July 2008

In celebration of its 10th season, BIG BROTHER is kickin’ it old school as the show returns to the original format that propelled its popularity. With returning Host, Julie Chen, 13 new houseguests ranging in ages from 22-75 years compete for the coveted half a million dollar prize.

The all new season begins this Sunday, July 13 – 8pm ET/PT.

Airing three times weekly, fans can tune into BIG BROTHER Wednesdays & Sundays – 8pm ET/PT and Tuesdays – 9pm ET/PT.

Featuring a back-to-basics approach with no casting twists, the houseguests will all be living amongst complete strangers. The diverse group includes a Rodeo Competitor, Catholic School Teacher, and a Professional Body Builder.

After 3 weeks of performances and slowly eliminating contestants, tonight the final 10 was announced for Canadian Idol.

The Top 10 are: Mark Day, Drew Wright, Mookie Morris, Earl Stevenson, Katherine St-Laurent, Theo Tams, Amberly Thiessen, Mitch MacDonald, Adam Castelli and Sebastian Pigott.

Here’s how it happened.

Martin Kerr and Gary Morissette are first to be eliminated while Mark Day and Drew Wright get to move to the Top 10 stools.

Mookie Morris and Theo Tams from group one and Earl Stevenson and Kathryn St-Laurent from group two are called the center of the stage. They’re all part of the Top 10.

Amberly Thiessen and Omar Lunan join Katelyn Dawn and Mitch MacDonald on stage. Omar is cut along with Katelyn.

Adam Castelli is through to the Top 10 while Marie-Pierre Bellerose is cut.

The Pigott brothers are the final two to be given their results. Sebastian is in while Oliver is out.

Canadian Idol Top 10

What do you think about the Top 10? I’m certainly surprised by a few of the choices.

Reality Bites Back

Let the games begin! Reality TV buffs, brace yourself for the ultimate reality-competition show satire, Reality Bites Back, an all-new series premiering Thursday, July 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on The Comedy Network.

From the creators of The Biggest Loser and Beauty & The Geek, Reality Bites Back is a 30-minute series that satirizes and pokes fun at the staples of the reality genre including American Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Biggest Loser. Host Michael Ian Black serves as ringmaster for this competition as a circus of stand-ups battle each other in weekly parody contests, in hopes of avoiding elimination. The “last comic standing” is crowned “Lord of All Reality” and walks away with $50,000.

Reality show plots and gimmicks are pushed to extremes as American Gladiators becomes “Almost-American Gladiators,” in which the contestants must fight off steroid-pumped border patrol agents as they replicate the immigrant experience through physical challenges. In “Hunting with the Stars,” celebrity exploitation is taken to new heights, and in “So You Think You Can Dive, players plunge into failure when they are given 24 hours to become Olympic divers. Comedians vying for cash and glory are Kyle Cease, Chris Fairbanks, Jeff Garcia, Red Grant, Tiffany Haddish, Bert Kreischer, Mo Mandel, Donnell Rawlings, Amy Schumer, and Theo Von.

Host Michael Ian Black has played a steady mix of off-beat characters on film and television including MTV’s The State, COMEDY CENTRAL’s Stella and Viva Variety, and the film Wet Hot American Summer — all of which he co-created. Black also has appeared in VH1’s I Love the 80s and NBC’s Ed as well as in numerous commercials.

Tuesday, August 26 at 10 p.m. Et / 7 p.m. Pt

The Bravo! Concert Hall features performances by and interviews with the hottest stars on the music scene today. Hosted by Lance Chilton, the musical performances are shot at the Masonic Temple’s historic concert hall. This episode showcases City and Colour performing songs from Dallas Green’s two smash albums Sometimes and Bring Me Your Love including the hits Coming Home and Waiting.

Thursday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT

Hosted by John Pungente, this series goes beyond the silver screen to examine the featured movie’s genre, themes, filmmaking techniques, and relevance in the world at large. This episode features The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, starring America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel.

Sunday, August 10 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

For more than 60 years, the Norwegian Glee Club of Winnipeg, a male vocal group gathers to perform Norwegian songs. Hear Our Song: The Life and Music of the Norwegian Glee Club of Winnipeg reveals the pride of an immigrant community, and the songs that remain close to its heart.

