July 2008

Eight down, six to go as viewers whittle the Top 24 to the elite group of Top 10 finalists. Four more competitors have been eliminated from Canadian Idol tonight, leaving 16 to carry on and compete next week. The following competitors have received the fewest votes following performances on Monday and Tuesday and will not be moving forward in the competition:

Lisa Bell, 27, Winnipeg, Coffee Shop Manager
Performed: Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)

Paul Clifford, 26, Port Moody, BC, Bartender
Performed: Apparitions (Matthew Good Band)

Jesse Cottam, 23, Calgary, Music Teacher, Musician
Performed: Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)

Jessica Sheppard, 22, Toronto, Visual Manager
Performed: Umbrella (Rihanna – Mandy Moore Version)

Returning to the Canadian Idol stage to perform for viewer votes beginning Monday, July 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV (go to idol.CTV.ca to confirm local listings) are:

1. Marie-Pierre Bellerose, 25, Quebec City, Bartender

2. Adam Castelli, 26, Hamilton, ON, Carpenter, Singer/Songwriter

3. Katelyn Dawn, 19, Winnipeg, Singer/Songwriter

4. Mark Day, 20, Portugal Cove-St. Philips, NL, Student, Respite Care Worker

5. Martin Kerr, 25, Edmonton, Independent Singer/Songwriter

6. Omar Lunan, 29, Scarborough, ON, Registered Massage Therapist

7. Mitch MacDonald, 22, Port Hood, NS, Carpenter, Musician

8. Gary Morissette, 21, Fruitvale, BC, Musician, Construction Worker

9. Mookie Morris, 18, Toronto, Musician

10. Oliver Pigott, 27, Toronto, Singer/Songwriter

11. Sebastian Pigott, 25, Toronto, Actor, Writer

12. Earl Stevenson, 23, Lloydminster, AB, Swamper for a Backhoe Operator

13. Katherine St-Laurent, 17, Otterburn Park, QC, Student

14. Theo Tams, 22, Lethbridge, AB, Student

15. Amberly Thiessen, 19, Seven Persons, AB, Student

16. Drew Wright, 28, Collingwood, ON, Musician, House Painter

­Just as controversial figure Henry Morgentaler was named to the Order of Canada this week, CTV announced today the timely encore broadcast of the Original Movie Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story on Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. ET (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times).

The two-hour biopic recounts the tumultuous life story of Morgentaler – the man who led the contentious movement that ultimately changed abortion laws in Canada.

Nominated for two Gemini Awards, Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story begins in 1967 Montreal, where then 44-year old Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a survivor of Holocaust Germany, is frustrated with the routines of life. Successful and respected, the general practitioner is thrust into the national – and international – spotlight when he heads the movement to legalize abortion, giving women the right to choose what happens to their bodies. The film concludes 20 years later, with a Supreme Court decision that effectively legalizes abortion in Canada.

Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story stars David Eisner (The State Within) as Henry Morgentaler, Stewart Bick (One Dead Indian) as Mike Morgentaler, Alberta Watson (The Border) as Henry’s wife, Julie Khaner (The Best Years) as Gertie Katz, Remy Girard (Les Boys) as lawyer Claude-Armand Sheppard and Pascale Montpetit (Pure Laine) as Odile.

Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story was directed by award-winning John L’Ecuyer (ReGenesis) and penned by acclaimed screenwriter Suzette Couture (The Terrorist Next Door). The film’s executive producers are Laszlo Barna (Céline), Carol Hay (Cold Squad) and Kevin Tierney (Bon Cop, Bad Cop and One Dead Indian).

The Judges are picking four of the Top 20 to perform again tonight. Farley picks Theo Tams to come back and perform again.

Zack calls Amberly Thiessen out to perform again.

Jake selects Oliver Pigott to perform again. Sass wants to hear Omar Lunan again.

The bottom three contestants from each group are called out.

Lisa Bell, Marie-Pierre Bellerose and Paul Clifford are the bottom three from Monday and Jesse Cottam, Adam Castelli and Jessica Sheppard from Tuesday.

From Monday night, Paul Clifford is going home. From Tuesday night, is Jesse Cottam.

I’m pretty surprised that Jesse is going home. I suspected that he would have had some of the teenage girl vote keeping him around.

