February 17, 2011 marked the first round of Country Idol Karaoke at Vapor in Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  Vapor was packed from floor to balcony with Country Music fans and hopeful singers looking for the chance to get on the big stage to grab $5,000. 

As usual, we saw it all!  Throughout the night we heard some great singers, some that were tolerable, and some that we just plain aweful.  Of course, that's the fun of karaoke.  The panel of judges consisting of Scott Blaine (WGNA), Jesse Jackson (former marketing director at MTV/VH1), and Dave Storey (from Look TV) were quite honest with each performer.   Memorable comments included "I haven't had enough Scotches to comment on that performance!" "I felt like I was in a bad dream!" "You're no Tim McGraw!" and "You sound ok, but you need to dress like you sound!"  The judges really did say what many people were thinking!

5 singers were voted to the finals including-Lauren Kerr of Cohoes, Dana Farrell of Grafton, Gary Dibble of Schenectady, Leeanna Aulisio of Pittsfield Mass., and Mandy Bailey of Delanson.  Of course there were several singers that could have easily been in the top 5, but only the top 5 highest combined scores made it to the end.  Judges could give up to 25 points for vocals, 15 points for stage presence, and 10 points for appearance.  Since $5,000 is up for grabs, we are looking for someone who has the entire package.  So, if you heard a great singer, but they were wearing a sweatshirt and sneakers, chances are they lost a good chunk of the overall 30 points for appearance.

Although they didn't make the cut this time around, crowd favorites included the contestants that performed "Shameless," "Good Directions," "Great Balls of Fire," "Before He Cheats," and "A Broken Wing."  I want to encourage all of these singers to try again, maybe the next cast of judges will like what they do on stage.

Since time only permits us to select 20 singers at random, if you were not selected or did not make the finals, you can try again on Thursday, March 24, April 21, and May 19.  The top 5 singers from each night are invited back to the finals June 16 to win $5,000 and a chance to perform live on television.

Click here to pre-register on-line and view the rules.