Canada’s Got Talent – It’s True!

Reality show launches Canadian version Sunday night.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

The premiere of the new reality show "Canada's Got Talent" aired last night, as Toronto auditions were shown. Next week the show will take viewers to Calgary.

Ranging from age five to 75, Canada has proven it is talent-worthy with a wide range of contestants. The program's lot of celeb judges include funnyman Martin Short, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, and songwriter/producer Stephan Moccio, and the show is hosted by Dina Pugliese, who is the co-host of Canada’s number-one morning show "Breakfast Television Toronto" on Citytv.

According to Postmedia news, Short said that Canada’s Got Talent producers have insisted that the judges be themselves and not play a role based on people’s perception of other TV talent competitions – that’s one of the key reasons Short agreed to do "Canada’s Got Talent" in the first place. He was not interested in being “cast” in the Canadian TV equivalent of the affable buffoon, the den mother and the snarky Brit. “I’m known for playing characters,” Short explained. “If I appeared as a character, as anyone other than myself, people would spot it immediately and know it rings false.”

It's not the first British-turned-American-turned Canadian project to make it up north – "Canadian Idol" enjoyed six moderately successful seasons however it has not returned since Canadians chose Theo Tams as the winner on September 10, 2008. Later seasons were hinted at but no auditions for the show have been held since, leading many to speculate that it has been officially cancelled.

However, Short still remains optimistic that "Canada's Got Talent" will resonate with Canadian viewers. "It's the return of variety entertainment, like the 'Ed Sullivan Show,'" Short said to Postmedia. "You never get bored. You have to appreciate what they do. But we do see the delusional – the ones who think they kill because they've practised singing into the hairbrush in the bathroom. But I have no trouble dealing with attitude. I have three children and when I get that certain tone in my voice, they know it's time to listen."