ONTD Original™: Where are They Now? - Instant Star Edition.



While watching Degrassi circa 2004 through 2008, you probably saw a few commercials for another Canadian youth soap called Instant Star. It was created by the people behind Degrassi. This half-hour drama focused on Jude Harrison, the teen winner of a televised music contest (think American Canadian Idol but the competitors write their own material for the show). Her life was turned upside down after becoming the first Instant Star. Jude had an angsty on-off relationship with Tommy, a former boy band singer-turned-producer, and she learned the truth about the business and people behind the music industry. And with every new episode came an original song performed by Miss Harrison herself.

The series only lasted four seasons, concluding in 2008. Every season is on DVD now and can be purchased through Amazon. Due to legal issues, Alexz couldn't sing all of the songs on the soundtracks for seasons three and four. A compilation was released with several "new" tracks, previously recorded by other singers, sung by Alexz.
 
Alexzandra "Alexz" Johnson as Jude Harrison
Since the show ended, Alexz hasn't done that much acting. She's mostly focused on her music career post-Instant Star. In more recent-ish years, though, she's guest starred on Smallville, Haven and The Listener. She will be in the upcoming Terrence Howard and Queen Latifah thriller House of Bodies. Her other movie credits include the Lifetime horror movies Devil's Diary and Stranger with My Face as well the third installment in the Final Destination franchise. So Weird fans will remember young Alexz as the replacement for the lead character in the third and final season.
 
Tim Rozon as Tommy Quincy
Tim has worked steadily as an actor since Instant Star, but mainly as a guest star (18 to Life, Combat Hospital, Flashpoint, The Listener, Rookie Blue). Currently, he can be seen on Lost Girl as The Druid. On his outdated Twitter account, he mentions co-owning a restaurant with some friends.

Kristopher Turner as Jamie Andrews
Kris has starred in two television shows as a regular - The L.A. Complex (cancelled after two seasons) and Saving Hope (renewed for a third season). His smaller roles include guest spots on Beauty and the Beast, Being Erica, Lost Girl and Rookie Blue.
 
Laura Vandervoort as Sadie Harrison
Many recognize Laura as Clark's cousin Kara/Supergirl on Smallville or as Lisa in the V remake. She was briefly seen in the movies This Means War and Ted as well shows such as Haven and White Collar. Laura will be playing a werewolf in the upcoming television series Bitten.

Zoie Palmer as Patsy Sewer
Although Patsy met a tragic end in season two, Zoie managed to keep herself busy acting wise. Aside from being a regular on the short-lived The Guard, Palmer guest starred on Call Me Fitz, Degrassi, Flashpoint and The Listener. Currently, she plays Lauren on the hit sci-fi drama Lost Girl. Her role there was voted "Best Lesbian/Bi Character of 2013" by AfterEllen.com.
 
Mark Taylor as Kwest
Viewers of the Mowry siblings movie Seventeen Again might recognize Mark. After he was done playing Kwest, Taylor starred in Flashpoint as Lewis "Lou" Young. Today, he plays Agent Tucker on Beauty and the Beast.
 
Cory Lee as Karma
Singer/actor Cory Lee debuted as Jude's rival Karma in the third season. She randomly appears on Degrassi now as teacher Ms. Winnie Oh.
 
Tyler Kyte as Vin Spiederman
Kyte has focused more on singing more than acting. He had a cameo in Degrassi Takes Manhattan and he was a guest star on Alphas and Murdoch Mysteries. According to his Twitter account, he shot some episodes of an upcoming series called 24 Hour Rental.
 
Tatiana Maslany as Zeppelin Dyer
Maslany only appeared in the fourth season as Paegan's long lost daughter and Jamie's new girlfriend. Prior, she starred in the show 2030 CE. Ginger Snaps fans recognize her as Ghost in the franchise's second installment. She plays multiple characters in the hit BBC America sci-fi serial Orphan Black, which was renewed for a second season. Her performances led to her winning a Critics Choice Award in 2013. Tatiana most recently guest starred on Parks and Recreation as Nadia.
 
Barbara Mamabolo as Kat Benton
After randomly making out with Jude's dad in season two, Kat left the show. Barbara did voice work in cartoons (Beyblade and Ruby Gloom) as well as star as the titular character in the multi-season show Zixx.
 
Cassie Steele as Blu
Steele is best known as Manuela "Manny" Santos from Degrassi: The Next Generation. She made the short jump to Instant Star's fourth and last season as the fame hungry Blu. This wasn't the last Linda Schuyler project that Cassie would work on - she was cast as a regular on the cancelled The L.A. Complex, alongside Kristopher Turner. Steele is also a singer with several albums under her belt. She wasn't the first Degrassi alum to show up on Star. Both Aubrey "Drake" Graham and Stacey Farber, playing themselves, appeared in episode eight of the second season.
 
Christopher Gaudet as Wally
It seems that Gaudet quit acting after playing backup to Spiederman and Jude.
 
Ian Blackwood as Kyle
Currently, Blackwood is more musician than actor, but he's had minor roles in Degrassi, Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Warehouse 13.
 
Miku Graham as Portia Quincy
Except for a credit on Warehouse 13, Miku has stopped acting. She is mainly singing nowadays, according to her Twitter.
Nicholas Rose as Mason
As of today, Rose has guest starred on shows like Orphan Black and Saving Hope. He had minor roles in The Incredible Hulk and Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story.
 
Kyle Riabko as Milo Keegan
Milo was another contestant in the show's fictional singing contest. He had a brief fling with Jude, but his intentions were not pure. Kyle went on to work in more theatre productions as well as play Teddy's first male love interest on the 90210 reboot. According to his Twitter, he'll be featured in a Vogue article.
 
Jane Sowerby as Victoria Harrison
Jude's mother was written out of the show after the second season. Since her departure, Jane has done several TV movies and has starred in the short-lived Showcase series Cra$h & Burn. Degrassi fans may recognize her as the teacher Mrs. Cohen.
 
Simon Reynolds as Stuart Harrison
Jude's famous track "Skin", thought to be about Tommy, was actually about her father's infidelity and betrayal. While his ex-wife exited the show halfway through the series, Stuart stuck around to give advice to his daughters. Simon appeared in Warehouse 13 for several episodes, and he had roles in the horror movies Dark Water, P2 and Saw IV.
 
Craig Warnock as Paegan Smith
Craig, playing eccentric musician Paegan Smith, first showed up in season three. He became a mentor of sorts to Jamie, and it was revealed that he had a daughter named Zeppelin. Since leaving in season four, Craig hasn't appeared in many other projects. Most recently, he had a supporting role in a few episodes of the now defunct Copper series.
 
Wes Williams as Darius Mills
Wes played Jude's new boss and record label guru Darius Mills. He butted heads with Tommy because of personal reasons: Quincy was once married to his sister Portia. Wes starred in the 2008 series The Line and can now be seen on the current Canadian sitcom Mr. D.
Sources: 1 | 2 | 3
What were your favorite songs from Instant Star? What other Canadian teen shows do you miss?