Singalong to stardom
Karaoke World Championships hit the high notes in Tokyo
Karaoke World Championships
Meagen Reyes, of the Philippines, made a splash at the Karaoke World Championships in Tokyo.
Photo: AFP / Behrouz Mehri
They came, they saw, they sang. In a figure-hugging sparkly dress, Val Monique dashed around the stage, whipping up the crowd as she channeled her inner Tina Turner by belting out “Proud Mary.”
Monique was Panama’s representative in the Karaoke World Championships, one of 40 amateur warblers selected from 30,000 entrants for the competition, which was held this year for the first time in its spiritual home of Japan.
Accountants, teachers and economists from as far afield as the Faroe Islands, Guatemala and Brazil battled it out for the prestigious title of the world’s best karaoke singer in the competition run since 2003.
“Karaoke can make everyone feel for one moment like a professional. Only karaoke can give you those few minutes of glory on the stage,” Vladyslav Karasevych, a contestant from Ukraine, said.
Among the karaoke classics featured last week were Spandau Ballet’s “Gold” sung by the Finnish entrant and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, interpreted by the contestant from the Philippines.
But by the final curtain, the crown went to Jenny Ball from the United Kingdom, who sang Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” in the semi-finals and Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You” in the final.
“Thank you so much. Arigato!” she exclaimed after her victorious performance on stage. “I don’t know what to say!”