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Fri, February 16 / 07


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Fri, February 16, 2007
Police brutality

Rock trio caught using canned backup vocals at the Grammy Awards


By BILL HARRIS

The Police clearly were using a guide track for backup vocals when they reunited at the Grammy Awards.

This is not something we perceived when watching the show live. But when we went back a couple of days ago and observed the British trio's performance of Roxanne again, our eyes widened.

Hmmm ... the backup vocals sure sounded a lot like the original record.

There was Sting, singing the lead live, and sounding quite good, actually. But while Andy Summers dutifully was at the mike presumably providing backup vocals, Stewart Copeland wasn't anywhere near his microphone as he pounded away on the drums.

And at least two people, if not more, could be heard singing the "Roxannnnne, Roxannnnne" refrain. Do the math.

No, we weren't at the Staples Centre in L.A. last Sunday. We merely were watching on TV. But we trust our ears.

If we're going to throw rocks at the Police, we have to point out that just about all musical acts use guide tracks these days when performing live. Paul Shaffer, the musical director on The Late Show With David Letterman, reiterated that fact in an interview with Sun Media last year.

Call it the Ashlee Simpson-ification of music.

We understand how important it is to sound crisp on national TV, especially with a comeback tour in the offing. But after all the hype that led up to the reunion, canned backup vocals were a Police cop-out.

BIG DEAL

Michael George, a basketball coach from Cardinal Newman Elementary School in Brampton, Ont., won $144,000 last night on Global's Deal Or No Deal Canada. That'll buy a lot of tube socks, mister.

Three of the five Deal Or No Deal Canada episodes have aired thus far. Remaining contestants are Jenny Monaco of Montreal, Valine Kavanagh of Cape Royal, Nfld., and Jamie Cumberland of Calgary.

CAN'T DRIVE WARP 55

We watched the episode but didn't save it, so we can't go back and check. But some Internet postings have suggested the limousine belonging to George Takei's character on Heroes had an interesting licence plate number when it was shown briefly in a recent episode. Takei, who is playing Hiro's father in Heroes, is best known as Sulu from the original Star Trek series. Well, apparently his Heroes licence plate read NCC 1701 -- which was the serial number for the starship Enterprise. If anyone still has the show on tape or PVR and can confirm this, shoot us an e-mail, SVP.

O.C. CAN YOU SEE:

Okay, let's get the obvious joke out of the way: This has been set up for people who can't wait for The O.C. to be over! Ha ha ha!

Anyway, CTV will make the series-finale of The O.C. available on-line through its CTV Broadband Network at ctv.ca, beginning at 7 p.m. next Thursday (Feb. 22). Fox will televise the series-finale at 8 p.m. that same night, while CTV won't televise the finale till Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.

NOT-SO-LITTLE MOSQUE

No one can deny any more that CBC's Little Mosque On The Prairie is a hit. A new episode on Wednesday attracted another 1.2 million viewers. The numbers for all five first-run episodes thus far have not dipped below a million.

MISS YA ... NOT!

The final episode of Reba will air this weekend on the CW network. And there was much rejoicing.
Next story: Ottawa gal disillusioned with Idol







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