On Canadian Idol

09.03.03

This sums up pretty accurately how I feel about Canadian Idol:

People like [music journalist Kerry] Doole don’t believe a televised contest, one built around cover versions, is the best way to find Canada’s next musical star. “It can assess a very limited type of musical talent – the talent of mimicry,” Doole says. “The stress appears to be on vocal ability, rather than any kind of originality or creativity.”

For Canadian Idol’s detractors, that’s the central issue – since the contestants only do cover songs, it’s impossible to assess how much raw talent they have. After all, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell and Neil Young didn’t become music legends by singing covers.

“Ultimately, the only way you make music is by listening to your own voice, certainly not putting yourself in front of a panel that’s trying to create hit songs,” says Jim Cuddy, one of Blue Rodeo’s two front men.

In other words, it’s nothing but a glorified karaoke contest. Which is why I don’t watch it.

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