Category: The Shot

The Shot FAQ

What is the minimum age requirement?
Applicants must be at least 16 years of age by March 31, 2018 to apply.

Can I apply as a group or band?
Unfortunately, groups and bands are ineligible to apply.

Can artists from all genres apply for the Program?

Can my agent or manager apply on my behalf?
Yes. Your agent or manager can apply on your behalf as long as they have signing authority.

I am currently signed to a music label, am I still eligible to apply?
You cannot be currently signed to a music label or have any obligations that will impact your ability to sign an option agreement.

I am currently signed to a publishing agreement, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, you can still apply.

Is there a cost to submit an application?
Yes, there is an application fee.

Do I need a professional video made?
NO. You can make your own video with the help of your friends and family or you can just make your video on your smartphone or web camera.

What should I include in my audition video?
You should sing a song you enjoy performing and that best represents you or your group, your talent and personality. Also, include a message telling us what sets you apart from other applicants and why you’ve chosen to apply for The Shot.

What kind of song can I sing?
You are free to sing any song in any genre, but make sure it best represents you as an artist.

Can I use backtracks for my audition video?
Yes, but live accompaniment is preferred. Someone else can accompany you if you do not play an instrument.

Can I attach my video using YouTube or Vimeo?
Yes. Links to Youtube and Vimeo videos will only be accepted. Make sure it is unlisted or password protected.

If I miss the deadline, can I submit my application by email?
Sorry, you will not be able to apply after the deadline. The application deadline is March 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, but may be subject to change at any time.

Will you be holding any live auditions or applications only?
We will be holding open call auditions in Spring 2019. The date and location will be posted in early 2019.

When will I find out if I have been selected to participate in the Program?
Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Program will be contacted as early as April 2019.

Will I be contacted regardless of whether or not I am invited on the Program?
Due to the large number of applicants we are unable to contact each applicant. We will only attempt to contact those applicants who are selected to be potential participants on the Program.

I’m so excited. Should I push back my release plans for a new song/album I have coming out?
You should continue with your scheduled plans after applying for the Program. Once you submit your application please continue performing and engaging with your fans.

Will travel, accommodation and expenses be covered?
No. You will be responsible for your own expenses related to participating in the Program.

Will I be paid or compensated to appear on the Program?
No, you will not be paid or compensated to appear on the Program.

If I am selected will I get to choose my own audition songs?
Maybe. We would like you to remain open to all suggestions. If we do use your song, you will need to ensure that you own all rights in and to the song and that it is cleared for all uses, worldwide and in perpetuity without any additional fees. Producer may require you to sign additional agreements.

Can I bring my family, friends, manager or agent to set with me if I am selected?
Yes, you can bring your fans with you to the Live Audition if you are selected.

If I am not selected, can I have a refund on the application fee?
No. The application fee is non-refundable.

The Shot Online Agreement & Release


If you are under the age of 18, in addition to having your parent and/or legal guardian agree to the Online Application, including the Online Agreement and Release, your parent and/or legal guardian must also sign a Parent/Guardian consent form if you are selected to move forward in the application process. You and your parent or legal guardian will be required to complete and sign all required agreements, including the participants agreement and a parent and/or legal guardian release form.

As an inducement to Music & Artist Development Experience, hereafter referred to as, “Owner” considering me as a participant in the program currently entitled “The Shot” (the “Program”) and by agreeing and acknowledging in the Online Application that I have read and understand the Online Application (which includes, without limitation, the eligibility requirements (the “Eligibility Requirements”) and this Online Agreement and Release (collectively, the “Application”), I represent, warrant and agree as follows:

