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Ryan Malcolm wins first 'Canadian Idol' title


By Wade Paulsen, 09/18/2003 

The Toronto Sun reports that, as expected, Ryan Malcolm from Kingston, Ontario was selected by viewers as the winner of CTV's Canadian Idol. Malcolm, known by the derogatory moniker "Waiter Boy" -- a reference to his real-life job prior to Idol, defeated Nova Scotian Gary Beals in the final showdown.

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As vote totals were not announced during the program, most observers figured that Ryan won handily and wondered if the behavior of Gary's fans toward third-place finisher Billy Klippert had hurt Gary in the last vote. However, producers may have just been trying to avoid a repeat of the American Idol 2 vote-count debacle.

Interestingly, the Sun also reports that the finale of Canadian Idol, which drew 3.01 million viewers according to Nielsen, failed to outdraw the May 21 finale of American Idol 2, which drew 3.41 million viewers to CTV. It doesn't appear that the drop can be attributed to the absence of judge Simon Cowell, as Venus Records president Zack Werner from Toronto was a more than adequate homegrown replacement. Instead, the results may reflect the difference in talent between Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, on the one hand, and the difference between Ryan and Gary, on the other hand -- which was more similar to the difference between American Idol 1 finalists Kelly Clarkson, who is now a major pop star, and Justin Guarini, who isn't.

BMG Music has signed Ryan to a recording contract, and his initial release, a ballad entitled "Something More," is due for quick release, to be followed by a full album in December (according to the Calgary Sun). Interestingly, Ryan has also committed to Simon Fuller's World Idol -- and he will appear on a Fox Christmas special in the U.S. with the American Idol alumni.

Like Billy, Ryan is not particularly interested in mainstream "adult contemporary" fare, although that is where the bulk of Idol performances focus. Instead, Ryan has been discussing performing together with Billy (whom BMG also has an exclusive option to sign for the next two months) and to head away from the middle of the road in his upcoming recordings. We wish Ryan success in his efforts to remove the Idol "pop" stigma.









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