regan's blog

It’s Canadian Music Week this coming week in Canada and to celebrate, Canada AM are bringing you some special performances.

First up on Monday is New Zealand songstress Anita Prime who is making her Canadian debut hot on the heels of he new album Destiny. She’ll also be performing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto on the 10th.  Check out her album on iTunes via the link below.

Destiny - Anita Prime

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the Canada AM week!

This Week on CANADA AM – Robert Latimer, Harry Connick Jr., International Women’s Day, Paralympics One Year Later, Canadian Music Week Performances and more…

Watch Beverly Thomson, Seamus O’Regan, Marci Ien, and Jeff Hutcheson on CANADA AM weekdays beginning at 6 a.m. ET on CTV.

Monday, March 7

·         ROBERT LATIMER: Granted full parole at the end of 2010 after he received a life sentence for killing his severely disabled daughter Tracey in 1993, Latimer sits down with CANADA AM to talk about life after prison.
·         SKULL RECONSTRUCTION:  Do you know this face? Diana Trepkov is a skull reconstruction specialist who has been working to reconstruct the features from an identified skull found in Ontario. She unveils the reconstruction first on CANADA AM in the hopes it can be identified.
·         HARRY CONNICK JR: CANADA AM’s Beverly Thomson chats with the New Orleans crooner and movie star about his new album In Concert on Broadway.
·         CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK – ANITA PRIME: In its 29th year, Canadian Music Week (CMW) is one of the premier entertainment events in North America focused on the business of music. All this week, CANADA AM will showcase CMW musical acts starting with Anita Prime from New Zealand performing a track from her new album Destiny.
·         KATE’S DRESS: What would you design for Kate’s wedding dress? Canadian designers responded to the challenge and today their sketches are revealed.
·         REAL VS RUMOUR:  What jewelry should a future Princess wear on her big day? Royal commentator Hilary Brown tells CANADA AM what royal jewels could be reality for Kate on her big day.

Tuesday, March 8
·         INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: CANADA AM marks International Women’s Day with Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau who has teamed up with Plan Canada’s Because I Am A Girl global campaign which aims for a brighter, safer future for girls.
·         CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK – THE SHEEPDOGS: They hail from Saskatoon and have nabbed a coveted spot as one of 16 finalists for the Do You Wannna Be A Rock & Roll Star? competition with the ultimate prize – a major label record deal and the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Today they perform “I Don’t Know” from their album Learn & Burn.
·         STARBUCKS TURNS 40: Happy Birthday bucks! Single-handedly rebranding the image of coffee and tea around the world, Starbucks gets a new look to mark the big 4-0. CANADA AM talks to CEO, Howard Shultz about the future of this global brand.

Wednesday, March 9
·         CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK – EATLIZ: This Israeli alternative rock group is best known for their internationally award-winning animated music videos. They’ll perform “Lose This Child” for CANADA AM.
·         BRITISH PETROLEUM CLAIMS:  More than 130,000 claims stemming from the BP oil spill remain unsettled. CANADA AM talks to the BP lawyer who is handling the claims to find out why.
·         FUNKYTOWN:  Turning the clock back to Montreal in 1976.  Canada AM talks to the Patrick Huard of Bon Cop, Bad Cop fame about the new film Funkytown which follows seven characters who want to make their mark in an era when excess was the norm and when disco was king.
·         TRAVELLING WITH TOTS: CANADA AM looks at how to make travelling with kids as painless as possible for you and those around you with tips from DVD entertainment to what to pack in your bag of goodies.

Thursday, March 10 
·         CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK – CHAD BROWNLEE: He’s a Canadian country music artist and a former NHL defenseman. Chad will perform “Day After You” from his self-titled debut album produced by CCMA award-winning producer Mitch Merrett.
·         CLEAR WALLET CLUTTER: We’ve all got them… rewards cards. Which ones are worth carrying with you and which should you toss? Patrick Sojka, CEO of Rewards Canada, breaks down which loyalty cards deliver the most payback.
·         COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR KIDS: Parenting expert Michele Borba reveals the secrets to staying in tune with your kids in an increasingly complex wireless and social media world.

