Excitement Builds as KWCUSA Looks for National Karaoke Champions

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The organization running the nation's largest karaoke contest prepares to select two talented singers to represent the U.S. in a world karaoke competition. Nearly 100 singers will compete in the three day event to be held this August in Mason, Ohio.

The organization running the nation's largest karaoke contest prepares to select two talented singers to represent the U.S. in a world karaoke competition. Nearly 100 singers will compete in the three day event to be held this August in Mason, Ohio.

"I'm so far behind it hurts!" laments Wendell Payne, President of The Karaoke World Championships - USA (KWC-USA) With the Championship just one week away, excitement is building and "singers, sponsors, venues, KJs and everyone in between is calling and emailing." It is a good problem to have for the fastest growing karaoke contest in the nation. The top male and top female contestants win an all expense paid trip to compete in the Karaoke World Championship Competition in Finland this year.

"It is a very exciting time and I couldn't be more pleased with all of the interest and participation in this year's event, which has been a year in the making." The 2008 - 2009 competition season has grown substantially from previous seasons with contest venues and singers from 30 states, up from 11 just the year before. This season wrapped up with the final regional competition held just last night at Big Mama's Karaoke Café in Tennessee.

American Idol Should Be Watching

Nearly 40 singers will compete during the 3 day event which will be held at Paramount's Kings Island, on its grand outdoor stage. The event has been expanded from its 1 day run last year due to increased interest from the public, participants and sponsors. Payne explains that everyone from the singers to the venues has been excited and asking for more participation and a longer season. "The competitors are set and the talent is amazing. American Idol should be watching." says Payne.

Payne isn't the only one singing the praises of this nationwide search for karaoke talent. Regional contestant Dr. Stephen Reed, PhD; also known as 'Doctor Love' from Oklahoma noted that "The array of talent there (at the Texas regional) was indeed "Awesome"."

Indeed, the competition continues to attract better and better singers. Michelle Davis, Editor of KaraokeTraveler.com explains, "Once people find out about a real, above board, national karaoke competition, they can't wait to compete. Karaoke enthusiasts by nature want to be recognized and appreciated."

Good for Everybody's Bottom Line

Sponsors have noticed the growing popularity of the karaoke championships as well and have increasingly provided support. The Karaoke Channel is the newest major sponsor of the contest. This is no surprise since the main demographic of karaoke lovers includes the coveted 18 to 49 yr old age range.

The local venues that host the local, state, and regional contests leading up to the national competition are also basking in the increased sales that the contests - which can run up to 8 weeks- bring to their bottom lines. Payne explains, "We've built a simple model that assures a good competition that can be run easily. Venues realize that a good fair competition will bring the big business." One venue in Texas reported a 42 percent increase in business as the result of hosting a local competition. This means that everyone's bottom line benefits from the competition; sponsors get exposure in a valuable market segment, local bars and taverns see increased sales, and even the contestants receive numerous cash prizes and a chance to win recording contract in the World Championship.

When it comes to winning, money is just half the story. Antonio Garcia. who finished 2nd in the World Championship last year just received a recording deal and will release his first album shortly. And Australian Michael Bates, the reigning Karaoke World Champion just released his first single; "title??." And, as Doctor Love says, "This was the most well organized event that I have ever attended and while I wasn't one of the winners per se, I believe that everyone that attended was in fact a "Winner".

Going for the Gold

As the national championship kicks off on August 7th, the new expanded 2010 season will start promptly with the California State Fair This major new competition venue will qualify the first regional karaoke champs of the new season on September 6th advancing them to the regional contest in Seattle, Washington in July 2010. In addition, KWCUSA will expand to a 55 state plan dividing Texas, California, and Florida into multiple states. At the same time State and Regional competitions will expand to 100 singers.

The main goal of course is to get two strong singers to represent the U.S. in the world championship which boasts 20 participating countries. Last year's competition was marked by Australian domination and friendly competition between KWCUSA and KWC Ireland. So this year Payne promises that "Australia will have to watch out. They are not going to dominate this year," and "we will go head-to-head with Ireland."

The Karaoke World Championship-USA competition will be held at King's Island Adventure Park in Mason, Ohio on August 6, 7, and 8th. Opening ceremonies begin at 6:30pm on the 6th, Semi-finals will be held throughout the day on the 7th, and finals will be held on Saturday the 8th at 6:30pm. The Karaoke World Championships will take place in Lahti, Finland on September 11 thru 12. The KWC-USA is the only organization in the United States affiliated with the Karaoke World Championship Organization. Our champions exclusively represent the Unites States in the only internationally recognized karaoke competition. Visit KWCUSA.net for more information.

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Wendell Payne
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