Modern Fam­ily

B.C.’S karaoke hope­fuls belt it out.

Vancouver Magazine - - News - AS TOLD TO Laryssa Va­chon PHOTO BY Carlo Ricci

For some, a Fri­day night be­hind the mic at a dingy bar is a one-oƒ drunken mem­ory—for oth­ers, it’s an­other chance to hone their craft as they chase the dream of the Karaoke World Cham­pi­onships. This past sum­mer, the most ded­i­cated of the city’s am­a­teur vo­cal­ists came to­gether for the pro­vin­cial fi­nals to put their pipes to the test; the win­ners head to Cal­gary for Na­tion­als this fall. Meet some of B.C.’S fi­nal­ists.

Group por­trait taken at the Cloverdale Le­gion, July 18, 2018

1 “I heard about this com­pe­ti­tion and im­me­di­ately wanted to do it be­cause I knew good things would come of it. I knew it would make me bet­ter. So my hus­band and I taped my karaoke ev­ery night, and we would go home and an­a­lyze it and slowly make im­prove­ments. The thing that karaoke does for you is it teaches you how to com­mu­ni­cate with a crowd. It’s not some­thing that you can learn in a class­room—you have to go out there and do it. You can love a song to death and do an amaz­ing job with it. But if you’re not con­nect­ing with the crowd, they’re just gonna ig­nore you and go on their phones and drink. So you have to fig­ure out how to reach them. This is a very sup­port­ive crowd, so it’s safe to take risks.” — Corinne Friesen, 58, yoga blog­ger and math tu­tor Go-to song: “The Sound of Si­lence,” Dis­turbed ver­sion

2 “I used to hate karaoke. I would feel sick and I was so ner­vous, but then I started sing­ing [at work] and it just kind of went from there. I still feel sick ev­ery sin­gle time. Usu­ally, I have a cou­ple of drinks be­fore I go on. I hate do­ing it sober— like, deadly sober.”— Sarah Topham, 30, server/bar­tender Go-to song: “Make You Feel My Love,” Adele ver­sion

3 “My par­ents are my big­gest fans. My mom likes Whit­ney’s ‘ I Will Al­ways Love You’ and my dad liked Ce­line’s ‘ My Heart Will Go On.’ I lost my dad last year, and I sang it at his cel­e­bra­tion of life.” — Kat Leminski, 46, housewife Go-to song: “Why Haven’t I Heard from You,” Reba Mcen­tire

6 “Peo­ple say that karaoke’s not real sing­ing, but if you can’t sing or you don’t know the song or the catch of the tune, you’re gonna screw up. So I don’t think it’s any di œ er­ent than sing­ing pro­fes­sion­ally. To me, it’s con­nect­ing with a song. If I can con­nect with a song, I’ll sing it. If I can’t, I don’t wanna sing it.” — Terry Hill, 49, food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tions man­ager at YVR Go-to song: ” Wild Horses,” Su­san Boyle ver­sion

4 “I just signed up for the con­test be­cause why not, right? I’m rather unique— like Leonard Co­hen meets Rob Zom­bie.” — Ty Miche­lin, 39, roofing in­spec­tor Go-to song: “Li’l Red Rid­ing Hood,” Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

5 “My name is Judy, so dur­ing karaoke in the late ’ 90s, I’d hear ‘oo’ and ‘ee’ in the same breath and it was my turn. Like, they’d say ‘Julie,’ they’d say ‘ Trudy,’ and they’d say ‘ Rudy,’ and I’d be up there be­cause it sounded like my turn. I fi­nally de­cided that wasn’t work­ing very well, so I started us­ing ‘Jas’ [pro­nounced jazz]— my ini­tials. Now they call ‘Jas’ and I know it’s me.” — Judy Smith (Lady Jas), 75, ad­min sup­port clerk Go-to song: “I love power songs”

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