Students hoping to get The Shot at voice contest

From left: Students Jessica Bell from Wilfrid Laurier, Pam Olayemi from Wilfrid Laurier, and Melissa Koehler from University of Waterloo sing during a mentoring session at the Waterloo Inn as part of The Shot vocal contest. Bell and Olayemi are two of the eight finalists.

From left: Students Jessica Bell from Wilfrid Laurier, Pam Olayemi from Wilfrid Laurier, and Melissa Koehler from University of Waterloo sing during a mentoring session at the Waterloo Inn as part of The Shot vocal contest. Bell and Olayemi are two of the eight finalists.

by Helen Hall
Kitchener Citizen
March 19, 2015​​

They sang. They danced. They accepted compliments and criticism and then they sang again. They were all hoping it was their chance at The Shot.

Over 85 students from Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College participated in a voice contest called The Shot last weekend. By Sunday, it was pared down to just eight finalists.

The eight finalists are Jessica Bell, Emily Cortolezzis, James Downham, Matt Giblin, Tausha Hanna, Chelsea Marr, Pam Olayemi, Vincenzo Romualdi and Sarah Russo.

This is the second time The Shot competition has been held in Waterloo Region. It is the brainchild of C.J. Allen of Kitchener.

Allen has had a whirlwind career path since 2007, when he left Kitchener to go to South Korea to teach English. From his teaching career, he moved into working at a magazine that promoted English speaking talent and bands from that country. Then, he became a producer and writer for Korean television, and finally ended up as a judge on Top Talent Korea ​in 2013. All of this led him back home, where he started The Shot and is the CEO of Circus Music Company.

“I’m an advocate for emerging talent,” Allen said. “I’m like a music Dragon,” he said referring to the Dragon’s Den television show that helps entrepreneurs.

Allen is one of four judges on The Shot. He is joined by Stacey Zegers (lead singer of the Runaway Angel), Joni Nehrita (jazz, blues, pop singer) and Juneyt Yetkiner (Flamenco guitarist.)

The eight finalists will meet at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts on March 21. The judges will reduce the finalists to four, and then the audience will pick the winner.

The winnings include a Brentwood limousine ride to a day of recording at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga with a Metalworks engineer, the chance to perform on stage at KOI Music Festival in downtown Kitchener, an acoustic guitar from Brickhouse Guitars, a professional photo shoot provided by Sylvia Pond Photography, a professional music video produced by Esteemedia Productions, a $500 gift certificate from Fairview Park Mall and The Shot trophy.

Doors open for the finale on March 21 at 5:30pm at the Conrad Centre in downtown Kitchener and the show starts at 6pm.

Tickets are $18 in advance online and $20 at the box office.