    1. I acknowledge that:
      (a) I have read, understand, am satisfied and agree to be bound by the Eligibility Requirements set forth in this Application;
      (b) I have answered the questions in this Application honestly, accurately and completely;
      if any of the information in this Application is found to be false or incomplete, this will be grounds for dismissal from the participant selection process and/or from the Program, (whether or not I have already received them), if available;
      (c) even if I meet the Eligibility Requirements set forth herein, Producer and Owner have no obligation to select me as a participant in the Program;
      (d) I agree to keep strictly confidential all information about the Program that I acquire during the participant selection process and/or my participation in the Program;
      (e) regardless of whether I am selected as a participant in the Program, my voice, action, and likeness may be recorded as a part of this Application and participant selection process and I understand that Producer may, but is in no way obligated to, use such recordings and all related productions and publicity, within the Program or in any other manner or any Media (as defined Section 2 below) at the discretion of Producer;
      (f) if I perform my own song for my audition video (“Owned Song”), I specifically warrant and represent that I am the sole writer and owner of the Owned Song, and no other writer,  music publishing company, record company or any other party has any rights in the Owned Song or in recordings of my musical performance of the Owned Song;
      (g) even if I am selected as a participant, Producer has no obligation to produce the Program or conduct the competition and Music & Artist Development Experience has no obligation to exhibit it, even if conducted and produced;
      (h) all decisions by Producer and Owner concerning selection of the participants are final and not subject to challenge or appeal; and
      (i) Producer and Owner have no obligation to return any materials (including, without limitation, recordings of my musical performance of any Owned Song(s), photograph(s), audition video(s) and written materials) (collectively, the “Materials”) provided by me to Producer and/or Owner’s representatives at any time in connection with the Application, the participant selection process, and/or the Program, whether or not I am selected as a participant, and Producer and Owner may, but is in no way obligated to, use any such Materials in the Program or in any other manner as set out herein.  I warrant and represent that I have all right and authority to grant the rights in the Materials to the Producer and Owner as contemplated herein and I shall not give or agree to give any member of the production staff and anyone associated in any manner with the Program, or any representative of the Producer or Owner any compensation or anything else of value to arrange my appearance on the Program or to accept or agree to accept anything of value to promote any product, service or venture on the Program, or use any prepared material containing such a promotion.
    2. I hereby consent to the production, reproduction, broadcast, publication, exhibition, distribution, adaptation, recording, use and reuse by Producer, Owner, and each of their respective licensees, successors, assignees, parents, subsidiaries, or affiliated entities and each of the respective employees, agents, officers and directors of the foregoing entities (collectively, the “Releasees”) of my voice, actions, likeness, name, appearance, biographical material, and any information contained or derived from my Application, including, without limitation, any recordings or still pictures of me taken during the participant selection process and/or contained in any Materials submitted by me in connection with my Application, including any audition video (collectively, the “Likeness”), as such Likeness may be edited, altered, or modified by Releasees, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity in all languages, manner or communication (“Media”), in or in connection with the Program and all related productions, publicity material, spin-offs, advertising or any other production. I agree that the Releasees may use all or any part of my Likeness and may alter or modify it regardless of whether or not I am recognizable. I further grant irrevocably to, fully assign, and agree that the Releasees shall own exclusively any and all right, title, and interest (including, without limitation, all copyrights) in and to the Materials, any other video, recordings or still pictures and any other materials that I have provided or may provide in connection with this Application, the Program and the participant selection process and in and to any video, recordings or still pictures taken during the participant selection process of any such materials provided by me, and acknowledge and agree that the Releasees may, in their sole and unfettered discretion, edit, alter or modify, and use all or part of the all such Materials and other recordings and my Likeness in all Media.  I represent and warrant (i) that everyone appearing in the Materials (including but not limited to each member of my  group who has read and understands all the elements of the Online Application and has authorized me to submit his/her personal information and all the Materials on his/her behalf as part of this Application) and anyone who may have shot or created such Materials agrees that they may be used, as edited, altered or modified by Producer, Owner or by any of the other Releasees, in all Media without any compensation, (ii) the Materials will be free from any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane, obscene, pornographic or graphically violent, and will not contain any content that is contrary to law or which places any of the participants appearing on or off camera at serious risk or harm, and (iii) that I have the rights and licenses necessary to submit the Materials and grant all of the rights granted herein other than where the copyright in my selected audition song is owned by a third party, in which case Producer, Music & Artist Development Experience will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate licenses. I hereby expressly waive in favour of the Producer and Owner, any moral rights that I may have with respect to the audio-visual productions and/or sound recordings produced and/or recorded in the Materials or otherwise for the purposes of the Program. I grant the rights hereunder whether or not I am selected to participate in the Program in any manner whatsoever.  I understand that I will not be paid any money for giving Releasees these rights, or for submitting the Application, the sole consideration for which being the Producer’s consideration of me as a possible participant in the Program, which I acknowledge is good, valuable and sufficient.
