The premiere we've been waiting for is finally here.
Thus far, the first episode of the #1 competition short form series is making a big splash online. With over 50K views and 250K impressions, the producers are very happy with the opening week's numbers.
In the description of their premiere episode, Shine's team wrote, "Shine is an artist development platform that challenges talented undiscovered artists to compete against one another while finding their own voice. This season is a new set of rules. From auditions coming in across the world, the global pandemic stopped a number of luxuries, but it couldn't stop our universal language; music. Our mission statement has stayed true since the beginning, teaching talent to find their voice and run their brand."
The series caught quite a popular surge last season when hip hop artist, 2'Live Bre joined the panel. He filled the empty chair left by Rilan, a quirky pop singer who's schedule didn't permit his return.
Ashthon Jones, a Grammy winning R&B singer, returned for her third year.
Brandon Stewart, the creator and lead A&R on Shine's judging panel, told us why he knew this season was going to break records. "It's a totally new show," he told BTV Insider. "We are changing the rules and giving the fans what they want. They wanted longer episodes, so we're giving them that. They wanted more drama, so we're giving them that."
When we asked him about how he went about adding drama to the show, he told us he didn't need to. "Trust me, it's always been there. We've actually softened the show for our fans in years past. But we've quickly learned we're not American Idol, we are our own independent platform. We make our own rules. On our show our contestants pour their hears out in their own music, and fans watch every step of the way. This year we are letting it all hang out. The contestants have their ups and downs and so do we."
As the COVID-19 restrictions are lifting and the vaccine is being dispersed among the large groups interested in receiving it, producers of Shine did not shy from the topic on the show. Joel Parent, producer for Shine since the first season, told us they made "sure to cover the tragedies that took place during the 2020 calendar year."
First contestant of the season was Kylie Roe out of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Roe was a singer-songwriter who had been working her whole life for this moment. Cue the tears. She continues to tell us her story about the love of her life committing to someone else. But like Taylor Swift, she put it into her music in hopes to move the judges. We won't post spoilers here, but the judges were on the fence and even listened to a second song - unexpectedly.
The next contestant was Tee Rainer, a soulful singer out of Jackson, Tennessee. Yes that really was his name. He serenaded Jones, and reminded Bre how often Jones will "crush, crush, crush" during a single season. He further explained that she's just excited about the R&B singers each year; after all, "she is the queen of R&B" he said in the episode.
The final singer's name was Elise Wayne out of London, England. She submitted a self-tape, which was highly encouraged this season for obvious reasons. The judges took their time going back and forth, and again, no spoilers. She was a bit boring, but Jones fought hard for her and the decision might shock you.
Each week there will be 3-6 singers highlighted in a single episode. The producers have extended the episodes from 8-9 minutes, to 20+ minutes. There is also a new distribution cycle enacted where every third week will not have an episode. Parent said they're calling it the "2 and 1." With episodes more than doubling in duration, the producers are hopeful fans will take the off week to make sure they promote their favorite artists encouraging their friends to vote and get involved too.
Early voting is what is tallied in the comments of each video. Fans are encouraged to post " #Team____ " in the comments section below the video. That blank would be filled with the first name of your favorite artist on the show. You can vote once on the YouTube release, and then once on the rerun of the episode on Facebook Watch. So that’s twice a week.