Northern News Services
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Canadian Idol better watch out because the Deh Cho is about to get its own version of the popular singing contest.
On June 30 the Snowshoe Karaoke Idol will kick off at the Snowshoe Lounge in Fort Providence. Every Saturday up to Sept. 8 singers will face off for the chance to be among the finalists on Sept. 15 and claim the title of the first every Snowshoe Karaoke Idol.
Joey Sabourin was a finalist at last year's Puttin' on the Ritz New Year's eve karaoke contest at the Snowshoe Lounge. All previous contests are expected to be outdone by the upcoming Snowshoe Karaoke Idol. Photo courtesy of Linda Croftphoto
The Snowshoe Karaoke Idol is the latest progression in the karaoke craze in Fort Providence.
Linda Croft, the bar manager at the Snowshoe Lounge, started offering karaoke in the winter of 2004. In the beginning there wasn't too much interest, said Croft.
"I used to have to sing a lot," she said with a smile.
Gradually a karaoke following has built up. Croft said she gets people phoning each week to ask when the next karaoke night is.
There is now a crowd of about 20 people who come out for each karaoke night, but when it was last offered on June 2 there was standing room only in the lounge when 50 to 100 people packed in.
Croft is hoping for a similarly strong response to the contest.
"The more the merrier," she said.
People from outside of Fort Providence will also be welcomed to join. Having out of town people will make the contest more fun, said Croft.
At least two karaoke contest are offered at the lounge every year but this will be the largest yet. The first big prize at a contest was offered at the Puttin' on the Ritz New Year's Eve party last year when Sonia Minoza won $500.
The grand prize winner of the idol will win a trip for two to their choice of Edmonton or Calgary including airfare, accommodation and spending money. Audience members will also have a chance to win. Everyone in the audience during one of the 10 shows leading up to the final, there won't be a show on the Mackenzie Days weekend, will have their name entered in a draw for $500. All singers and audience members have to be at the final show on Sept. 15 to claim their prize.
This will also be the first contest at the lounge to include real judging. Previous contests were determined by a ballot draw, said Croft.
Singers will have two ways to advance in the contest and become the first ever Snowshoe Karaoke Idol. Each week one contestant will be chosen by random ballot. Another will be chosen after careful consideration by the lounge staff and Croft who's the karaoke jockey.
A panel of judges will judge the final show on Sept. 15. Croft said she hasn't picked the panel members yet but will try to stay away from Simon Cowell wannabes.
Croft has a few tips for first time karaoke singers.
People should choose a song they're familiar with. It's easier to make the choice to sing if you already know the melody and some of the words, she said.
If people are nervous they should hop on the stage and focus on the words and sing like they're at home in the shower or in the car driving. Just try to forget the audience is there, said Croft.
"I always remind the audience that karaoke wasn't invented for people who can sing, it's meant for people who want to sing," she said.
Most importantly people should have fun.
"It's not about the singing, it's really about the fun," said Croft.