This season, the semifinals saw a number of format changes: from the number of contestants (24, instead of 22), and an uneven gender composition (more males than females), to the performance group division (not by gender), and variation of group composition (changed from week to week). The semifinals results shows also saw some 'surprise' (unannounced) changes, including special 'showcase' performances and judge-selected 'encore' performances, and a variation in the number of contestants eliminated (6, instead of 4, in the final week).

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In the years directly following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865, many newly free blacks discarded the spirituals as reminders of a time they wanted to forget. They were called “sorrow songs,” these folk tunes that spoke of a weary people held captive and beat down because of their race. But there was no getting over the songs, which resonated so deeply with listeners. Post-slavery singing groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers trained their voices to sing the cultured songs of European composers, but it was always “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Ezekial Saw the Wheel” and the rest of the slave songs segment of the program that brought audiences to their feet.
So many old spirituals, such as “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep,” “Didn’t It Rain,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” endure today, because they provide the same lift, the same kinship through melody, as they did 150 years ago.
Blues music also sprung from the spirituals, with such bleak numbers as “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See” and “Steal Away To Jesus” laying the foundation for the lyrical realism that would be the domain of Delta bluesmen. But there’s also great release in the growling rhythms. Just as the slaves sang “The Lord Delivered Daniel (Why Not Me)” to hoist their spirits, blues singers shout about no-good liars and cheats as a way to get over them.
Music is the language of the soul, that invisible entitity that preachers are always trying to save. Music expands the people who create it. It diverts, elates and comforts.

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Notable among their contemporaries were the cultured and technically adroit French baritones Jean Lassalle (hailed as the most accomplished baritone of his generation), Victor Maurel (the creator of Verdi's Iago, Falstaff and Tonio in Leoncavallo 's Pagliacci ), Paul Lhérie (the first Posa in the revised, Italian-language version of Don Carlos ), and Maurice Renaud (a singing actor of the first magnitude). Lassalle, Maurel and Renaud enjoyed superlative careers on either side of the Atlantic and left a valuable legacy of recordings. Five other significant Francophone baritones who recorded, too, during the early days of the gramophone/phonograph were Léon Melchissédec and Jean Noté of the Paris Opera and Gabriel Soulacroix , Henry Albers and Charles Gilibert of the Opéra-Comique. The Quaker baritone David Bispham , who sang in London and New York between 1891 and 1903, was the leading American male singer of this generation. He also recorded for the gramophone.

Mary Christine Brockert better known as Teena Marie was one of the greatest singers of her generation. Her distinct rich and soulful voice defined American pop music in the 1980s. Known for her powerful vocals and amazing song-writing skills, she became one of the most celebrated voices in R&B despite being of Italian, Irish, Portuguese and Native American descent. African Americans embraced her unique and iconic sound of rhythm and blues music. With hits such as “Square Biz,” “I Need Your Lovin,” and “Lovergirl," Teena became the most successful white solo act in Motown history. Her labelmate Rick James further helped the young songstress to cross over to black audiences. The two were very close up until his death in 2004. She passed away just six years later in December 2010.

The sixth and final season of Canadian Idol is the sixth and final installation of the Idol series in Canada and premiered on June 3, 2008, on the CTV Television Network.


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