June 2, 2005
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Reality show gives '80s idols a 2nd chance
By -- Calgary Sun


NBC is exhuming has-been music stars from the '80s in an attempt to answer the burning question on everyone's mind -- Can Tiffany sing as well as Kelly Clarkson?

Hit Me Baby One More Time, an American Idol-style reality show in which past hit-makers perform their biggest song and a current No. 1, will answer that exact question tonight as '80s pop queen Tiffany competes against other forgottens.

"I wanted to do something that showed off my voice," says Tiffany who will sing I Think We're Alone Now and Clarkson's Breakaway.

"Hopefully people will see it and say, 'Wow, she sounded great.' "

During the next three weeks, 15 former stars including Tiffany, Loverboy, Flock Of Seagulls, The Motels, Arrested Development, Vanilla Ice, Cameo and The Knack will take to the stage to compete for charity and a second chance at a successful recording career. The winner will be determined by audience votes.

"I don't feel as artists we have to come out and prove ourselves again. I am very successful in my own right, so if it goes to the next level that's great. If not, I'm just happy to be out there and show my talent," she says.

Tiffany, who owns her own record label and is the only performer to appear on both the U.K. and American versions of the show, says she expects there will be positive and negative consequences to taking part.

"It's great publicity," she says, adding the show will help promote her new dance album .

"But I'm sure people will perceive it as I have nothing else to do and that is so far from the truth. I am truthfully making more money now than I have before in my whole life."

All three episodes of the series, which will include background about the hit-makers and updates on their current lives and careers, will be hosted by Vernon Kay, who also lead the British version.

Kay, who admits to having Tiffany posters on his bedroom walls as a teenager, says people love the show because it brings back old memories.

"The '80s were the years of spandex, men in make-up and men in shoulder pads -- it was a fun decade -- and this TV show allows you to reminisce about those times. It will put a smile on your face," he says.

'They can sing live'

And from the musicians point of view, the show is a great opportunity for them to get back behind the mic and prove they can sing as well, if not better, than many of today's successful recording artists.

"They can sing live," says Kay, adding that is something many current chart-toppers cannot do.

"It's good to see that the musicians from the past can compete with the young ones of today."

Although NBC has only committed to three episodes of Hit Me Baby, there is a potential for another four to air in the winter.

Kay says, if that is the case, he's sure the network will have no problem finding another 20 acts. "The response has been extra special -- we are literally turning them away."

Hit Me Baby One More Time airs tonight on NBC at 10 p.m.





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