Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Canada Sings Is Back
Plopped into the competitive schedule in fall or winter and the show would surely go unnoticed.
But now that heavy hitting U.S. series are going into reruns until September Canada Sings gets the break it deserves.
Last spring was the first year it was on and I surely enjoyed talking up unpretentious Jann Arden who is back as one of the judges along with Vanilla Ice and Laurieann Gibson who replaces Pierre Bouvier.
Arden made the point she came onboard particularly because this is not a Northern version of American Idol.
The judges are sympathetic, they proffer wise advice and there's no career on the line because the performers every week are rank amateurs toiling for various charities.
This year there are 12 new teams from among the Children's Aid Society, the Canadian Automobile Club, GO Transit, Ontario Science Center, Purdy's Chocolates, Stampede Casino.
I mean how mainstream is that?
All groups strut their stuff to perform the best song and dance acts to win $25,000 for the charity of their choice.
No doubt about it the message is very upbeat. It's all so Canadian, eh?
I previewed the first new episode although Global deliberately blacked out the ending which gives the first round winners.
Opposing groups are West Jet and the OPP police force.
We get introduced to some of the West Jet group including Jennie, Dan, Jesse, Dean --make no doubt about it they've never performed as a group before such a large crowd and they're might nervous.
we see them assembling and getting singing and dancing lessons from professionals and some want to quit because it's very hard work and they don't want to be starred at.
But if they win the money goes to the Alberta Children's Hospital and some have had children who received excellent treatment there.
They're a big group, highly motivated and they come together marvelously well as a group called "Cabin Pressure".
The "OPPers" are equally determined --they got together as a tribute to a fallen officer, a real hero to all, and they include a 911 dispatcher as well as a veteran police detective. If they win it's be able to purchase a defibrillator for rural usage.
You watch their routine and then look at the judges all of whom have tears in their eyes and that's the difference between Canada Sings and American Idol.
Insight Productions made it and every show seems to pack a similar punch.
CANADA SINGS PREMIERES ON GLOBAL TV TUESD. MARCH 15 AT 10 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.