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Much VJ Search is a throwback sugar rush

- April 18th, 2013

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The young men and women involved in the Much VJ Search are all so perky.

Just wait until the winner has to find an apartment in Toronto. That’s when the perkiness will disappear, my friends.

But there’s no need to put a damper on things yet. The Much VJ Search is continuing, with the finale taking place Friday, April 26, conveniently on MuchMusic.

The Much VJ Search has been around in various forms for quite a few years now. The idea is to anoint a new on-air personality for the channel, which has undergone many changes since it was such a powerful force on the Canadian TV landscape in the 1980s and early 1990s.

If you watch any episode of this year’s Much VJ Search, it’s actually nice to see that young people still can get excited about something.

It’s almost impossible to get most people in their late teens or early 20s to look up from their smart phones. So to find a group of young contestants who are openly passionate about wanting this TV gig, there’s almost a heartwarming throwback feel to it, for lack of a better term.

This year’s Much VJ Search began with a cross-Canada bus trip. Eliminated contestants were left on random street corners to fend for themselves. Okay, not really. But by the time the bus arrived in Toronto at the MuchMusic headquarters, only 12 competitors remained, and that number immediately was whittled to 10.

It certainly seems as if the youngsters picked for the Much VJ Search emerged from the same central casting agency that selected the contestants for Big Brother Canada, which currently is airing on Slice. Yes, the Big Brother Canada folks are older, but there’s an unmistakable similarity between reality-TV participants on various shows.

And that’s what the Much VJ Search is, essentially: A reality TV show that increasingly has incorporated elements from other reality TV shows.

The town-to-town touring thing had an American Idol feel to it at times, at least in the early weeks of any American Idol season.

When the top 10 contestants on the Much VJ Search settled in Toronto for the stretch run, they found out they would be living in the MuchMusic studios, dubbed Camp Much for the occasion. That, of course, brings Big Brother to mind.

And then the top 10 were divided into five groups of two, each mentored by an existing MuchMusic VJ: Damian Abraham, Phoebe Dykstra, previous Much VJ Search winner Liz Trinnear, Scott Willats and Tyrone (T-RexXx) Edwards. You know, exactly like The Voice.

The underpinnings of the music industry have been altered so dramatically since the glory days of MuchMusic, a VJ needs to know far more about pop culture than ever before. The channel now is way more of a pop-culture channel for mid-teens and tweens than a music channel for people in their 20s. That’s not a criticism, merely an observation.

But again, even if it’s pop culture and not music necessarily that we’re taking about, it’s nice to see young people excited about something, anything.

With all its perkiness, watching any random half-hour of the Much VJ Search will leave you with a sugar rush similar to eating a dozen doughnuts in one sitting.

Um, not that I’ve ever done that, but you get the idea.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Much ado about something; fresh VJs required

- January 21st, 2013

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If a VJ introduces a video that isn’t there, does it make a sound?

Whoa, too deep for me.

Point being, VJs still exist, even though channels such as MuchMusic don’t spend a lot of time playing music videos any more.

Thus, in the spirit of Menudo, the 2013 Much VJ Search is doing exactly what its name describes.

MuchMusic has announced that the competition officially opens on Feb. 19. Full details are available at muchmusic.com.

In short, starting on Feb. 19, VJ hopefuls can register, create a profile and upload a submission video. Hard deadline for submissions is March 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Finalists will be featured in a month-long reality series that premieres April 1.

MuchMusic declares that the Much VJ Search “gives everyone a shot at the coolest job ever – to be a Much VJ. No experience is required; the only criteria needed are a passion for music and pop culture, a kick-ass personality, a flair for television, and the gift of gab.”

The winner of the Much VJ Search is presented with the Erica Ehm Cup. Not really, but that would be cool.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv