Local country artist Todd Richard and his fans are on pins and needles.
They’re hoping he makes the cut on the brand-new CMT Canada television series, Big in a Small Town.
“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “I found out in June that I was chosen as a finalist but I was sworn to secrecy.”
He won’t know if he makes it to the next round until after Thursday afternoon when his episode airs.
Five different artists will be sharing their dreams of trying to make it.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Richard said.
He wasn’t even going to submit a video to the show’s producers, but his wife, Sylvia convinced him it was worth a shot.
“She talked me into it,” he says.
He submitted a video of his uplifting and compassionate anthem, Life’s About People, that he wrote with Rick Tippe.
Then the Harrison Hot Springs resident was picked as one of 30 finalists from across Canada to appear on the CMT Canada show, Big in a Small Town.
“I was totally blown away.”
Within three days he was driving up to Penticton, to shoot scenes for an early segment of the show in Summerland.
“They took me up to God’s Mountain to be interviewed.”
He also got to perform the song for the producers.
“It was really cool,” he says.
The producers liked his appealing and folksy back story: a hard-working guy and his wife sell almost everything to fuel his rock-and-roll dream of making it in the country music world as a singer-songwriter, partly to honour his late father’s memory.
With his smooth vocals and distinct look, he made it to Nashville, recorded a video, and some songs with some crack session players and has been slogging away ever since with his debut CD, Journey On.
A panel of CMT Canada judges winnowed down the contestants to 30 people in their search for the next big country artist. The actual winner of the $100,000 prize package gets a recording contract in studio and much more.
“Gotta stay positive!”
Todd Richard invites all his fans who have become friends, who he calls “frands” to a special free viewing of the two-hour episode of Big in A Small Town, on Aug. 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the Canada Conference Room at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa. RSVP to the Facebook Page.
“We hope to pack the place!” Richard said.
If it turns out Richard is ushered through to the next round, he’ll be flown to Toronto on Sept. 6 to play a live taping with the house band.
“I’ve got a one in three chance of making it.”
Two of those finalists will be presenting at the CCMAs. But he’s not exactly sure when he will find out.
The show’s tagline is “Someone’s life will change.”
But he already considers the TV show experience a “huge break” in his career.
“Things have really been ramping up, and it’s been a wild ride for sure,” he tells The Progress. “It’s like Sylvia and I always say, ‘It’s a rollercoaster and these are baby steps.”