New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight tapped to judge ‘Cover Me Canada’

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Jordan Knight - yes, the New Kid on the Block you obsessed over in the early 1990s - is about to spend a lot of time in the Great White North, as he's just signed on to judge the CBC's upcoming reality competition "Cover Me Canada."

And from what Knight tells us, he's just as thrilled to spend time in Canada as we are to have him here.

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Knight says he's excited about the show's unique format, which pits musicians against each other to cover a Canadian song.

"This won't be like 'American Idol' where they come into the audition and are made fun of. These are really good artists that have been cherry-picked for the show."

But he's no Simon Cowell, Knight is quick to add.

"I can't be mean, that's for sure. I'll be like Paula without the pills," he says. "Did I just say that? That's cold-blooded. I'll be as nice as Paula but a little less wacky."

But hang tough, NKOTB fans. He's not leaving the band. "It is like a second chance," Knight says of the group getting back together in 2008 after a 1994 breakup.

The boy band just finished a Canada tour last month.

"I know how quickly it can get taken away, so I'm more grateful and happy now. You can see that in me on stage."

Multiple Juno award-winner Deborah Cox has also been tapped as a judge, and says she's thrilled to see the calibre of musicians the CBC show has chosen.

"These contestants have musical experience, performing live in different clubs and venues," says Toronto-born Cox. "I can relate to that. I had a career like that in Canada before I got signed."

Both pop stars say it's all hush-hush about the celebrity appearances and guest judges, but Cox revealed she would love to see Leonard Cohen perform "Hallelujah."

And for Knight? "I want to hear some Alanis Morissette — any song from 'Jagged Little Pill'."

"Cover Me Canada" debuts Sept. 18th at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.

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