Kalan Porter: Cherub toy or mama’s boy?

Postscript goes to the Canadian Idol finale—with sexy results

Dancing, prancing, crying and hugging: Idols run amok during the finale last Thursday.
Dancing, prancing, crying and hugging: Idols run amok during the finale last Thursday.
Photos courtesy of idol.ca

I have something to admit, and I’m prepared to lose all my credibility as a writer, music-lover and human being as a consequence.

I love Canadian Idol, and now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with my life.

Yes, I admit that the show is cheesy, resembles a high-class karaoke contest, and the winner generally becomes lost in the oubliette of adult contemporary music.

At the same time though, this past season of Canadian Idol was some of the most compelling reality television I have ever seen—and as last issue’s Features section pointed out, most of Canada seems to agree. More than 32 million votes were logged for the top two contenders Kalan Porter and Theresa Sokyrka in the big show-down last Wednesday—the equivalent of one vote for every Canadian.

It didn’t hurt that the Top Ten contestants on the show this year were undoubtedly a million times better than last year’s Top Ten. No offense, Ryan Malcolm, but did you see how down-to-earth, professional and just plain good this year’s crop were? Between the golden, classic-rock sensibility of Kalan and the genuinely sweet and jazzy Theresa, voters had a tough call to make last Wednesday.

I acquired the Canadian Idol fan equivalent of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket last week when a media friend took me as his escort to the series finale and post-party last Thursday. On that fateful night, Kalan Porter was crowned the beatific, curly-haired king of Idols.

After the confetti was swept up and the schmoozing completed, I was left with my Top Ten final thoughts in the post-Idol afterglow.

1. The shows are much more exciting when you’re there in person.

The energy of the audience is electric and contagious. All the lingering “I’m-too-cool-for-this” sentiment in me was immediately destroyed and I began hollering with the rest of ‘em.

And even though you can definitely count Ben Mulroney among my least favorite people, I felt the hairs on my arms stand up when he walked on stage —in an awful velvet suit—and hollered, “Here are your Canadian Idols, Canada!”

2. Teenyboppers are a constant danger.

The female fans’ screaming ardor for the more comely male Idols was heard from 4 p.m. onwards Thursday afternoon, when they lined up in various stages of undress in front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, gibbering and hopping like a cluster of rabid spider monkeys. The fact that Kalan Porter can continue singing even when being interrupted with piercing shrieks of “Kalan, I love you, come to my bed now etc,” is a testament to the young cherub’s powers of concentration.

3. Really cool, interesting people—like director and actor extraordinaire Don McKellar—come to Canadian Idol shows.

It was both heartening and shocking for me to see Mr. McKellar seated not 10 seats away from my friend and I before the show began. Never one to miss an opportunity, I nervously went over and struck up a conversation with the man—who, as it turns out, is extraordinarily kind. His favorite Idol? The super-punky Jacob Hoggard, of course.

4. Kalan Porter cannot dance to save his life. Depending on your perspective this fact is either really endearing or really, really funny. Thank goodness he can sing.

5. The after-party took place at a sleazy/swanky bar appropriately called “Schmooze’s.” Here, we witnessed many of the Idols in their native environment while extremely drunk.

6. Jason Greeley, Shane Wiebe and Queen’s darling Elena Juatco are just as attractive and nice in real life as they are on television.

7. Joshua Sellers is not.

8. In fact, Joshua Sellers is a randy lil’ devil.

When not getting hit on by the aforementioned semi-clad teenyboppers, the drunken pride of Sharon, Ontario Joshua Sellers proceeded to hit on everyone else — male or female—in the bar. I won’t name names here, but boy, was my face red!

9. Um, Kalan Porter was accompanied by his mother for most of the after-party.

This was both weird and uncomfortable. I assume she had a big stick/javelin hidden in her purse to fight off the many hormone-crazed women chasing after her virginal son.

10. Halfway through the night, a drunken and half-clad Jacob Hoggard grabbed the microphone.

The punk rock crowd favorite announced to the bar that the DJ was going to play “a techno song” he and Kalan apparently “wrote” while living in the Idol mansion together. As the rest of the Idols crowded onto the dance floor and began flailing with glee, the song “Dance for Love”—featuring Hoggard’s squeaky vocals screaming: “We have to dance for love!” over Euro-beats—blared from the speakers.

My friend and I watched with faint smiles on our faces and agreed that the sight of tipsy dancing Idols was utterly beguiling—if not a little absurd.

“No matter what happens to them career-wise, these friendships will last a lifetime,” we said to each other as Hoggard began tearing down the cardboard cut-outs of the Top Ten Idols set up around the floor.

And with that, we toasted to the legacy of the “best Top Ten of any Idol show, ever,”—to quote Ben Mulroney—and clinked our blue glasses of “Idol-tinis.” Cheers to you all.

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