Not even grey skies could keep voices from shining through as a free concert from Canadian Idol Brian Melo and pop star Natasha Bedingfield launched the Idol auditions in Toronto last weekend.

The concert and tryouts for the singing competition drew in crowds of thousands. At the end of the week, 34 newly-minted gold-ticket winners — who will now advance to the next round of the competition — were added to the talent roster for Season 6.

Judges Farley Flex, Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner taped three days of auditions in Toronto, the final stop on the 10-city audition tour. With just more than 200 gold tickets awarded to contestants across the country, the foursome are preparing for the challenging task of culling those singers down to the 22 who will advance to the public voting rounds this summer. At the culmination of the successful national tour, the judges were pleased with the originality, star quality and high calibre of talent in this season’s show.

In a recently announced innovative twist on the audition process, Canadian singers still have one final shot at making the cut and joining the gold-ticket winners from the regional auditions in the Top 200.

Online audition submissions are now being accepted in the Last Chance Auditions section of until April 25.

Idol’s road crew celebrated a milestone last week, with a series total of 100,000 kilometres of road time logged over six seasons. The 100,000-kilometre mark was reached somewhere between Halifax and St. John’s as the production gear made its way to the Newfoundland stop of the tour.

Canadian Idol airs this summer on CTV.

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