As a competitor on the hit TV show Canada’s Got Talent, I’d like to offer a look at the behind the scenes viewers may not know about.
Canada’s Got Talent is a block buster show on cityTV. The broadcaster sunk a majority of their budget into the show in hopes of making a hit, and the ratings suggest they did just that. Not a single episode has recieved less than 1.2 million viewers tuning in. For a country of roughly 35 million people, that is a good chunk of the Nation watching, and even more reading and hearing about the show later on.
In every talent show (American Idol, So you thing you can dance, etc.) it is the auditions shows that get the highest ratings. This is because the auditions can go either way, an epic coming-out-of-talent or an epic fail. The viewer never knows what they are going to get once the competitor comes on the screen. Lets be honest, the epic fails are almost (or even more) entertaining than the truely talented acts.
While this will likely shock no body, some acts were pushed forward to fail on stage. The “auditions” shows that are seen on TV are actual “showcase” rounds. The real auditions took place across the country with an estimated 20,000 people participating. TV producers trim the competitors from 20,000 to a little over 500 across Canada for the showcase rounds. It is the showcase rounds that are filmed and televised for TV with the three celebrity judges. That means 19,500 people get cut right off the bat. So when you see an act on stage that is just terrible, they were strategicly planted there for your entertainment.
That being said, I can honestly tell you the number of duds placed in the show for entertainment value was a lot lower than people think. For instance, you may get two to three duds place in an show and they are going to get air time because they were placed there on purpose for entertainment. However, their air time is limited, and for every dud who is bound to fail you have 30 competitors who were picked to go forward because the producers believe they truely have a chance.
Some who got cut during the initial auditions (when there was 20,000 competitors) complain that producers cut them and pushed forward some epic fails to join the 500 competitors to the next round (the TV round). If they were honest, we all knew this would be the case as this is far from new with talent shows. Also, of the 500 competitors who made it to the showcase rounds, only a few hand fulls were placed there for epic fails. It seems like more because they show the epic fails on TV, however, live you rarely saw some one bomb. Most people who did not move forward were good, but simply not good enough.
For those that got cut, often its easier to look for a different reason why they got cut.
Another interesting thing about Canada’s Got Talent, the show was a lot “softer” on their epic fails than other talent shows. Perhaps this is because producers felt it is un-Canadian to be too critical and rude. Even the worst of bombs on stage were greated with a carefully worded “no” from a judge. When the judges did take jabs at the acts, it was usually done behind a joke that was more comical than mean. It is a tough thing to do, making fun of an act while not being truely mean. Martin Short was likely the best at it. Comedy comes easy to Martin, and he had the ability to make a light hearted joke about an act while not coming off too harsh.
Of the three judges in the showcase rounds (“auditions” for tv) Martin was likely the toughest of the three judges to win over, with a Measha Brueggergosman coming in a close second. Measha was fearless with her picks, even if it was not going to go over well with the crowd. For that it was clear she was a good choice by the producers to fill the role. The last thing you want on a talent show is a judge who is affriad to offer critique and state their honest opinion of an act.
Stephan Moccio suprised me. I did not know much about Stephan before the show. I learned, like most other people I’d assume, about his impressive credentials in the music business after he was selected as a judge. On TV it is clear that most of the jokes and one-liners that aired belong to Martin Short, however, in the actual live taping Stephan was suprisingly up to par with Martin in that department. Stephan had some of the funniest one liners the day I was there in the audience after I had performed.
As for what it was like to actually perform, as well as the back stage goods on how the show works on that end of things, check out the article next!…