Did you catch it? Warren Dean Flandez on Cover Me Canada, I mean? The diminutive soul man with the Malcolm Gladwell hair came out of his left-field victory over the flu last week to completely pound the competition on Sunday. And super-villain Ron Fair was wetting himself more than anybody over the ballsy, minimalist version of “Sometimes When We Touch” that Flandez cooked up.
“So much incredible stuff just went down in the last 90 seconds!” Fair exclaimed, pounding his fist on the desk, spittle flying from his mouth like hot yak spray. “You came with restraint, and taste… you tore the roof off of that song. It was gorgeous.” Finally, he added, “Other than Deborah Cox, it makes you the greatest soul singer to ever come from Canada. This is your show!”
Ron Fair is wrong about a lot of things. But he’s right this time. Flandez, meanwhile, reacted to Fair’s live nationwide orgasm with even more restraint and taste.
“I’m really happy about last night,” the Vancouverite told the Straight on Monday, speaking from Toronto in a measured and somewhat uncertain tone, “but I’m strange. I take criticism better than I take compliments. I always have this mentality that I’m the underdog, and really, after that happened, I got really emotional. I don’t know if it showed on camera, but I turned away and popped my sunglasses on.”
If the ridiculously talented singer feels like an underdog, it’s probably because—as Fair also pointed out—Canada isn’t really “a great place for R&B.” Our newly appointed greatest ever soul singer isn’t about to disagree.
“You know what? He’s right,” says Flandez, noting that his social media score was rock bottom for the first week of the competition. “I’m not as popular as the folk, and country, and rock acts, but it’s growing,” he says, “and it’s proving there is a market for it. A lot of our R&B artists have gone south or to Europe, because that’s where the opportunity is, and I commend people like Divine Brown and Jully Black, and those who are here sticking it out. Cause it’s not easy. You don’t do those little hop-in-the-van tours in the BC interior with R&B and soul.”
Not yet, anyway. “What can I say?” offers Flandez. “I’m here to change that. It’s why I’m on the show!”
Meanwhile, the Simpson Brothers were voted off on Sunday, sending the boys back to their Tsawwassen home. We’re calling bullshit on that—if there was anything like natural justice, Whosarmy would have been booted for taking such a huge and nasty dump all over “Hot Child in the City”. I wouldn’t have stopped at kicking them off the show either; I would have insisted on splitting the band up and making them all live in different cities while they penned individual apologies to Nick Gilder. What an outrage.
You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.