Friday, March 11
·         PARALYMPIC LOOK BACK: One year ago today, the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games kicked off in Vancouver. Canadian silver medallist in Men’s Slalom-Sitting Josh Dueck helps CANADA AM look back at the highlights from these Games.
·         CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK – JORDAN KNIGHT: Former New Kids on the Block front man has just released his solo album Unfinished and he performs his dance track single from the album Let’s Go Higher.
·         MOVIE REVIEWS: CANADA AM’s film expert, Richard Crouse reviews new releases Battle: Los Angeles, Mars Needs Moms, and Red Riding Hood.

The finalists of American Idol are walking the green mile at the moment.  Want to know who is making it and who isn’t? 

Who made the Top 24 of season 10 of American Idol?

Brett Loewenstern
Jacee Badeaux
Karen Rodriguez
Casey Abrams
Lauren Alaina
Pia Toscano
Rachel Zevita
Jovanny Barreto
Lauren Turner
Jordan Dorsey
Scotty McCreery
James Durbin
Kendra Chantelle
Clint Jun Gamboa
Ashton Amir’ Jones 
Naima Adedap 
Julie Zorilla
Robbie Rosen 

Who has been cut

Chris Medina
Jessica Cunningham (for the 8th time?)
Eryn Kelly
John Wayne Schultz
Hollie Cavanaugh
Jackie Wilson
Keisha Lewis

Thanks to Idolblog.com for the spoilers!

If you’re an Angry Birds fan and missed the Superbowl Ad for Angry Birds Rio then here’s what you need to know.

If you’re not already addicted:

Canadian users click here:

Angry Birds - Clickgamer.com

US users click here:

Angry Birds - Clickgamer.com

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to study along side the cast of Degrassi?  Watching their lives and stories from within the school itself as opposed to on Television?  How realistic do you think it would be?  Would you be friends with anyone or would you just be one of the hundreds of extras that waltz around the hallways and corridors without ever connecting with the main cast?

Many people fantasize and dream about being inside a TV show, living out their real lives around the scripted stories and somehow managing to intertwine their lives with those we regularly tune in to watch.  

The reality for many is that their desire to be part of the show stems from a desire for doors to be opened up to bigger and better things.  Perhaps it is about wanting to build relationships with other students or wanting to be taught by a member of the faculty that you’ve built respect for.

While some may even seek out a meeting with the admissions team, others prefer to stay home and do distance learning while maintaining that connection to the college. What ever works, right?  For some it’s just easier to get a degree online.

If you’ve never seen DJ Earworm’s annual mashup of the Top 25 songs on Billboard then you must watch the following video.

Who would have guessed when Glee debuted to audiences in the US in May 2009 that by Christmas 2010, they’d already have topped The Beatles 71 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and only be 6 away from Elvis record with 108. 

To date, their cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ has amassed more than a million sales while this seasons hit has been Teenage Dream, topping close to 300,000 copies already and beating the first week sales of DSB by 214,000 to 177,000

With another guaranteed season and a half, one would expect that the Glee cast are going to firmly place themselves firmly out of reach of anyone else wanting to breach the record.

And with the constant talk of the demise of the record business, Sony Music must be very happy with this result.

Check out the 102 songs that the Glee cast have had make the Billboard Hot 100

Glee Cast

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Despite being the 21st season of Survivor, the producers have still managed to find new elements in how they could revitalize the show and introduce some new twists to the game.

The chick with an prosthetic leg, Kelly Bruno on the 30 and under tribe La Flor, and on the older tribe, Espada, former NFL coach and winner of two Super Bowls, Jimmy Johnson.  And the new coveted necklace, The Medallion of Power, offering an advantage to the tribe who holds it.

I’m not sure what to make of the Old vs Young theme this time around.  I guess if you’re an older guy, there’ll be less opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the younger, bikini clad babes of Survivor Nicaragua.  Perhaps what makes up for that is being given a pep talk by one of Super Bowls greatest coaches.

Of all the characters who were annoying, Wendy was definitely the weirdest.  The minute they played the interview with her and she told us that her husband thought she’d be the first to go home you just knew she was a contender.  

The other contender to have drawn some mocking is Judson Birza who has affectionately been renamed by his tribemates as Fabio.  Charming.

