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Old 12-09-2002, 10:22 AM
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Roger Roger is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Here is the text of a review of the interview by Andrew Ryan in the Globe and Mail:

Maybe we're all getting a little too much Shania in our diets lately.

Shania Twain is grand, of course. A knockout country queen if ever one existed. I can't stand country music and I still think she's brilliant, though probably for the obvious reasons.

Shania is back from an extended break and her new CD, Up!, is topping the charts. She's superrich, a new mom and a good Canadian gal. What's not to like?

The rub is Shania is being foisted upon us all like curly fries or some other horrid menu addition at a fast-food chain. She's everywhere. Not really her fault, if you think about it. She's just playing the game and Shania has become very good at the game, especially the TV-interview part.

Shania Twain: Catchin' Up (CBC, 9 p.m.) is odd and vaguely manipulative.

It's a sitdown between Shania and CBC mainstay Ralph Benmergui. It starts off as a genial interview but morphs into a sly infomercial for her new CD. The message seems to be Shania may be a stunning superstar, but down deep she's really just plain folk.

The interview takes place in a nicely appointed hotel room, somewhere in Switzerland, where Shania lives these days. Shania is dressed down in a baseball hat and a low-cut sweater, with full makeup. She still looks gorgeous and has big hoopy earrings. Ralph has a nifty blue blazer.

She hits the ground running. Shania is just a simple gal who wants the simple life, she insists. Shania lives in Switzerland so she can have a normal life without being recognized. "I wanted to live somewhere where I could go play in the snow and have hot chocolate." What the hell?

Gamely, Ralph presses on. "Can we talk about your kid?" he blurts.

Shania talks about the kid, 16-month-old Eja (pronounced "Asia"), her son with hubby/producer Mutt Lange. Again with the humbleness: "I don't take a special trip to Paris to go to Christian Dior to shop for Eja!" You go, girl.

Shania is damn good at this and steers the interview throughout. She talks about chopping her own wood, though I'm not sure if that's metaphorical or she's saying she actually knows how to chop wood. Probably doesn't matter.

There are a few short breaks in the program, with awe-struck voice-over by Ralph and old photos of Shania as a too-cute kid growing up in Timmins, Ont. There's surreal footage of a gap-toothed, 15-year-old Shania singing her heart out on The Tommy Hunter Show.

Halfway through the interview, Shania just takes over. She doesn't need Ralphie anyway; by this point, he's not asking her questions so much as serving up pithy observations on her greatness. He really is quite giddy.

Shania says she doesn't care about all her millions. "If I had to give it away tomorrow, I would. Fine, okay." Ralph beams away.

The program ends, appropriately, with Shania's newest video, I'm Gonna Getcha Good. It has Shania in skin-tight catsuit and vampire makeup. Shania zips about on a jetcycle through some Blade Runner-esque dimension. I'm not even certain it was country music, but again, I'm not a fan.

It's a letdown because we don't really discover anything about the lady. We learn she has a new son and that's it. Shania doesn't say anything here she didn't reveal in last week's People magazine cover story, or any of the other interviews meted out in measured doses by her record label.

In fact, this is pretty much the same interview Shania served up to CMT and MuchMusic while in Toronto a month ago. CBC is bringing up the rear on this one.

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I did warn everyone Benmergui is sycophantic and this would probably be a superficial interview. Of course I will watch it anyway!...LOL

Roger
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