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The Journey Down the Yellow Brick Road Ends For Calgary's Kelsey Verzotti in Over The Rainbow's First Elimination Episode

Unionville's Julia Gartha returns for another week

TORONTO - September 17, 2012 - Calgary, AB native, Kelsey Verzotti and Julia Gartha of Unionville, ON went note for note tonight in the first sing-off on OVER THE RAINBOW'S live elimination episode tonight at 8 p.m. In the end, Kelsey's performance fell short and she became the first Dorothy to end her journey on this live competition TV series.

Julia will continue to compete for the chance to play Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, opening this December at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, ON.

Tonight's episode also featured the launch of a search for Toto, with the top dog performing live with the Dorothys in the season finale. Comedians Deb McGrath and Colin Mochrie, along with award-winning dog breeder, Mike Macbeth, form the judging panel that will help to select OVER THE RAINBOW's top dog from 10 lovable contenders. Visit the cbc.ca/overtherainbow website to get to know the Top 10 Totos.

Hosted by Daryn Jones, last night's two-hour series premiere of OVER THE RAINBOW captured the exciting journey of aspiring Dorothys at the cross-country auditions, followed by the Top 10 Dorothys first live performances with Andrew Lloyd Webber in attendance. Lloyd Webber joined the judging panel formed by Arlene Phillips, Louise Pitre and Thom Allison for both last night's performance episode and tonight's elimination.

Canadians voted for their favourite Dorothy at the end of last night's show, using the ground-breaking, interactive OVER THE RAINBOW app, via the OVER THE RAINBOW Website or by telephone.

About Julia Gartha - 17, Unionville, ON:
Julia is entering her senior year at a Unionville High School for the Performing Arts. Her theatre credits include roles as Violet in Willy Wonka and Serene Katz in FAME. She has also appeared in stage productions of Peter Pan and CATS.

About Kelsey Verzotti - 17, Calgary, AB:
Kelsey has been part of the Top 16 on the Canadian series The Next Star, was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Calgary Stampede Talent Search and performed in Red Box Productions run of Little Red Riding Hood, Into The Woods. She is trained in dance, jazz, ballet and piano.

OVER THE RAINBOW broadcasts live one-hour performance episodes at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) each Sunday, where the Dorothys will perform a variety of Broadway, standards and pop numbers in front of a live studio audience. Then on the weekly half-hour results episodes airing on Mondays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) the bottom two Dorothys, as determined by a public vote, will go head-to-head in a live sing-off. Judges Arlene Phillips, the famed UK TV judge, dance choreographer and director, Louise Pitre, Canada's first lady of musical theatre, and one of Canada's most popular leading men, Thom Allison, will then determine who will be sent home.

Twitter: @cbcrainbow, Hashtag: #overtherainbow
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CBC.ca: cbc.ca/overtherainbow

For more behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive content, visit CBC LIVE at cbc.ca/live. Follow CBC Live on Twitter at twitter.com/cbclive and on Facebook at facebook.com/cbclive.

For more information including hi-res individual headshots of each Dorothy please visit the CBC Media Centre at https://mediacentre.cbc.ca.

About CBC/Radio-Canada CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus five languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada celebrated 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

About Temple Street Productions Temple Street Productions is a leading producer of television, film and digital media content based in Toronto, Canada. A selection of Temple Street's past and present projects includes: Being Erica (CBC, SOAPnet), Wingin'It (Family Channel), Cover Me Canada (CBC), Recipe to Riches (Food Network, Global), Billable Hours (Global, Showcase), Canada's Next Top Model (CTV), How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (CBC), Queer as Folk (Showtime, Showcase) and Darcy's Wild Life (NBC, Discovery Kids, Family Channel). For more company information www.templestreetproductions.com, twitter @TempleStreet or connect with us on Facebook.

For further information, please contact:
Renée Weekes
Publicist, Over the Rainbow
C. 414-205-5500 / O.416.894.7209

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