Homo at Large

I know I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating: TV channels are all messed up here. Canadians gotta "own" a certain amount of content on every Canadian channel so ... we all lose.

We have HGTV but it's not the same one that Josh Johnson lost that reality show on. While you all were watching new programming, I was stuck with reruns of "Design Star" season one. You betcher ass I fired off a hot e-mail to the Canadian HGTV folks: I was so mad, I specifically suggested they not respond (because what were they gonna say, other than some form "thanks for writing, but sorry!") and, when they didn't respond, I got even more mad.

This week is the season finale of "Canadian Idol." Remember that episode of "Will & Grace" where Grace is following Leo and his Doctors Without Borders job and she jokes that she'll be able to watch "Cambodian Idol"? I think of that every time "Canadian Idol" comes on. Incidentally, the theme music is exactly the same.

As ridiculous as "American Idol" was this season (with Sanjaya and Melinda and that boring girl who won), "Canadian Idol" is a bit worse. In true Canadian fashion, the only competitors who were not homogenous and white were the ones eliminated immediately. If you Google "Canadian Idol" or go to www.idol.ctv.ca you'll see what I mean.

I've only been watching Canadian media for three months now, so I really can't comment on the past winners of the show other than to say this much: when the host or anyone mentions a previous winner a rarity unto itself nobody I know recognizes the name.

Right now it's down to two performers: a alt-rock singing 25-year-old cutie named Brian Melo and a 17-year-old Elvis impersonator named Jaydee Bixby. The sole reason Bixby has made it this far is because he is -- now I don't want to understate this -- the cutest teen idol EVER!

Seriously, if I was a teenager I'd be texting my ass off, voting regardless to the cost. He wouldn't even have to sing and I'd be all "what's the number this week?" and I'm confident that is what's going on here. If he wins, I won't be surprised. Mom predicted Brian would win a few weeks ago and, if there's any justice, he will. Some critics up here have called him the best singer the show has ever seen.

Yes, there's a "Simon." His name is Zack Werner and he knows his place. The other three -- I'll get to them in a minute -- laud and laud and laud and he says, "That was the worst thing ever." (Need I have to add that all the judges are Canadian?)

The "Paula" is Sass Jordan. As someone who's lived in the US for the past 12 years, the most I can say about her is that she had one of those songs on "The Bodyguard" soundtrack that nobody listened to. She's bold enough to tell the performers when they're not so great but, by and large, it's all love all the time -- and a tiny little bit of the Paula loony-ness but not enough to reach the water cooler the next morning.

The "Randy" is some dude called Farley Flex who, according to the website, is quite accomplished but, I guarantee you, to the average Canadian he's "that guy who's like Randy but doesn't say 'dog.'" His comments tend to be ... well, think of Randy Jackson but take away all the dogs.

The fourth judge is an unabashedly unhip executive who tells it like it is named Jake Gold. I admire his opinion because he, from what I can tell, doesn't have anything to gain or lose by being on this show. He's got nothing to sell, if you know what I'm saying.

I'll admit it: up until a couple weeks ago, the only reason I watched the show was because there were a couple guys who's clothes I just wanted to tear off. Go to the website: you'll figure out who they are. I started to feel a bit guilty because, knowing what I know now about the differences between big city Canadians and small town ones, I could totally see the innocence in the eyes of the small town ones. And we're talking 27, 28-year-old (otherwise shockingly) innocent looking small town boys.

What's fascinating about shows like this one is how much you really, really care during the season and yet, I'll tell you right now, regardless to who wins I ain't buying no album. In fact, the girl who was kicked off this week, an adorable if too-high-pitched girl named Carly Rae Jepsen, performed the most entertaining selection of songs: show tunes and quirky stuff that accentuated her uniqueness. That's good and fine for TV but I ain't gonna wanna buy that when it's for sale.

Even among the two who'll compete this week: the rock singer may be talented but he's not unique enough to compel me to care beyond Tuesday's broadcast. And the country singing teenaged heartthrob: well, I just don't think he can sing all that well.

I suppose these are arguments we're all prone to thinking after any season of (I dunno ... say) "Nashville Star" so I guess the fact I have an opinion makes me more and more a proud owner of this culture every week.

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