Seven days ago Liz Trinnear‘s life changed forever.
That is because, last Friday, the 21-year-old London, Ontario, native became the envy of the thousands of Canadians, by winning the MuchMusic VJ search.
From early on, it was easy to tell that she would be hard to beat. She’s stylish, relatable, talented, kinda-nerdy and knows her music. Already industry insiders are saying that Liz’s win marks a bold step forward for Muchmusic: To be cool again.
I got a chance to interview Liz this week about what it was like winning, especially as the first girl ever to do so! I was also curious whether or not she was going to be able to handle being an instant celebrity herself, and what was her plan in case she didn’t win.
Describe the five minutes leading up to you winning the VJ Search.
The entire day was a blur. It was so nerve-racking that it became surreal and it didn’t register until we walked down to make-up and then it clicked, “this is happening. I either walk out of here with a new career start or go back to school and move on to future endeavors.” I re-watched the episode and all my nervous feelings came rushing back, even though this time I knew the outcome. I had intense butterflies in my stomach during the show, and I remember staring at the floor while repeating “please say Liz, please say Liz” to keep from falling over.
You are the first girl to ever win the VJ search, do you feel extra pressure to represent all the girls who watch Much?
It’s quite crazy when you put it in those terms. It’s a weird feeling. No matter who won this competition, male or female, the pressure remains the same to do your best and put your best foot forward. For me, I am just like any other kid. I have lived through high school and gone through the normal day to day challenges that teenagers deal with. My life experiences have made me who I am today and have got me this far. The pressure for me is to stay true to myself on screen and off screen. If anything, winning this competition should be an inspiration for teens to just chase their dreams.
You got to work with past winners like Devon and Tim, what kind of advice did they have for you as a contestant.
Both of them gave me excellent advice throughout the entire week. They agreed that it’s important to stay yourself, have fun and work hard. Devon noted that “regardless of who wins, this is a huge accomplishment to make it this far.” He also said that we should take a moment to sit back acknowledge how far we had come and that this is not the end, only a new beginning. Tim’s expertise helped it came to my nerves with his little tips and tricks on calming the mind and staying focused. They’ve both been in our shoes before so it was comforting to hear they went through the same things as we did.
How integral was the use of social media to you winning?
For me social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all played a major role in connecting with MuchMusic’s audience and fans. We are living in a digital era and social media was essential in showing MuchMusic that we were received and liked by the audience. On a personal level, these networking sites and fan forums helped keep my thoughts positive. When you get home from a day of competing and you open your inbox and see someone from across the country, that I would never normally have the chance to talk to, is interacting with you – that means a lot. Their kind words of encouragement make your day, and keep your ambitions high. I am a huge fan of Twitter and Facebook so it was great to focus on a competition that was “with it” and very relatable to today’s youth.
Did you have a plan of action in case you didn’t win?
I had a back-up plan all along because honestly, I was never fully confident that I would be the next VJ. My competitors each had a lot to offer. It’s important to stay optimistic but realistic at the same time. Needless to say I am beyond stoked that I can live the dream of being a VJ. For me, this is a new learning platform that I am thrilled to indulge myself in.
The Muchmusic VJs have always become celebrities in their own right, are you looking forward to that aspect of the job?
You know, I absolutely love what MuchMusic has to offer. A career with music and pop culture surrounding you at all times, is my dream. I know with this job, comes a lot of responsibility and “limelight” that I am not used to. However, I plan to remain myself and remain grounded by my friends and family. It’s surreal when people ask for my picture or autograph. In my head I’m still the same person and not a “celebrity.” I’m just a kid whose fortunate enough to have a wicked job!
As the new VJ, you have are given a unique voice to talk about music. Are there any artists or bands that you think all Canadians must know about?
One thing I love most about Canada is our music scene. I follow many local acts and think its important to support them. If I were to say a few bands off the top of my head I’d say:
And there are so many more! On that note, I always tweet about music and update my music blog on a regular basis, so I plan to keep doing that. (Follow her: I appreciate a WIDE spectrum of music and I hope I can share that love with MuchMusic fans.
And with those choices, none of which are in the music station’s rotation, I think we can all see how great Liz is going to be for MuchMusic. Let’s just hope they are ready for her!