Home CommentaryStudent Life Like America’s Next Top Model, but fiercer

Like America’s Next Top Model, but fiercer

by Archives March 17, 2009

How many of us can recite the Tyra’s “bitch, you’re out” speech by heart? “I have two beautiful girls standing before me, but I only have one picture in my hands and that picture represents the one girl who will still be in the running towards becoming America’s next top model.” Cue to crying and lips wobbling. Since Tyra started it, a whole lot of talent-based competition popped onto every TV station. On Wednesday, we’ll see a new kind of competition on CBC – possibly fiercer than ever before. Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister. Yes, you read that right.
Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister is the self-explanatory search to find Canada’s Next Great Prime minister, aged between 18 and 25. After searching Canada inside out, the judges have four pictures between their hands. Only one will become Great. Oh, and the judges are former Prime ministers (Paul Martin, Joe Clark, Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney). The prize is $50,000 and being anointed Great. Watch it on Wednesday, March 18.
We live in a country were a reality TV show is being judged by former Prime ministers. Honestly, sometimes I pinch myself to remember what Canada means, and is. Because where else? Country, never change.
The four finalists were handpicked from a country-wide search to find THE Great one. David Suk, Robert Marsh, Amy Marlene Robichaud and Gabriel Bran Lopez worked a great deal to stand up next to Canada’s former Premiers.
Lopez, a former Concordia communication alumnus, was told by his peers he’d be perfect for the role. He applied and was selected to be part of the top 10.
To get into the top four, you needed to survive getting drilled for four days by judges who weren’t exactly Simon Cowell, but not Paula Abdul either. Lopez said it was like “a job interview that lasted six days.” Where you were woken up, told to prepare a speech in five minutes and debate against each other. I asked Lopez if it was anything like ANTM. He laughs, and answers “no. Really, they wanted us to stop being nice.” Lopez is the only Quebecer of the group, the only one who speaks French.
Lopez was born in Guatemala, and moved to Canada with his family when he was young. He sees Canada as a land of opportunity. To be part of the Next Great Prime Minister experience is important to him because he wants to prove being young doesn’t make you apathetic. Lopez emphasises that youth is not the “leaders of tomorrow,” but rather that “we’re already leaders, the policy makers of tomorrow.”
He’s no Stephen Harper. He’s perfectly tri-lingual; Spanish is his mother tongue, French is the second, and English, third.
In September 2007, he started his own NGO, Fusion Jeunesse. The issue that alarms him the most in Quebec right now is the very high level of youth dropping out of school. Lopez works seven days a week, without taking breaks. When he’s not working nine to five, he’s doing everything from A to Z. Fusion Jeunesse has seven interns working in schools. Did I mention he’s 25, yet? He’s 25.
The finale is pre-recorded. I asked for scoops. Lopez couldn’t give any, as it’s classified. Check out tomorrow to see if the next Great One will be our homeboy. Fingers crossed.

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