Unless you were inundated by press releases like I was, you probably didn’t know CBC’s Cover Me Canada premiered tonight.  But that’s not your fault, it had heavy competition going up against the Emmys, leaving most of eastern Canada to choose between the popular award show and the unheard of reality singing competition.

Luckily, those of us in the western part of Canada got to take advantage of time shifting and were able to watch both the Emmys and Cover Me Canada.

But in case you didn’t get to watch, here are my immediate thoughts.

Three things I liked:

-The talent:  The bands up for the top prize of $100,000 can actually sing.  If this show is going to stand out among all the other singing shows, then focusing on the this country’s amazing talent is the best way to do it.  With just a brief segment with each of the show’s bands, producers have chosen a great variety of exciting contestants, that seem to be break today’s pop idol mold. Which means yes, they skipped the audition process and I’m really, really thankful.

-The set:  Picture what you thought the set of a CBC rock concert show would look like and then immediately forget it.  Weak lighting, a lame set and the show’s overall production would have been easy reasons to change the channel, but Cover Me Canada is proof that the network has been getting our tax dollars.

-The winner: I like how Cover Me Canada will let the judges pick which band will be eliminated each week.  Thanks to every single winner of Canadian Idol, Canadians have been proven that we can’t be trusted when given the power of the vote.

Three things I didn’t like:

-Nicole Appleton’s accent: If you can identify it, you win.

-The judges:  It’s not that I don’t like the judges completely, I think they are just finding their “characters.”  Jordan, I’m over it.  We don’t need you to just be nice.  Deborah Cox said that she liked the first band because she “could hear every word they sang.” Ron Fair is awesome, except that he also told the first band that they were the ones to beat. If that’s not producer manipulation, I don’t know what is.

-Song length: I’m not sure how long the bands were allowed to sing, but it felt like they were only singing for ten seconds, enough to sing the chorus and maybe a few other lines.  I know the show has a lot of bands to get through, but the judges’ elaborate critiques seemed pretty in-depth for the likely sixty second performance. This problem will hopefully be fixed as more and more bands get eliminated.


Final thought:  I’ll be honest, I went into watching Cover Me Canada wanting to hate it and afterwards, it really surprised me. It wasn’t that bad.  The producers, judges and contestants seem to know what they are doing and it’s remarkably watchable.  Like I said, I really wanted to hate it. If done with Simon and Paula, then Cover Me Canada is singing your tune.

Mike Morrison


  1. I couldn’t get over the extremly bad sound quality of everything that I didn’t even catch what songs were playing. A music show? Ha.

  2. What an incredible let down. Such a pitty that the concept seemed to have the appeal to beat other talent shows, everything was just boring. I wanted to change the channel, the host is not charismatic, the camera shots were static, the sound engineering was hideous as well as the song choice. The worst, the bands they picked I would not pay or attend for free any concert played by a band form last night. This was such a boring show.

    These guys can’t sing. Major disappointment, how will the compete against CTV’s X Factor? Prepare to witness a massive miss.

  3. Brutal…..a shouting, accent -challenged host, coupled with an anemic band mix add up to another CBC wanna-be show.
    Too bad……these kids deserve better.

  4. The sound was horrible. The host yelled into the mic and was much louder than the rest of the mix. The guests like David Clayton Thomas didn’t even seem to be miked. How can you produce a music show and forget that audio is required?

  5. It was cringe-inducing. Not sure why CBC thought it could take a handful of bands that nobody has ever heard of, immediately get them playing covers of songs that are played on the radio by mandate, and then get people to identify with them.

    Will the host be able to yell into the mic without it clipping? Will the studio audience begin to applaud at the correct time? Will the judges describe what a band just did in place of actual criticism? Who cares?

    If I have learned anything from the scourge of reality television competition shows over the last decade, it’s that you need to hit the audience with character montages of slow-motion sap until they nearly vomit blood, and THEN you let those characters sing poorly on live television.

    A down-and-out single mom who’s fighting lyme disease and just can’t hit the high notes on that Mariah Carey song is sort of tragic. Some nobody that can’t hit the first few notes of that Avril Lavigne song you’ve heard a million times is what you’re missing at karaoke night.

    I wonder how much of the audience was killed off with that premier?

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