My Net Worth: Higher and Higher

Last night was the big karaoke competition. I've been stressing about it for a couple weeks now and promised myself that I'd spend more time practicing the song than preparing for school. Unfortunately, priorities arose and rehearsing took a back seat. I had dreamed of performing The Darkness's "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" because it has all sorts of crazy high notes and would sound impressive enough to lend me the $500. Alas, after some doomed attempts, I realized I could hit hardly any of the notes and neglected to consider that a strong voice would be necessary to pull it off. In my head, I can sing greatly - aloud, it comes out quite differently.

My song choice made just prior to leaving to the bar was "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson. It suited my voice pretty well aside from that super high lyric "keep on" in the chorus. I tried to hit that part dozens of times. I could manage the "keep," but for the life of me couldn't achieve the same intense high-ness with "on." In a jam, vocal major Rachel, who owed me after copping a feel, walked me through the notes, training me where to position my tongue and pallet to succeed. From there, my notes went higher and higher. Y'all think karaoke is a joke, but when cash is on the line, I get myself a vocal coach.

I was surprised at the turnout. Thirteen friends showed up to cheer me on and influence the clap-o-meter. In the warm-up phase, Dan did a mean Johnny Cash much to our pleasure. I decided to try "Africa" by Toto, a song I first fell in love with weeks ago during an impromptu teacher night at the same bar. Since then, I've been obsessed, singing it with Jessica all of the time, mainly because we've twisted the lyrics. What do you call a Nigerian with both female and male genitalia? Hermafrican. Though I resisted the urge to belt "Hermafrica" during my performance, I did not do the song much justice, I could hear all sorts of pitch problems. If I did bring a third of the audience myself, I probably would have lost them before the competition even started.

Because the people performing tonight were repeat winners, not many of the performers were duds. Some were less exciting than others, though. As a very "worldly" (worldly being the polite way to describe a tipsy person who is attempting to drink a beer from each continent) Jessica complained, "Yeah, you can sing. So what? You're boring! Go join a choir!"

When it was my turn to perform, I felt the adrenaline and did fairly well. My friends swarmed the stage performing backup dances and vocals as I took them higher and higher. It was insanely fun to have such a rock star moment. My goal was to hit two out of three of the "keep on"s, but I think I actually managed all of them! (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, friends who had to endure that.)

At the end of the competition, the audience clapped for the finalists. I survived through until the final two, with my main opponent being a more talented country crooner. The crowd was cheering wildly for both of us, but I heard the other guy receiving more applause - and rightfully so. The judge, however, declared that it was too close to call. We had the option of either splitting the money or having a sing-off. When the other guy suggested sharing the prize, I knew to take that offer because, first, he is more talented, and second, gambling doesn't pay!

So anyway, say hello to the $250-richer co-winner of Comfortably Trashy Bar's monthly karaoke concert. Thanks so much to everyone who showed up, I seriously couldn't have done it without you. Though I had the courage and unashamed attitude to humiliate myself, I lacked the quality chops to win on my own merit. I credit my victory to these friends as much as myself, so thanks so much. Keep on keepin' on, you hear?

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