It was a little bittersweet seeing Earl Stevenson get sent home last night on Canadian Idol.
I was happy that it wasn't Drew, and a tiny bit surprised that it wasn't Mitch. Unfortunately for Earl, his performances the night before were some of the weakest he's had in the whole competition, and apparently that was enough to do him in.
I remember Earl from the very early audition phases, when he walked in to perform for the judges and told them all about working for some bulldozing company in Lloydminster. Since then, he's brought some of the best performances of the season (especially last week's rendition of "With a Little Help from my Friends" on Beatles night), as well as loads of humour, including his now-famous grandma line. (After he sang the Hip's "Little Bones" on Canadian Rock night, Zack told him he feared it would scare his grandma, to which Earl replied, "I hope not! I like Grandmas!")
Another reason I liked Earl is because he seemed to be one of the artists that Sebastian connected with the most while he was there. Maybe because they were both a little more off-beat than the others. Earl even played a part in my favourite Idol Blog by Sebastian:
As the contest continued Sebastian found himself more and more tempted to impale himself with sharp metal instruments. His collar seemed to itch him constantly and his pores would open up without prompting and pour sweat down his back and shoulders. Something had twitched at the center of him and for his life he couldn't figure out what it was. He was certain, though, that something had changed. There was a feeling of malice and hatred hanging in the air, choking the sleep out of his bedtime and the fun out of his lackadays, and now here he was, perched on a park bench, puzzling over his unexpected predicament.
"If only I had some sort of spaceship," he thought to himself. "Maybe Earl might know where I could find one." Sebastian raised his head on his sunken shoulders and looked around for his good friend, but Earl was off across the field making conversation with a shrub. Whatever it was they were talking about, Sebastian wished that he was privy.
(As a little aside - man, I wish I could write like Sebastian! The tongue-in-cheek humour, the flow, even the way he writes about himself in the third person - definitely the most unique, talent-laden Blog on the Canadian Idol website. And most other sites, as well. So much better than the "Thanks so much for voting for me! I love you all! This week I'm going to sing blah blah blah..." What's more, through his quirky storytelling, I think I got the most accurate sense of how a competitor getting stomped on by the judges every week really feels.)
In any case, Earl was a friend of Sebastian's; hence, he was a friend of mine.
But the thing most sad about Earl's departure? His last-ditch attempt to get a train going during his swan song fell flatter than flat. Failed miserably. I felt sorry for him that none of those stick-in-the-mud audience members joined him. Or even his buddies on stage. They just stood back and laughed. I mean, c'mon people. Live a little. The guy's final wish was to have a train going, and nobody helpd him make it come true!
Too bad, because it would have been a pretty cool sending off for Earl. Things definitely won't be as zany without him.