New Kings frontman, Michael Louis Johnson speaks to the crowd at the CityIdol contest Thursday night

Six Remain in Downtown City Idol

Most professional politicians couldn't fill a room this size. Yet last Thursday night the Toronto-East York CityIdol filled the main room of the Kathedral with 300 cheering (and occasionally booing) supporters.

25 would-be Idols entered through the doors, prepared for a long night of speeches and questions, as they dueled their ideas and ideals in the hopes of winning enough support to move on to the area finals. Despite culling the group from the over 70 that were present at the Music Hall a month before, time was still tight. The candidates were limited to just over two and a half minutes across four rounds of speaking.

What came across most during the speeches was the seriousness with which most candidates took their duties. With few exceptions, nobody seemed there on a lark - they realised the steep uphill they had and the unlikeliness of eventual victory, but they believed they had a reason for being there, and a point to get across. That many of these points were noticeably similar - suffice a dire que it's not a great time to be a right-winger in a CityIdol competition - seemed nothing more than an aside to the general sharing of ideas, and hopes for the future.

This mingling of motives continued on even after the speeches themselves were finished. During the intermission, it was remarkable to see the Idolists working the room, talking to other contestants, to onlookers, and to official candidates (The Kathedral is in Toronto's Ward 20, Adam Vaughn, Dan Tweyman, and Helen Kennedy, the currently nominated candidates for the ward all made appearances and shared tips with the Idolists) about everything and anything; the conversation though, did tend to stay further away from idle chit-chat and more towards discussions of policy and strategy.

In the end though, only six candidates were allowed to move on to the downtown finals (to be held June 12th at the Lula Lounge). Those candidates were: Dennis Stark, Desmond Cole, Karen Sun, Katerina Collins, Monika Dutt, and Ron Nurwisah - three of whom I had marked on my ballot. Hopefully at the next round, the debates will be longer and more involved. At least one of them will need the practice.

As well, congratuations are in order for Bahar Aminvaziri, who yesterday won the North York finals for CityIdol.

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