We’ve all heard about the idol shows, America’s Got Talent (my favourite) Xfactor, the Voice …
But now there’s “COVER ME CANADA” being put on by the CBC. The time frame for submissions has been short: just over a month. The purpose is different: to find the best “cover” band, duo or solo artist in Canada. The submission method is via uploading video as opposed to lining up for hours or days waiting to perform in person in front of judges. And of what do contestants have to upload a video? Themselves performing a “cover” of one of 4 popular Canadian based songs i.e. written and/or performed by a Canadian. The prize? Good one! $100,000 and a contract to record one of their own originals (no doubt if you’re not a songwriter, one will be written for you!)
If you’re hearing about this for the first time, and you’re in Canada, you only have 5 days left to submit. Now what I’m finding fascinating, apart from the videos themselves, is how it’s obvious folks don’t take time to read all the rules. The rules are very specific:
1) your video must be a cover of one of the 4 selected songs .. nothing else!
2) you must have a musical component included ie. musical accompaniment (no acapella) and if you use a backing track, it must be original, not karaoke
3) your individual interpretations are encouraged; they want to hear your “unique rendition”.
Well here’s where the fun starts: in the first few days, excited contestants rushed to put their submitted videos on YouTube. Had they read all the rules? In some cases, obviously not! There were acapella (unaccompanied) performances; there were songs that weren’t on the list; there were accompaniments that were obviously karaoke tracks; and as for “unique renditions”, many were karaoke performances that earned viewer comments like “You sound exactly like Alannah” (Myles … Black Velvet). Not really a compliment when it comes to this particular contest. Fascinating!
That link above will pull up most of the video submissions so far. What is fascinating now is the many, many different interpretations being performed of these 4 songs: Black Velvet (Alannah Myles); Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot); Life is a Highway (Tom Cochrane) and Run to You (Bryan Adams). Some, in my humble opinion, are ghastly. Some are amazing! Some are so far away from the original song that I wonder just what “your unique rendition” means ie. I didn’t know that “unique rendition” meant you could re-write the original tune as has been done is this one: http://youtu.be/NSTCyx0Hfus or write a completely new song that incorporates some of the original lyrics from one or more songs, as in this case here: http://youtu.be/AKgQ-teTvH8 This last one has brought in a slew of comments but I must say in reading the band’s reply, they have cited one of the FAQ’s posted by contest organizers ie.