The season finale of NBC’s Songland saw writer-producer Jason Evigan take a spot in the judge’s chair. OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder, usually one of the show’s recurring judges, switched it up as he joined bandmate Zach Filkins to listen to the songs presented for a potential new OneRepublic song. On each episode of Songland, four contestants perform original songs. Three are chosen to move on and work with a producer in-studio, and then a winner is chosen after a second performance. The winning song gets recorded and released by the musical guest.
Contestants JT Roach, MADI, Tyler James Bellinger, and Brigetta each performed their original composition and received feedback from the judges. JT, MADI, and Brigetta were chosen to move forward in the competition, and Jason headed into the studio with Brigetta to work on her song “Be Somebody”, a song about trying to make it in the music industry. Brigetta talked about her excitement to work with Jason, due to her love for “Gangsta”, Kehlani’s contribution to the Suicide Squad soundtrack that Jason helped write. The two reworked the song to make it sound more OneRepublic, after which Brigetta performed it again for the panel. Ryan and Zach were loving the new vibe and rewritten lyrics.
Ultimately, JT Roach’s “Somebody to Love” was that song that stuck with Ryan and Zach and was chosen as the winner. NBC announced just this week that the series will return for a second season.