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Ali Milner moves to next round on Cover Me Canada



In case you didn't see it last night, Ali Milner, Whistler's sultry chanteuse, effectively murdered the competition on last night's Cover Me Canada. With only five contestants left, it was up to each of them to bring something new, something fresh to the stage and Whistler's favourite redhead brought it unequivocally with her down-home rendition of Shania Twain's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"

Milner morphed one the campiest and catchiest songs in Canada's songbook into something casual and soulful, showcasing an fragility and jazz-lounge zeal that makes her arguably the most distinctive performer on the CBC's singing competition.

The judges all praised the performance. Even Ron Fair, the contest's resident hard ass, said, "This was probably the best you've sounded on this show. Now I'm all confused - I don't know who 's going to win this thing."

Of course, Milner's fans have once again failed to secure immunity for her by boosting her social media score. Each week, one contestant is awarded immunity based on the number of online votes by fans watching the show. Immunity was awarded to Melanie Morgan, who was one of three competitors on the judge's chopping block but was spared, because of her fans, for another week.

The lesson here is twofold: first, you can secure Ali Milner's victory, if you want to, by going to cbc.ca/covermecanada and following the links to vote for her; and second, she might not even need your votes because she's just that good. But let's not chance it.

Winnipeg rock quartet Living in Red was the fourth act booted off the show. Four contestants are left. Cover Me Canada airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

At the same time, Milner's mother, Jane, writes: "Ted (Milner, Ali's father) and I are being stopped everywhere we go in the Village. Ali was fantastic. She looked like a star. Her singing was perfect (she has a major cold). The arrangement was amazing. The judges loved her."

So, this is exciting news for everyone, except the people who don't care about this kind of thing. But you should care about this kind of thing. Milner could be a big star one day. Big like the Shania Twain. Her bronze statue might be installed just a few steps away from the Olympic rings at the plaza there. She could be the pride of this town - could be what defines this town culturally, kind of like the Beatles are for Liverpool or Pamela Anderson is for, uh, Ladysmith.

Or not. But even if she never gets that big, it's always nice to watch a hometown girl -who's not on Peak Season - on national television. Go Milner.

Missoula might make your kid a star

Actually, you know what? Milner's old hat. She's had her time in the sun. Life is moving much too fast to lay all our focus on just one person for longer than three weeks.

It's time to focus on the future Whistler stars. Any ideas? There are plenty of talented, fresh-faced youths in this town we can lay our collective hopes and dreams on.

And there's no better way to start your child on the trying and emotionally devastating road of show-biz glory than Missoula Children's Theatre, the much-beloved theatre troupe that casts local children in key roles.

This year, Missoula will perform Wiz of the West , a down-home, country reimagining of the Michael Jackson film The Wiz , which itself if a musical take on The Wizard of Oz . Roles to be cast are Dotty, Mooch, Scared Crow, Lionel, Tinhorn, Hawknose Halley, Dr. Ozzy, Top Dog, Mad Dog, Bad Dog, Coyotes, Munch Kin, Buzzards and Tarantulas. (Copyright laws presumably prevent producers from using the actual character names but it's rather clear who Dotty and Dr. Ozzy are supposed to be).

Auditions will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 at Myrtle Philip Gym. Those auditioning are asked to arrive at 3 p.m. and should expect to stay the whole two hours. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for the full two hours and rehearsals will run throughout the week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day for the big show, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Millennium Place.