Ashley Leitao Turfed From Canadian Idol

Ashley Leitao
This week's round of Canadian Idol may have been dedicated to Stevie Wonder, but funnily enough, it's the voters who can't see. On last night's oh-so-emotional results show, Burnaby's Ashley Leitao was given the news that she had received the lowest number of the 2.4 million votes after Tuesday's Stevie Wonder-themed installment of the competition. Things started off cheery enough: Sass Jordan looked decades younger sporting a Fergie-ish ponytail, while metrosexual Ben Mulroney bounced out in an unforgettable turquoise sweater. Then the nine finalists performed a medley of Stevie hits like "Uptight," "Ribbon In The Sky" (a solo showcase for big voice balladeer, Amber Fleury) and "Sign, Sealed, Delivered," which was led by Saskatoon's Josh Palmer. Perhaps if Palmer had performed that song instead of "That Girl," he wouldn't have been sent down to the week's bottom three. Yet, Idol panelist Jake Gold had another explanation for this week's bottom three, which once again included Calgary's Melissa O'Neil: Blame Western Canada. Supposedly they aren't voting hardcore for their hometown heroes in the West, while those wacky East Coasters have probably been phoning rabidly for Newfoundland's Rex Goudie and New Brunswick's Casey Leblanc. Oh, to think that callers aren't electing their next Canadian Idol based on singing talent, but by proximity! Voters did, however, come out to vote for Sudbury's Daryl Brunt, who was in last week's bottom three, but came out unscathed this time around. He embraced Leitao, who was even more terrified than the previous Wednesday. Experiencing an extreme fit of anxiety, Leitao was in tears and Idol staff and cast all huddled around her to help her gather her wits during the commercial break. After much deep breathing and wet tissues, Leitao was revealed to be the lowest vote-getter to a hushed and empathetic audience. It's a shame, since her lively showing of Wonder's "Sir Duke" was definitely not the worst performance of that evening, although judges had compared it to casino stage fare. O'Neil, Palmer, Brunt, Goudie, Leblanc and Fleury, as well as Kamloops' Suzi Rawn and St. Thomas, Ontario's Aaron Walpole, all advance to next week's round, when they perform the hits of the '80s. —Brian Wong
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