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Eva Avila

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Eva Avila (born Eva Gougeon-Ávila, in Ottawa, Ontario, February 25, 1987) is a Canadian singer from Gatineau, Quebec and the winner of the 2006 season of Canadian Idol, the fourth year or instalment of the show. Avila is the second female winner.

She auditioned for the competition in Ottawa. Her father introduced her to music and she has been singing in public since the age of 2, and at the age of 9 was a winner on Homegrown Cafe, a talent show on CJOH-TV, in Ottawa. Prior to Idol, Avila worked as a postal clerk and a beauty consultant. She is a former winner of the Jeune Diva du Québec contest. Avila is fluent in French, English and Spanish, her father being from Peru. Her nickname, given by her family when she was a small child, is Eva le dragon (English: Eva the dragon).

On September 12, 2006, Avila and fellow Idol finalist Chad Doucette revealed they have been dating for about three weeks, but had wanted to keep it private until the competition was over.

To date, she is one of only two singers from Quebec who has been able to crack the top ten and the first to win the event. Audrey De Montigny was the first (in season 1) to reach the top ten.

2006 Canadian Idol Final

On September 16, 2006, a day prior to the public announcement of the Idol results, Sony BMG Music Entertainment began offering Avila's version of the first single, Meant to Fly, for sale on the website.Although the page was subsequently blanked, the artwork for the single can currently be located within the image files of the webpage. This occurrence led to many rumours regarding the winner of the competition.

During the final show, hundreds of Avila's supporters were gathered at Gatineau City Hall while Canadian Idol crews were filming scenes occasionally during the show. Several local politicians such as Gatineau mayor Marc Bureau, Hull-Aylmer federal MP Marcel Proulx, as well as Hull provincial MNA Roch Cholette were in attendance.

Cholette and Proulx published a full page newspaper ad to ask local residents to vote for Avila. This drew criticism from local residents, who claimed it was a waste of taxpayers' money. It was later ruled that the two politicians had to pay the costs.

During the finale show, Judge Zack Werner said that Avila was the show's most obvious candidate for international stardom, but he thought Craig Sharpe would win the competition.

While winning the 2006 crown, the vote separating her and runner-up Craig Sharpe was only 131,000 votes or 3%.

Pre-Canadian Idol Career

Prior to Canadian Idol, Avila sang several songs predominantly in French, including one that caused a stir the day immediately following her Idol victory. Gatineau TVA-affiliate station CHOT and newspaper Le Droit reported that a record company from Ottawa, Productions Vision Recordz, released a French song performed by local artist Kareem featuring Avila and titled Poursuivre mes rêves.

The song was inadvertently made available for sale on the Archambault Zik record company website. There will be an investigation. Avila mentioned that the songs done in the past were for her own pleasure and was unaware about the launch of the single with Kareem.

Avila will also be featured on two singles by rapper ZPN from the rap group Afro Connexion.

Avila also participated in another competition for a Quebec TV soap-opera aired on SRC called Virginie.

Post-Canadian Idol Career

Hours after her victory, she signed with the record label Sony-BMG and will record an album which will feature Meant to Fly, a song written by Chantal Kreviazuk along with Raine Maida and Gaby Moreno which is already playing on several radio stations across Ottawa and much of the country. In addition, she will record a song produced by Cyndi Lauper.

Her debut album, Somewhere Else , was released on November 14, 2006. The second single will be titled I Owe It All To You.

After her victory, Avila will embark on a Canadian tour with country singer Martina McBride when Martina tours Canada in the summer of 2007.

On October 5, 2006, the CTV television network reported that Avila has signed a modelling contract with Ford Model.

Avila started the 2006 NHL season on October 4 when she performed the Canadian national anthem at the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators game. She performed the anthem again before another Battle of Ontario game at the Scotiabank Place on October 26 following an autograph session on the same afternoon at Gatineau's Les Galeries de Hull shopping centre. On November 19, 2006, Avila performed the national anthem at the 94th Grey Cup game in Winnipeg.

Her album debuted at 6th on the Top 100 Album Charts with 16,000 CDs sold, then the next week it fell to 17th. The album was certified Gold in January, 2007.

Eva and her predecessor as Idol, Melissa O'Neil, were both nominated for the 2007 Juno Award for Best New Artist, but Tomi Swick took the award.

On March 26th, 2007, eTalk confirmed that she now is the new face for Maybelline New York and is the first Canadian to be a face for them.

Canadian Idol Performances

Avila's performances on Canadian Idol included two ('Powerless' and 'How Come You Don't Call Me') which the judges called 'signature performances'. In order, they are:

Audition: On My Own (Les Miserables)

Top 22: Angel (Sarah McLachlan)

Top 18: Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack)

Top 14: Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)

Top 10: Powerless (Say What You Want) (Nelly Furtado)

Top 9: Wild Horses (The Rolling Stones)

Top 8: White Wedding (Billy Idol) - Bottom 3 08/01/06

Top 7: Who Wants to Live Forever (Queen)

Top 6: How Come You Don't Call Me (unplugged version by Prince)

Top 5: Here You Come Again (Dolly Parton) - Bottom 2 08/22/06

Top 4: Would I Lie to You? (Eurythmics)

Top 4: Old Skool Love (Divine Brown)

Top 3: God Bless the Child (Billie Holiday)

Top 3: They Can't Take That Away from Me (Fred Astaire)

Top 2: Wild Horses (Natasha Bedingfield) - Winner 9/17/06

Top 2: Meant to Fly (Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida and Gaby Moreno) (Winner's Single) - Winner 9/17/06

Top 2: How Come You Don't Call Me (Alicia Keys) (Favourite Song) - Winner 9/17/06

Final Show : Powerless (Say What You Want) (Nelly Furtado)

Final Show : Meant to Fly (Eva Avila - Debut single)



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