The talent show, video proof included

If you get to the end of this there is a link on youtube. I can’t decide, but I think I’m slightly horrified that I’m sharing this with you.

So I was walking through the decks on day six of our Italian cruise last week, headed back to the cabin when I heard the most atrocious European karaoke happening in one of the back lounges.

Let’s face it, if I was in charge of my life I would probably be a starving actress living in some miserable slummy little hole in New York City waiting for my big break. Lucky for me God is way better at this planning business; I’m much happier singing lullabies to my babies at night.

Most of the time.

I’ve got to admit that every once in a while I wish there was a back lounge somewhere looking for a mommy like me.

So I sauntered into the room and listened for a moment before discovering that I had happened upon the semi-finals of the cruise talent show. The original contestant pool started at 150 and the top seven were performing that night in the big theater.

I listened to the competition with a slight smile, thinking about how much fun I would have blowing them all out of the water.

Can I take a moment and discuss humility and how I really need to look into purchasing some?

Since I was already scheduled to sing at one of the lounges that evening (what? You know I’m a shameless microphone whore) it didn’t take much convincing to finagle a last minute audition.

I probably should have taken note when all the songs in the karaoke book were Italian. There was a small number of American jazz ballads that I recognized and only one I knew by heart, “Fever.” I gave it a whirl and made the top seven.

Now I had heard all but one of the other finalists during sound check and I’ll admit, I was feeling pretty confident in my ability. The others ranged from whiny to overly nervous, one dude was even using a piece of paper with his words on it. I was pretty much the only person without pit stains from anxiety.

That night I stood backstage as they read the line-up. I was slightly surprised to find I was performing second. Since I was obviously going to wipe the floor with all the Italians you would have thought they’d have saved the best for last, right?

The guy that went before me, Jay, was the only other non-Italian, a Brazilian kid who I hadn’t heard sing. He started singing and I suddenly didn’t feel so confident. The kid had pipes and he pretty much nailed his number. I figured they had probably put the best first. Yikes.

The scoring was two-fold; first the audience had an applause meter that went to 50 in increments of ten, then there was a panel of five judges. Jay only got a 30 on the applause meter and the judges were pretty tough on him, giving him mostly eights with a seven thrown in there. In no time it was Mama’s turn in the spotlight, and boy was I ready to roll.

I worked it stage right, I hit the left side, I even kissed up to the judges table. Sure, I forgot one word, but all things considered I was pleased enough with my performance. Heck, I threw it together a few hours before the show and still managed to deliver a solid rendition. It felt great.

Standing in front of the audience for the applause meter, I was pretty sure I’d get a good reading. We had a number of friends from our large group in the audience and they were  happily cheering me on. But when the meter hit 30, the MC shut them down and moved me over to the judges table.

That was my first sign that things were a little fishy.

Still, the judges were pretty great. I got three nine’s and two tens, although the judges that gave me tens seemed hesitant. I couldn’t figure out why until a few numbers later.

They weren’t supposed to give me good scores.

I sat back stage and listened to the rest of the show as every single Italian competitor beat the pants off me. Not necessarily in their singing, but in the applause meter and at the judges table. The guy who won? Oh yeah, it was the kid who used his crumbled piece of paper to read his lyrics. He got a perfect score, 50 from the audience and 50 from the judges.

I was in the bottom three.

Nobody serves humble pie like the Italians. Amanda Knox, I feel for you.

Click here to see my sorry self sing it on youtube.



  1. You looked sassy and sounded great. Sorry you were robbed. Who would’ve thought even the cruise ship shows were rigged?

  2. You sound great!

    Initially when reading your story I figured they were putting the worst towards the end so the best wouldn’t be wasted on an audience with an elevated blood-alcohol level.

    So sad to hear it was rigged =\

  3. You are such a shrinking violet? How did you ever get up there? 🙂 You look and sound super hot.

  4. Not only can you write, you can SING! I loved your performance (and your dress). You can use your talent to sing lullabies to my kids anytime. They would appreciate a song sung in tune once in a while.

  5. You sounded great!!! & looked Marvelous!! Yep, totally robbed.