La Flor obtain the Medallion of Power thanks to Brenda Lowe.  When offered flint and fishing gear in exchange for it they pass it up and Espada take ownership of it.  When it comes time to play it though, the oldies decide that they want to make a statement and pass up an advantage at the immunity challenge.  It backfires and they lose.  

At Tribal, Wendy finally decides to blab and blab and blab about why she should stay.  Begging aint a good look and her torch is extinguished.

This week I had the opportunity speak to two very interesting people. Business magnate, socialite and the host of The Apprentice, Mr Donald Trump and one of reality televisions most renowned producers, Mr Mark Burnett.  On the 16th of September, the tenth season of The Apprentice begins and promises to deliver relevance to the current economic climate.

“If you remember when we started The Apprentice it was this big hit but it was also in a different world” says Trump. “It was, you know, times were booming and now times are just the opposite of booming.”

Responding to the call for the show to be more reflective of the current times, this season’s contestants have been selected from the many who have lost their jobs and livelihood due to the economic downturn. 

“We have people that went to the best schools and they don’t have a job” Trump told us. “People that had really good jobs before and they have five kids in one case and doesn’t have a job, has zero income coming in.”

Mark Burnett added “We’ve got someone who got their Masters in Engineering, worked as a mechanical engineer, got downsized in the economy and now has now taken a job as a tow truck driver. Another woman who went to Stanford for cancer research had a job as a cancer researcher. The funding fell through because of the economy and now they’re taking care of their grandmother and living back in their parent’s house.”

Being a man with an eye for the ladies, Trump tells of another. “A beautiful young woman who went to Stanford Law, did a great job, great student, had a great job at a major law firm and now she’s selling cupcakes.”

So the contestants in this season aren’t just fresh out of school contenders for the $250,000 job with Trump, they’re actually talented professionals who have found themselves on the hard side of reality and out of work.  

When casting for this season, they weren’t looking for people who were feeling sorry for themselves.  In fact, the common theme was finding people who were fighting back.  And fighting your way back is certainly something that Donald Trump has done himself so these contestants have certainly earned his respect in that regard.

“The energy and the almost, the survival of some of these people is unbelievable. Unbelievable, where they have families where the families are just devastated by the fact that they have no money, they have nothing. But they have great educations and they had a great past. So it’s inspirational, but at the same time it’s very sad.”

And while it’s just a TV show, many of the contestants gave feedback throughout filming that it felt great to be back at work.  Coming from high flying jobs to doing nothing would be hard.  One can only imagine the near euphoric state of being back in your business element.

If you’re familiar with the show then you’ll know that the winners of each task are rewarded.  Often with lavish gifts or experiences.  This time round though, it’s a little different.  

“The winning project manager’s reward every week is to meet with a major industry titan in various industries” says Burnett. “It’s like a motivational speech from winners to give these people a chance and it’s amazing how they come out of these rewards energized.”

While it’s common to hear people talking about upcoming seasons as being the best ever, Trump emphasizes why he thinks it’s true in these case.

“It’s a better plot in terms of bad times versus good times. When you’re in good times it’s less urgent, it’s less important. And in a certain way maybe even less exciting. But I think the concept is almost better because of the times that we’re living in”

With a new plot in hand, the casting process sounded pretty horrific though.

“Donald sat there with myself and the NBC executives and we honestly were listening to story after story of unbelievably educated people.” Burnett said.  “I mean people, top universities, top law firms who are just on their ass, and I’ve got to tell you one minute we looked at each other, Donald and I and the NBC executives and said boy, it sure is great to have a job.”

Sad story after sad story after sad story from thousands of people from 11 different cities makes for compelling viewing.  So much so that as Trump says, “when NBC saw what was happening with the shooting, it was so good they couldn’t believe it and they actually bumped the show in order to put it on early.”  

With so many people affected by the economic turmoil, this season of The Apprentice could very well be one of the best rating as people seek solace and inspiration for their own circumstances.

The Apprentice begins at 9:00pm on Thursday the 16th of September on Global.

Cast:
Back row: Gene Folkes, Wade Hanson, Kelly Smith Beaty, Steuart Martens, Clint Robertson, Tyana Alvarado, Nicole Chiu, Alex Delgado
Front row: Stephanie Castagnier, James Weir, David Johnson, Poppy Carlig, Liza Mucheru-Wisner, Brandy Kuentzel, Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy