Singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk guest stars as Canadian Idol goes acoustic
Canadian Idol will once again re-invent the format when it becomes the first Idol franchise in the world to present all-acoustic “unplugged” episodes next week. For the first time ever, Canadian Idol will leave its spectacular Top 10 studios for one week for the more intimate setting of Toronto’s legendary Masonic Temple Concert Hall when it broadcasts next Monday, August 14 and Tuesday, August 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV (check local listings). Along for the move is Canadian singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, who will guide the remaining Top 6 competitors as they sing live with basic accompaniment in front of a cozy crowd of just 200 people on Monday night’s show. On Tuesday’s live results show, Kreviazuk performs herself from her upcoming CD Ghost Stories.
It is the first time any country has ever presented an “unplugged” episode among the more than three dozen Idol franchises around the world. Surrounded by an intimate audience comfortably seated in the round on couches and pillows, the Top 6 take Canadian Idol to a whole new level when they perform live unaccompanied by any electric instruments or backing tracks. Accompanied only by guitar, bass, percussion and/or piano, the raw vocal talent of the Top 6 will be laid bare as they perform on a stripped-down set under the tutelage of Kreviazuk.
“I have been watching the show and am very impressed with some of the performances. I’m just happy that I don’t have to judge!” said Kreviazuk. “There is so much talent here, and I cannot wait to be a part of the process.” Kreviazuk, an accomplished singer in her own right, has also recently become known as one of the premier songwriters in the industry by penning hits for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani and Canada’s own Avril Lavigne.
Known for her ability to get to a song’s true essence in her own performances, the Sony BMG Music (Canada) Inc. recording artist will share her talents with the Canadian Idol competitors as she leads rehearsal workshops to be featured in segments on Monday’s performance episode. During these sessions, she will use her expertise to guide the competitors in adapting their performances to smaller, more intimate surroundings.
On Tuesday’s results show, Kreviazuk will also perform unplugged with the Top 6 in a group performance number before taking to the stage with her band to perform a selection from her new CD.
“Chantal Kreviazuk is the perfect addition to Canadian Idol’s first acoustic show,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “She is not only a singer and performer but a writer who has crafted hits for Grammy Award-winning artists and helped them to adapt to all different kinds of performances.”
“We know that Chantal will be a true mentor and a huge inspiration to the competitors as they face this whole new challenge,” said Executive Producer John Brunton. “The competitors have already benefited enormously from working with our special guest stars this season and I know that they are thrilled at the opportunity to work with this accomplished artist.”
Kreviazuk is gearing up for the release of her fourth album Ghost Stories on August 29, which was entirely written and produced by herself and husband Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace. Unlike her earlier work, Ghost Stories is much more rhythmic and charging with the piano riff emerging first and providing the foundation for the songs. While other artists tend to mellow as their career progresses, Kreviazuk found that she was crafting her most driving work with this album. Kreviazuk and Maida worked on the album out of their own home, charting new ideas and pecking away at songs during the course of the day before bunkering down to really make progress on the tracks together under the cloak of night. When completed, the album was mixed in studio by Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Bravery, Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley).
In 2004, Canadian Idol became the first Idol franchise in the world to present its competitors accompanying themselves with musical instruments. In 2005, Canadian Idol became the first Idol series to allow viewers to determine the semi-final wild card competitors by popular vote. Additionally, Canadian Idol judge Sass Jordan became the first Idol magistrate to sing on their own series when she presented a touching performance during the Canadian Idol season finale.