After The Launch's first episode introduced the world to its first new superstar, Logan Staats, the show had already set the bar pretty high for the caliber of talent that we expected its winners to deliver. Thankfully, this week's winners, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, came out swinging, and showed that the unique musical challenge show is far from a one-hit wonder.
This week's panel of judges included returning executive producer and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta, One Republic frontman and producer Ryan Tedder, and Jennifer Nettles, half of the country duo Sugarland. Each of them came looking for the next big thing, and in Elijah x Jamie, they found it.
The duo from the nation's capital of Ottawa, ON met when a friend of Elijah's recorded Jamie performing, and the up-and-coming songwriter and instrumentalist knew that he needed to get this woman's powerful voice recorded immediately. They've been inseparable ever since, and the chemistry between them showed when they performed two songs for the judges: a cover of Major Lazer's "Lean On," and their own original piece, "8:48."
The two were a shoe-in for the show's recording and performance rounds, going up against Basil Phoenix, a singer-songwriter from Toronto whose soulful voice and commanding presence accompanied a tragic past she overcame through song. While the duo were seen as more of a wildcard by the judges, ultimately Elijah's instrumentation and Jamie's powerhouse of a voice put them over the top.
After they took the stage and performed their rendition of Tedder's composition, "Ain't Easy," the duo were understandably nervous, as their take on the song was notably different than what the songwriter had originally intended. However, Tedder himself sung some of their highest praise, commenting that: "If I had just heard her sing and heard them play in their first single, I would immediately be like 'What. Is. That?!' I would invest in it." We're inclined to agree.
For more information on The Launch, feel free to check out the show's official website.