It's the final countdown for Katey Day-Reick.
The Shediac singer recently won first place at the national karaoke championships in Calgary. At the end of November, she'll head to the world championships in Tokyo, where she will represent Canada.
"To win first place, I'm, like, you have got to be joking me," said the 49-year-old. "How did this happen?"
For the Calglary event this month, Day-Reick prepared four songs from different genres, including Meat Loaf's, I would do Anything for Love and a version of Elton John's Your song.
She was the only person from the Maritimes and competed against thousands of people from across Canada. Her name was put forward for the competition by Kathy and Alex LeGood, owners of Alley Katz Karaoke in Moncton.
Embracing the audience
Music has always been a big part of her life. Day-Reick, who describes herself as a "rocker chick" started singing at 14.
"It's been a staple my whole life."
She has performed as a solo artist and in a local rock band and also plays drums, harmonica, mandolin, guitar and bass.
And for 30 years, she's been singing karaoke at venues across New Brunswick.
"The art of embracing the audience, maybe bringing them to your attention … and it has paid off now," Day-Reick said.
As a broadcaster and creator of a rock musical, Deception, she has also worked at perfecting soundtracks.
"They're very unforgiving if you miss a spot," she said. "You can't turn around to the band and say, "Hey, can you do that again?' It's done. It's finished, you missed it."
How the competition works
Although the lyrics are still available onstage, memorizing the lyrics in karaoke is key.
"They really prefer that you focus on your audience and the performance and conveying the music properly as well as dressing properly for the part," Day-Reick said.
"It's really a performance competition and a vocal competition."
Judging is based on criteria such as vocal ability, presentation, connection with the audience, and knowledge of the songs so contestants don't have to look at the screen.
"There's a lot of acting involved," Day-Reick said
Overseas, she hopes to bring recognition, on an international scale, to musicians from New Brunswick.
"If I can shine a light in this area, that would be a bonus for me," she said. "More focus needs to be taken here in Atlantic Canada."