Welcome to the Den: CBC announced its new Dragon on Monday morning. He's Bruce Croxon, co-founder of the dating website Lavalife (oh, so can he dispense dating advice along with business tips?). Lavalife was created in 1987 (really, that long ago?) and had revenues of just under $100 million when it was sold in 2004. Since then, the news release says, Bruce has been an investor and adviser in the technology and hospitality sectors, and he sits on the board of the Trans Canada Trail and supports Anaphylaxis Canada, which helps people with serious allergies. Which is all well and good, but what kind of a Dragon will he be? The other Dragons, Jim Treliving, Arlene Dickinson, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary, seem to think he'll be a good one, according to the news release. "I have no doubt that Bruce is up for the challenge," said Arlene. As for Brett Wilson, the Dragon whom Bruce is replacing, he issued a release of his own on Monday, saying that the key issues in his contract dispute were "my availability and the use of show branding to promote Dragons' Den deals," whatever that means. He said he and the producers were close to a deal but ran out of time, and he would have liked to stick around for at least one more season. That being said, the release makes it clear we may not have seen the last of Brett on TV. He is considering "TV programming focused on celebrating philanthropy in Canada," he says. And he also says that, "Dragons’ Den fans tell me constantly that they are craving true follow-up shows – not superficial snippets of information. They want to share the true roller coaster of the business and deals done in the Den along with the updates on how people fared who got offers and turned them down – and of course those who were sent away.” Hmmm, the Den may be in for some competition.
Expat Foodie Joins Top Chef Canada: Top Chef Canada has its resident judge and she is Shereen Azam, a Toronto native who operates two restaurants in L.A., Terroni and Geisha House, as well as the clubs Concorde, El Centro, Shag, Central, and Wonderland. Food Network Canada and Insight Productions have also announced the names of the 16 competitors on the reality show. There are six Torontonians in the group but also wannabes from all points of the country. You can learn more at www.facebook.com/topchefcanada
Things Look Up for JLo and Casey: Here's where Jennifer Lopez's quid pro quo with American Idol comes in. Although she seems sincere about wanting to encourage the show's young talents, she's got a career of her own to worry about. So on Thursday's results show, she'll be premiering the new video for her single "On the Floor." The song features ubiquitous Cuban American rapper Pitbull. Meanwhile, there's good news for fans of Top 24 member Casey Abrams (including me). The 19-year-old was able to perform with the rest of the male finalists on Friday, despite having had a blood transfusion on Friday morning, according to TMZ.com, which first broke the story of Casey being rushed to hospital last Wednesday with stomach pains. The website says Casey won't have to return to hospital, either, which is more good news. You can watch the guys perform Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CTV.
(The photo of JLo is by Tony Duran for Fox.)