Karaoke for Cancer raises record amount at preliminary contest on Nov. 13

30_karaoke_4742HEADED TO FINALS  — These contestants are headed to the final round of competition on Nov. 20 for a chance to win a big screen TV or an IPAD. From left is judges’ choice winner Andrea Awtrey, third place winner Kira Mills, second place winner Cooper Daily and first place duet winners Ali Wakkinen and Sheridan Johnson. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen





By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

A large crowd and 15 contestants showed up for a lively afternoon of performances during the second week of preliminary Karaoke for Cancer competition. The masses made their way to the Orpheum Theatre/Weigand Auditorium not only to see these young stars shine on stage but to support the Community Cancer Foundation (CCF). A record amount of dollars was earned during this second week of qualifying competition and CCF took home $2,333.53.

CCF supports residents of Pondera County that are going through treatments for cancer. They do not base any criteria on income, applicants must simply live within Pondera County to qualify. CCF helps by providing gas cards and other monetary means necessary for getting patients to cancer treatments.

The three judges for this past week’s round of competition, which featured kids ages 11-17, were Carol Johns, Jacob Fagan and Steve Monk. They judged contestants based on vocal ability, stage presence and appearance. The crowd participates by donating dollars as votes for their favorite contestant and the combined judges’ scores and money earned are used to determine the winners.

Trophies are awarded to third, second and first place as well as to a judges’ choice winner who wins based solely on vocal ability. In the circumstance of a tie, this particular week there was a three-way tie, the judges use the amount of money raised as a tie-breaker.

Winners of the preliminary contest move on to the finals competition which will be held on Sunday. Kids are competing for their chance to win an IPAD or big screen TV.

New to this year’s competition is a small entry fee into the Orpheum Theatre. This money is used to pay the theatre for use of their building. Over $100 was raised for the theatre during week two. The theatre also offers concessions during competition.

The first contestants to the stage were Ali Wakkinen and Sheridan Johnson, they were the first duet of the year. They sang Rolling in the Deep by Adele and their energetic opening performance landed them in first place for the afternoon.

Next in line was Haley Gouchenour who sang I Need a Hero from the movie Shrek 2. Her performance was complete with her two younger siblings dressed as Spiderman and Superman who performed as her backup dancers. She earned a combined score of 24 and judge Fagan commented, “You’re definitely confident up there.”

Carly Behr sang Mama Mia by ABBA and earned a combined score of 19. Monk said, “You need to go to the adults and teach them how to do this.”

Brenna Combs performed Take a Bow by Rihanna and her confidence and stage presence landed her a score of 22.

Dressed to match the part came Logan Gouchenour singing Fools Rush In by Elvis Presley. Fagan noted he had “good vocal tune” and Munk added, “You never seize to amaze.” His performance was worth a score of 24.

Vanessa Legler sang Fearless by Taylor Swift and was said to be “very confident on stage” by the judges. Her confidence earned her a combined score of 20.

A veteran singer at Karaoke for Cancer, Kira Mills came on stage for her third year to sing Perfect by Pink. Johns said, “All I can say is good job.” Third time was the charm and Mills’ score of 27 landed her in third place.

A winner from last year’s competition, Cooper Daily came on stage singing Forget You by Ceelo Green. Monk commented, “You’ve come a long way.” Daily sang his way to second place and a score of 24.

Liz Owens sang Stop and Stare by One Republic and received a score of 20.

Cheyenne Kauk performed Mean by Taylor Swift and MC Mitch Hauer noted that the song could be the theme song for the judges. She earned a score of 18.

Jacob Gouchenour took the stage simply to raise money for cancer since he is 18 and over the age division of the Kids’ competition. He acknowledged his grandmother’s sacrifice to cancer and how important the competition is to him. He sang Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars. Johns said, “You’re gonna make some girl really happy some day.” To which J. Gouchenour replied, “That’s the plan.”

Mariah Moultan took the stage to sing Better Than Revenge by Taylor Swift and received a score of 22.

A very well dressed Andrea Awtrey took the stage in 80’s attire to sing Fame by Irene Cara. Fagan commented that she had “a lot of energy” and her efforts awarded her with the judges’ choice honor and a score of 24.

Madeline Chrisco took the stage with Immortal by Evanescence and earned a score of 18.

Last to hit the stage was Samantha Turnquist with Baby One More Time by Britney Spears. Her enthusiastic performance rounded out the competition and gave her a score of 22.

Moving on to the finals competition on Nov. 20 are Wakkinen and Johnson, Daily, Mills and Awtrey.