I have such great memories from my first year at Nationals. Being able to come out with my best friend, Jessica for her last eligible year of competition. It was a strange year, to say the least, but she and I had a great time living it up and having some great girl-friend time (which is hard to come by when your bestie has 2 kids).
Because I'm at the information table for more than half of the week's competition, I'm able to see and talk to almost all the contestants. It's virtually impossible not to form bonds of friendship with many of them. One of the things I find so gratifying about the competition is seeing the bonds of friendship between the contestants.
Plastered all over the casino and the elevators are these posters:
[I'll add the photo later....I had some technical issues]
The "Three Amigos" are contestants from Oklahoma, Wisconsin and New York who met 3 years ago when comepeting against one another. The bonds of music and a respect for one another's talent created a lasting bond of friendship. These men talk and scheme all year for the week they will all be together to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting casino guests and fellow contestants. :)
As staff, we have no influence on the judging but we do our best to remain neutral, but it's just not possible for us to look forward to and count the days until we see our friends, Gregg and Michelle. They have travelled to Oklahoma more than once to visit all of us and sing some karaoke. They are just some of the nicest people one could ever meet and we all consider ourselves lucky to call them friends.
In addition to the old friends, there are always "new" friends- those who are first or second time competitors. It's just so nice to be among people who share a love for music and a dream to perform which creates these bonds! It's AMAZING!
So, please enjoy a few videos from some friendly performances.
The Three Amigos:
[video to come.....more technical issues]
Raydog, one of my annual faves:
Jimmy, a new friend (he made Top 5 last year):
Gregg and Michelle:
[video to come......not recorded yet :)]