    3. I agree to take any further action, in writing (including, without limitation, confidentiality agreement, execution of affidavits, assignments, and/or other documents), reasonably requested by Producer to effect, perfect or confirm Producer’s and Owner’s rights in the Materials and my Likeness or otherwise in connection with this Application.  If I am selected as a participant on the Program, I agree to complete the participant form package, which will be provided by the Producer and will include, but is not limited to: a participant agreement, confidentiality agreements, option agreements, psychological and medical assessments, a parent or legal guardian release form (if you are under the age of 18), and other additional information as required by Producer and/or Owner.
    4. I understand that the participant selection process will involve subjective decisions made by the Producer, Owner, the casting team or those authorized on their behalf, in their sole discretion (collectively, the “Panelists”). I understand that the Panelists may make casting recommendations to the Producer and the Owner but that all casting decisions will be made by the Producer and the Owner in their sole discretion. I further understand that the Panelists, the Owner, Producer and/or other persons or entities may be acquainted with or have some familiarity with some or all of the applicants to varying degrees. I understand and agree that all participant selection and elimination decisions shall be final and binding on me in all respects, and shall not be subject to challenge or appeal by me for any reason or under any circumstances.
    5. I hereby release the Releasees as well as any television station or channel, cable network, satellite network or any digital platform that exhibits the Program or the Materials, the other participants in the Program, the advertisers and promotional agencies connected with the Program, all other persons and entities connected with the Program, each of the respective parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies of the foregoing, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, employees, successors, assignees, and licensees (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all claims, actions, damages, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses of any kind (including, without limitation, legal fees) arising out of, resulting from, or by reason of, the Materials or my participation in or in connection with the Program, including, without limitation, my participation in the participant selection process of the Program, participation in any Program related activities, any exploitation of the Program or my appearance on the Program, the failure of Producer to select me as a participant, the cancellation of the Program, any activities in connection with the video submission, or the exercise by Producer of any rights granted by me with respect to the Program on any legal theory whatsoever (including, but not limited to, personal injury, rights of privacy and publicity, false light, and defamation) (the “Released Claims”).  The Released Claims specifically include, without limitation, any and all claims, actions, damages, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including legal fees) of any kind resulting from the actions of another participant or any other third party at any time.
    6. With respect to the information provided by me in this Application , including but not limited to all “personal information” collected by Producer, Owner and/or each of their authorized agents pursuant to the terms hereof:
      (a) I authorize Producer and/or its authorized agents to investigate, access and collect information about me, about any of the statements made by me in my Application, any supporting documents and any other document that I have signed or do sign in connection with my Application to be selected as a participant in the Program, or any other written or oral statements I make in connection therewith. I irrevocably authorize Producer and/or its authorized agents to secure information about my experiences from my current and former employers, associates, friends, family members, educational institutions, government agencies, credit reporting agencies, and any references I have provided, and I irrevocably authorize such parties to provide information concerning me. In the course of these investigations, I agree that Producer and/or its authorized agents may disclose to the foregoing entities personal information that I have provided in this Application or that Producer has obtained from third parties, if Producer determines, in its sole discretion, that disclosure to a third party is necessary in the course of the investigation. I specifically authorize investigation of my employment record and government records, including, but not limited to, my motor vehicle records, civil or criminal record, credit and/or consumer report(s).
      (b) I acknowledge and agree that any such information obtained by Producer pursuant to this section 6, this Application or otherwise may be used for the purpose of making casting and other similar decisions for the production (and public viewing) of the Program, and, with the exception of medical information, may be described, disclosed or otherwise used in and in connection with the Program, any subsequent seasons of the Program, and any ancillary or related productions, including “making-of”, “behind-the-scenes”, and “aftershow” productions, and/or for publicity, promotional, social and digital purposes related thereto.
