Anime North Idol 2013

Once again, I was in charge of Canada’s biggest Jpop and anime singing competition: Anime North Idol.

The event was scheduled Saturday May 25th at the main event room of the Double Tree Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

I think it was the best Anime North and Anime North Idol I experienced so far. Everything went super smoothly and the level of competition completely blew me away. I have been involved in idol-type events at conventions since 2007 and I had never seen a competition that fierce :)

It all started Friday at the Opening Ceremonies where Michelle Nahmad, Idol winner 2012, performed her winning song from last year. She delivered a very entertaining performance and it was a great way to kick off the convention!

The next morning, the group gathered at 9:30 am at the Windsor Room for the 2 hours of non-stop auditions. Working that morning were Irulanne, Tobi Moegan Malette, Kaytlynn Milligan, Andrew Kaidaj Scott, Maxime Girard and Mark Nguyen. Jean-Philippe RedCavalier Méthot joined us shortly after to assist as well. We had over 40 auditions!!!

Although we technically had 5 auditions judges, we had such a hard time picking up our finalists that both Mark and Jean-Philippe joined in to help pick not 7, but 8 finalists!

These finalists were Yua Wakana, Ashley Perry, Lili Nguyen, Ricky Tse, Jean-Claude Ting, Jennifer Lee, Elisabeth Santos and returning 2012 finalist Joanna Zhu.

After a 2 hour break, we all gathered at the Ballroom Plaza for a quick soundcheck and run through before the show. On staff, we were joined by Shane Whalley.

Our celebrity judges this year were singing teacher Elana Laing, music producer and DJ Initial P as well as Extreme Anime Radio DJ Nef Canuck.

Due to my exceptional skills, we were able to start the show on time ;)

Ex-Pinku Project member Berry Risa performed the  opening number with “Zankokuna Tenshi no Teze” – the theme song of Evangelion.

This year MC/Host was the fabulous Andrew “Kaidaj” Scott – former Otakuthon idol winner and Anime North Idol judge. He did a -fantastic- job! Really, some people are just born to be on stage!

Before the competition really began, we had a little surprise for the audience and finalists. Michael Dapello, the very first idol winner in 2011, had recorded a small video from Japan to explain the reason of his absence. You can watch it below :)

 

Then, our 8 finalists performed one after the other and all received very valuable critic and comments from our judges. For more photo, visit the Facebook Photo Gallery here.

 

While the judges were deliberating to pick the new idol winner, last year idol Michelle Nahmad performed again for the audience.

The level of talent of all the finalists was so good that the judges had a hard time picking up an ultimate winner. But they finally made their decision and I had the pleasure to announce the winner myself :)

And… Anime North Idol 2013 winner is… ELISABETH SANTOS!!!

Elisabeth had charmed the judges with a very touching and flawless rendition of Sekai no Yakusoku from Howl’s Moving Castle.

We could really tell and feel that the audience had the time of their lives with the show.

We then took a group photo with the whole team of staff, assistants, judges and finalists!

But it was not over yet!!! The next day, Elisabeth was invited to performed at the Closing Ceremonies in front of several of the convention guests of honor and upper management staff of the convention. She once again blew everyone away with her soft operatic voice and flawless performance of Sekai no Yakusoku. She will be returning next year as a Guest singer for Idol 2014 :)

Here’s the video montage of all the performances related to Anime North Idol 2013

And so it ends.

If you’d like to be involved in the next Anime North Idol, don’t hesitate to send an email to animenorthidol @ gmail.com.

Once again, congratulations to Elisabeth and all the finalists. You were all amazing. To the staff and assistants, I couldn’t do anything without all your support. Thank you :)