songs her own like few singers they've ever heard.

"You have the type of gift that the minute you sing... I know I'm going to go buy the record," Enrique told her. "That's what I would do."

"This girl is singular, she is identifiable," said Zack, who rushed the stage after the judging to give Carly a huge hug. "I love what you do."

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