The Karaoke World Championships
Kingston Ontario’s Mitchell Freeman has been crowned the 2014 Canadian Men’s Karaoke Champion. The 21-year-old construction labourer beat out competitors from across the country at the national championships in Red Deer, Alberta.
Next week he will represent Canada at the Karaoke World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.
It’s a remarkable achievement for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact there actually is a Karaoke World Championship. “I was surprised as well,” says Freeman. “I just used to do it as a hobby. And then to find out I could actually maybe go so somewhere doing this.”
Freeman’s forte is hitting the stratospherically-high notes of 1980’s heavy metal music. One of his signature songs is Breaking the Law by Judas Priest. “He can hit a note like I’ve never heard anybody hit a note, and hold the note,” says Rob Lanteigne, owner of Overtime Sports Bar in Kingston where Freeman began his karaoke journey.
But why karaoke - an art form that often attracts the, shall we say, melodically challenged? “I’ve fronted bands before and they would never entirely play the catalogue that I wanted to,” explains Freeman. “Then I found that karaoke has a lot of those songs.”
Prior to the competition in Red Deer, Freeman had never even travelled outside of Ontario. Next week he will cross the ocean to compete with the best karaoke singers from 28 countries. “That’s amazing,” he says. “And to represent my country also, that’s another amazing feeling.”
Go Canada Go.
Or should we say rock on, Canada, rock on.