They came from as far away as British Columbia to vie with their talented peers and, when the singing and performing was over, Michelle Chevalier of Mountain View walked away the ecstatic winner.
The event was the Western Regional contest of the International Bowling Karaoke SuperStar IV held at Brentwood's Harvest Park Bowl last Saturday.
For her trouble, Chevalier will receive a paid trip to Orlando, Fla. for two, stay three days and two nights while competing at the International Bowling Expo for a top prize of $5,000 paid to the Bowling Karaoke Superstar winner. This is my third year to compete, and it's an extraordinary experience. It's wonderful to get to go to Orlando because I have family there, but I'm going to do my best to win and bring the title home to California, she said.
Competition at the regional level is awesome, Shawne Adair of Brooks, Alberta, Canada said. And competing is not cheap, because my mom and I paid our own way to get here. Adair was one of the 23 original contestants, 10 of whom were cut in the first round of competition. I'm just happy to be in the company of such a talented bunch of people, she said.
The contest is open only to bowling center karaoke venues across the United States, Canada and other countries. Management Consultant Brian Smith, who came to Brentwood from The EPI CENTER Family Entertainment Complex in Klamath Falls, Ore., was pleased with the Harvest Park Bowl venue. I like what they've done here, said Smith. It's energetic. Nowadays, bowling centers are more about different kinds of entertainment than just bowling.
Karaoke contests aren't won by just standing up and singing, even if one has a remarkable voice. Winners must have good stage presence and some kind of act they perform an approach or strategy to get the judge's attention. And speaking of judges, there were five Brentwoodites saddled with the job of picking that special one. City councilman Bob Brockman, bassist Justin Wilson, music teachers Lindsey Vietti and Alexis Froehlich, along with music lover Pat Shermore, shared that formidable chore.
Songs like Respect, Lady, In the Arms of the Angels, I'm So Excited, Gigolo and many others, got the standing-room-only crowd into the act as singers gyrated, danced, gestured and moon-walked their way around the Harvest Park karaoke venue, part of a $230,000 expansion completed a year ago last Thanksgiving.
Harvest Park Bowl owner Jim Wangeman made a commitment to hold a piece of the International Bowling Karaoke SuperStar IV contest in Brentwood after the contest's sponsor, The Lighting Store, presented the idea at a bowling proprietors' convention four years ago. We thought bringing karaoke to the Bowl would help improve traffic and exposure, and it has, Wangeman said.
Natalie Paris is the host of the evening karaoke happening at Harvest Park Bowl that takes place Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. Jim (Wangeman) made $6,000 worth of improvements to our karaoke equipment, Natalie said. We've got a really great state-of-the-art system.
Harvest Park Bowl is located at 5000 Balfour Road. The phone number is 925-516-1221.