It Was Funnier In My Head

I watched the Juno Awards last night, eager to celebrate the wonderful musical talent that Canada is so blessed with. As a singer and performer myself, I’ve always been a Michael Buble fan and was eager to see our great Canadian talent celebrated in fashion. As a voice coach and actor, I’m also always interested to see how celebrities are when they are just being themselves and as a public speaking coach, I love watching acceptance speeches as they always provide great insights.

However, as I watched the poorly written and awkward video clips that opened the show, my heart sank. “What were they thinking” was all I kept thinking. The interactions were strained and unfunny and wasn't this supposed to be a music show... like with MUSIC?… “surely, the actual show will be better”, I thought. Boy was I wrong!

First was the problem with the actual stage; putting the stage in such a central area meant that there was no clean backdrop for the presenters and the winners. With all of the movement of the crowd behind them the visual was so busy it was work to actually focus on the speakers. Many times, presenters and recipients were unsure of where to talk. Next came the weird Peter Pan moment when Marianas Trench singer Josh Ramsay flew over the rather uninspired crowd below; there was nothing magical, interesting or graceful about it - it was just weird. Every musician in the place must have cringed. Next came the bumbling, self-deprecating interview Buble did with One Direction which only served to make him look incompetent. Last, but certainly not least was the entirely uncomfortable and inappropriate joke Buble told about Carly Rae Jepsen’s shorts looking better crumpled on his bedroom floor then apologizing to his pregnant wife in the crowd. Even with her presumed buy in and the hokey angry glare and mock throat slit, the joke was in such bad taste, I’m sure it will haunt him for quite a while. Giving Michael the benefit of the doubt, I actually said "hey, he's an actor... he's just speaking someone else's words. It's really not his fault". However, when I found out that Buble actually co-wrote the show, I was even more disappointed – he should stick to what he does best… singing!

Given the fact that the show’s producers and writers have an entire year to come up with a decent awards show, have an ample budget and can draw on great examples like the Grammy’s, Oscar’s, Emmy’s and Tony’s  on how to do it well; why, oh why was this the best we could muster? I can only presume that the “it was funnier in my head” scenario was at play when the material was written. You know how it goes, the writer sits in a dark room and writes then publishes his creation without passing it by anyone else for feedback. The show’s director and producer should have seen this for the train wreck it became. Rule#1… even a good writer needs an editor. Here's hoping next year's show can get this train back on the rails.

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