The fourth annual “Road to the Fair” Karaoke Contest kicked off with a bang Tuesday night at Le Corusse Rouge, but it was far from typical. The singers ranged in age from 14 to senior citizen; with music selections spanning the genres of classic rock, country, contemporary, pop and gospel. The musical talent was the best yet according to event organizers. “This reminds me of the first and fourth seasons of American Idol” said Kyle Brown of Good Time Entertainment, who founded the event in 2007, “every year the talent improves and you’re left wondering how in the world it could get any better!”.
In all, thirteen competitors took the stage hoping to become the next Kern County Vocalist of the Year in the first of eight nightly contests to be held in and around Bakersfield this week. After a very close race, Ross Vercammen won for the men with a soulful and touching rendition of Vince Gil’s “Go Rest High On That Mountain” dedicated to his Grandmother, who was in the audience. Valerie “Tink” MacCabe defeated her female competitors with a spot-on performance of No Doubt’s “Bathwater”, made even better by her Stefani-like outfit and dance moves. All of the contestants, even those that hadn’t known about the contest until the last minute, gave great performances, resulting in a difficult decision process for the three judges.
Perhaps most remarkable was the diverse, enthusiastic audience. Le Corusse Rouge, an open-age venue, welcomed entire families who came out to cheer on sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, mothers and grandchildren. Looking around the crowded room, you couldn’t help but notice the baby happily watching from his mother’s lap; the whoops and whistles from the Smith/Esquivel family as three of them vied for the titles; and the cell phones held by mothers, fathers and managers, all eagerly recording performances for later review.
The “Road to the Fair” continues for the next five weeks at Cataldo’s Pizza on Niles, Ironhorse Saloon, Le Corusse Rouge, Tomi’s Cowgirl Café, Lone Oak Saloon, Rocket Shop Café and Rockwell’s Trout’s. The Old River Monte Carlo starts its contest July 22nd, and other locations may be added next week. For complete information, visit online at KaraokeInBakersfield.com, or call Good Time Entertainment at (661) 633-1949.