After years of singing in local bars, a Windsor, Ont., man has won a chance to compete at the Karaoke World Championships.

Joel Liberty is heading to Finland to compete for the crown after winning a series of local karaoke contests in his hometown.

Liberty and his friend Chantelle Denholm have been going to local bars performing karaoke for years but are just now putting Windsor on the musical map.

“Any bar you go to in this city … if there’s 20 singers, 10 of them can sing,” said Denholm.

It’s a talent pool also noticed by karaoke DJ Pat Ryan, who decided to seize an opportunity and host karaoke world qualifiers in Windsor.

“I wanted to bring light to the talent in this city,” Ryan told CTV Windsor. “Karaoke, a lot of people laugh at, there are a lot of drunk people, there’s a lot of bad, but there’s so much amazing talent.”

With their knack for belting out tunes, Liberty and Denholm both signed up, winning top male and female vocalist in Ontario.

Both advanced to the nationals in British Columbia, where Denholm was a runner up.

Liberty said when it was his turn to take the stage, he relied on a little help from his friend: he turned to Denholm for moral support.

“She’s like, ‘It’s OK, just sing it better,’” Liberty recalled. “I (said) ‘Sure … I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do it my way.’”

The judges liked Liberty’s performance so much that he landed a spot at the upcoming world championships.

Liberty said he plans to sing some of his favourite tunes in Finland, including Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” fellow Canadian Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good,” and Josh Groban’s signature ballad “You Raise Me Up.”

“If I’m going to win, if I’m going to lose, I’m going to least give it all and lay it on the floor for ya,” he said.

With a report from CTV Windsor’s Rich Garton