      (c) I hereby unconditionally and irrevocably release and forever discharge the Released Parties and all such parties and persons from any and all liabilities arising out of or in connection with any such investigations and arising out of the collection, use and disclosure of my personal information in the ways stated in this Application and agree not to make any claim against Released Parties in respect of such use (including, without limitation, any claim that such use invades any right of privacy and/or publicity and any claims based on defamation or false light).
    7. I acknowledge, represent and warrant I am not an employee, officer, director and agent of Producer and Music & Artist Development Experiences.  I further acknowledge and agree that Producer and/or Music & Artist Development Experience each reserve the right to render ineligible any person who they determine, in their sole discretion, is sufficiently connected with the production or distribution of Program such that his/her participation in the Program could result in or create the appearance of impropriety.
    8. Whether or not I am selected to be a participant on the Program, I shall keep in strictest confidence and shall not disclose to any other applicant, participant or other third party at any time (i.e. prior to, during, or after the taping or exhibition of any episode of the Program) any information or materials of any kind, including without limitation, any information or materials concerning or relating to Producer or to Owner, the business of Producer or Owner, any program produced by Producer and/or exhibited by Music & Artist Development Experience, including, without limitation, any information concerning or relating to the Program, the Program applicants, the Program participants, the cast and any guest appearances, the location(s) of the Program, the events contained in the Program, or the outcome of any episode of the Program, that I read, hear or otherwise acquire or learn in connection with or as a result of my applying to be a participant on the Program or (if I am selected to be a participant) as the result of my experiences as a participant on the Program (collectively, the “Information and Materials”).  I acknowledge and agree that the Information and Materials are confidential and the exclusive property of Producer and/or Music & Artist Development Experience.  At no time will I ever, directly or indirectly, divulge in any manner or use or permit others to use any of the Information and Materials.
    9. I acknowledge that in the event I breach the confidentiality or any other provisions of this Application, my breach may, in the sole discretion of Producer and/or Music & Artist Development Experience, result in my being disqualified to participate as a participant in the Program.  I further acknowledge that a breach by me of any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application would cause Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience irreparable injury and damage that cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated by damages in an action at law, and, therefore, I hereby expressly agree that Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief to prevent and/or cure any breach or threatened breach of any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application by me. I also recognize that proof of damages suffered by Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience in the event that I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application will be costly, difficult, and/or inconvenient.  Accordingly, I agree to pay Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Canadian Dollars (CDN$500,000.00) per breach plus disgorgement of any income that I may receive in connection with my breach as liquidated damages in the event I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application prior to the initial public exhibition of each episode of the Program. I agree that Five Hundred Thousand Canadian Dollars (CDN$500,000.00) plus disgorgement of any income that I may receive in connection with my breach is a reasonable estimate of the amount of damages Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience are likely to suffer in the event I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application prior to the initial public exhibition of each episode of the Program, considering all of the circumstances existing as of the date of this Application.  In addition, I agree to pay Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience the sum of One Hundred Thousand Canadian Dollars (CDN$100,000.00) per breach plus disgorgement of any income that results from my breach as liquidated damages in the event I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application after the initial public exhibition of each episode of the Program. I agree that One Hundred Thousand Canadian Dollars (CDN$100,000.00) plus disgorgement of any income is a reasonable estimate of the amount of damages Producer and Music & Artist Development Experience are likely to suffer in the event I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Application after the initial public exhibition of each episode of the Program, considering all of the circumstances existing as of the date of this Application.
    10. I acknowledge and agree that:
      (a) the provisions of this Application shall enure to the benefit of the successors and assigns of Released Parties and shall be binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and representatives;
      (b) this Application will be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein and that the courts of Ontario will have exclusive jurisdiction over any matter arising out of this Application;
      (c) if any provision of the Application is invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction it will, as to that jurisdiction be ineffective only to the extent of such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability, without affecting in any way the remaining provisions hereof in such jurisdiction or rendering that or any other provision of this Application is invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any other jurisdiction;
      (d) Producer and Owner reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of this Online Agreement and Release, the Online Application, the Eligibility Requirements, and Terms and Conditions at any time, without notice; and
      (e) that Releasees may freely assign, in whole or in part, any of their rights or obligations under the Application and I may not assign my rights and obligations under this Application.

