We had such a great time the last time, I don't know why we haven't gone back. I think we just got lazy. It's easier to just stay at home. But since it was on the way, we decided to go. We got there on Thursday, and watched some of the preliminary rounds. The talent was very good. I don't know how the judges narrowed it down each round. I spotted a contestant wearing the perfect karaoke t-shirt while watching his girlfriend compete.
All the competitions were held in the same venue, so it went on from 10 am until almost midnight each day. There were six categories, Male & Female Pop, Male & Female Country, Male & Female Masters (over 50 years old and can sing any type of music) plus Duets. There were singers from all over the USA as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some who appeared to be speaking Russian when they weren't singing. I always find it amazing when people can sing in American with no discernible accent but can't speak that way.
For the Saturday night Finals, they had narrowed it down to five singers in each category, plus two duets. By this time, we had heard some contestants sing a couple of times. Each contestant had to sing a different song in each round and they were judged not only on their singing ability, but also on their costumes, stage presence and showmanship. You couldn't just stand there in a t-shirt and sing; you had to put on a show. I bet they all had extra luggage fees.
Their outfits were amazing. There was colorful lamé fabric, skin tight jeans sprayed with fabric shine, sequins, bright belt buckles, fancy hats, rhinestones and glitter everywhere. And these were the MEN!!!
The ladies were dressed up, too. But none took the time to pose for pictures. I think they were in a hurry to get back into their comfortable clothes.
The camaraderie between the contestants reminded me of our Parkinson's disease community. They were giving each other encouragement, and sharing hats, belts and rhinestone bling as well as offering helpful tips. Some come back every year, not to compete, but to visit with the others.
During one of the elimination rounds, I saw a familiar face in the audience. It was RL Bell, a contestant on America's Got Talent. I walked over and said hello and told him how much I enjoyed him on the show. He was very friendly, so I told him about this blog and asked if I could have a picture with him, and he said yes.
The Finals started at 7 pm and we got there early to get a good seat. You had to buy tickets for the Finals ($12) but all the other rounds were free. What a deal.
All the singers were very good, and during a break between categories, they had a wedding. Yes, a wedding. One of the Talent Quest staff got married to a former contestant. They said all their friends were here, so they decided to go ahead and get married. Only the bride, groom and one emcee knew about it ahead of time. That was an unexpected surprise.
During another break, one of last years winners sang. Then RL Bell sang and the winner of the Duets from the 2011 contest sang. I recognized them, too. When the winners were announced, I was in total agreement with their choices. I wonder if they need any judges? Nah, being a spectator is much better.
|Duets winners from 2011
Reminder to self, don't be lazy, make plans to go again next year.
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