Bye Bye Denis, Hello Jeanick

This week, in the world of media and celebrity, we have witnessed, 48 hours apart, a hard-hitting start and a shattering arrival.

Bye Bye Denis, Hello Jeanick

This week, in the world of media and celebrity, we have witnessed, 48 hours apart, a hard-hitting start and a shattering arrival.

The departure is that of Denis Lévesque, who bows out after 16 years on the air.

The arrival is that of Jeanick Fournier, big winner of the television competition Canada's got talent.

While Denis Lévesque turns off the lights one last time, Jeanick Fournier steps into the spotlight. One gets off the show business bus, while the other gets on it.

Strangely enough, both are from Roberval, in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean!

And I have enormous admiration for both of them.

SAGUENAY’S GOT TALENT

A lot has been said about Denis Lévesque, but we haven't emphasized enough what an excellent interviewer he is. It takes a lot of skill, a lot of listening to give voice, as he did, to ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things.

We do not interview a simple citizen who has just gone through a terrible tragedy or who has experienced an unusual situation... and a seasoned politician who benefits from an army of communications advisers.

Denis' strength has always been to find the right word, the formula, to help the more awkward guests express themselves by listening to them with the same respect as if they were big stars.

He has developed a tone, a way, a style imbued with humanity, without ever laughing at his guests or despising them. Even at the height of the pandemic, he was able to extend his microphone to guests on both sides of the fence, so that they could defend the legitimacy of their point of view.

Denis Lévesque is much more than the caricature made of him by some... whom I suspect of never having watched his show.

THE QUEEN SINGS QUEEN

For his penultimate show, Denis did an interview with Jeanick Fournier, the big winner of Canada's got talent. We felt he was particularly proud of this compatriot from Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

The triumph of Jeanick Fournier is exactly the kind of story that Denis likes to tell. A beneficiary attendant in a palliative care center, who sometimes accompanies the dying by singing Celine Dion to them, who has adopted two children with Down's syndrome, who participates in a talent contest and... who wins.

A woman who lives in a modest 4 and a half, but who in one evening earns $150,000 and whose first thought is to move into a bigger house so that her children have their own room.

This woman touches me deeply. And you know what makes me most proud of her? When she won, she gave her thanks in French first. “Thank you to the people of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, of Quebec, of Canada, for your support. Thank you to my team, thank you to my family, thank you to my lover, thank you to my friends, thank you to my wonderful children”.

We heard the beautiful Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean accent on TV in English Canada.

For Jeanick, the career begins. She won by singing Queen's anthem, The Show must go on.

Even if for Denis Lévesque, this is where the “show” stops.


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