Day 6

'I'm excited to sing my face off:' Meet two Canadians headed for the Karaoke World Championships

Amateur singers Christine Costa and Dustin Jodway will bring elaborate costumes and choreography to the stage when they compete at the Karaoke World Championships in Helsinki.

On the world stage, performances feature elaborate costumes, choreography and musical arrangements

Christine Costa, left, Dustin Jodway, with Sharon Quinn, national director of Hamilton Theatre Inc. (Desmond Brown/CBC)

It was in a karaoke booth north of Toronto, at Canada's Wonderland, that Dustin Jodway got his start as a singer.

"Funny thing is, it was (I've Had) The Time of My Life — the first time I ever got in a little studio — and got to sing like that," he told Day 6.

Now, Jodway will sing on the world's stage alongside Christine Costa at the annual Karaoke World Championships in Helsinki.

The Hamilton-based pair competed in Calgary at the Canadian national karaoke championships, with that same hit theme from Dirty Dancing, guaranteeing them a spot in Finland.

"We're all out there for the same reason — and the reason obviously is to compete — but it's definitely to share our love of music and the talent," Jodway said.

"I'm excited to sing my face off with Christine for the whole world to see."

Preparation is key

When it comes to performing, vocals are important, but there's far more to a successful karaoke performance, Costa says.

"People need to feel the song," she said. "You want to convey the message, and we want people to be in that story with us."

Their performances are elaborate, complete with choreography and some "shock" value, she said.

Canadian karaoke champs perform an acapella rendition of Don't You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson at CBC Hamilton.

While many might think of karaoke as an opportunity to jump on stage at the spur of the moment, Jodway and Costa prepare intensely. And wherever they may be, they'll find the best place to practice. 

"Christine and I would grab each other from our hotel rooms and we'd run to the gym of the hotel, of all places," Jodway said, adding that they chose the location because of the acoustics.

The power of Celine

Though prepared, Costa says that "good nerves" are cropping up, and she likens the event to a globally televised, international sporting event.

"I can only imagine what athletes go through when they're going to the Olympics," she said, with a laugh.

From left: Sean Britton from Calgary stands with Christine Costa and Dustin Jodway from Hamilton, Ont. They were the big winners in this year's Karaoke World Championships Canada. (Karaoke World Championships Canada )

As for their song choice in Helsinki, the duet partners will be going with a classic: It's All Coming Back to Me Now.

"Celine Dion made the song famous, but Meatloaf also did it as a duet, and I feel like that one's our big winner," she said.

When both Costa and Jodway take to the stage in Helsinki on Dec. 19, there will be no question about where they're from.

"We've got lots of Canadian flags, and our outfits — we've got a lot of red and white," she said.

"We're going to represent and be proud."


To hear more from Christine Costa and Dustin Jodway, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.

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