Shania Twain's new reality series, Why Not? With Shania Twain, became the highest rated premiere to date, outside of the launch weekend, for Oprah Winfrey's network, OWN It pulled in 839,000 viewers. While that may not sound like much compared to other Sunday fare, such as The Amazing Race or Brothers & Sisters, which regularly bring in at least 7 million or so, it was a victory for the newcomer channel.
There was much celebrating, Twain, 45, told USA TODAY on Wednesday. "It didn't feel like it was some kind of statistic. It was a personal achievement for everybody working there."
As for the singer, who chronicles her road back from a devastating divorce in the series, the experience was "bittersweet." She explains, "It's so unrelated to my entertainment world. It's so unrelated to me as a performer, I can't celebrate it the same way as I would an award, for an example. It's not an accomplishment, professionally." But, she says, "It's a personal accomplishment."
That's what her just-published book, From This Moment On, and the six-episode OWN series are all about — getting personal with Twain. "I'm not watching it," she says. "I don't think I'll ever watch it back. It's embarrassing!" She laughs and quickly makes it clear, "I'm OK with it. But it's definitely taking me out there."
Out there — and up there. In the next episode, we'll see her skydive. Why? "Jumping out of a plane is something that keeps you living on the edge and stops you from procrastinating and gets you to dive into the deep end — all the things I intellectualized every day but wasn't following through with."
Doing the show forced her to walk the walk, you could say. "Committing to share it with the public is my way of trapping myself to sticking with it," says Twain.
And she has saved the best for last. The final episode includes Twain's new song, Today is the Day, the first she has written by herself. It's also the first time she has been back in the studio since the 2008 breakup and since her voice closed up as a result of the heartbreak and stress.
"I was not even remotely ready to get back in the studio during the series," she says. "I'm scared, I'm uncomfortable, but I do it anyway. I let them film me. You see it throughout the whole process. I get through so many things that scared me, realizing that, 'Wow, I did it.'" The song is still being mixed now. But "everybody will finally be able to hear it," she says.
So is this a new Shania we're seeing?
"You're seeing a recovering Shania. I think the whole process is still very much ongoing. During the series you're watching me taking on my recovery, being proactive about my own recovery. At the end what you see is somebody very grateful that you did."