Music reality show ‘Canada Sings’ returns with more at stake

You’d have to have a heart of stone to be unaffected by the contestants on Canada Sings, says judge Rob Van Winkle, better known as early 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice.

TORONTO — You’d have to have a heart of stone to be unaffected by the contestants on Canada Sings, says judge Rob Van Winkle, better known as early 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice.

“I get goosebumps, there’s been times I almost got teared up … this is a very tear-jerking, emotional show — unless you’re just completely feeling-less, you’re going to be touched,” says Winkle.

“I can feel their passion and it’s neat to be a part of it, but very difficult from a judging standpoint, because there has to be a winner, even though to me they’re all winners.”

The second season of Canada Sings kicks off Tuesday with more at stake for the teams of workplace singers competiting for a charitable donation.

This year, one of 12 teams — represented by the Canadian Automobile Association, the Children’s Aid Society in Ontario’s Peel region, Dumas Mining, Elmwood Spa, GO Transit, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Science Centre, Purdy’s Chocolates, RBC, the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, Stampede Casino and WestJet — will compete to perform the best song and dance routine and win $25,000 for the charity of their choice, which is up from the $10,000 prize in season 1.

Each team has a compelling personal cause motivating them, which makes picking a winner extremely difficult, say the judging panel, which also includes singer Jann Arden and star choreographer Laurieann Gibson.

Show creator John Brunton of Insight Productions says he thinks audiences will connect with the show because of its positive message.

There’s no American Idol-style snark or shaming on this show.

“It’s just got this really feel-good vibe to it, it’s a show that doesn’t really play off of embarrassment and cynicism, it tears at people’s heartstrings,” Brunton says.

After buying the rights to create Canadian versions of series including Pop Idol, Battle of the Blades and Top Chef, he’s now hoping to take the Canada Sings concept around the world.

“Having been a person that has rented many, many formats, it’s exciting to be on the other side of it, and on the side of something that spreads such positive vibes and goodwill and speaks to the positive side of the human spirit.”

Gibson says she can definitely see the concept working in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“I think the good thing about ’Canada Sings’ is it’s honest, it’s a connection to real people,” she says, adding it doesn’t share much in common with other reality shows that seem too quick to crush contestants’ dreams.

“There is a false sense of saying someone’s a star or they’re not….

“They might not be at the stage where their talent is fully developed but to say someone’s not a star or can’t sing is an ignorant statement.

“Myself, I’ve proven a lot of closed doors wrong.”

Canada Sings airs on Global at 8 p.m.

Just Posted

Red Deer property taxes to go up 2.15 per cent in 2019

City council approves $369.8 million budget

Sylvan Lake council approves concept plan for new park

Pogadl Park will eventally be home to numerous ball diamonds and sports fields

One person dead after collision on Highway 2A

Pickup truck and grain truck collided on Highway 2A south of Carstairs

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Sylvan Lake council passes 2019 budget

Tax rate increase of 2.74 per cent set for this year

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter in Stettler

A Stettler man charged with second-degree murder has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.… Continue reading

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Most Read