Hillary Mcleod, left, sang her way to the top spot of Tuff City Idol 2017. Alex Sokolovskiy took second place and Elyse Eyford scored third. (Nora O'Malley, Westerly News)

Tuff City Idol hits high note with sold-out final at Tofino Legion

"I’ve never been surrounded by so much love in my entire life.”

NORA O’MALLEY nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca A new Tuff City Idol champion was crowned at the Tofino Legion on Saturday, March 25, night in front of a capacity crowd. Tofino’s Hillary Mcleod sang her way to the top spot for her stunning performance of “Hello” by Adele and “Piece of my heart” by Janis Joplin. Mcleod, who has lived on the West Coast for four years, said this was the first time she has ever entered Tuff City Idol. “I really did not think this would happen,” she told the Westerly News moments after receiving the grand prize cheque for $1,000. “Thank you to the Tofino Brewing Company and all of Tofino. They all were so supportive. I’ve never been surrounded by so much love in my entire life,” she said, adding that her mom and sister even made the trip from Victoria to watch the show. “I used to sing when I was younger but I had surgery and it changed my voice so I never liked my voice for the longest time. And then actually the [guys] at the brewery were like you have a rad voice.” Tuff City Idol runner-up Alex Sokolovskiy wowed the audience with his opening performance of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, which incorporated dance choreography and theatrical fog. His second number, “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon, brought the house down. “That was pretty much the plan. I’ll tell you the secret…We prepared the dance for the second song just downstairs during the break between our performances,” said Sokolovskiy. “Huge thank you to my crew from Ukee. These [women] are amazing,” he said of his four backup dancers. For the third year running, Ucluelet’s Elyse Eyford took home third place and a cash prize of $250. Eyford took to the stage as a solo act for her first number, “Love on the brain” by Rihanna. For her second song, “I cry” by Flo Rida, she brought the heat with backup dancers sporting sequined bras and black leggings. Partial nudity seemed to be the recurring theme throughout the fifth annual Tuff City Idol with singer one, Jazz, opening up the show with a provocative performance of “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix and singer number nine, Tyler, leaving the stage in his underwear after both of his songs. Tuff City Idol 2017 was hosted by Adam Wilson and DJ services were provided by Ron Renna. Bruce Neugebauer from Okanagan Spings Brewery donated the cash prizes. Tofino locals Cameron Dennison, Michael Jennings, Ashley Wells and Aaron Turner formed the panel of judges.