OFFSTAGE: Shaniatherapy? Why Not?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Sure, Shania Twain is a superstar. But she’s also a something of a super survivor — of domestic violence, extreme poverty, the tragic death of her parents and the collapse of her marriage. At 44, her life has gone through more crisis than most people will face in a lifetime. And yet, Twain has come out on the other side and wants to find ways to help others. So this Shaniatherapy (I made up that description) she’s offering during her new TV series, Why Not? With Shania Twain, seems to be a very solid way to heal. After opening up about her own troubles and struggles, with shocking details about her childhood in Ontario, and playing some music in a bluegrass song circle, Twain heads out to visit families who have faced the same tragedies she has faced. In the first episode, which airs May 8 on OWN, she brings dinner and a shoulder to cry on to a young family who lost both their parents. What I see when I watch this show, beyond the therapy and the revelations, is that Twain is just like the rest of us. She’s every bit as fragile as she is strong. She cries as much as she laughs. She has an ugly past that is kind of her broken road to a shiny future. She’s normal. Except, you know, she has a voice like an angel. And you can hear a little bit of that when she starts rehearsing a new song, “Today (Is Your Day),” and when she admits, “I cannot live without singing.”