Lisa Bell is the second from Monday night to leave. Jessica Sheppard is the final contestant to leave.

Next week, the Top 10 will be decided.

See you Monday!

Canadian Idol 2008 Top 20 Group 2
Last night the first 10 of the top 20 performed. Tonight, the remaining 10 bid for your vote to keep them in the competition.

There was one definite standout for elimination for me last night. Will group two have at least one definite dud too?

Here’s the recap:

Adam Castelli
Wyclef Jean - Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring Refugee Allstars - Gone Till November Gone Till November

Not the greatest start to the show tonight. It was more yelling than singing. Good energy though.

Jessica Sheppard
Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded - Umbrella Umbrella

Singing one of the biggest songs of the decade needs to be done really well and not pitchy like this. Bad song choice by a long mile.

Jesse Cottam
The Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up the Girl - Iris Iris

When an artist digs on personal experience it does one of two things. It either makes a great connection with the song or invokes more emotion in the moment which results in messing things up. For me, it was the latter.

Theo Tams
Howie Day - Stop All the World Now - Collide Collide

Theo is such an accomplished pianist and can really sing. Great performance.

Katelyn Dawn
The Black Crowes - The Black Crowes: Greatest Hits 1990-1999 - A Tribute to a Work In Progress - She Talks to Angels She Talks To Angels

I’m not sure whether I liked that or not. It was certainly different from the original but like the judges said, I agree that there needed more grit in it.

Mitch MacDonald
Jason Mraz - We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things - I'm Yours I’m Yours

It’s a good song for Mitch but he sounds a little nervous. Pretty good acoustic set though.

Katherine St-Laurent
Sheryl Crow - The Very Best of Sheryl Crow - The First Cut Is the Deepest The First Cut is the Deepest

This is a nice version and Katherine connects with it pretty well. There is a nice little rasp in the back of her throat and her performance was really solid.

Omar Lunan
Bill Withers - Just As I Am - Ain't No Sunshine Aint No Sunshine

Omar is one smooth operator. There are some really nice technical aspects of his performance with his closing falsetto, superb.

Earl Stevenson
Bonnie Raitt - The Best of Bonnie Raitt - Something to Talk About Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

Great song but it seemed far too Karaoke to me.

Oliver Pigott
Joe Cocker - The Best of Joe Cocker - Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Seriously, these Pigott boys have some real talent. They’re the ones to beat on Canadian Idol in 2008

Jessica and Adam are my picks from this group to be going home.

Now Get Voting

Canadian Idol Top 20 2008 Group 1
When you have three nights of Idol the next week sure does come around fast.

After saying farewell to 4 contestants last week the pressure is one the final 20 to pull out all the stops.

Tonight, 10 sing. Tomorrow, the other 10. On Wednesday, 4 more go home.

Here’s the recap.

Mark Day
Gavin DeGraw - Gavin DeGraw - In Love With a Girl In Love With a Girl

Mark is a very likable guy. He’s bound to be around for a while but he’s going to have to start matching his vocals with his performance.

Paul Clifford
Matthew Good Band - Underdogs - Apparitions Apparitions

It pains me to give anyone who plays a Takamine grief but some of those vocals were sounding a little strained. It was a little dull for me.

Drew Wright
Neverending White Lights - Act 1: Goodbye Friends of the Heavenly Bodies - The Grace The Grace

What’s with all the boring songs tonight with wavering vocals? Somebody please wake me up!

Marie-Pierre Bellerose
Amanda Marshall - Amanda Marshall - Beautiful Goodbye Beautiful Goodbye

Seriously. What is with all the pitchy vocals tonight? There are some nice vocal moments that luckily make up for the pitchiness.

Mookie Morris
The Kooks - Inside In / Inside Out - Naive Naive

Mookie is such a good little rocker and performer. Finally a performance worthy of some real praise.

Sebastian Pigott
The Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream - Daydream Daydream

These Pigott Brothers are such accomplished musicians. The phrasing is awesome and he looks like such a pro.

Martin Kerr
Peter Gabriel - So - In Your Eyes In Your Eyes

This is a great song for Martin and suits his so well. Brings back some big memories of the eighties.

