Watch Dany's Duel this Sun­day

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

There is some­thing un­usual about hear­ing the break­fast crowd at a lo­cal restau­rant talk­ing about a French tele­vi­sion pro­gram. Then again, it’s not of­ten that a Stanstead born An­glo­phone, Dany Flan­ders, mind you born to a French mother and nursed on mu­sic, liv­ing in Florida, de­cides to com­pete on The Voice; make that La Voix.

TVA, chan­nel 7 lo­cally, is a pri­vate net­work that lives on its own. No pig­gy­back­ing on Amer­i­can pro­grams, where the hard work is in­sert­ing Cana­dian ads as in the case of the pri­vate English chan­nels where a num­ber one Cana­dian-pro­duced tele­vi­sion se­ries would be front page news. Week af­ter bor­ing week, the rat­ings proves the same thing: when it comes to watch­ing tele­vi­sion, Cana­di­ans try very hard to avoid Cana­dian con­tent. Not so on the French chan­nels, even Ra­dio-Canada be­ing able to sell a con­cept to one of the pro­gram­ming giants in the USA, Free­man­tle, as an­other ‘singing’ con­cept, Air de famille did on Mon­day. Free­man­tle is be­hind the Idol fran­chise.

If Dany Flan­ders doesn’t make the cut on La Voix, he and his mother, Lise Flan­ders, would be nat­u­rals on Air de famille.

The cut is next Sun­day. He will face an­other con­tes­tant and will ei­ther move on to an­other step or go back to Florida and back to ‘Air de famille’.

For the An­glo­phone com­mu­nity as a whole, Dany Flan­ders is the model of what Québé­cois need to see: Some­one that they can re­late to as a neigh­bour, even if he lives in Florida. Flan­ders, in a way, is the op­po­site of what the cliché of an An­glo is for most Fran­co­phones. And the cliché is pow­er­ful, am­pli­fied daily by the main­stream English press in this coun­try. It’s a sim­ple one: An­g­los don’t care for Québé­cois cul­ture.

Most of you don’t know Ari­ane Mof­fatt, the judge who chose Dany first. Some may have an idea who Jean-Pierre Fer­land is, as for MarieMai and Marc Dupré! Still, they are known all across the province.

The English press must share its re­spon­si­bil­ity on this. I’ve yet to read in the Globe and Mail a re­view or a pre­view of one of the tens of evening shows pro­duced in French in this coun­try, while read­ing hun­dreds on pro­grams that are shown on some third tier ca­ble net­work in the USA. The first episode of Ra­dio-Canada 19-2, the cop show which dealt with a shootout at a school (filmed months be­fore the New­town mas­sacre), was on par with all Amer­i­can TV shows; nary a word in the English me­dia.

Yet, YOU CAN WATCH FRENCH TV. And when you do, you un­der­stand most of it. Let’s be hon­est, there is not much to un­der­stand watch­ing La Voix and most drama shows are as eas­ily un­der­stand­able. So next Sun­day, tune in to TVA to see and hear Dany Flan­ders. You will see why he was cho­sen and let’s hope he moves on to an­other step.

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