Season 5 of YTV's hit talent series The Next Star premieres Monday, July 16

Corus Entertainment announced today that top-rated YTV series The Next Star returns for a fifth season (11 x 60) beginning Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Over 4000 Canadian kids auditioned during The Next Star’s cross-country audition tour this spring with hopes of making it into the Top 12 but only one will be voted The Next Star and receive the grand prize at the series’ Finale on Sunday, September 23 at 7 p.m., broadcast live from Canada’s Wonderland.

“This season, The Next Star will showcase amazing young talent with a brand-new panel of judges and mentors,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama. “Season 5 will also keep contestants and viewers on their toes with a few surprise twists and turns.”

Produced by leading Toronto distributor and producer Tricon Films and Television in association with YTV, the first three episodes take place during nationwide auditions that feature hopefuls from Halifax to Vancouver, aged 15 and under as they try to make it to the next round. Twelve aspiring singers continue to participate in episode four with six finalists chosen to be mentored throughout the remaining seven episodes.

With an array of challenges that helps them master their original sound, style and stage presence, the six finalists will all get a taste of the limelight, but only one will take home the coveted title of The Next Star at the Finale. While only one will ultimately take the crown, each of the six singing hopefuls will record an original song – which will be available on iTunes – and also star in their very own music video.

The Next Star can count some of Canada’s hottest talent as alumni, including JUNO Award nominee and double-platinum artist Alyssa Reid, and platinum selling artist and Canadian Emerging Artists Chart-topper Victoria Duffield. Also making waves in the Canadian music industry is Season 4 winner Charlie, whose single landed her on Billboard’s Top 100 Canadian Emerging Artists’ Chart and music video on iTunes’ Top 10 list.

Gemini-nominated host Adamo Ruggiero returns this season and welcomes JUNO Award-winning R&B/pop sensation Keshia Chanté, country sweetheart and TV personality Tara Oram, and A&R exec at Universal Music Canada Mark Spicoluk as this year’s judges and mentors. As in years past, special guests will participate throughout the season; previous guests have included Justin Bieber, Nikki Yanofsky, Fefe Dobson, Josh Ramsay, Black McGrath, Shawn Desman, Kay and Allstar Weekend.

Viewers are encouraged to cast their votes for their favourite finalist via text message or by visiting YTV.com. The winner will take home the coveted title, as well as prize package which includes two songs to be released on Sony Music Canada and a $5000 CDN spending spree at Sears.

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