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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 31, 2003 - Issue 88


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Courtney Jourdain Wins Thunder Bay Idol Competition

by Leith Dunick Thunder Bay Newsource
credits: photo NCI Country Jam 2002

Courtney JourdainCourtney Jourdain, Lac Le Croix, almost didn't make it to the Thunder Bay Idol auditions on Friday, but thanks to a little push from her parents, the sixteen year old is now off to Toronto and a chance to audition in front of the Canadian Idol judges next month.

Jourdain was with her family in the Atikokan area and had decided not to bother entering the two-day competition, which was held at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Her parents told her she should at least give it a try, and her sister managed to get her to the stage in time to strut her stuff before the panel of judges.

In addition to winning the trip to Toronto, Jourdain will also have the opportunity to open a show at the Auditorium over the course of the next year.

Sandra Crofford, music director for Hot 105, said she and her colleagues immediately noticed how strong a voice Jourdain possesses, despite a dainty appearance.

'When she sang yesterday she was just this little teeny thing. When she sang, it was like, whoa, that's the strongest voice I've ever heard with tons of control and power. Then today, I mean the crowd said everything. It was wonderful,' said Crofford.

Jourdain's stirring rendition of Prince's Purple Rain brought the sold-out house to its feet, helping her outlast 69 other hopefuls to claim the crown. The teen, who has had no formal voice training, was still in shock following her winning performance, saying she had no thoughts of winning on day one of the competition.

'At first I wasn't sure about it and I wasn't sure if I should (even) go in it because I was kind of scared of the other competitors. I got here, then I advanced to the different places that there were - the top 50 then the top 15, then to the top five - and I was really overwhelmed because I didn't think I was going to make it that far,' said Jourdain, who first sang the song in competition when she was 11. It was her aunt and uncle who introduced her to country singer LeAnn Rimes' version of the song.

'I didn't place, but I kept singing it over and over again and got better and better,' she said.

Crofford is convinced Jourdain will enjoy similar success in Toronto next month

'Chances?' Crofford asked when questioned what she thought if the winner could take the national crown. 'She's going to win.'

Jourdain was joined in the final five by well-known local singer Eryn Hull, Christina Trinidad, Brent Thiessen and Robin Pare. Judge Laurie Langcastor said any one of the five could easily have won on Saturday night, but in the end it was a unanimous decision to choose Jourdain.

'There were a lot of fabulous singers in the competition, but we wanted somebody - and not to be cliché - who really could walk into Toronto and have everyone go, 'That person's from Thunder Bay?' We wanted someone who could really shine and we think that Courtney is that person.'

Hull, whose rendition of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive and ease in front of the crowd would have made her an equally deserving choice, said Jourdain was the right choice.

'She was amazing and I couldn't be any happier with what happened, I thought it was great,' she said.

The winner, who said she has a fear of flying, is confident she will overcome it in time for her date in front of the Toronto judges. Her father Leon said either he or his wife Elaine will travel to the Ontario capital to cheer on their daughter.

'I'm just absolutely amazed that she won,' said Courtney's father. 'I'm just glad she came.'

Jourdain said she will spend the next week or so deciding which song she will perform in Toronto, stating it was too early to think about the next level just yet.

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