File | Television | 110%, 15 years later (3 articles)

The show 110% will forever retain a special place in the history of Quebec sports television. Boiling panelists, explosive debates and convoluted analyzes provoking in Quebec cottages as much rage as pleasure, to venerate or hate the invited debaters evening after evening.

This cult show, which often took on the appearance of summer theater, without ever demonizing excesses, obviously enjoyed colossal success between 1998 and 2009. Why?

“It was, and I think has never been equaled, the closest thing there was to the ordinary partisan and his concerns. There was nothing more true than 110% », Estimates journalist François Gagnon, one of the most formidable guest debaters.

There was no filter. Some people thought it was a show, but it wasn’t at all. It was really discussions and bickering between us, as there might be in a tavern, in a basement or in a schoolyard. It was very simple, very sincere and very effective.

Francois Gagnon

In his opinion, the new generation of fans who missed the show’s heyday missed “the best sports entertainment to end a day.” “When I spoke about the effectiveness of 110%, it affected everyone. From blue collar to academic. »

According to Michel Bergeron, the simplicity of the show alone explains the popularity of the format. “There were no regulations. We came with our own ideas and our own experience. Everyone spoke at the same time. It was something. But we had crazy ratings. »

First host of the show, Paul Rivard also talks about the format, and especially the tone in which the show was presented to the public who were still awake at 10:30 p.m. “First, we had real lively debates. Second, we had sports debates, which had been done in every bar and tavern since the dawn of time. And because we were going far. Because people had never heard heated debates like that. »

The “tone” and the “formula,” explains Rivard, “were specific to 110% “.

Furthermore, without naming it directly, each speaker mentioned the sincerity of the exchanges and intentions. With a hindsight of 15 years and given the ills suffered by some elsewhere on the globe, persisting on the potential of Guillaume Latendresse, the lack of effort of Alex Kovalev or the hair choices of José Théodore remains quite futile.

But for the panelists, all the topics were up for debate. Without exception. Even though the framework of the show sometimes became insufficient.

“Not everyone liked each other, but everyone respected each other. Some asked the director not to be on the show at the same time as others,” insists Bergeron.

Sometimes it went beyond the shows. The shouting matches continued on the sidewalk and we continued to defend our opinions.

Michael Bergeron

Rivard also remembers these lively discussions on rue McGill, adjacent to the studios: “Once, I was with Éric Lavallée (the producer), Michel Bergeron and another, in the street, at midnight, half an hour after the closing the doors and we were still chatting. And I don’t need to remind anyone that Michel Bergeron is an unimaginable storyteller. You can sit for four hours listening to it. »

If the success of the show has been so phenomenal, it is thanks to two basic rules, believes Paul Rivard, at the helm of the set for five seasons.

“At one point,” he remembers, “half an hour before recording, I was preparing my leads, I was responding to emails. Then (Michel) Villeneuve arrives, Michel Bergeron is there, Jean Perron is there and around me, they are already starting to argue. And Éric Lavallée comes back and says: “Don’t forget rule number 1: we don’t have the debate before the debate!” »


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