Monday, April 15, 2013

Interview: Two Albertans vying for a spot on the MuchMusic VJ roster, Kyle Whitehead and Madison Pinder

Who was the last VJ on MuchMusic who hailed from Alberta? If you said no one, you would be correct. In the past it might have been the demographics keeping the Albertan VJ hopefuls out of the running, but the current MuchMusic VJ Search online video submissions make even those in Nunavut eligible. Alberta threw some names into the mix and now there are currently two vying for the coveted VJ job, and one of them just might take it.

Madison Pinder is a 21 year old University of Calgary student and Kyle Whitehead is a 24 year old graphic designer from Red Deer. Both have traveled across the country with a bus of VJ hopefuls competing in various competitions along the way and have made it into the top ten in Toronto.

I got a chance to speak with Kyle and Madison away from the windows of 'Camp Much' where they are currently living while trying to become Much's next VJ.


It was an interesting interview. After explaining to them twice that my name is Jes and not Jen and that I am a super famous blogger that they have never heard of (Seriously, what are kids reading these days, real news?) we got rolling. It was smooth sailing from there, except for that brief moment when I had to tell Kyle to stop trying to hijack my interview - you are not a VJ yet my friend.

My intent was to write a piece on Alberta's chances at finally reppin' as a face of MuchMusic. They admitted to me sheepishly that they were actually both born in...Saskatchewan. They both moved here in infancy and have lived in Alberta ever since, so I am giving them a pass.

What do these two think Albertans can bring to the table that we haven't seen before in a VJ?

"I know I was kind of raised kind of working class, blue collar. I think we both have strong work ethics and I think that’s embedded in Albertans. So yeah, we’re here to work hard," said Kyle.

Madison responded with, "We definitely have a carefree Alberta type attitude. And yeah, like Kyle said we definitely are both really hard workers and we are really excited to represent Alberta."

You know who I'd describe as a hard worker? All those Chinese kids that get pulled out of their homes when they are three or whatever and forced to become expert gymnasts. Now that's some hard ass work.

You know what else is hard - getting a Communications Degree from the University of Calgary*. Both Kyle and Madison could probably attest to this as well since they are also graduates (in Madison's case, almost graduate) of my Alma Matter program.

They wanted to give a shout out to their favourite Comms. profs Richard Sutherland and Linda Henderson. Never had Henderson, but baby Sutherland was pretty dope. I took a class with him during the Britney Spears meltdown of 2007, so obviously I will never forget him or the hours of his class I spent reading about the drama on my laptop in the back of his class.

The comms. degrees are doing wonders for these guys and have made them very cognizant of answering their interview questions. I asked them a couple of things about the people they were competing against and received very diplomatic answers. Curses. No juice, sorry peeps.

Kyle did say that he would,"Shit his pants" if Tyson, an eliminated contestant, were to be brought back into the competition.  Madison then asked for him not to do that because "our cots are next to each others".

Their cots, while next to each other, are also located in the studio which, if you have ever watched MuchMusic, is located on Queen Street in downtown TO with windows that look right out onto one of the main streets.

"Passerbys watch us sleep. It’s creepy. There’s people knocking on the glass at all hours of the night and it totally effects our sleep and effects our mood in the morning. That’s kind of been challenging to tell you the truth," said Kyle.

Stop being such a baby Kyle. Rockstars don't sleep and neither should you. His mentor may have to beat this out of him, but I will leave that for him to decide. Madison didn't seem to have a problem with the people creeping on her, just sayin'.

Ultimately at least one of them will be coming home by the end of this competition, but hopefully one of them will make it all the way through the late night disturbances and make Alberta proud. The one that is sent packing will be able to come back to Alberta and chill at one of their favourite places. For Madison that would be Lake Louis and the Rockies. For Kyle it would be The Hop in Brew...a hipster bar in downtown Calgary.

If you would like to see one of the Alberta contestants become the next MuchMusic VJ, go here to vote.


*Not to downplay our degree, but...I drank way too much and missed too many classes for this to be classified as 'hard'.

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