OK, so he Beat is as guilty - or more so - as anyone for getting the "saccharine-ized for PBS" feel from Celtic Woman. With its classi-pop arrangements and repertoire to its tightly-choreographed staging, we just got a vibe - beautiful women or not.

And there's no doubt the show has proven valuable to public television's fundraising efforts - try to miss a CW during telethon time. The story goes that then-PBS vice president for programming Gustavo Sagastume, upon meting Sharon Browne, founder of Celtic Collections records who was at the time promoting an as-yet-unnamed collection of female Irish singers, "No offense, but girls with pretty voices from Ireland is not really a major market for us." Sagastume says he told Brown to "give me Charlotte Church meets Enya meets Sarah Brightman, then we can talk."

She apparently took him seriously.

Of course, the truth is that each of the women who's been a part of Celtic Woman is a talented performer with an individual history and skill-set. Talking to Alex Sharpe, the newest full-time CW-er, brought it all home. Funny, engaging and sincere, she was hardly a faerie-voiced robot or high-brow eye candy. Heck, she has played Janet in Rocky Horror!