When I thought CBC couldn't sink any lower with it's pathetic attempt to gain an audience by making up contest after contest of lame TV (and radio), they goofed big-time during CBC's broadcast of the NHL's annual All-Star game. First some insight, in the last few years CBC has presented all kinds of "contests" in hopes of gaining a younger audience, without having to award any real prizes or rewards. Here's a small sampling of past series and contests:
- The Greatest Canadian- CBC held a online poll to see who the top 50 Canadians of all time were. On TV they dragged this program on week after week eliminating top contestants. The top 10 real life Canadians (Gretzky, Bell, Banting, Cherry, Fox, MacDonald, Trudeau, Suzuki etc..) were represented by CBC advocate personalities (Mary Walsh, Evan Solomon, George Stromo, Rex Murphy etc.) and their in-studio cheering sections. A good example of CBC's self-congratulatory approach to programming. A bad idea to have on-line voting as an annoying Winnipeg DJ made the top 50. This was lame, lame, lame!
- Hockeyville- "The search for the community that best embodies the spirit of hockey and hometown pride". The way this is accomplished is that someone from the community makes a video montage of off-key singing and laughing good-times then submits it to CBC. This is somehow judged against hundreds of other communities then the top teams compete on a multi-week TV game show (much like TGC) where reps compete against each other through stupid in-studio games, singing contests and lots of pleading and begging. how does this embody the spirit of hockey? Pandering and very embarrassing!
- Canada Reads- is an annual "battle of the books" competition organized and broadcast by CBC radio. During Canada Reads, five personalities champion five different books, each champion extolling the merits of one of the titles. The debate is broadcast over a series of five programs. At the end of each episode, the panelists vote one title "off the island" until only one book remains. This book is then billed as the book that all of Canada should read. elieve it or not this has been ongoing since 2002. To stay in tuned with a younger audience, CBC has had a range of personalities and celebrities such as Jim Cuddy (2x), John K Samson (2x), Scott Thompson, Steve Page (2x), Megan Fellows and Kim Campbell. Did these people actually read the book? At least this one has some merit and plays well with the intellectual crowd that tunes into CBC.
- Test The Nation- "Canada's IQ test" Hosted by Wendy Mesley (there was a time when I actually took her seriously), this stupid excuse to air crap is disguised as a play along at home contest to compare yourselves with the in-studio teams of stereotypes. Again an idiot celebrity advocate for teams (sections of the studio audience divided into 8 or 10 groups) represented different professions or personalities such as bloggers, crossword puzzlers, celebrity lookalikes, flight crew, college fratboys, chefs, tattoo artists, mayors, fitness instructors, blondes, brunettes..you get the idea. A series of questions and problems are asked and after each segment of the test an update of the results are tabulated in real-time. This drags on for 2 hours, in the end we find out what type of person is the smartest..very scientific! It's unbelievable how silly this show is, it was so successful the first couple times it was on, I think it's going to be on more frequently. Believe it or not most of the celebrities have some connection with CBC.
- Hockey Song Challenge-Make a video singing Stompin Tom's, The Hockey Song to win a trip to Winkler, Toronto and Ottawa for Hockey Day In Canada. Another video contest where a majority of the entrants will submit irritating footage of cute hockey playing children mumbling off-key and looking generally confused. I saw a clip preview of some of the entrants and we were also treated to people singing into spoons (and hockey sticks), bad guitar playing singers, groups of old men standing around outdoor rinks and endless amount of montages of blurry shaky dark images, don't people know how to edit? I might have entered if you were able to submit an original hockey song...I'm sick of that song!
This brings me to 2008 all-star game, CBC was to broadcast the winning Hockey Song video between the 2nd and 3rd periods of the game. It had been hyped on commercials for weeks leading up to this game for the BIG announcement. Ron Maclean announced the winner was the Twin City Harmonizers and they played the video. The video was kid's on an outdoor rink one by one singing a line from the song, could this be anymore boring and predictable, this is entertainment? Actually this wasn't the winner, when the video was finished Maclean said the 3rd place video was shown by mistake and there was no time to play the 1st place one, talk about being shafted! The 3rd placers must of thought they won and the 1st placers lost their moment of national TV glory because the incompetent CBC is too stupid to care or take notice. (Here is the real 1st place video...hmmm... it seems to be the HNIC theme they are humming at the beginning...old guys singing...this is really the 1st place video? Wow, should have entered!)
It may not matter to the execs at the Mother-corp, but fans should be worried. I remember years ago when CBC would cut off overtime playoff games because of time commitments to reruns of Tommy Hunter that they deemed more important. I think now CBC realizes that the only program that has a dedicated audience or real viewer ship is hockey, not sitcoms, dramas or arts programs, though I enjoyed the Dragon's Den. Since the CBC builds it's whole television schedule around the NHL season (the summer is all reruns and movies), it should stick to what it does best...if that's possible.