Starstruck's Shania Twain reveals how to impress her
As country music legend Shania Twain becomes Starstruck's newest judge, she reveals which icons got her all tongue-tied.
Shania Twain joins the Starstruck panel as the ITV hit returns and performers will need to bring their A-game to ensure they don’t hear the words: "That Don’t Impress Me Much!".
The Grammy-winning "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" hitmaker will take her seat alongside returning judges Queen frontman Adam Lambert, soul singer Beverley Knight and West End star Jason Manford as, each week, four teams of three "superfans" are transformed into their favorite music idols.
With everyone from Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones to Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift taking to the stage this series, Shania, 57, reveals what it’ll take to really impress her in Starstruck season 2 on ITV1…
What kind of judge are you?
"I would say I’m an inspired judge. I’m inspired by the personalities of the talent, and their life stories really move me. I’m always considering how inspired I am, that’s really where I’m coming from when I’m giving them any commentary or feedback."
Have the other judges and host Olly been welcoming?
"I love them! Adam's wardrobe has been a standout moment — he’s SO stunning! I enjoy bantering back and forth with Jason, and Beverley is sisterly and warm. They’re all very welcoming and there’s a great mutual respect among all of us — a real camaraderie."
Have you been "impressed much" by the level of talent?
"Oh, so impressed! There have been lots of great vocalists and some great impersonations — there are two sides to the coin on this show. These performers are taking on the persona of a particular artist so their mannerisms and the way they deliver the character of the artist is part of the performance. I’ve been pleasantly surprised over and over again."
What do contestants have to do to really impress you?
"What impresses me most is when contestants can maintain their composure. When they keep it together vocally and they’re not distracted by being overwhelmed. If you can get up there and own it, you’ve already won over the audience. As for the music, just bring on the hits! I live for music, so I’m like the biggest fan in the audience."
Has one contestant really stood out for you?
"Very much so! There is a singer who’s a janitor at a school and he sings to his mop! This is the spirit of the show, in my opinion, so my responses all come from that feeling and less so from a competitive sense of who’s technically better. I’m definitely looking more at how I’m moved by a performer. That janitor is the essence of why I’m enjoying it so much."
Last series, three singers impersonated Starstruck host Olly. How would you feel about a "Team Shania"?
"We DID have Team Shania! It was so exciting and a career highlight. To have three women who have day jobs and who are obviously fans — they put their heart and soul into doing the best Shania they could. It was entirely flattering and I was really touched."
Each week, the panel has the casting vote on which singer from their favourite trio makes it to the finale. Did you all agree?
"We don’t always agree. We have different criteria on what we think are the most impressive elements. I’m not necessarily judging on sheer vocal prowess, so I’m more objective in that sense."
Have you ever been Starstruck?
"Absolutely! I was starstruck when I met Diana Ross and, with Stevie Wonder, I didn’t know what to say! With Gladys Knight, I felt I just wanted to curl up in her lap and absorb her genius. I can get a little weird if I’m with somebody I’ve such admiration for."
If you were a contestant on Starstruck, which music icon would you transform into?
"Probably [Love Is a Battlefield singer] Pat Benatar. I like to rock and she’s such a fierce woman. If I’d have met Pat Benatar when I was a teenager, I would have been speechless!"
How did you find performing with the other judges and Olly?
"We had so much fun! I’d love to do more because they’re all so talented. Those moments are highlights for us as a team — we’re up there and joining in the spirit of the performance."
Do you enjoy coming to the UK? Are there any British traits you pick up?
"I love being in the UK. Coming from Canada, it’s very much a sister culture for me. I drink tea in Canada! I always feel at home here — riding horses in Hyde Park is a dream day in London. We swear more in Canada, though, so I curb that a bit when I’m over here!"
Starstruck begins on Saturday, February 18 on ITV1.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!