KITCHENER, Ont., April 16, 2017 — Performers participating in the fifth season of Canada’s biggest singing competition, The Shot can look forward to yet another perk as part of the career-launching prize package which will be awarded to one lucky singer in September. Rick Barker, founder of Music Industry Blueprint and former manager to pop sensation Taylor Swift, has announced his involvement as a guest judge and mentor for the upcoming season’s winner.

Barker is also currently managing American Idol season 15 winner Trent Harmon and is a social media consultant working with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records.

“Bringing Rick on board is huge for The Shot and for new season’s crop of extraordinary talent,” remarked C.J. Allen, executive producer and one part of the show’s judging panel, “the chance to work with Rick, plug in to his network, and receive the same advice as one of the biggest names in music is a big opportunity for any performer and will be a reality for our next winner.”

Hit Maker Rick Barker Joins 'The Shot' from The Shot on Vimeo.

Barker’s involvement is a milestone for the independent talent search and means that the next successful finalist to be named winner, a title ultimately bestowed by the show’s audience, will not only receive regional, provincial or even national recognition but rather international acclaim with the help of Nashville-based Barker.

“I am so pumped that I get to help discover the best unsigned talent in the world,” Barker says in a video announcement posted on The Shot’s Facebook page. Barker’s role will be to “guest judge” the video audition submissions and the winner will be personally coached by Barker who promises to help take the artist to “the next level.”

The Shot is currently accepting video audition submissions at until July 28, 2017. In addition to Allen, international performer Juneyt Yetkiner and Vice-President of Programming for Canadian Music Week, Danya Dixon, have been announced as returning for season 5. Other additions to the judging panel have yet to be announced but are expected once the show wraps its special All-Stars iteration in June. Radio personality Brad Moore will be returning to host.