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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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Comedian competes for spot as network sportscaster

Tags: Sports contest Gillette Drafted JJ Liberman sports Sportsnet
JJ Liberman auditioning for the Gillette Drafted contest

Toronto comedian JJ Liberman has made it to final 24 on the fifth season of Gillette Drafted: The Search for Canada’s Next Sportscaster.

The winner of the televised competition, which airs this fall on Sportsnet 360 (formerly The Score) gets a one-year contract with Sportsnet and will become a Gillette spokesperson.

Liberman decided earlier this year to take a shot at being a comedian, and he’s already performed more than 200 shows.

For him, the contest is just another form of entertainment.

“I’m not going to limit myself to one avenue in life… I’m going to try to make things happen,” he said.

Sportscasting isn’t a goal he’s dreamt of his whole life – he saw the contest as an exciting opportunity.

But Liberman isn’t just acting. The 32-year-old said he loves sports, and before turning to comedy, he had spent most of his life trying to make it as a professional baseball player.

Although that didn’t work out, he has spent time as a professional umpire.

To audition for the sportscasting contest, he headed down to Toronto's Eaton Centre at the beginning of June and shot a short demo that he ad-libbed.

He said right away he had a good feeling about his performance.

“There are a lot of people who can just talk sports, but a lot of it is delivery, too,” he said.

The contest also tests participants’ social media skills through a popularity contest. The two competitors with the most online votes will automatically make it to the Top 6, while judges will choose the other four.

Voters can cast their ballots once a day and can vote for up to six people per day until Aug. 6.

The finalists will be announced in the first two weeks of August, and the winner will be crowned during the show’s finale in November.

Visit to read about all 24 finalists and to vote. 

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