On last week’s series premiere of The Launch (watch it all here), we saw pop singer Vivian Hicks and soul artist Logan Staats bring two totally different and amazing approaches to the original song “The Lucky Ones.” It was a nail-biter finish, but Staats’ emotional rock rendition not only got launched, but landed at the number one spot on the Canadian music charts.
We won’t be surprised if tonight’s launched track also ends up topping the charts tomorrow, with this week’s group of talented musicians blowing our minds with every note.
Along with Executive Producer Scott Borchetta, this week’s mentors included OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who has written for everyone from Adele to Beyoncé to Taylor Swift. Joining the team was Suglarland singer Jennifer Nettles, a Grammy winner and Broadway star. With the trio of mentors in place, it was time to meet this week’s group of talented artists.
Teen singer Divine Lightbody from Brampton, ON and rock group LITEYEARS from Hamilton, ON didn’t make it past the mentors, but that paved the way for a three-way lock between singer/songwriter JP Maurice from Vancouver, pop artist Basil Phoenix from Manitoba, and duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine from Ottawa.
JP Maurice definitely has a bright future as a songwriter, something that mentors all agreed on after hearing his original song “Shapeshifter,” but his voice wasn’t quite the right fit for this week’s original track.
Instead, Basil Phoenix and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine moved on to the recording studio, where they got to lay down vocals for Ryan Tedder’s new song “Ain’t Easy.” Cue the excitement.
Something that was easy was rooting for both artists. From The Pas, MB, 18-year-old Basil Phoenix revealed that she had suffered a traumatic attack as a child that left her without feeling in one arm. Using music as her therapy, Basil’s silky smooth voice had Jennifer comparing her to Sade.
As for Elijah and Jamie, the pair met after Elijah heard Jamie singing on the phone and the sparks flew instantly. The two have been working together for the past three years, with Jamie on vocals and Elijah on arrangement and piano. Neither Scott nor Jennifer could hide their excitement over Jamie’s voice, and even the often-serious Ryan Tedder couldn’t contain his excitement. “I love how much you two love making music together,” said Scott. Us too.
When it came to the studio, both artists struggled in their own ways. Basil found it difficult to perform the verses of the track, with Ryan admitting that after two minutes in the recording booth, he wasn’t sure whether they would complete the song. As for Elijah and Jamie, the pair came armed with their own arrangement. After some back and forth with Ryan, the trio found a version of “Ain’t Easy” that worked for everyone.
Next it was time to perform in front of a live audience and Basil began feeling the nerves. Thankfully, Jennifer was there to give her a pep talk and get her ready to hit the stage. Can we all start the day with Jennifer Nettles telling us that we’re great? How can you have a bad day after that?
As for Elijah and Jamie, we may never see two people having more fun on stage than this pair…except for Jennifer Nettles watching them perform. Looking confident and comfortable, Jamie worked the stage and slayed her vocals, an adjective the usually reserved Ryan Tedder yelled at the end of their performance. Slay away, Elijah and Jamie!
While both acts made the decision for the mentors difficult, it was Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine’s incredible musical chemistry and rearrangement of the song that earned them the spot as this week’s launched artist. Looking shocked to have been launched, Jamie brought it back to their teamwork. “I’m gonna hug him first,” she told the mentors before embracing Elijah. Can we be besties with these two? How we feel about putting “Ain’t Easy” on replay all day.
Actual image of us grooving to “Ain’t Easy.”
Watch next week’s episode of The Launch on Wednesday, January 23 at 9 p.m. ET when Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and music producer Dann Huff join Scott Borchetta as mentors. Catch up on past episodes of The Launch now at CTV and watch extended episodes at CraveTV.
Click here to download music from this season of The Launch.