Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada on April 25, 2011 · 32
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada · 32

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Monday, April 25, 2011
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D2 Monday, April 25, 2011 Breaking news at calgaryherald.com SPOTLIGHT: YEfL CalgaryHerald.cqih ONLINE FEATURES "It was a terrific series. That's when I became a fan of yours. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to Sean bean, referring to Bean's long-running ROLE OF SHARPE IN THE TELEVISION-MOVIE ADAPTATIONS OF THE BERNARD CORNWALL NOVELS. fhprk nut uuht't nninn nn ,w v, in tho worlH nf pntprtainmpnt at uuyuu ralnarxhoralH rnm EVBSDW ( Stefano hid his musical self on Idol JILL SERJEANT REUTERS LOS ANGELES Eliminated American Idol contestant Stefano Langone said he never wanted to win the talent show, but saw it as a way to launch his own musical career. And, in an unusual decision, the 22 year old said he had deliberately kept secret his true self and his piano skills from the 25-mil-lion strong audience on the most-watched TV show in the United States. "When I came out for American Idol I never really wanted to be the American Idol. It was getting that foot in the door in the music industry," Langone said Friday. "It is hard to really show your chops on the show ... One thing I really wanted to save and keep close to myself was my original music and my piano playing. That is something I want to show to the world (in the future) and I think will be very special." Langone finished in what he called "lucky seventh" place on the show on Thursday after finding himself in the bottom three on three occasions. He had been a judge's wild card choice for the top 12. During the competition, Langone had been urged several times by judges to make more effort to connect emotionally with his material. The ebullient, fresh-faced singer said he wanted to forge a career that combined the singing style of Stevie Wonder and Bruno Mars, along with collaborations with rap artists. "I am going in a different direction than any other American Idol really has," Langone said. "There is a wide open crowd and market out there now and I am ready to pounce on it." "When I am off this show, I am really going to show the world what kind of impact I can make," he added, saying he was "completely at peace" with his early exit. Langone's departure leaves six singers double bass-player Casey Abrams, rocker James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart and country singer Scotty McCreery in the running for the American Idol title and a guaranteed recording contract. The American Idol finale airs May 24 and 25. Mario Anzuoni, Reuters Stefano Langone is satisfied with his seventh place Idol finish. FROM Dl CEELO Cowell has yet to complete his much-discussed lineup of judges for X Factor, but has said he and record producer Antonio (L.A.) Reid will be part of the panel. The Voice brings a twist to the genre by having the judges turn their backs on contestant in order to judge only their voices. The four then vie with each other to persuade talented contestants to adopt one of them as a coach for later rounds. Green described the show as "a great, fresh idea and something very productive and proactive." In an apparent reference to American Idol, executive producer of The Voice Mark Burnett said his show would feature none of the hopeless wannabes seen on other talent shows. "Other shows have made great television of the comedy of allowing people to sing, who clearly can't sing. We made a conscious choice to not do that at all. Not one person who stepped on that (Voice) stage was not good. You will not be seeing people step up for a joke," Burnett said. The Voice will also occasionally see the celebrity coaches performing on the show. Producers played a clip for TV reporters showing Aguilera, Green, Levine and Shelton performing a rousing cover version of the 2006 Gnarls Barkley hit song Crazy. .J' - .w Ti I. -Mil Hi I .!!, I lir, HI I Ill- ' - ' Sean Bean is Lord Stark in the series Game of Thrones has the magic touch ALEX STRACHAN POSTMEDIA NEWS PASADENA, CALIF. It's good to be typecast, Sean Bean says. For one thing, it means you're earning a living. These days, for a working actor, that's not always a given. Bean, the Sheffield, U.K.-born actor known for his roles in the big-screen costume epics Troy, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and SPOTLIGHT the 1990s' TV Game series Sharpe, set of Thrones during the Na-airs Sunday poleonic Wars, on H BO is about to don a Canada. costume of a similar, yet different, kind in Game of Thrones, HBO's sprawling saga of sword and sorcery set in a mythical kingdom. Game of Thrones is based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by American novelist and screenwriter George R.R. Martin. Four volumes have been published so far; three more are planned. (A Dance With Dragons is slated for a July 12 release this summer.) After last week's premiere pulled in decent numbers, HBO announced a second season of the series. Bean plays Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark, commissioned by the fat, lazy King Robert Baratheon to "go south" and help restore his crumbling kingdom. Bean knows fantasy fans can be obsessive "Thanks for letting me know," he said, dryly but he had read the book, and enjoyed it. "I found the book very exciting, very luxuriant, very dangerous, very edgy, very sexy." Game of Thrones was something Bean knew he could do, and do well. Even so, despite his previous roles, he was flattered when HBO and producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff approached him for the part of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, renowned for his sense of honour and justice. "It's similar, I suppose, to Lord of the Rings," Bean said cau 7Xu' -r-f JV1 4, ie-T Game of Thrones. tiously, not wanting to sound pompous or self-important. "I mean, its size, its quality, its magic, its danger. I happen to enjoy playing those kinds of roles: riding horses and swinging swords and having fights and wearing wigs and growing beards. Though not first thing in the morning, when it takes you about three hours to get ready." Despite the similarity in themes the epic quest, the coming-of-age tale, etc. Bean says Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones are quite different. "Whereas, with Lord of the Rings, you had three films admittedly, all thoroughly researched