This Saturday, 15 finalists will compete for a spot on Team Metropolitan and the chance to represent all of Northern California in the Karaoke World Championships (KWC) state finals.
The event was preceded by three qualifiers at the Metropolitan in San Andreas. It is hosted by Sweet Harmony Entertainment, a karaoke company owned by 2013 Women’s U.S. Karaoke National Champion and third-place World Champion Kimberly Annand of Murphys.
The Hawaiian-themed night will kick off at 6 p.m., and will allow karaoke enthusiasts who are not competing to show their stuff before and after the finalists take the stage at 7 p.m. Those who suffer stage fright can still enjoy dinner and drinks and even some hula dancing while watching the show.
There is no cost to attend, however spectators can make an optional donation at the door to support the top six winners in their travels to Anaheim on July 28, when they will compete against four other teams during the state finals.
The KWC national finals will be held in Las Vegas on Aug. 18-21, and the world finals will take place in Tokyo this fall.
As the only registered venue in Northern California, some contestants are traveling as many as four hours to compete.
Country crooner Cary Atkinson, 47, has already made the drive from his home in Bakersfield to qualify for the finals and has no complaints about getting off his day job as a heavy equipment operator to take the trip again this weekend.
He says his nephew, Robbie Bryon of Murphys, convinced him to compete. Now the two will be going head-to-head in the finals.
“He called me up there, and I said, ‘I’m gonna beat you,’” Atkinson told the Enterprise.
Atkinson said he hasn’t decided yet which song he will sing on Saturday night – either “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait or “Goodbye Time” by Blake Shelton.
“There’s a lot of good singers out there. Just root ‘em on and have fun,” he said. “It’s your little five minutes of fame on stage.”