It’s week three of The Launch, the Canadian singing competition created and starring former American Idol judge Scott Borchetta.
In case you’re just joining us: The show airs on CTV and is only available to Canadian viewers. The talent on this show is pretty stellar. So, although I can’t watch a full episode, I’ll be posting videos here.
The show competition runs for 6 weeks. There are thirty total artists. In each episode, five acts vie for the opportunity to record a song. By the end of the episode, the winning act’s version of the song will then be released worldwide and launched immediately to Canadian radio. The process seen on the show takes about 48 hours.
FIVE artists vie for the opportunity to record this week’s single, “Wide Awake” which will be produced by Dann Huff (Whitesnake, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts). Metal rocker Nikki Sixx will mentor this week’s singers.
Chad Price – Nobody Love by Tori Kelly – Thirty-one year old only discovered his voice at 21. This dude’s got zero star power. It’s not surprising when Scott turns him down outright. “You’re not ready for this,” he says.
Dylan Menzie – Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum – Twenty-three year old has been surrounded by music “forever.” He has no day job. He’s 100% devoted to music. Dylan has potential. He has no upper register, but his chest voice is warm and inviting. Scott calls him a “real singer” but feels he’s not right for the song. It’s too bad, because he’s not only a good singer, but a creative musician as well.
Sons of Daughters – Country duo perform two original songs, “Ain’t Going to Be Lonely Long,” and “Walking Away”. The songs are catchy and their harmonies tight. Dann, however, calls the first song a “B” but said he enjoyed their performance. At his request, the duo sing a sadder song, “Walking Away.” Scott stops the performance to offer advice on their arrangement. Ultimately, they aren’t one of the two acts chosen to record the song.
Amy Bishop – Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen – Forty-four year old stepped away from her career to raise five children. Scott calls her song choice risky, but in the end he’s impressed with her strong, soaring performance. “You have taken my breath away,” he says. Amy also performed an original song, “Remembered.” She’s one of the two acts chosen to record this week’s song.
The Static Shift – “Mr. Big” by Free – The 70’s inspired rock trio annoyed Scott after touching his guitars. Whoops. “We’re good at being authentic,” one of the band members said. They also are convinced a rock revival is coming. Hm. They perform an original song “Oh Captain, My Captain.” All three are good musicians. Vocals are strong. But the act seems hopelessly retro.
First Listen: “Wide Awake” Demo – Dann Huff, Nikki Sixx and Scott Borchetta listen to the “Wide Awake” demo for the first time.
Dann Huff Records Vocals with Static Shift
Dann Huff Works with Amy Bishop
Scott Assigns Homework to Static Shift
Dann Huff Gives Helps Static Shift with with a Drum Demonstration
The Static Shift Jam in the Rehearsal Studio
Nikki Sixx Helps Amy Bishop with Her Confidence – She refuses to smash a guitar. Nikki says her voice is not enough to sell the song.
Will The Static Shift Crash and Burn?
Does Amy Bishop Have the Confidence to Succeed?
First Listen: Wide Awake ARTIST Demos
Amy Bishop performs “Wide Awake” Live
Static Shift Perform “Wide Awake” Live
The Mentors Can’t Decide Who to Launch
But in the end…Scott chooses The Static Shift. The decision turned on the band’s youth and fearlessness, while forty-four year old Amy perhaps brought too much baggage to the table. I preferred her take on the song, by a wild mile. But I’m not at ALL surprised by the decision to hand the song to the younger, prettier act.
Listen to Wide Awake at Spotify