EXCLUSIVE Interview with THE NEXT STAR Season Seven Winner JORY ZECHNER

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria

Sunday September 21st marked the finale of The Next Star! Wrapping up another great season, the finale featured performances by the Top 6, performances by recording artists Shawn Mendes and Echosmith, and of course the crowning the winner of The Next Star Season 7!

Over the season, Canada got the chance to watch Ryland, Jory, Nissita, Kaleia, Michaelah, and Shon grow as artists and release their first singles (within the show) and music videos, but in the end only one would earn the title of The Next Star.

After watching each of the Top 6 lay it all out on The Next Star stage, it was Jory who Canada voted as The Next Star. Fifteen-year-old Jory from Nipigon, Ontario, used her smooth and powerful sound to win Canadians over.

The Magazine got the chance to talk to Jory about her The Next Star experience, and how she celebrated winning.

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The Magazine: Congratulations on winning The Next Star! How are you feeling right now?

Jory: I am feeling so energized and so overwhelmed and amazing. This is such an amazing feeling!

The Magazine: What did you do after the show last night?

Jory: All the Top 6 and our families got together and ate pizza. We hung out, and said our goodbyes.

The Magazine: What was going through your mind last night just before they announced the winner?

Jory: I was literally just thinking about everybody else and thinking about how amazing it would be if any of us had won. Honestly, every single person was so talented and deserved it just as much.

The Magazine: How did you prepare for the performance last night?

Jory: I was practicing as much as I could even process. I was practicing a lot because I wanted it to be good because it was my last performance on The Next Star stage. It had to be on point. We were working together on our group song, so we were rehearsing in the hotel. We were all working together and were really supportive of each other.

The Magazine: How do you feel you have grown since your audition?

Jory: My stage presence has got a lot better. I used to be really stiff. I feel like now that I have been on stage so much and I have been in front of all these people, I feel like I have loosened up a bit and have got a whole lot more comfortable on stage. It has been easier for me and less nerve-racking.

The Magazine: Do you have any advice for the youth thinking about auditioning for The Next Star?

Jory: Yeah, definitely to practice your song before you get in there. That’s the judges and everyone’s first impression of you so it should leave a lasting impression and be perfect. Also, have fun. The whole point of The Next Star is to have fun and learn from the experience.

The Magazine: What was it like recording your single and music video for the show?

Jory: It was really the most overwhelming amazing thing that you can ever experience. Recording that single with Rob Wells who was my producer was so amazing. He is such an amazing producer and he did so well. Doing my music video with Evan Winter was so amazing. I have never been the star of a music video. It was new for me but he just made me feel so comfortable.

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The Magazine: You had some amazing stars on the show this season! Was there anyone who got a little starstruck over?

Jory: I was definitely starstruck over Shawn just because he is so young, and so talented. All of the stars were great. Also, Echosmith. I have been a fan of their music for so long. Also being around people who are in the industry was a prize in itself to be able to spend time with them.

The Magazine: How was it sharing the stage with Shawn Mendes and Echosmith?

Jory: It was very overwhelming and at the same time it helped because they are here performing at my show, and I am not here performing at their show. You know? It was kind of one of those feelings like they are here for me and the Top 6. These people are so big and they are here to perform for our show. It was just an amazing feeling to know that.

The Magazine: You and the Top 6 seemed very close! How was it spending time throughout this journey with them?

Jory: It was the most amazing time I have ever had. We are all best friends. They are the best friends I ever had. Seeing them go was sad but we know we are going to see each other again. We are planning visits already and it hasn’t been a day. We just all love each other and its so amazing being on this journey with people you love.

The Magazine: Demi Lovato is one of your inspirations; she is a very strong believer in being yourself and has gone through some hard times. It is almost National Bullying Awareness Month, do you have any advice for people who may be experiencing bullying?

Jory: Definitely. I have experienced this as well. The best advice I have for people going through this is tell an adult. It’s one of those things that you shouldn’t have to go through alone. It is heart breaking to know that people have to go through that so I really think you should tell somebody you trust.

The Magazine: What was it like being in Toronto during your time at The Next Star?

Jory: I absolutely love Toronto. I would move here if I could. It was so amazing to spend time in a big city instead of a small town and it was so new for me. I really loved being in Toronto and being surrounded by all these people who have been in the business and have lived here.

The Magazine: What has been the best piece of advice you have been given while on the show?

Jory: The best piece of advice was just to break out of your shell and not be afraid to be yourself. Don’t hold back anything because you are here because you should be and because you deserve it.

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The Magazine: How was it hearing after your performance, Dan saying even though he was hard on you this season, he was so proud and amazed by your performance?

Jory: It was so amazing to hear that from somebody who has been in the business and who was worked with Justin Bieber and people like that. Just to know he believed in me was just the most amazing feeling.

The Magazine: Anything you want to say to your supporters?

Jory: I love you and I thank you for voting for me. You are the most amazing people.

Thank Jory!

Congratulations again to Jory, and all of the Top 6! It was a another great season of YTV’s The Next Star.

Make sure to check out Jory’s and all the rest of the finale performances on The Next Star’s Youtube Channel.

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