and well replicated on the screen the wonderful thing about Game of Thrones is that there's such a scope to it. George Martin has created a very different world. The story goes much, much further and goes on much longer and there are many more twists and turns." Bean is aware of the fans' passion, and was determined to get the fine details right, even if it meant burning the midnight oil and re-reading the original novels by candlelight. "It's quite a responsibility," he said, simply. As originally conceived in the novels, Game of Thrones interweaves several stories at the same time. It's a coming-of-age tale about a young girl finding her power. It's a tale of politics and intrigue, about a slowly dying kingdom crumbling from within, torn by corruption and weak leadership, and early signs of a dynastic civil war. It's a tale, too, of revenge, of the exiled daughter of a murdered king who's determined to reclaim her throne. Game of Thrones' setting is the stuff sword 'n' sorcery legend is made of. The story is set in the fictional world of Westeros, a sprawling continent with a large land mass in the east known as Essos. Most of the characters are human, but the world is also home to other races: fire-breathing dragons from the East, and the menacing, supernatural White . f ; Courtesy, HBO Canada Walkers from the North. In a twist that sets Game of Thrones' story in motion, the human characters believe wrongly that the other races are extinct. Peter Dinklage, the Morris-town, New Jersey-born theatre actor who plays Tyrion Lannister, a heroic but misshapen dwarf nicknamed The Imp and The Halfman, says it's no accident that the actors in Game of Thrones affect English accents, even when they're not English. Like Shakespeare and Monty Python, some things just go with the territory, he says. Dinklage was himself born with achondroplasia, which causes dwarfism. He is 1.35 metres tall, or four and a half feet. He was sensitive about his height while growing up and as an adolescent, but he found a constructive outlet for his pent-up creative energy on the stage and the big screen, including The Chronicles of Narnia. Dinklage learned there's nothing like an English accent to land sought-after roles in sword 'n' sorcery epics, especially when they're filmed overseas. Game of Thrones was filmed in Northern Ireland and on Malta. "A New York accent wouldn't work," Dinklage explained, straight-faced. "Doesn't sound right. I'd do it with a German accent, if it worked." Game of Thrones' original creator, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, has a more solid reason for all the English accents. "Most written fantasy, even if it's set in an imaginary world, is inspired by the history of the Middle Ages," Martin reasoned. "It's full of castles and lords and swords and knights and all the other trappings that we associate with England in this country. It seems natural. It would be hard to do with a group of actors who had thick Southern accents." Game of Thrones is set in an imaginary land, with mythical beings and creatures based on flights of the imagination. But Bean found himself easily immersed in Thrones' unique world. Canada's turn to Wipeout on TV KAT ANGUS POSTMEDIA NEWS For years, Canadians have watched our neighbours to the South stumble, crash, fall and humiliate themselves on the American reality competition Wipeout. Now, we get to watch our own citizens humiliate themselves for the chance at a big cash prize on Wipeout Canada. Whether it's SJgJKf SPOTLIGHT platforms or Wipeout bouncing off the Canada airs giant red balls, Sundays on the Canuck con- TVtropolis. testants have their work cut out for them if they want to win. And if being embarrassed on national television weren't bad enough, Wipeout Canada hosts Ennis Esmer and Jessica Phillips are there to tease and mock the contestants every step of the way. Here, Esmer and Phillips reveal what makes a great Wipeout Canada contestant, the biggest mistake the players can make and which one of them refused to run the obstacle course. Qr How gung-ho are the Canadian contestants versus the ones we've seen on the U.S. Wipeout? Jessica: I would say the Canadians are even more ready to go. You'd get there in the morning on set and they'd have so much energy and they were so enthusiastic! Even though it was really early in the morning, they would see the big red balls and their eyes would light up. All they wanted to do was run the course. Q. How early did the day start? Jessica: I had to be on set at 6 a.m. but we were a 45-minute drive from the set. Ennis: But you were in Argentina, so it's a lot easier to get up early there than it is here, in the middle of winter. I don't want to hear any "woe is me" from you. Q. It can be really difficult to watch someone embarrass themselves on TV. Did you two have to overcome any urges to cringe? Jessica: I have no shame, so I am one of those idiots that embarrasses herself on TV this whole season. You'll be the one feeling bad for me. Ennis: Sometimes when I'm watching it (I) get the urge to sympathize with them, but I think that's a good place to build the comedy from. If you just go ahead and insult people, that's harsh and probably not that entertaining. I try to come at this from the perspective of a Daily Show sportscastergame show host. You can be earnest and you can cheer for these people while still pointing out when they make fools of themselves. Jessica: I think we connect with our contestants more than the American show does. It makes you love them even more so that you're rooting for them. Ennis: Except for the ones that talk a lot of smack. They're asking for it and we're very happy to take them down a peg if they're not already taken down by the rotating metallic arm that knocks them off a pedestal. Q. Watching Wipeout, it looks like it would be easier to get knocked off immediately and swim to the end. Ennis: Michael Phelps would probably do really well just by jumping into the water immediately. I think something that people don't consider is how important balance and foresight is on the course. People just run right through the course without considering what's coming up and they bail right away. That's great for the show but if they actually want to win, taking a moment and bracing themselves is a smart idea. But, really, our show isn't called You Can Do It! It's called Wipeout. Courtesy, TVtropolis Ennis Esmer and Jessica Phillips. es A f; I MM.- .,, i , J

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