Karaoke singers compete for top prize
Jennifer Lee Preyss
Feb. 26, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 25, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
It was standing room only at the Victoria Livestock Show 2011 Karaoke Contest Saturday night.
More than 100 energized karaoke fans turned out at the Victoria Community Center biergarten complex to sip cold beer and watch Victoria's top singers take center stage.
The competition continued late into the night Saturday. The winner was not selected before the Advocate's deadline.
Opening the show, 40-year-old Victoria resident Rochelle Lawrence sang "Alright By Me," as audience members swayed back and forth to the country beat and sang along with Lawrence.
"All I could think about was 'I can't wait to get finished with this song,'" a smiling and soft-spoken Lawrence said after his performance. "I hope to sing again."
Lawrence was referring to the final round of the contest that would include the best five singers of the 19 competing finalists.
Each of the singers competed in preliminary rounds held at Shooters Bar in January and February before moving on to Saturday's competition.
Some of the crowd favorites included Danielle Salinas' "Before He Cheats," James Villarreal Jr.'s "Beautiful Girls," Vic Patek's " I Should Have Been True," and Jeremy Bludau's rendition of "Wanted Dead or Alive."
Both Patek and Bludau placed in the overall top 5, as well as Gregory Morales who sang "Hold That Thought," Traci Jones, with "Undo It" and Alex Cox, who sang "Smoke a Little Smoke."
Bludau's stage presence engaged the crowd early in the show, as he invited them to join him in singing the chorus to the famous Bon Jovi song.
"I did decent," Bludau, 30, said reflecting on his performance. "I considered another song, but judging the faces in the crowd, I thought I should switch it up to something they would know."
Twenty-year-old Morales selected a slower and more passionate song for his first choice, which was well received among cheering audience members.
"I heard the song on the way over here and decided to sing it," Morales said, laughing. "It was nerve-racking up there."
Each of the finalists said they thought they felt they sang well in the first round, and recognized the talent among their fellow vocalists.
"This is by far one of the toughest years I've competed," Cox said after his performance. "I think I did good, though."
In the final round, each of the final five singers would compete for top prizes, including cash and trophies.
First place at the karaoke contest brought $350, followed by $100 for second place, $75 for third, $50 for fourth, and $25 for fifth place.