Last week was unlike any other I’ve ever experienced in my life!
Last week, my 17-year-old brother, Shawn, entered a national singer/songwriter competition sponsored by Guitar Center. This is a massive competition—grand prize is $25,000 plus a bunch of expensive music equipment, and there are close to 10,000 contestants! Shawn made his decision to enter on bit of a whim; he wasn’t expecting to win, but he figured he didn’t have anything to lose!
The competition spanned 10 weeks. 10 contestants were chosen each week to advance to the semifinals, resulting in 100 semifinalists that will undergo formal judging based on their talent, quality of music, commercial viability of their songs, and entertainment value. The race to get into the semifinals, though, was essentially a popularity contest—the 10 semifinalists each week are the ones whose music videos were watched the most times! Though we weren’t really expecting Shawn to make it into the semifinals, we figured a major marketing push wouldn’t hurt anything…
I learned so much about marketing and PR last week, it’s unbelievable. I was probably more active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn this week than I was in the last two months combined! Shawn was featured on the radio, multiple newspapers, and even the pizza boxes of a local restaurant! Getting to watch a small town band together in support of its local musician was absolutely amazing—not to mention all the support we had from our friends and family!
As of the end of the week, Shawn had 4,995 views and was ranked #29 out of all 9,800 contestants! We feel pretty confident that he made it into the semifinals, but we won't find out anything for sure until mid-December - at which point someone will contact him if he is selected to be in the top 10. If the judges select him as one of the top 10 in the entire competition, he will travel to Los Angeles, CA in March of 2014 to perform for the grand prize!
This was obviously a ridiculously exciting week. It was absolutely thrilling to watch my brother climb steadily up the leaderboards and to hear such positive feedback from everyone. I can't wait for December to find out if he advanced yet again!