Exciting news from the producers of The Shot: Canadatoday about the new format for the upcoming 2021 season that will showcase the talents and original music of twenty Canadian singer-songwriters. Until today, the brains behind Canada’s preeminent artist development competition have been mum about the details surrounding the show’s next season which will begin filming in April.
“We had lots of ideas about ways to freshen things up, how to make the show both for the artists and for the viewing audience,” said executive producer and head judge C.J. Allen, “but ultimately what we have come up with is a great combination of some of the most iconic elements of the reality TV genre.”
The season, which will continue to feature original music only from recording artists across Canada and will once again be filmed virtually, will begin with Judge Auditions. Artists who have been selected through the preliminary demo video submissions and the Instagram Live Virtual Auditions will meet and perform for the six resident judges including Allen, Jennifer Beavis, Danya Dixon, Kate Davies, Shane Christopher Neal and Eric Johnston. Twenty artists will be selected from the Judge Auditions to move on to the first official phase of the competition — the Groups.
“We looked at this new season as an opportunity to try out something different,” co-executive producer Melanie Osmond said, “and so having the artists start out in groups, focusing on the creative and collaboration is an exciting way to do that.”
Each webisode of the first half of the season will see artists taking part in a task or challenge centered around the theme of ‘collaboration’ and elements of business littered throughout as well. One such task, for example, will have the groups learn how to design and sell merch items focused on promoting musicians’ mental health with proceeds going to the Unison Benevolent Fund— a non-profit, registered music industry charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. Each challenge will also feature a guest judge or mentor to oversee and weigh in on the challenge.
“The give-back for us this season is really important,” said Allen, “with everything happening in the world of music and the level of uncertainty that many artists are feeling about the future of their career and their craft, this was something we wanted to focus on as much as we could.”
Tasks will also come with benefits for the artists as well: rewards, prizes and advantages will be incorporated into each webisode; giving artists an added incentive to come out on top. ‘Managers’ will be chosen by each group at the onset of the task to act as the de facto leader of the team for each round, elevating the accountability element for the challenge. The groups that excel at the challenge according to the judges’ criteria will be safe from elimination while an artists (or artists) from the underperforming group(s) will have their journey come to an end.
Or will they?
Also new this season is the Wildcard — the opportunity for an eliminated artists to re-join the competition at some point during the process. Details about this game-changing twist are being kept under wraps for now but producers have said that it will incorporate a “fan focus”.
Mid-way through the process, the competition and tasks will become individual with the artists now focusing on the release process of their own original song. These rounds will continue to include rewards and advantages for the top artist.
“So many great A-list recording artists started out in a group or band — Harry Styles, Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé — and this is an exploration of that experience: going from the Group rounds to the Individual rounds, from band to solo artist,” said Allen.
The season will culminate with the live grand finale on October 2, 2021 and performances by the Top 4 artists. For the first time, the winner of The Shot: Canada will be selected solely by the judges. Up for grabs for the winner is the opportunity to be signed to a brand new label venture spearheaded by judges Allen and Davies, a showcase performance at Canadian Music Week 2020, the recording and release of the artist’s original song and more.
Preliminary auditions by way of demo video submissions and Instagram Live Virtual Auditions continue until March 25, 2021.