Producers of The Shot have teased significant changes to the upcoming eighth installment of the hit vocal competition web series including cutting out the performance of cover songs and raising the minimum age of artists applying to compete in the show.
In Season 7 of the series in Summer 2019, producers began to allow and actually encourage participants to perform their own original songs after six seasons of predominantly cover performances. Despite a mixed reaction from the show’s audience, producers have decided that, going forward, artists will only be allowed to sing their own songs with covers being completely disallowed.
“We look for artists who can use The Shot as a step forward in their career,” said co-executive producer Melanie Osmond, “By supporting original music, we believe that we are giving them the best opportunity to showcase who they are to the industry. Success is more than the ability to perform a catchy tune; artists need to be well-rounded. Just like the industry, we are looking for someone who is more than just a good karaoke singer.”
The Shot producers are also pointing out that, with the exception of NBC’s Songland which allows talent to perform their own music for A-list recording artists who will then take the song and record it themselves, other music competitions generally shy away from having participants perform their original music in favour of songs that an audience is familiar with and can appreciate and sing along to.
“Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift … we already have those artists. What we want are artists that can stand-out and hold their own and who have started to shape who they want to be as a recording artist,” says executive producer C.J. Allen, “in the years that we have been doing The Shot, we’ve always asked those coming to audition for us if they write their own music and sometimes even asked them to sing something for us judges. So we asked ourselves the question, ‘Why not just start there?'”
Producers also expect that the change will encourage more seasoned and serious artists to audition.
In addition to the shift in focus to only original music, the producers have announced that they will be raising the minimum age requirement from 16 to 18 years old. Sixteen has been the minimum age requirement since the show’s fourth season. With new, yet-to-announced format changes coming for Season 8, the expectations of artists are also being raised. Producers have said that the revamped process will be a more intense “bootcamp-style” series of benchmarks and as a result, it made sense to change the age requirement.
Video auditions for Season 8 of The Shot will open in January 2020.