North Stars

Danielle Wade wins ‘Over the Rainbow’ on CBC

Danielle Wade. (CBC)

Canada got out the vote yesterday, but it wasn't for the U.S. elections.

On Monday night, CBC's "Over the Rainbow" viewers made Danielle Wade the new Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Wizard of Oz" musical, which premieres at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre in December.

"I honestly couldn't believe it when they called my name," Wade told the CBC after she was voted the winner. "I never thought this would happen. This is incredible."

The 20-year-old LaSalle, Ontario, native was named the winner after eight weeks of competition. On Sunday night, all three finalists -- including Kitchener's AJ Bridel and Stephanie LaRochelle from Ottawa, both 18 -- performed solos from Lloyd Webber's roster, as well as participating in a group performance of "Already Home" from "Wizard of Oz."

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Wade's final performance was "As if We Never Said Goodbye" from "Sunset Boulevard."

"I could listen to you all night," Lloyd Webber told her. "You've got the most fabulous voice, and do you know what? I can't wait to work with you."

It is little surprise that Wade won considering she was the only finalist who had never been in the bottom two. What's more surprising is that she has reportedly never had a big audition before.

In August, after becoming one of the Top 10 competitors on "Over the Rainbow," the University of Windsor acting student admitted to the Toronto Star that she didn't initially think she would audition.

"I didn't know if I could be Dorothy," Wade told the Toronto Star, adding that her mom changed her mind. "She said, 'It couldn't hurt, you might as well see what it does.'"

Before the announcement of Monday night's results, Lloyd Webber treated Wade and the other contestants to dinner. Wade then tweeted to her fans to vote -- apparently, they were paying attention.

"Congratulations to @cbcrainbow winner @daniellejwade," Lloyd Webber tweeted after her win.

Meanwhile, LaRochelle seemed pleased with being runner-up. "Congrats to Danielle; love ya so much! :) <3," she tweeted.

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Upon winning, Wade said her "one goal" was to make her parents proud.

"I hope to bring myself to Dorothy and to show that she is really just the everyday girl that everybody can relate to. We don't reinvent Dorothy, we just bring her to our own time," Wade told the Toronto Star. "The most appealing part of Dorothy is that she has those characteristics her friends are looking for: courage, brains, a huge heart. She teaches her friends and they teach her."

Wade reportedly starts rehearsals next week.