Karaoke contest finals Saturday

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Anderson Broadcasting has spent the last four weeks mining for the best 12 karaoke singers in the Flathead Valley.

Saturday night, only one will be left standing.

The ambitious “The 406 Voice” karaoke competition comes to a close that night at the Best Western Plus Flathead Inn and Suites — the former White Oak Lodge — at 6 p.m. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased at the door.

GREG JORDAN is the man behind the competition, coming up with the concept shortly after starting with the company. No stranger to the valley (Jordan previously owned and operated the now-closed Jordan’s Bar BQ in Kalispell), he wanted to combine a desire to give back with another passion: karaoke.

“I’ve been doing karaoke for a long time. I actually hosted karaoke back when they were laser discs,” he said with a laugh.

Proceeds from the competition will benefit the Flathead Youth Home, with most of that money raised through a silent auction that includes a fishing trip on Flathead Lake.

Jordan’s hope, too, is to bring karaoke into a more family friendly venue than the bars where it’s found most often.

“You can bring your kids,” Jordan said. “You can enjoy yourself and it’s going to be early enough in the evening where they’re not going to be up late, where most of the time karaoke ends at two o’clock in the morning.”

Singers are not allowed to perform songs with inappropriate lyrics or vulgarity, and the night is filled with music. All 12 of the qualifiers will perform a warm-up song before their official contest entry, and between sets of singers a live band will be on hand to keep the music going.

THE STARS of the show are still the singers, all of whom survived a first 12-performer qualifying competition at one of three local bars.

In the last four weeks, contestants, all of whom are amateur musicians, have traveled from the Flathead Valley and beyond to belt out a tune at The Scoreboard Pub and Casino (Kalispell), Silver Bullet Bar (Columbia Falls) or Spinnaker Bar and Grill (Lakeside). Only the top-scorer — picked by a panel of judges — from each night has advanced to Saturday, and they come with a wide range of musical tastes. Finalists have performed everything from Tina Turner to Shinedown to Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.”

“I think the overall night is going to be a little surprising,” Jordan said.

Judging at the finals will be done by people who have never before seen these singers, and the winner will walk away with $500 and the opportunity to record at Legendary Beat Production in Kalispell. Second ($75) and third ($25) also earn cash prizes.

There will be a chance for the crowd to pick a favorite, too, with Jordan selling the chance to cast a vote for a singer as an additional way to raise funds.

One dollar of every ticket sold will also be contributed to a split the pot, and food and drinks will be on sale throughout the night.

FOR MORE information on “The 406 Voice,” including a full list of qualified finalists, visit www.andersonbroadcasting.com. Anderson Broadcasting owns and operates seven radio stations in Northwest Montana.

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