ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Idol offers attitude, powerful vocals and passion
By Lori Mastronardi
Dave Picard and Tim Toplak/Gazette
PREVIEW TO DON’T TELL MAMA. Western Idol winner Angie Gachui (middle
picture, left) and other Mama performers prepared for the upcoming cabaret
revue with a brief performance in the UCC atrium.
After visiting every on-campus residence and affiliated college, and listening
to over three hundred auditions, Western has crowned its first Idol.
Considering her initially humourous approach to the competition, third-year
political science and sociology student Angie Gachui was surprised to learn
she had clinched the Western Idol title.
“It started off as a joke. I was joking around saying ‘Hey, I could
get on stage to perform, win some money.’ Plus, I’ve never been to
Calgary, so why not?” she says.
Gachui impressed judges with her powerful performances of songs including
Peggy Lee’s “Fever” and Alannah Myles’ “Black
“They enjoyed my performances, which pleased me,” Gachui says. “It’s
one thing to please the crowd, but the judges are a bit harder to win over.”
Luckily for Gachui and the other contestants, the Simon Cowell attitude was
absent from the air. “[The judges] weren’t really critical. There
was a lot of encouragement, which just pushed me to want to ‘wow’ them
a little bit more during my next performance.”
Although her musical prowess could likely lead to a successful career, Gachui
is primarily concerned with completing her degree. “I’m not too
sure where [Western Idol] will take me. I had never envisioned myself launching
a full-out career.
“I do get quite a few opportunities to perform in various shows. But
hey, if there’s a way that it can become a side career, why not?” she
Gachui has a distinct style; she enjoys singing at church, prefers neo-soul
gospel music and likes to indulge in a sporadic taste of R&B and jazz.
Although she was able to experiment with her voice during the competition,
Gachui could never envision herself in the standard pop-idol image.
“The mainstream stuff is way too commercial for me and a lot of it I
feel is an insult to good music,” Gachui shares. Rather, if she did pursue
a musical career, she would much rather follow the gospel/neo-soul sound. “That’s
where my heart is... I’m opposed to manufactured artists. I just think
that people should be able to have a style that they are comfortable with,” she
Gachui has been involved in numerous musical productions: London Musical Theatre’s
Kiss Me Kate, The African Students Culture show and the upcoming Don’t
Tell Mama. “And once in awhile, I do a cameo appearance on CHRW [94.9
FM]; my friend has a show. He sings a beat and I either freestyle or use a
cover over it.”
And how does the Western Idol manage to balance her plethora of commitments? “I
don’t [go to] sleep too early. And more often than not, the rehearsals
are on weekends and in the evenings. It’s been a bit tighter since Western
Idol, but I’m managing.”
Despite her busy schedule, Gachui, humorously labelled the “poster child” of
the production, showcased her talents this past Wednesday in the University
Community Centre atrium in a preview of Don’t Tell Mama. Her performance
generated a small crowd of adoring fans, all eager to obtain autographs from
the Western Idol. But don’t worry — her star status has not translated
into a Kelly Clarkson-esque ego; rather, she responded to her fans with genuine
Not sure what to expect from the cabaret review? Angie confidently offers
an answer: “Attitude... powerful vocals... and passion.”
If you’d like to get an autograph while you still can, attend Don’t
Tell Mama: A Night at the Cabaret on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at The Wave.
Song selections of an Idol
What were Angie Gachui’s song selections?
Gachui was able to experiment with her voice through the following songs:
“Kiss From a Rose”
“I Believe in You and Me”
Who placed in the top five?
Five Western Idol contestants were recognized for their distinct
Who judged the competition?
A range of judges were chosen to select Western’s first
Canadian Idol Contestant
University Students’ Council VP-student affairs
Singer/guitarist/keyboardist of The Heard Mentality
Master’s music student, vocal major
How were the contestants judged?
In order to ensure a fair selection process, the judges based
their decision on the following scoring criteria:
Scored from 1-10
Scored from 1-5
Originality of Presentation
Scored from 1-5
Scored from 1-5
Remember these guys?
American Idols Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson?
Canadian Idol Ryan Malcolm?
Well, Angie Gachui may soon be on their supa-star level.
She’s conquered Western. Next up: the world.