‘It just kept escalating’: Canadians thrilled to compete for world karaoke title
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:20PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:59PM EST
Canadian karaoke singers have their sights set high this week at the Karaoke World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, as they prepare to compete in the largest amateur singing competition in the world.
April Yue, of Calgary, says she didn’t expect her habit of singing in the shower to catapult her to the top level of karaoke competition, so she’s just trying to enjoy the ride.
“It’s just something I do for fun,” she told CTV News Channel. “It just kept escalating… Even just competing on a world level is such a new feeling to me.”
Kristopher Traquair, another Canadian competitor, has been singing for as long as he can remember. But Traquair says he still can’t believe he’ll be competing at the Karaoke World Championships.
“I started doing karaoke about two years ago and, no, if you would’ve told me that I would’ve been in Finland in two years, I would not have believed you,” Traquair told CTV News Channel in a video call from Helsinki on Tuesday.
To prepare, Traquair says he belts out his competition songs as often as possible to those who will listen.
“Preparing just involves annoying all of my friends by singing the songs over and over and over in karaoke bars, in the car, in my apartment … yeah, it’s just singing all the time,” Traquair said.
Yue says the key to succeeding at karaoke competitions is to choose the right song for the moment, and to play to the crowd so you’re not just singing what you want to hear.
“There’s a lot that goes into choosing the song itself and the order in which you perform the song,” she said. Along with a duet from Calgary, Yue is the third Calgarian representing Canada.
Competitors get to choose four songs to sing: one each for the first and second rounds, and a third song for those who make it to the semifinals. The fourth and final song will only be performed at the finals.
“So that is ultimately the one that will decide who wins,” Traquair said.
Canadians will be up against competitors from more than 30 other countries at the 2017 championships, which run from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18.