And the Winner Is…

Previously on cgabriel.com (attempting to build drama), I laid out the details of Singing with the Stars at Divas and Rockstars in West Fargo.  Nine pairs of singers, each one combining a great local singer with a media “celebrity,” would battle it out in a karaoke competition.  The Keys for Winning were very simple:  Sing great, or at least as well as you could, and give an overall presentation (costuming, choreography, crowd interaction, etc.) that was in harmony with the actual song itself.  Directly in front of the stage about 10 feet away was a row of judges offering an Olympic gymnastics competition feeling. 

My goal, upon seeing them, was to break through their steely wall of seeming indifference.  These were seasoned karaoke judges who’ve heard it all, seen it all and were not easily impressed.  This was a challenge begging to be taken on.

Some of us took the opportunity to incorporate the high-risk, high-reward strategy of playing directly to them where appropriate.  Two approaches were put into play. 

  1. Leaving the stage during the song and singing or speaking directly to them.  This was believed to be a strong choice. 
  2. Leaving the stage before, during and after the song and dropping a $20 dollar bill in front of them each time along with bringing them another round of beverages.  This was, allegedly, frowned upon. 

24-year-old music teacher Ansley Cameron and I partnered and sang the classic Tina and Ike Turner version of Proud Mary.  We not only sang – we had circa 1971 choreography, we worked the crowd… yours truly donned an enormous Afro, shades, a red silk shirt, vest and a thick gold necklace.  Ansley played it sleek dressed in black, save for a colorful scarf.  It was a brilliant contrast to my homage to Ike.

I’m proud to say… We Won! 

Ansley is a sensational singer and there’s no question she was the rock of this duo.  Her voice could stop traffic on a Los Angeles freeway.  Although I sang a fair amount, I viewed my function much the way Ike probably viewed his half of his act with Tina:  Show some cool, sing when you’re supposed to sing, work a little crowd… but never forget Tina’s the Big Ticket.

It was a marvelous time for everyone involved.  All the media folks showed great camaraderie; we had lots of laughs and it was wonderful to finally meet some of the other radio and television personalities in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  And everyone watching, singing along, cheering, etc. who packed Divas and Rockstars could not have been more supportive to the 18 of us.  Add to the mix the fact it was a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley and this was one great evening.

Filed Under: FargoMedia

About the Author: Christopher serves up sports on 940 ESPN Radio in Fresno with a good deal of pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life mixed in. Distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world regularly join the program. He tackles the most complex stories to ones slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, the city not the movie, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the Red River Valley in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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  1. Terri says:

    Congratulations! I’m not surprised you and Ansley won, given your penchant for throwing yourself, heart and soul, into any endeavor in which you’re involved. I must admit to a slight bit of disappointment over the lack of video or even pictures though – hint, hint! I’m SURE someone must have taken a few pictures of you in your get-up!
    .-= Terri´s last blog ..Weekend Suprise =-.

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    Christopher Gabriel Reply:

    I have video, or at least some snippets, on the way. As soon as I get it – and review it 🙂 – I’ll put it up.

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  2. Mike says:

    Wow… congrats!! I would’ve paid to see that performance of yours. Silk shirt and an afro? Good stuff!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..UpdateForm =-.

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  3. Andy Heller says:

    With your back ground in theatre…your winning wasn’t a surprise :-). It would have been fun to have been there 🙂

    [Reply]

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