THUNDER BAY – ENTERTAINMENT – On Sunday night, during a live telecast from Canada’s Wonderland, in front of a theatre of thousands and with 3.5 million votes cast from across the country, 15-year-old Jory Zechner from Nipigon, ON was crowned the winner of the seventh season of Canada’s longest running singing competition series, YTV’s The Next Star. After weeks of vocal and choreography challenges and mentoring from judges Dan Kanter, Tara Oram and Mark Spicoluk, Jory is taking home a prize package, which includes a $5,000 shopping spree courtesy of Sears, a recording deal with the chance to work with one of the industry’s top music producers and an Epiphone Masterbilt Acoustic guitar.
Jory’s been one of The Next Star’s biggest transformations and surprises this season. Hailing from Nipigon, ON, Jory drove 10 hours to audition and brought along her guitar to strum along to her own tunes. With her signature blue hair and trademark frames, Jory, a self-proclaimed nerd, has opened up to show a lot of sass. It’s hard to believe this small town girl with a unique, original sound once struggled with believing in herself. Now she inspires the world with her confidence.
“It’s been so exciting to have had a front row seat and a chance to contribute to the amazing progress Jory has made throughout The Next Star season,” said Dan Kanter, judge on The Next Star 7 and Musical Director and lead guitarist for Justin Bieber. “I can’t wait to watch her next steps in what is sure to be an exciting career, and look forward to continuing to participate and celebrate in her success.”
Jory, was one of the Top 6 finalists—including Kaleia (13, Edmonton, AB), Michaelah (15, Kelowna, BC), Nissita (13, Barrie, ON), Ryland (15, Deseronto, ON) and Shon (12, Surrey, BC)—who were chosen from thousands of hopefuls who auditioned across Canada. During the live finale Jory performed her new single “Up to Us.” The finale also included special performances from Shawn Mendes and Echosmith. The Next Star Season 7 album including singles from each Top 6 finalist is currently available on iTunes and the music videos can be seen on iTunes and NextStar.YTV.com.
About The Next Star
Produced by leading Toronto distributor and producer Tricon Films and Television in association with YTV, The Next Star follows a new group of hopefuls from across the country, aged 15 and under as they vie for the ultimate prize – the title of The Next Star. Now in its seventh season, The Next Star can count some of Canada’s hottest talent as alumni, including 2013 Juno Award nominee and platinum-selling artist Victoria Duffield and fellow JUNO Award nominee and double-platinum artist Alyssa Reid. Also making waves in the Canadian music industry is Season 4 winner Charlie, whose single landed her on Billboard’s Top 100 Canadian Emerging Artists’ Chart and music video on iTunes’ top 10 list.