Apparently, this happened years ago. Sadly, I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself to pay attention to Canadian Idol. Nevertheless, this guy is my new hero.
Jacob Hoggard, singer/daredevil of Vancouver rockers Hedley and self-confessed
attention whore, never turns down a bet. “People have always dared me to do stupid
things, like eat sandwiches off the floor for five dollars.”
But last year, his band members upped the stakes: they bet him $150 he wouldn’t try out
for TV’s Canadian Idol. “They found out that my mom had been nagging me to try and
had already forged my name on the application,” says Hoggard. “So it was either spend a
summer working construction or appear drunk on television.”
The 22-year-old musician had been playing piano since he was six years old, guitar since
12, learned music theory in high school, and was fronting a fledgling rock band named
Hedley that was fast making a name for itself, so he was hoping it wouldn’t be a total
embarrassment. But he had no idea that he would actually be chosen as a contestant. “I
didn’t bring clothes to change in, so I stayed the whole preliminary week in the same tshirt
And never was there a contestant quite like him in all of Idol history, Canadian or
otherwise. Hoggard was an excellent singer, albeit one who would occasionally wear a
skin-tight blue latex jumpsuit. Suddenly, the class clown had a national audience, and a
“So, I’m balls deep into the competition, and I keep not getting voted off!” Surviving and
doing well was not apart of the bet. And the joke had become surreal. “All of a sudden,
I’m in the top three! So, I had to think seriously about what I was doing, and that it was a
real possibility that maybe I’d win and then what? I’d have other people writing my
songs and telling me what to wear. I wanted to do the opposite of that. I wanted to go
back to Hedley and keep writing my own stuff.”
So he said thanks, but no thanks. On his blog, to his new legion of fans, he “very
poetically may or may not have said” that he didn’t want to be on the show any longer.
That he’d like to be voted off. And the fans complied. In the next round Canada decided
he would NOT be Canada’s newest Idol, to Hoggard’s great relief.
Though, to be fair, perhaps the country was not ready for an Idol who had been kicked
out of high school for lighting his desk on fire and who had up until that point been living
a life of petty crime, getting drunk and stealing cars. “I was just not cut out to be an Idol.
But the whole thing was f*cking awesome fun. I was a born attention-seeker. And well,
live national television, as I found out, milks that craving.”