This episode's vote-off recital was public, so the invited audience (from Toronto's musical community) that attended the August 2006 taping got a sneak peek at the final four, although they were asked to leave before the jury handed down its final decision and had to wait until this week to find out what happened. Since I played for the vote-off and knew what happened afterward, many were the conversations I had in the ensuing months with audience members eager to discover the afternoon's outcome. An example of one of these conversations:
X: Please tell me who got voted off.
CF: Er, I can't.
X: I understand. It's okay, you can trust me, even though you signed a non-disclosure contract.
CF: Actually I didn't have to sign one of those. It's a question of, you know, honor.
X: Oh, come onnnnnn.... I won't tell anybody.
CF: No, I really can't say who--
X: Oh my god. It was one of the guys, wasn't it?
CF: No, I mean, um, not necessarily, it's just that I would rather not mention them--
X: Oh my god. You mean two people were voted off?
CF: Actually, I used "them" as the politically correct third person singular. Watch the show. All will be revealed.
Unfortunately, Robyn Hefferton's illness got worse and she made the difficult choice not to continue, but to return home in order to recover. In addition to their coachings with Mary Lou, Tom, Dan, and Liz, the singers spent a day working with Marshall Pinkowski and Jeanette Zingg of Toronto's Opera Atelier on baroque dance. They also found out that they were to perform at Toronto's grano. An Alexander Technique session also helped them become more aware of their physical issues related to singing. The evening before the vote-off, all four cooked a gourmet meal for the judges.
This week's arias:
Phillip Holmes sang the Catalog Aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni
Paul Abelha sang "Una furtive lagrima" from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore
Elaine Hefferton sang "Ebben, ne andro lontana" from Catalani's La Wally
Laura Landauer sang "When I am Laid" from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
Especially fascinating this week were the audience comments following the public performances. What you don't really get from the few comments shown on the episode was the fact that each of the final four singers had both their champions and their detractors, and everyone in the audience had their own agendas and criteria for judging singers, which resulted in an incredible diversity of opinion regarding the four. This week's guest judges were pianist Peter Tiefenbach and legendary voice teacher Mary Morrison.
The judges conferred and finally decided not to vote anyone off the show this week, since all of the four had made substantial progress and and possibly because Robyn had already left the show a few days previously.