Monday, October 15, 2007

Triple Sensation - Actually, It Kinda Is!

So let's talk some more Canadian Television.

Okay. You can stop laughing now...
Let's talk CBC.

Okay, you can really stop laughing now. I'm being serious. (Yes, I know they have The Tudors because it was a CBC co-production and Rick Mercer is still hilarious and Torchwood which I can't get into even though it has John Barrowman, but seriously, I'd like to say I watch more CBC but I just don't).

So, other than NOW: No Opportunity Wasted, which I forgot started last week (on Wednesdays at 8:30-9pm), and has The Amazing Race's Phil Keoghan running around Canada (and Toronto!) helping fulfill Canadians with some dreams and aspirations they have, the other big reality show CBC has this fall is Triple Sensation.

Triple Sensation is trying to find that one performer who can sing, dance and act. Think Grease: I'm The One That I Want, but less cheeseball since its produced by the CBC, or American Idol meets So You Think You Can Dance plus acting thrown in, but again, produced by the CBC. For those non-Canadians out there, produced by the CBC means... well... it's well done, if a little documentary like (ahem... sometimes you could say dry...). Think BBC meets PBS.

I hadn't planned to watch it, but I passed by last night (on the second episode, the final auditions and the cut to the final 12), and it was surprisingly slickly produced but like I said, more documentary-like than reality shows that we are so used to. Essentially, it's a theatre camp for aspiring performers more than it is reality show, but what a camp!. The chosen final 12 get the best teachers in the business helping them along, and grading them at each step (with the lowest score after each episode eliminated from the competition. The award? A huge scholarship (but we're talking $150k and not a half a million, again it IS a Canadian show). It's more realistic with its prize and goals, but it didn't diminish the talent they got. In fact, it's what surprised me most and got me sucked in.

Some of the kids were AMAZING (and yes, some were actual kids, ranging from about 16 and up) and the final 12 had some impressive talent that made some of the Idols look shameful. These kids had to go from Shakespeare to Sondheim, from hip hop to clowning to improv. It's interesting to watch these kids though because some really do have a shine to them. Kyle Mac stood out, not just because he was obviously the hottie of the group but he had charisma and charm to spare but could sing to boot and read a monologue with passionate emotion. Plus he was actually REALLY funny doing improv. I loved Jamie Hodgins who is cute as a button, and Kazumi Evans kept blowing me away. Ben Durocher has serious charm and not only succeeded at his Daniel MacIvor monologue, he perfectly enacted a song from My Fair Lady, then 180'd it for a Putnam Spelling Bee song. Seriously, these kids were AMAZING. Photos of the final 12 after the jump:
The panel of judges who were Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Garth Drabinsky (troubled producer but who did help usher in Ragtime, so I'll forgive him, a little), Cynthia Dale (Actress, Canadian darling), Sergio Trujillo (choreographer for Jersey Boys), and Adrian Noble (RSC). Add to that, in last nights episode alone, they got more training from all sorts of established theatre folks, including a talk from Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. CHITA RIVERA AND JOEL GREY! (I know. That only meant something to theatrefolks).

Anyways, I'm kinda excited about the next episode. I'm not sure I've said that about something on CBC in a LONG while.

The final twelve: (though I'm missing Alex)

Anwyn Musico (aptly named no?)

Keely Hutton

Kira Guloien (eliminated last night)

Kyle Mac

Lexi Gale

Ben Durocher

Jamie Hodgins

Joel Ballard

John Michael Scapin

Kazumi Evans

Matt McKay (eliminated last night)

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