Karaoke for Cancer finals

29_0056THE SUSPENSE IS OVER  — All the participants from Sunday’s Karaoke for Cancer contest pose at the finale of the competition. From left to right are Jordan Mills, Aspen Petrosky, Dania Jones, Sheridan Johnson, Haley and Logan Gouchenour, Alexandria Wakkinen, Cooper Daily and guest performer, Jacob Gouchenour.  I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

The Conrad Orpheum Theatre/Weigand Auditorium hosted the finals of the Karaoke for Cancer competition on Nov. 7. Mitch Hauer introduced all the participants and the three judges. Hauer’s enthusiasm was just what the kids needed to shake off the jitters.

The three judges for the week’s contest were Steve Munk, Kit Finlayson and Todd Truscott. The judges were judging on three things: stage performance, vocal ability and star quality.

Eight contestants showed up for the chance to win a big screen TV, an IPOD or a digital camera. Four kids competed in two age categories and one from each category claimed a first place win.

After a draw of straws, Dania Jones started off the competition. Jones sang Start All Over by Miley Syrus. Finlayson exclaimed after her performance, “You owned that microphone!”

Next in line was Haley Gouchenour. She sang Every Time We Touch by Cascada and she was so enthusiastic about her performance that she ran out of breath half way through the song. Truscott commented, “You did a great job with it.”

Alexandria Wakkinen followed with Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. Munk said, “You nailed it!” Wakkinen was awarded the highest scores of the evening with two nines and a 10. Truscott also asked, “Why can’t you sing that loud in choir?”

Jordan Mills performed a very enthusiastic Burnin’ Up by the Jonas Brothers. His dance moves kept the whole crowd shouting for more.  Finlayson exclaimed, “Wow! You were on fire!”

The classic I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred was performed by Logan Gouchenour. He came prepared with an extra shirt and hat to toss off during his outrageous performance. Munk noted, “Once again, you got the accent down.” Seems that L. Gouchenour has a knack for picking songs for which he can do a British accent. His younger sister Kaitlyn, five, boasted that she “picked that song for him.”

The next contestants were Sheridan Johnson with Mama Mia by ABBA, Aspen Petrosky with Say OK by Vanessa Hudgens and Cooper Daily with Firefly by Owl City. Daily’s performance was complete with a light up prop. Munk commented that Daily had “come a long way since last year.”

While the judges tallied their scores and the amount of money collected for each contestant, Jacob Gouchenour came up as the guest performer. J. Gouchenour’s age category did not have any other participants. He sang I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. Even though J. Gouchenour was not in the competition, he still helped to raise $124.

Hauer noted that last year this competition raised around $7,500. The money raised goes straight back to those in need in our community.

Cancer patients are mostly helped through gas cards. Each person in need is awarded a $300 card to help with traveling expenses. A person can receive up to $2,100 in their lifetime.

The Conrad Community Cancer Foundation was started by Darlene Denzer who passed away this past year. She wrote a creed titled “Cancer is so Limited”. Hauer recited this creed as the crowd remembered her.

Others recognized as part of the Cancer Foundation were Judy Larson, Michelle Ghekiere, Barbie Killion, Jodi Weisgram, Janie Gollahon and Gloria Augé. Not present for the competition but also recognized was Terry Denzer.

The winners of the competition for the 10 and under category were Petrosky in third, H. Gouchenour in second and Jones in first.

The winners of the ages 11 to 15 category were Wakkinen in third, Daily in second and Johnson in first.

Next year’s competition will differ from this year in the aspect that the age categories are adjusting slightly. With taverns and bars going smoke free, 18 and up can compete there. There will be a 10 and under category and an 11 to 17 category that will compete at the Orpheum Theatre.