Con­test gives singer hope

Vancouver Sun - - Westcoast News - BY YVONNE ZACHARIAS

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.

MARK VAN MANEN / VAN­COU­VER SUN

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.

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