If the person named above is under the age of 18 in his/her province/territory/state/country of residence, his/her parent/legal guardian must also agree to the provisions below.

The parent or legal guardian represents that he/she is the parent or legal guardian of the minor named above. By agreeing, the parent and/or legal guardian indicates his/her unconditional and irrevocable acceptance of and agreement with each of the above terms and conditions on the behalf of the parent and/or legal guardian and on behalf of the said minor, and the parent and/or legal guardian’s agreement that this Online Application shall be binding on the parent and guardian and the said minor. The parent and/or legal guardian further waives any rights that he/she may have against the Producer or Music & Artist Development Experience arising from and/or related to this Online Agreement and/or the said minor’s participation in the Program, and the parent and/or legal guardian warrants that he/she shall personally be responsible for any and all liability and/or indemnity that is or may be the responsibility of the said minor.


Casting Now Open for #TheShotS7


The Shot is in search of the hottest new unsigned vocal talent age 16 and up from anywhere in the world. Are you a solo artist looking for a platform to launch yourself and gain momentum for your career in music? Do want to work with industry professionals who know what it takes to make it in the business? If so, we want to hear from you!


Please read and understand the following before submitting your audition video:

Once you have reviewed the Eligibility Requirements and Online Agreement and Release and have read through the FAQ, you can start the application process by clicking the button below. Please be sure to read through the step-by-step instructions below to ensure you are submitting the best possible audition video.

Note: Audition videos that do not follow the instructions below may not be considered.





Submit a video audition that highlights your personality and your vocal talent. Provide a brief introduction (2-3 minutes) about who your are (suggestions below) and sing a song (an original or cover) that best represents that kind of artist you are.

Here are some suggestions for things you could include in your introduction:

  • Your name, age and where your from
  • Tell us your story
  • Tell us why you are auditioning for The Shot
  • Tell us what inspires you to do music


STEP 2: PERFORM (3-5 minutes)

Make sure to clearly identify the name of the song if you are performing a cover. If you are performing an original, tell us what the song is about and what inspired you to write it. Here are some more details about what we are looking for:

  • Songs can be by any artist of any genre
  • Please do not perform a cappella
  • Accompany yourself or have someone accompany you
  • Accompaniment is preferred, but you can use a backtrack if you’d like
  • Make sure the sound in your video is clear
  • Your video will not be judged based on the quality of the recording but you may not be considered if we can not see or hear you clearly



Once you have recorded your video and have double-checked that you have met the requirements above, upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo. Links provided to videos on Facebook or other platforms will not be considered. You will need the link to your video for the application process.



With your video done, uploaded and ready to be submitted, you can begin the application process. Click the button below to start. Please note that you will be required to answer questions about the applicant’s contact information, as well as provide the link to your video audition and pay the non-refundable application fee.



The Shot casting team will contact you at the email address provided in your application if you are selected to attend the Live Auditions. Please understand that due to the volume of applications we received, you will only be contacted if you are selected to move forward.



Once you have been selected by the producers to move forward, you will be invited to perform for the judges at the Live Auditions. You can expect to receive the information about the date, time and location of your audition in Spring 2019.

Deadline for entry is March 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The deadline may be subject to change.

Juneyt Sitting It Out for Season 6

Executive producer C.J. Allen announced today during a live feed on The Shot‘s Facebook page that veteran judge/coach Juneyt Yetkiner will not be returning for Season 6 of the hit vocal talent search competition this September.

Citing scheduling conflicts that prevent Yetkiner from participating, Allen praised the internationally renowned performer’s contribution to the program over the past several seasons saying, “We’re very sad that [Juneyt] won’t be with us.  Juneyt has been a judge since season 2.  He’s an amazing artist and coach.  It’s really a shame but we hope to have him back for a future season …”

Yetkiner joined The Shot in 2015 and won that season as mentor of Season 2 winner, James Downham.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Yetkiner wrote in an email to the other coaches and staff, “and it feels like I’m leaving my second family.  I’ll miss you all dearly and I hope to be back again for another season in the future.”

No announcement has been made yet about a replacement to take Yetkiner’s seat on the panel.  This will mark the second shakeup with the Coaches since long-time judge/mentor Joni NehRita left the show after Season 5 and was replaced by former member of The Nylons and vocal coach, Micah Barnes.

Where Are They Now? Season 4’s Jonathan Farrington

Jonathan Farrington came into his audition in Season 4 with a brilliant swagger and followed it up with an amazing vocal performance.  Jonathan was the first contestant to come to The Shot from outside Canada, having come to audition from the Bahamas.  Here’s what Jonathan had to say about his experience with The Shot and what he’s doing now:


What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

My favorite part about The Shot was meeting so many amazing artists. It was a great way to get an appreciation of different genres and styles. The Shot helped me to be a more versatile artist experimenting with songs that I would not normally have performed back at home in the Bahamas.


How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

The Shot was different because I saw a genuine concern from the coaches and their entire team to help artists achieve their musical dreams without trying to swindle them.  It was a very real and pure experience.


What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

I would say do it.  You really have nothing to lose but everything to gain when you enter a competition like this.


