Entertainment

Johanna Schneller: More honest advice needed on The Launch

Let’s harness our Canadian earnestness and really delve into how a raw “something special” is shaped into a career.

busbee, Shania Twain and Scott Borchetta are judges on CTV’s The Launch.

Courtesy / Bell Media

busbee, Shania Twain and Scott Borchetta are judges on CTV’s The Launch.

The Show: The Launch, Season 1, Episode 1 (CTV)
The Moment: The judgment

Vivian Hicks and Logan Staats have auditioned, recorded the same song, and performed. Now the three judges – Shania Twain, Scott Borchetta and busbee — evaluate.

“Do you think Vivian is ready?” Borchetta asks.

"I think her talent is ready,” Twain replies.

“Every time I see Logan perform he takes my breath away,” Borchetta says.    

“Being captivating like that is what an audience needs in order to stop what they’re doing and listen,” Twain says.

This is the penultimate moment of the show. I should have been riveted. But one, my husband was holding his head in his hands, as he had throughout the hour, wailing, “This show is so earnest! My country is too earnest!”

And two, I was distracted, because the judges were rendering their wisdom not in a boardroom or even a bar, as they’d do IRL. Instead, they were standing awkwardly in a row facing the camera, like they were in a chatty police lineup.  

Those two points made me ponder what I’d like to see in this new series; the answer is a combination of both. My favourite part of American Idol was watching the kids go from Awkward to Groomed. The Launch offers a compressed iteration of that. So let’s harness our Canadian earnestness and really delve into how a raw “something special” is shaped into a career. Drop the anticlimactic auditions that begin the show. Start with the two artists, and give us more professional advice.

That advice, however, should include more honesty. Don’t deliberate awkwardly standing in a row. Go into a room, sit down and lay it on the table. What do these performers lack? Who’s going to make us more money? In this world of YouTube stars and insta-fame, those discussions are where the real drama is.

Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments.

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