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Snowshoe Idol set for season five
New format will be used to choose the winner

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 24, 2012

A popular singing contest is returning to Fort Providence with a new date and a new format after a one-year hiatus.

NNSL photo/graphic

William Landry of Fort Providence has been a contestant in all four seasons of the Snowshoe Idol. The popular contest will be back for season five beginning in June. - photo courtesy of Linda Croft

Season five of Snowshoe Idol will start on June 1 at the Snowshoe Lounge. Linda Croft, the bar manager, started the contest in 2007 as a way to build on the popularity of karaoke in the community.

The winners over the years have included Dale Vandell, Robin Nadli, Shauna Clarke-Canadien and most recently Jodi Nadli.

While all of those people deserved to win, Croft said she wasn't completely satisfied with how the winners were being chosen.

"I do want it to be fun, but I want it to be fair," she said.

Every season after making it to the finals, 20 contestants sang before a panel of judges. The judges narrowed the field down to the top five.

Those competitors sang again before everyone in the lounge voted by ballot for the winner.

The popular vote detracted from the vocal and performance capabilities of the competitors, Croft said. Over the years some competitors have said that unless they stacked the bar with their family and friends, they had little chance of winning.

"The last year we had it, it was some very tight competition," said Croft.

This year the competition's format will be the same right up to the final vote. In the final vote, the judges will also cast ballots and their votes will count for 40 per cent of the vote.

"It will help even things out," she said.

Croft said the judges will be looking strictly at the competitors' performances.

Croft is also planning to tie in a vote on Facebook. People who won't be able to attend the finals will be able to watch online videos of the competitors and then vote between the end of the qualifier shows and the finals, she said.

Croft said many Fort Providence residents are looking forward to the new season.

"There definitely was people who missed it last year, " she said.

Croft said she decided to give the competition a year off to give it a facelift and renew interest. This year, the shows will be held on Friday nights instead of Saturdays. Croft said the new night will help the contest avoid interfering with other community events such as dances and weddings.

Croft is also hopeful that the competition will see some real growth this year. She will be giving all the past idols personal invites and will be asking bars in Hay River, Yellowknife and elsewhere to post signs about the competition.

Croft said she is willing to work with other bars to share how she organized the contest in the hopes that they can create similar events with participant crossover.

"I'm hoping we'll draw big crowds," she said.

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