“It's just a start”! The Star Académie 2021 auditions , aimed at recruiting the 15 academics for the next cohort, were launched Friday morning in Montreal, with diversity, authenticity and security as their watchwords.
It was not yet 8 a.m. when the long Star Académie- colored bus (with its plexiglass panels inside) had already parked near the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, attracting the eyes of passers-by.
Inside and out, everyone wore the mask and all respected the two-meter distance in their interactions, but the anti-COVID protections did not prevent the feeling of the feverishness in the air.
Unlike the Star Académie (or La Voix ) auditions held previously, the 2021 meeting is not punctuated by endless queues or enthusiastic crowds, but the process is carried out smoothly, between filling out forms, frequent hand washing and passing in front of the judges. As required by Public Health guidelines, no more than 25 people are in the waiting rooms at a time, their participation number pinned on their shirts.
“Before, we wanted there to be lots of people waiting,” said Jean-Philippe Dion, executive producer. This year, we don't want people to wait! We want the auditions to go quickly and to go well. And if the evolution of the pandemic means that we have to change our ways of doing things, we have considered other possible scenarios. ”
The good mood that reigned on Friday was of course enhanced thanks to the announcement, earlier this week, of the identities of the host (Patrice Michaud) and the faculty (Lara Fabian, Ariane Moffatt, Gregory Charles, Mika, Anne Dorval, etc.) of this revamped Star Académie , who will teach the participants the basics of their profession.
“It was stressful to announce the host and the faculty, but the auditions are even more exciting,” said Jean-Philippe Dion. We may have a beautiful academy and extraordinary teachers, if we do not have the talent we are looking for in audition, Star Académie will not be Star Académie . It takes us 15 young, diverse and colorful talents, like cultural communities and where we are as a society today. ”
Throughout the tour that will take the Productions Déferlantes team to Rimouski, Moncton, Quebec, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Gatineau and Montreal again in November, aspiring academics will perform in front of judges Marianne Boulet, content producer, Marie- Ève Riverain, singer and vocal coach at La Voix , Rosalie Dumas, casting director, and Luis Clavis, singer-songwriter and member of Valaire and Qualité Motel (who proudly wore a t-shirt with the effigy of Marie-Élaine Thibert shouting “We were there, we will be there!”, Friday).
The trio mentioned that they are looking for “small rough diamonds”. Aged 16 to 30 years old, the pearls in question who will try their luck at the auditions should bet on authenticity, versatility and originality to stand out, advised the three professionals. We also want to give an important place to songwriters in this new version, we reiterated, especially not trying to limit ourselves to a specific style.
“Contrary to what one might think, there is no Star Académie mold or recipe,” illustrated Marianne Boulet. We must break the kind of thought that wants us to look for a prototype of a particular candidate. ”
“Beyond vocal and musical talent, we are also looking for people who are eager to learn,” added the producer. “Star Académie” is above all a school. We are looking for people who have great potential, who are ready to work hard. ”
While Luis Clavis believes that “authenticity always ends up lasting”, Marie-Ève Riverain suggests not to try to impress the gallery at all costs.
“They have to choose a song that really sounds like them, without trying to impress us. Just finding the right song that represents us well is a big challenge. We want to meet them, let them have fun and be themselves. We are there to welcome them in all they are. ”
One thing is certain, Friday's round of fixtures quickly showed promise. Before the clock showed 10 a.m., Jean-Philippe Dion had already sneaked into one of the hearing rooms and had shed a tear at the performance of Marjolaine Morasse, 29, from Longueuil, a songwriter who already released an EP two years ago. The artist threw it on the ground with one of his compositions entitled “Take the North”. Marjolaine was accompanied on the piano by her friend Élie Dupuis (seen at “La Voix” in 2014), who also pushed the score before the judges.
“This year, 'Star Académie' is so aligned to put the artist, the singer-songwriter forward, and me, that's what caught my attention. It will be a field school, where we can go to our classes with the best, ”said Marjolaine Morasse.
We will see excerpts from the “Star Académie” auditions during the two special programs devoted to the pre-adventure course, which will be broadcast on TVA in January. To register or find out more about the process, visit www.staracademie.ca.
A music video for “And it's not over”
The Star Académie team took advantage of the launch of the auditions to unveil the music video for the song Et c'est pas fin – nouvelle generation on social networks.
Directed by Sixteen Pads, the clip, shot two weeks ago, brings together the voices (Alicia Moffet, Roxane Bruneau, Eli Rose, Sarahmée, Émile Bilodeau, Luis Clavis, Jérôme 50, Mike Clay) of Stéphane Venne's play rearranged at the sauce 2020.
The young artists roam freely in the Old Port of Montreal and all play aki ball together – distanced as they should! – on the gazebo of the Science Center. “The aki scene was not even planned. Émile had his aki, we started playing, it was filmed and it ended up in the music video, ”said Alicia Moffet on Friday, a big fan of“ Star Académie ”, who was there to encourage the candidates.
The words of the aspiring participants
Alexandre Cadieux, 22, from Saint-Jérôme: “I just blackmailed in my car since I got my license! It's my little moment of the day. I really like Michael Bublé, Elvis Presley … The singers of the old years! I'm going to do a Michael Bublé song, Everything , at the audition. ”
Halimatou Keita, 30 years old, born in Senegal and living in Montreal: “It's the first time that I sing in public. The song is what distresses me when I have worries. I'm going to sing the song Everything I do, I do it for you , according to Brandy's version. ”
Loic Pierre, alias Charlie, 30, born on Reunion Island and living in Montreal: “I chose La bohème last night, by Charles Aznavour. I have seen the French versions of Star Académie , but not the Quebec versions. I don't necessarily have expectations. ”