The time has finally come: American fans can finally see Your Shot USA, the American adaptation of the Australian DJing competition. Though I tried to keep an open mind when watching this, the bottom line is that this show is nothing more an EDM American Idol.
Let’s start from the premise: 30 acts are selected from thousands for the competition. Notice how I didn’t say DJs, because you don’t actually have to have any turntable experience to be a part of the show. In fact, multiple contestants admit they have never touched equipment before, meaning the 30 chosen are just the top entrants with a good storyline (i.e., the US Soldier with a daughter, or the superfan who tattooed Tiesto’s artwork on his washboard abs after being an extra in a music video), which is always the main ingredient for a good reality TV show.
After the top 30 are picked, they are given a crash course on how to DJ before performing in front of people, which of course leads to more TV-ready moments in the form of people crying after they messed up during their set, or complete joy once they and the judges provide positive feedback. From there, the contest is cut down to the Top 6 who get flown to Vegas for more training and advice from Tiesto himself before performing at Wet Republic‘s pool party.
PAUSE. You mean to tell me that 6 people, some who had never even used a set of CDJs until a few weeks prior, not only get a free trip to Vegas but get trained by Tiesto and play the biggest pool party in the city?
But wait, there’s more: that lucky SOB who wins gets to open for Tiesto at Hakkasan.
And people wonder why there are so many EDM haters these days.
I’m all for bringing up the next generation of DJs, but this is a complete sham, due to the fact that in both episodes, not one person – from Tiesto’s manager, to the creator of Your Shot USA – ever alluded to any of these people being producers. Which means that the chance of the winner actually making their own music is less than or equal to the chance of Deadmau5 and Avicii going on holiday together in the near future. And if that’s the case, then Your Shot USA should really be called, How to Build a DJ in 5 Steps or Less.
If anything, I’m disappointed in the people who have been involved in this, especially Tiesto. I would think that someone who spent the early years of his career dragging crates of vinyl to and from small shows would appreciate the value of hard work and the time it takes to really become a respectable DJ. Your Shot USA is a fast track to making someone an overnight sensation, instead of cultivating the talent of those who deserve to be there. I would have loved to have seen Your Shot USA change its premise to a boot camp for up-and-coming DJs, ones who have minimal skills at both, rather than see someone who is one of thousands who have the same story of being “a passionate music lover who’s ‘all in’ and loves Tiesto,” get paraded around for a few months at some of the biggest clubs and festivals around the world before the Season 2 comes along and they’re put on the shelf to make way for the next big thing.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the next Skrillex or Zedd is amongst these top 30 DJs and all they need are some DJing lessons before they go off and change the game. Maybe this show will inspire someone to throw caution to the wind and focus full-time on their craft. Only time will tell. For now though, you can watch the first two episodes below and decide for yourself.