Contest gives singer hope
MISSION She came so far but in the end, Carly Rae Jepsen, the tiny waitress from Mission, didn’t make the final cut in CTV’s Canadian Idol singing contest.
She lost to Jaydee Bixby, a 17ye a r - o l d s t u d e n t f rom Drumheller, Alta., and Brian Melo, a 25- year- old construction worker from Hamilton, Ont.
Jepsen received the fewest of more than four million votes cast — the most so far this season — following Monday’s performance episode.
There were sad faces and a few moans Tuesday night among staff at the Mission Springs Brewing Pub where Jepsen worked until about five months ago.
The staff really thought she had a crack at winning on the television show.
Ernie Williams, who wore a Vote For Carly T- shirt while working in the pub, said he knew Jepsen from their time working together.
“ She told me one night she was a singer.”
Williams wasn’t totally convinced until a B. C. talent search last March at the pub. Jepsen sang. “ She had her guitar. She was really, really good.”
Also waiting tables was Sommer Fernandes, who used to run into Jepsen backstage at local talent contests where Fernandes performed as a dancer.
“ She was totally pleasant, awesome, really humble.”
Sarah Thomas said her brother Bryn knew Jepsen well at Heritage Park secondary school and was following the contest closely.
Thomas said Jepsen started all the school musicals. “ She is really great.”
When it was over and Jepsen had lost, Fernandes said she was just really sad. But everyone in the pub said the local girl had done well to get as far as she did.
For 21- year- old Jepsen, the contest has been an emotional roller- coaster. In a personal blog, she admitted she “ bawled like a big baby” when she found out she made it to the top 22 in the show that has gone through a sixmonth winnowing process.
“ I couldn’t help it. I was so shocked and so happy.”
Jepsen is a huge fan of Mission and vice versa. She says she is proud of her hometown because of the people. She said everyone in Mission seems to have a huge appreciation for music. “ I love that I was born here.” The budding performer says she’s been singing for as long as she can remember and competed in her first talent show at age 11. In school, she performed in musicals, including the female lead in Annie, The Wiz and Grease.
She and her father, school principal Larry Jepsen, loved to sing together with dad on guitar. The pair even took to the stage in a talent show in Hatzic Lake where they sang Beauty and the Beast and Eternal Flame ( by the Bangles). Her father was incredibly nervous; Carly was shocked and exhilarated.
Her mother, Alexandra Lanzarotta, recalled in a recent interview with The Sun the musical skits her young daughter would perform in the living room.
“ She would take a song and interpret it in her own unique way,” said Lanzarotta. “ She’d come out, and we’d have to sit on the couch [ and] be ready; she’d have the costumes and do a whole repertoire of song and dance and movement and action.”
Her parents split when Carly was three. From then on, she was raised by two sets of parents. Lanzarotta’s own father had been in a band and her brother still is, so both homes were filled with music. All four of Carly’s parents are also educators.
Jepsen performs locally with Blue Morris 6, a group that plays old- style songs by performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington.
The town is so proud of her, Mayor James Atebe spearheaded a declaration of Carly Rae Jepsen Day. The celebration was Aug. 25 when the Canadian Idol contestant performed and signed autographs for the locals.
Tuesday night’s show featured past winners Kalan Porter and Ryan Malcolm with his band Low Level Flight, as well as former finalist Jacob Hoggard with his band Hedley.
Carly Rae Jepsen performs the judges’ choice, At Seventeen, by Janis Ian on the Canadian Idol TV show.
Ernie Williams ( left) and Sommer Fernandes cheer on local Canadian Idol singer, Mission’s Carly Rae Jepsen. from the Mission Springs Pub in downtown Mission. Jepsen used to work in the bar.
Carly Rae Jepsen starred in all her high school musicals.