Lisa Bell
Otis Redding - The Dock of the Bay - (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay Sittin’ on The Dock of the Bay

Lisa adds a nice change to what has been a typically rock driven show. Definitely nice to have some Soul in the mix.

Gary Morissette
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Certified Hits: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles Mr Bojangles

I’m struggling to really like this at all. The vocals are pretty poor and I think we have our first contender for elimination on Wednesday.

Amberly Thiessen
Bread - Best of Bread - Everything I Own Everything I Own

What a great song choice. Amberly has supplied Canada with a graceful, intimate and vulnerable performance.

Gary and Drew are my two picks to be leaving from tonight’s group. What about you?

Here are the voting details

Meerkat Manor

The “kats” are back! Starting Thurs., July 3 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT during Animal Planet’s month-long freeview*, Meerkat Manor mania returns to Animal Planet with a brand new feature-length special and a fourth season full of even more drama, romance and family fun!

From seductive pairings to battles for dominance, Meerkat Manor captures the daily activities of these sociable creatures with specially-built fibre-optic cameras stationed both above ground and in the deep burrows below. Filmed in cooperation with Cambridge University, there are no humans in the series, only the real life drama, romance and action of the Whiskers meerkat family.

The fourth season of Meerkat Manor kicks off Thurs., July 3 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT with Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins, a 90-minute special narrated by Academy Award® -winning actress Whoopi Goldberg.

Filmed over a seven-month period in partnership with Oxford Scientific Films/Southern Star, Cambridge University and world-renowned behavioral ecologist Professor Tim Clutton-Brock, Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins is a prequel to Meerkat Manor.

The feature film traces the rise of Flower from a young inexperienced meerkat into a remarkable leader who puts her family above all in the fight for survival in the Kalahari, one of the harshest deserts on the planet. Viewers witness Flower’s growth as she raises her family and forges a legacy amidst the unforgiving landscape and constant dangers of the desert.

Following Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins, the fourth season of Meerkat Manor settles into its regular timeslot beginning Thurs., July 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. Narrated by actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean), season four of Meerkat Manor will find out how the Whiskers cope in the shadow of the death of their fearless matriarch, Flower.

In season three, the Whiskers were dealt a harsh blow when Flower died, and with the family in shambles, Rocket Dog fought her way to the spot as new leader of the Whiskers clan. But, mutineer Maybelline didn’t accept her sister Rocket Dog as queen and ditched the clan to form her own mob, the Aztecs.

With the family divided, the sisters’ claws come out and the Manor is changed forever. With threats from predators, harsh desert weather and archenemies the Commandos, the lack of a strong leader to unite the clan could be their biggest obstacle in survival.

Old Skool

The Golden Girls Meets Borat in Hilarious New TV Series Old Skool, Premiering July 13 on Star!

Going where no granny has gone before, meet two BFFs who are putting retirement on the shelf and setting out to discover a world they never knew existed. One of the craziest series of the summer, Old Skool premieres Sunday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET exclusively on Star!. Hollywood legends Terry Moore (77) and Gita Hall (72) explore society’s wonderful subcultures in this hilarious cross between The Golden Girls and Borat.

Widow of billionaire Howard Hughes, Terry Moore is an extroverted Academy Award®-nominated ex-starlet who counted Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe as friends; dated James Dean; and posed for Playboy in her late 50s. Gita Hall was the world’s first supermodel, mingled with royalty, and was once married to actor Barry Sullivan. Friends for more than 50 years, both have an unquenchable thirst for life. Committed to uncovering society’s wonderful subcultures, these septuagenarians hit the streets to discover what’s hip amongst today’s youth.

Each week, Old Skool cameras follow the eccentric duo as they share their various experiences that include partying like a rock star, directing their own porn shoot, getting arrested, checking into rehab, learning how to rap, attending Gay Pride, and more. Special celebrity guests include Perez Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Steve-O, Jesse Jane, Todd Bridges, Jermaine Jackson, Jenny Shimizu, and Reichen Lehmkuhl. Age ain’t nothing but a number when it comes to these women. Their ‘fish-out-of-water’ immersion into these worlds is often revealing, sometimes shocking, and always hilarious.