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Jory Zechner scoops top spot in YTV's The Next Star

Nipigon’s Jory Zechner has sung her way to the very top of YTV’s The Next Star competition.
Nipigon's Jory Zechner, 15, beat six finalists from across Canada to become the winner of The Next Star Season 7. The Next Star Season 7 album, including singles from each Top 6 finalist, is currently available on iTunes. Music videos can be seen on iTunes and NextStar.YTV.com. (NextStar.YTV.com)

Nipigon’s Jory Zechner has sung her way to the very top of YTV’s The Next Star competition.

Zechner, 15, was crowned the winner of the televised competition series Sunday night, beating out thousands of contenders. Zechner performed her new single Up to Us during the finale held at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ont.

She told CBC News how Nipigon residents helped push her to victory.

"My hometown is literally the best supporters in the world," she said.

"They were voting and they had the watching party and they messaged me and posted on my [Facebook] wall. It just means the world to me to have my hometown backing me up."

Zechner has been taking singing lessons since the age of 6. Her current teacher is Shyanne Hovorka, another award-winning singer from northwestern Ontario.

The experience was nerve-wracking, but fun, she added.

"It was literally the most amazing feeling I've ever had. Hearing all the people screaming and having all those fans just there for you."

Zechner takes home a prize package that includes a $5,000 Sears shopping spree, a recording deal and an Epiphone Masterbilt Acoustic guitar.

In a press release issued by the show, officials said “Jory’s been one of The Next Star’s biggest transformations and surprises this season … Jory drove 10 hours to audition and brought along her guitar to strum along to her own tunes.”

Past seasons of The Next Star have featured 2013 Juno Award nominee and platinum-selling artist Victoria Duffield and fellow Juno Award nominee and double-platinum artist Alyssa Reid.

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