I really don't understand why the premier of Saskatchewan is upset about this. (article included below) He should be grateful that CTV is sparing his fine province from the patheticness that is Canadian Idol, not to mention Ben Mulroney.
Premier outraged Idol skipping Saskatchewan
Last Updated: Friday, January 4, 2008 | 1:40 PM ET
The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall is calling on fans of Canadian Idol to lodge a protest after Saskatchewan was left off the list of audition locations this year.
Wall said he was outraged when he learned the reality TV talent competition would schedule auditions in 10 major Canadian cities, but leave out both Regina and Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan's Theresa Sokyrka performs on Canadian Idol in September 2004. She encouraged new contestants to drive to Edmonton or Winnipeg to audition.
(Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)
"I think it's more than a little bit ironic that we are apparently good enough for the Rolling Stones, but no longer good enough apparently for 'Canadian Idol,"' Wall told the Canadian Press.
In the fall of 2006, the Stones played two sold-out shows in Regina and set a record for concert revenue.
The province has produced three top five performers so far in Canadian Idol, including Season 2 runner-up Theresa Sokyrka, and Matt Rapley, who made it to No. 5 on the show last season.
Supervising producer Mark Lysakowski said there isn't room on the schedule for a Saskatchewan stop.
The Juno Awards for the best in Canadian music are being held in Calgary this year and Canadian Idol producers wanted auditions in both Calgary and Edmonton.
Somewhere had to be left out and that somewhere was Saskatchewan.
"We only have so much we can do in the allotted time from when we start our auditions and when we need to have the show on the air," Lysakowski said.
"We will be back. This is not to say that Saskatchewan has fallen off the Canadian Idol radar forever. It's a place we want to come back to — we need to come back to."
It's the first time since Season 1 that an audition has not been held in either Regina or Saskatoon.
Wall is encouraging Canadian Idol fans to send messages protesting the change to the show's web site.
Many Saskatchewan residents echoed his outrage.
Rapley, a shy 18-year-old who was encouraged to audition by his music teacher, said he considers the move an "insult."
"I do take it personally a little," Rapley said. "I know a lot of talent came out of Saskatchewan in the last five years."
His mother Jackie Rapley was hurt that Saskatchewan is being overlooked.
"Maybe that is not their intent, but my feeling on it is that they are saying there is no talent in Saskatchewan — that is how I am taking it," she said.
Sokyrka, who went to Edmonton for an audition before being accepted at an audition in Saskatchewan, encourages young performers to travel to the other cities to try out for the show.
It would be a day's travel to Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg for Saskatchewan residents.
"I know that even though they are not coming here, there will be someone in the top 10 from Saskatchewan. There is no question of it," Sokyrka said.
Aside from Sokyrka and Rapley, Tyler Lewis of Rockglen, Sask., made it all the way to No. 3 on Season 4 of the show.
Saskatchewan residents have been enthusiastic supporters of talent from close to home.
The 10-city audition tour begins Jan. 26 in Edmonton, and would-be stars are once again being invited to bring musical instruments.
Hamilton, Ont., the hometown of reigning Canadian Idol Brian Melo, will be among the audition stops.