Ryan Malcolm has beat out 15,736 other competitors to take the historic, first-ever Canadian Idol crown, it was announced live on CTV last night.
The 23-year-old Kingston, Ontario native bested runner-up Gary Beals after receiving the majority of an incredible 3.3 million votes cast last night following the broadcast. Immediately following the show, Malcolm signed a recording contract with Lisa Zbitnew, President, BMG Canada Inc.
Canadian Idol Winner Ryan Malcolm
In addition to winning the coveted title of Canadian Idol, Malcolm has won a recording contract with BMG Canada Inc. He begins preparation next week on an album to be released this fall. His first single, Something More, will begin airplay on radio stations tomorrow morning before being released to record stores Sept. 30.
In addition, Malcolm has recorded a track for the upcoming American Idol Christmas CD, entitled “The Great Holiday Classics,” and will appear on an American Idol Christmas special this November.
With a record Monday audience of 2.65 million viewers,* (the most ever for a performance episode), the CTV series has vaulted straight into the history books: Canadian Idol (1.98 million viewers) has surpassed the 1989-90 series Road to Avonlea (1.97 million, CBC) to become the new title-holder for the single-most successful Canadian series ever. A final figure will be announced tomorrow after tonight‘s audience is calculated.
Malcolm‘s win tonight is the culmination of a process that began April 14 in Winnipeg that took show producers across the country on an eight-city tour in search of Canada‘s best and brightest young singers. In June, an anticipated group of 100 “gold ticket” winners ballooned to 143 after producers were over-whelmed by the quality of talent. By July, the group of 143 had been reduced by Canadian Idol‘s four-member judging panel to 30 semi-finalists from across the country.
Seven hundred thousand Canadians voted in the first of four “Top 30” shows. By the end of the semi-finalist competition in early August, it was decided that the planned group of “Top 10” finalists would become a group of 11 after two wildcard competitors advanced instead of one.
As the Top 11 shows progressed in late summer, 11 formerly unknown amateur singers became household names as Canadian Idol drew record-breaking audiences. On August 26, a Top 11 compilation CD – “Canadian Idol Greatest Moments” – was released by BMG Canada Inc. / ViK.recordings and immediately achieved Gold status in Canada.
In tonight‘s live, two-hour broadcast, viewers were treated to a performance by American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, who, following the show, welcomed Malcolm to the Idol family as the third North American Idol.
Tonight‘s show also featured a duet by Malcolm and Beals (Don‘t Dream It‘s Over), as well as a reunion of the Top 11. The group performed four times, including a medley of Motown hits, Summertime Classics and Canadian standards, a group production of I‘ve Had the Time of My Life, and a medley of their individual tracks from the Canadian Idol compilation CD.
The finale also featured a look back at highlights from the 26-episode series, including a taped reprise of Choose Me, the production number from The Best and The Worst of Canadian Idol.
L‘Oreal Paris is the premier broadcast sponsor of Canadian Idol. L‘Oréal Paris is a division of L‘Oréal Canada, the leader in the Canadian cosmetics market. A wholly owned subsidiary of L‘Oréal Group, the world‘s leading cosmetics company, L‘Oreal offers its customers a wide range of choices with its diverse portfolio of brands and encompasses all aspects of beauty.
Canadian Idol is produced in association with CTV by Insight Productions, producers of The 2003 JUNO Awards, along with Atlantic Canada-based Rink Rat Productions and Alberta-based Aquila Productions. John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby are Executive Producers.
— Monday night record as 2.65 million watched final showdown between Ryan and Gary —
— Voting ends on record note as 3.3 million votes cast in prelude to grand finale