Students given a ‘shot’

Returning to Waterloo for the second time, The Shot showcased the region’s top vocal talents this past Saturday.

Photo by Zoe Nguyen
Photo by Zoe Nguyen

Returning to Waterloo for the second time, The Shot showcased the region’s top vocal talents this past Saturday.

The competition gives university and college students in Kitchener-Waterloo the chance to showcase their musical prowess and see if they have what it takes to be famous.

“This is really an opportunity for students to go through the process and see what it is like to be able to work with industry professionals, receive industry professionals’ feedback, mentoring, then being able to perform in front of a large audience to show their talents,” said Jared Hippe, director of public relations for The Shot.

From March 14 to 21 they hosted 65 auditions where university and college students could perform for 90 seconds to a panel of judges. This year also saw some changes in the competition. Conestoga College students were allowed to audition in addition to University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University students.

He added with Canadian Idol and Canada’s Got Talent no longer airing on television, The Shot is filling a void in terms of offering an opportunity for people to participate in a large-scale musical competition.

Hippe also stressed even though there were nine finalists, all of the students who auditioned showcased great talent.

“It was a lot of talent and great performers and people who have those kind of skills. It could have had more then nine finalists. It really is amazing to see the skill level that people are at, even at a young stage in their career.”

Choosing only nine finalists is a testament to the hard choice of narrowing it down from 65 applicants. Hippe said the judges reached and “impasse” with only selecting eight, they discussed with the producer and director the proposal to have a ninth contestant.

After an intense night of performances from the finalists on Saturday night, Laurier student James Downham emerged victorious. Hippe said Downham had the “it” factor.

“There might have been a sense that he was the frontrunner after the performances he had. He delivered the most energy and had an incredible performance.”

“I think he’s definitely the deserving champion of The Shot,” Hippe said. “The audience was also receptive of that.”

Looking at the future of the competition, Hippe said there are plans for a third season next school year, with two competitions held — one in the fall semester and another in the winter.





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