Times Colonist

Canadian Idol auditions could hint at latent talents

- ALEX STRACHAN

Like a K-Tel recording, only slightly different: Canadian Idol is back.

The summer TV tradition — Canada’s most-watched TV show during the lazy, dog days of July and August — returns tonight with the de rigueur truncated audition shows, three cities shoehorned into a single hour, less time out for ads.

On American Idol, the audition shows set the template for the season to come. Good luck spotting any potential Idols in Canadian Idol’s audition programs, though. There are only so many weeks in the summer, and Canadian Idol’s producers are eager to get to the real competitio­n — the weekly sing-offs and eliminatio­n shows — as quickly as possible. Tonight, the spotlight falls on Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, with each city warranting about seven minutes of screen time. If American Idol is an album, Canadian Idol is a single.

Canadian Idol may look the same and, at times, sound the same as American Idol — off-key is off-key, no matter which way you record it — but there are difference­s. The judges — Farley Flex, Sass Jordan, Jake Gold and Zack Werner — know their own minds. They’re unpredicta­ble, reasonably articulate, unafraid to buck the trend-of-the-moment, and have yet to become cartoon caricature­s of themselves.

Canadian Idol set the stage for Idol wannabes performing with instrument­s — it’s hard to imagine David Cook standing out without the guitar, for example — and has landed its share of high-profile musical mentors, including Tony Bennett, Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5 and Paul Anka.

In the end, as always, this season of Canadian Idol will be judged on the talent that emerges. If it emerges.

Talent is unpredicta­ble, and picking talent out from the crowd, this early in the process, is tougher than it sounds. That’s why Idol continues to draw a crowd. The stakes are high, and the outcome almost always in doubt — right up until the finall. Mulroney out. Three to see • Boston Legal, that rare example of a courtroom drama that is both entertaini­ng and worth thinking about — and arguing over — repeats an outing from November in which Alan Shore (James Spader) pleads temporary insanity in the case of a griefstric­ken

CTV, 9 p.m. mother (Mare Winningham) accused of killing the man who murdered her daughter.

Global, ABC, 10 p.m. • Conservati­ve political pundit and noted baseball fan George Will joins Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, to sing the praises of conservati­ve thinking and talk about his new book, One Man’s America: The Pleasures and Provocatio­ns of our Singular Nation. And, as Colbert fans know, Colbert knows all about pleasures and provocatio­ns.

CTV, 12:30 a.m. • Crisis, what crisis? On Hell’s Kitchen, one chef accidental­ly burns the rice while another burns their hand and the medic is rushed to the kitchen yet again. And to think some people continue to wonder why Chef Gordon Ramsay has anger management issues.

Citytv, Fox, 9 p.m.

 ??  ?? Back in the Canadian Idol judges’ seat for another summer are Farley Flex, Sass Jordan, Jake Gold and Zack Werner.
Back in the Canadian Idol judges’ seat for another summer are Farley Flex, Sass Jordan, Jake Gold and Zack Werner.

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