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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada Sings and Vanilla Ice passes judgment

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TORONTO -- Canada's newest reality TV singing competition will be judged by Vanilla Ice, Jann Arden and Simple Plan singer Pierre Bouvier.

The trio has been recruited to pass judgment on wannabe crooners on the upcoming Global TV series Canada Sings!

It's a gig that Arden says she was initially reluctant to take on, noting she declined an offer to judge Canadian Idol years ago because she just couldn't get behind the premise.

"It takes an enormous amount of bravery but I also want kids just to get out there and work hard for what they want to do in their lives. I don't think handing them this ticket is necessarily a great idea and it creates a lot of losers and one winner," Arden said Tuesday of the pop music franchise, which includes American Idol and Pop Idol.

"I was never a fan of the show. But when this came along my initial response was, 'Oh my gosh, no.' And then Bruce Allen, my manager, said, 'I want you to listen to this and listen really carefully, read about the show and don't be such an ass.' ... And then as I'm getting into the kit, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, this sounds like something I would cry all the way through on every episode,' because the stories behind these glee club-type choirs are incredible."

The reality show sought out average Canadians to form "workplace glee clubs" and battle it out onstage for the charity of their choice.

Twelve singing teams have been drawn from companies including Air Canada, GoodLife Fitness, Hamilton Police, The Keg and the Toronto Fire Services.

Two groups come from Vancouver, while the rest are from the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Cambridge, Mississauga and Toronto.

Each episode features two glee clubs facing off in front of the judges and a studio audience in Toronto. The episodes are being taped this week for broadcast later in the year. No air date has been set.

On each episode, the judges will choose the winning team and award $10,000 to their charity. The other team gets $2,000.

Matt Babel from ET Canada will host the six-part series that comes from Insight Production Company Ltd., which was also behind CTV's Canadian Idol and CBC's Battle of the Blades.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 16, 2011 D2

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