Ottawa Sun- September 9, 2007
It's not unheard of for Elgin St. to be the site of a ragtag choir enthusiastically belting out incoherent songs.
But it's generally something reserved for after last call.
Yet, late yesterday afternoon, as local karaoke specialists Dog and Pony Sound blasted Madonna's Into the Groove into a closed-off block of Elgin, the rising and falling voices heard from inside the empty storefront adjoining Lieutenant's Pump were clearly sober. And rather accomplished, for amateurs. (Mickie's note : Well, ::of course::)
The occasion was the fourth edition of Pump Idol, a competition that brought some 30 hopefuls out Friday night and saw one of 14 finalists crowned last night.
It's all in aid of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. And it's an event that in its previous three years succeeded at raising nearly $40,000. Laura Butterworth, a former Lieutenant's Pump server who first organized the competition three years ago after learning of a friend and customer's cancer diagnosis, said she hoped this year's event would raise $25,000.
'BETTER EACH YEAR'
"It's been better each year," she said. "It has really brought people together for the cause."
Among those brought out yesterday for the evening of song and a silent auction of items donated by several Centretown businesses were co-host Eva Avila, last year's Canadian Idol champ, and guest performer Chris Labelle, a 2005 Pump Idol finalist who went on to finish in the Canadian Idol Top 18.
Last night's finalists ranged in age from 20 on up, and included at least one veteran of musical theatre as well as karaoke regulars and shower singers. And yes, each performance was properly critiqued by a panel of judges.
But, as one judge, local theatre director Lisa Bishop-Spencer, noted of the panel: "Everybody was really kind. There were no Simon Cowells."