Sunday, August 17 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

Sixteen-year-old Sierra Noble’s mission is to help keep the tradition of Métis fiddle music alive. The teenager performs concerts, learns the tricks of the old masters, and teaches other Métis youth about their culture. Directed by John Barnard, Sierra’s Song documents Noble’s incredible passion for her culture and her music.

Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT; Repeats Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT

Bravo!Videos is a weekly half-hour program that brings a panoramic view of the most innovative, trend-setting and popular videos, along with interviews from the artists.

August 5 / 9 – This episode features interviews with two of folk music’s brightest stars, Martha Wainwright and Teddy Thompson. The program also showcases Willie Nelson and Winton Marsalis’ performance of Georgia on My Mind.

August 19 / 23 – This episode features interviews with multiple Grammy Award-winner Al Green and singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper. The program also showcases Ron Sexsmith and Alex Cuba’s rendition of Lo Mismo Que Yo.

August 26 / 30 – This episode features interviews with the inspirational band, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Newfoundland’s Great Big Sea, and Dallas Green from City and Colour.

Saturdays at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
Sundays at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT

Bravo!’s weekly arts magazine features cultural figures from home and abroad.

August 2 / 3 / 6 – In this special half-hour, Seamus O’Regan interviews author Salman Rushdie about his new book The Enchantress of Florence, his knighthood, and the fatwā.

August 9 / 10 / 13 – This episode features Chinese piano prodigy Lang Lang; classical pianist Gabriela Montero; Grammy® Award-winning violinist James Ehnes; and Canadian violinist Lara St. John.

August 16 / 17 / 20 – This episode showcases Canadian female authors who made an impact this year on the literary scene. The program features interviews with Naomi Klein, Linda McQuaig, Barbara Gowdy, Sandra Martin, Jan Wong, and Christie Blatchford.

August 23 / 24 / 27 – This episode features Seamus O’Regan’s in-depth interviews with Salman Rushdie, Richard Florida, and David Gilmour.

Here’s hoping that the sound has been sorted for tonights show and that our Idols can actually hear the music they’re singing to.

Five of these singers will make it through to the Top 10. 3 will be going home. Make Sure You Vote

Mitch MacDonald
The Jayhawks - WDST 25th Anniversary - Blue Blue

Nope. Either the sound hasn’t been rectified or Mitch just wants to go home tomorrow.

Gary Morissette
The Animals - Goodbye Baby - House of the Rising Sun House of the Rising Sun

I’m not sure what it is about this week but apart from a couple of contestants it really does sound like amateur hour. Gary is a better guitarist than a singer. I bet there are a few people that got scared by that performance.

Katelyn Dawn
The Cranberries - The Cranberries: Stars - The Best of 1992-2002 - Zombie Zombie

I really like this performance. It doesn’t sound like another Cranberries imitation which makes the version really appealing.

Oliver Pigott
Bill Withers - The Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me - Lean On Me Lean On Me

It’s always refreshing when you hear an old song given a new lease of life. Particularly when it’s one that has been given so many different thrashings over the years. It just goes to show how much talent these Pigott boys have.

Sebastian Pigott
Sam Cooke - 30 Greatest Hits - Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 - Bring It On Home to Me Bring It On Home to Me

This was a little sleepy from Sebastian this week. I was a little underwhelmed by that performance.

Earl Stevenson
Bob Dylan - The Essential Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone Like A Rolling Stone

I really liked Earl in the first week of the Top 24 but he, like Sebastian, was a little underwhelming. The potential is definitely there but there is something missing for me.

Katherine St-Laurent
Pat Benatar - Greatest Hits - Love Is a Battlefield Love Is a Battlefield

Katherine isn’t too bad in this performance but I can’t say the same things about the backing vocalist. I’m still in love with that rasp in her voice.

Drew Wright
Hoobastank - The Reason - The Reason The Reason

Another song that has been thrashed to death on radio around the world gets some Drew treatment. And while the vocals are pretty tight at the start they drift once the chorus arrives and his voice strains to hit the notes. Performance wise it was a bit dull.

Three people are leaving tomorrow night and I’m picking it will be Mitch, Gary and Drew. What do you think?