The 2012 season of Country Idol Karaoke is off to a great start at Vapor in Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The February session brought us a mix of singers that ranged from outstanding to surprising, and of course the usual mediocre performances.

Scott Blaine (WGNA), Lou Roberts (WGNA's Cryin Lovin or Leavin Show) and Todd Hanhurst (The Refrigerators' lead singer) occupied the judges table and offered comments after each contestant.  The energetic crowd cheered and booed their favorites as the judges cut a record number of singers from the stage.  The competition was tight as WGNA listeners 'auditioned' for a spot at the finals on June 21. After a great journey of musical selections, the five finalists who scored the highest points based on vocals, stage presence and appearance were quite a diverse bunch of country hopefuls.

Finalist Justin Wetsel offered a performance of 'You,' very close to the version made popular by Chris Young, who actually played a sold-out concert at Vapor.  Ed Lang, one of the many surprise voices of the night, took command of the stage on the Garth Brooks song 'If Tomorrow Never Comes,' while local karaoke favorite Brandice Nicole wowed the crowd with Martina McBride's 'Anyway.'  One of last year's favorites, Loreal Lavigna brought the entire room to their feet with 'A Broken Wing.'

The biggest 'surprise' of the night was watching Evelyn Rose, dressed in a retro-Opry outfit, knock-out a perfect Pasty Cline gem, 'She's Got You.' As most contestants opt for 'modern' country hits, this No. 1 Country Hit from 1962, was one of the night's most refreshing moments.

We hope you'll make plans to join us for the next round of Country Idol on March 22, April 26, and May 24, with the finals on June 21.  To register to sing click here.