What have you been doing since The Shot?

I’m now studying acting at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, New York.  Acting is another passion of mine and just like music it has the power to touch people on so many levels. I decided to invest in enhancing this skill. I’m still performing when I get free time from school and currently writing new material for futuristic projects.   I’m also writing a screen play and stage play.  I’m also enrolled in the New York Vocal coaching academy where I am studying to obtain my certification in vocal coaching.


Where can people find you or hear your music online?

Through Instagram: lfarrmusic, facebook:jfarrmusic, youtube: Jonthan Farrington and sound cloud:jfarrmusic.

Where Are They Now? Season 5’s Jayde Taylor

Jayde Taylor has a lot to give: from her confident presence to her beautiful vocal to her phenomenal songwriting ability.  Jayde auditioned for the judges in Season 5 and had this to say about her experience and the advice she has for anyone thinking about auditioning for Season 6:

What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

My favourite part about doing The Shot was the networking.  I loved meeting everyone that was involved and working with them.  Everyone is just so supportive of one another and it’s really great to make those connections with people who must want to see you succeed.

I learned not to be so hard on myself during the process. Things are going to go wrong behind the scenes and on the stage, it’s life and it happens.

The Shot helped me grow in terms of my collaborative skills. We all got to work together and give each other feedback, learn from one another, push each other and that is really what it’s all about.

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

The Shot was the least competitive competition I have ever taken part in. The whole time we were rooting for everyone. It was never about winning or losing for any of us. We were just there to learn and have fun.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

My advice would be … you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I still talk to the friends I made [while part of The Shot] and we are always commenting and sharing each other’s material on social media, just because we are excited about everything everyone is doing. I gained a whole network of people I trust and adore and that is honestly a very rare occurrence in this industry, and I have The Shot to thank for that.

What have you been doing since The Shot?

I’ve been recording a new bundle of singles and getting a project ready to be released very soon!

I’ve also been buying music business books and studying that side of the industry.

Where can people find you or hear your music online?

 @itsjaydemusic on all social media. to be launched soon

Where Are They Now? Winner of Season 2 James Downham

Season 2 winner James Downham has been one of The Shot’s most vocal and active ambassadors since taking home the trophy back in March 2015.  Since his winning performance of Tim McGaw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin'”, James has started a band, been writing and recording new music and has called The Shot the breath of air that brought new life into his passion for music.  Here’s what James had to say about his experience on The Shot and where he’s been and what he’s been doing since the big win:

What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

 I think the best thing that I got out of participating in The Shot was becoming part of a community of people who are supportive of each other, who have a sincere desire to see others succeed, and cheer them on as they move forward.

The Shot was a true catalyst for my music career. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to do something I’d been yearning to do for a long time. Truthfully, there was nothing stopping me but myself and my own self-doubt. But joining a community of wonderful singers, artists, and fantastic supports from the community, and seeing others who were pursuing the same path, helped to remove the fear and the doubt.

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

 I’d never participated in a competition like The Shot before. I honestly expected it to be very different. I thought it would be more competitive – as in, each participant looking out only for themselves, and looking to win. That’s not at all what I experienced.  I think the difference was the coaching and mentoring aspect, and spending time with the other participants. The whole event was framed as a development opportunity (perhaps as much self-development as artist development). Regardless of the outcome, anyone who wanted to learn and grow as a person and as an artist had the opportunity to do so, and to make some friends for life.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

 Do it. Only good things can come out of it. Be prepared to work hard – during and after Season 6. The opportunity is whatever you make of it.

What have you been doing since The Shot?

 Wow! I’ve now put together 2 bands (The James Downham Band and my newest project, the Durham County Band). I’ve released 3 songs to radio across Canada (2016’s “Don’t Talk To Girls” and current James Downham release “Fly Away”; current Durham County Band release “Valentine’s Day”); I’ve been gigging, recording, and having fun! Durham County Band’s album will be coming out summer 2018 and I’m really excited about it!

 Where can people find you or hear your music online?

 Search for artists James Downham and Durham County Band in all the usual places… iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Music, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and all the rest! and

Questions REVEALED: What the Judges Might Ask You in Auditions

Earlier in the week, big changes to The Shot format for Season 6 were announced by producers in what might be the biggest shift for the hit competition since opening to singers age 16 and over from anywhere in the world.

The sixth installment will focus more heavily on development and mentorship of artists and will take a more “Dragon’s Den-like” approach to the singing competition format.  Auditionees can expect for their vocal performance to still play a big part in the judges’ decision to put a singer through to the next phase in the process but those stepping in front of the panel can also expect to be asked more in depth questions about who they are as an artist, their aspirations and how serious they’ve been and intend to be about pursuing a career in music.

While auditions are still several months away, the production team has already begun drafting a list of questions for the judges to potentially pull from when interviewing a hopeful contestant.

We’ve managed to snag a copy of the list to share with those who have already applied or are planning to apply for auditions this September.  Here’s a sample of those questions:

  1. How long have you been performing?
  2. Do you or have you work/ed with a vocal coach or received any sort of training?
  3. What is the largest audience you’ve ever performed for?
  4. How often do you perform in public?
  5. Do you write your own music?
  6. Have you released any of your original music?
  7. Who or what inspires you to do music?
  8. What’s your social media following like?
  9. What made you want to do The Shot?
  10. Where do you see yourself, musically, in 3, 5 or 10 years time?

This is just a portion of the list and these questions may not be verbatim when they’re asked later this year but we expect the judges to pull some inspiration from the suggestions.

Along with the questions above and others, performers will be asked to tell the judges about themselves and their backgrounds.

Whether the questions will come before or after an artist’s performance hasn’t been revealed yet but knowing the judges and their propensity for liking to switch things up,  don’t be surprised if they aren’t held to a formal structure.

The Shot is now accepting video audition submissions for Season 6 and applications are open for the live, in-person auditions on September 8th, 2018.

‘Big Changes’ Coming to The Shot Format for Season 6

THE SHOT has undergone a number of changes and developments over the years, particularly the decision to open the competition to anyone age 16 and over from anywhere in the world, but this year’s latest may be the biggest yet.

The Shot has continued to be Canada’s fastest growing platform for aspiring talent, but amid the rise of other singing competitions — both independent and televised, the show has had to adapt its format if it’s to keep up its success.

Last year’s installment of the hit competition saw producers allow, for the first time, video auditions to be submitted in order to open the opportunity to audition to a broader array of applicants.

The biggest upcoming change, producers say, is that Season 6 will have a greater emphasis on mentorship and the development of artists.  No longer will singers need to wait until the mid-way point of the program to find out which judge will mentor which group of hopefuls or to start the mentoring process.  The judges will be informed of which category they will mentor at the end of auditions, the announcement will be made at the start of the Callbacks and mentorship will begin immediately.  In addition, the judge/mentors will have autonomous control over how their groups develop and which acts advance to future stages of the competition in contrast to past seasons where advancements were decided by the judges collectively in closed door deliberations.



Producers also acknowledge that the perception of The Shot has been a challenge and that if there’s a comparison to be made with one of the many television concepts, it isn’t with shows like The VoiceAmerican IdolThe X-Factor or even CTV and Scott Borchetta’s new platform The Launch.  Instead, Season 6 of The Shot will have more of a Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank feel to it.

Auditionees for Season 6 will find their auditions to be more oriented toward having the judges get to know contestants, asking more questions and diving deeper into an artist’s journey and where they are or see themselves going in their music career.  Similar to the business pitch competition shows, participants in the auditions phase will be pitching their product: their personality and their talent.  While the vocal performance will still be the ultimate determinate for advancing to the next round, how a candidate responds to questions will also play a part in the final decision.

“It’s called the music business for a reason,” says executive producer C.J. Allen, “and everyone knows it’s not easy.  It’s arguably the hardest business to get into; to be a break-out artist, to get people to pay attention to you — whether your goal is to get signed to a label or go DIY, you need to be able to express to people … a label, a manager, an agent, even your fans or potential fans … what sets you apart and makes you different from everyone else.  It’s an incredibly important skill to have: one that I think many artists struggle with and so for many of the performers that come in to audition, it’s going to be a challenge but one that they’ll learn from and be all the better for when they’re actually in a real deal situation.”

The change to the concept is also set to create a balance between the art and the business.  While the judges won’t be dishing out multi-million dollar investments, they will be using their experiences and expertise to help finalists prepare for that possibility.  The Boot Camp weekend, for example, which has been traditionally used to set a series of challenges and tasks for participants, will be dedicated to preparing the artists for the brand new Showcase event where the finalists will have the opportunity to perform for an audience of music industry professionals including label representatives, agencies and producers who have been invited by the judges.



The new Showcase event also adds a new twist to what used to be the “Finale”: no longer will the judges deliberate to determine a ‘Top 4’ selection of finalists followed by an audience and online vote for a winner; instead, online voting will open immediately following the Boot Camp and will stay open for two weeks in order for a ‘People’s Choice Artist’ to be chosen and announced at the Showcase.  The judges will also choose a ‘Judges’ Choice’ award recipient and all finalists will receive a token of recognition for their success.  The ‘People’s Choice Artist’ recipient will also receive a VIP pass to Canadian Music Week 2019 which includes access to networking events, keynotes and workshops at the annual week-long conference.

The Showcase will culminate with a post-show event that will offer artists the chance to be introduced and personally meet-and-greet industry insiders and explore the possibility for future collaborations.

“This is the sort of platform artists have been looking for,” said Allen, “a genuine ‘kick at the can’ that doesn’t promote itself as ‘discover[ing] music’s next wave of superstars.’  It’s not that simple.  Artists need a dedicated team, a community around them to achieve success and that doesn’t come from a show that only works to serve its own interests.  The Shot is unique, nothing like this has ever been done before; it’s about opening doors and creating opportunities for everyone in the business: the artists primarily but we’re also an awesome, free scouting vehicle for the labels, for the agencies, for producers looking for exciting new acts … we do the work of scouting, finding and to a small extent prepping the talent during the month we have to work with them, but the endless possibilities and opportunities are in the hands of the artist and the business.”

Hopefuls looking to take their ‘shot’ can submit video auditions now or apply to perform for the judges at the Live Auditions on September 8th, 2018.



Where Are They Now? Season 5’s David Boyd Janes

David Boyd Janes is on a mission: to bring country music to Toronto.  As City Boy Country, David’s energy and enthusiasm for his music was evident the moment he walked into the audition room and carried him into the finals of Season 5.  Having just returned from recording in Nashville, we asked David about his experience with The Shot and what’s next for this passionate performer:

What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

“This one is almost impossible to answer as I have so many favourites!  I will try to keep this reasonably short.  I love how personal the whole experience was!  From the first day of auditions, the judges offered a meet and greet at the end of the day!  Season 2 champion James Downham even showed up to greet us. As an aspiring country artist, I was so thrilled to meet him. The show really helped reignite my passion for music and encouraged me to get back out there and pursue my dreams and passion.”

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

“I really appreciate that The Shot legitimately gives everyone a Shot!  Regardless of age, style, or genre of music, everyone got their ‘Shot’. I personally connected with the whole cast and crew.  It felt more like “artist development” then a competition to be honest. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about learning and growing!  Best group of people.”

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

“This is simple.  DO IT!  Do it now!  The Shot changed my life and launched my music career into outer space!  No one is going to do the work for you. YOU need to put the time and effort into it. The Shot is a platform to help launch your career and get you the exposure needed to get the ball rolling.  The Shot was EXACTLY what I needed. It gave me the chance to get back out on that stage, find my purpose, my passion and reignite my drive to make music my full time job!  The entire crew, behind and in front of the cameras, was incredibly supportive and became more like
family as we got closer to the top 10 finale.”

What have you been doing since The Shot?

“So much!  I haven’t stopped since I left the stage.  During my intro video I said “I would walk away from everything I had today to start making music my full time job”  I did exactly that!  Funny enough, my first song in the top 10 finale was “Walking in Memphis” by Lonestar.  Now, I’m just days away from Walking in Memphis for real!  C.J. Allen (Judge) and Rick Barker (Founder of Music Industry Blueprint, formerly manager of Taylor Swift), gave me the best advice!  “Hire a band and treat this like a business”.  That’s exact what I did!  After a meeting with C.J. a few days after the finale, I went home and began my search.

3 months later I’m so proud to say I’ve put together and hired a 7 piece county band.  I’ve written 15+ original songs, and 7 of them are being recorded down in Nashville at Blackbird Studio early February.  Our single will be released to radio early April and we have our eyes locked on doing a showcase at this years CMW (Canadian Music Week) held in Toronto.”

Where can people find you or hear your music online?

Our Instagram is updated daily and can be found at: @cityboycountryband
Our website is:
Our Twitter is: @1cityboycountry

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