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Adelaide man crowned World Karaoke Champion -

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Adelaide man crowned World Karaoke Champion

The World Today - Monday, 27 October , 2008 12:55:00

Reporter: Barbara Miller

ELEANOR HALL: A young Adelaide man is today preparing to kiss his job in telecommunications goodbye
and instead trade on his new title of World Karaoke Champion.

Michael Bates beat off the ompetition from singers from more than two dozen countries at the
singing championships in Finland.

And as Barbara Miller reports, it's the third year in a row that an Australian has won the event.

BARBARA MILLER: Lahti is the Finland's seventh largest city.

According to its official website it's a "nice place to live, study, work or do business".

And over the weekend it was a nice place to catch some karaoke.

Singers from around 30 countries converged on the city for the World Karaoke Championships.

The newly crowned winner of the men's competition, Adelaide man Michael Bates, says it was tough

MICHAEL BATES: The competition was run over two days so it was almost like an endurance competition
for a lot of people. The first two rounds were performed on the Friday and last night being the
grand final, they knocked out competitors in a number of rounds so we all had to prepare five

(Extract from Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth by Meatloaf)

BARBARA MILLER: I understand one of your songs was a Meatloaf song. You also sang Walking in
Memphis. Would you without any backing track, mind just singing a little bit. Just giving us a
taste of your performance.

MICHAEL BATES: Oh, I don't see why not.


Put on my blue suede shoes and I boarded the plane,

Touchdown in the land of the delta blue, in the middle of the pouring rain.

BARBARA MILLER: That was great. That was Walking in Memphis. Is that your strongest song.

MICHAEL BATES: Oh, I don't know if it my strongest. It is a personal favourite of mine though.

BARBARA MILLER: The judges liked it too.

MICHAEL BATES: When they called out my name it was, I don't think there are any words to describe
exactly what I felt but I was ecstatic. It was elation. It was joy. It was relief. It was tears,
happiness, all sort.


You raise me up so I can stand on mountains.

You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.

BARBARA MILLER: A typical karaoke song perhaps, a little cheesy, a little sentimental.

And one of the five Michael Bates chose to perform at the weekend.

He's the third Australian in as many years to win at the World Championships.

And he says it's time for people to ditch negative stereotypes about karaoke.

MICHAEL BATES: I always though karaoke was just something that I guess drunk people do at a pub but
not realising what a great opportunity it is to sing and to practice singing in front of people and
I got hooked from there on in.

BARBARA MILLER: Are you drunk when you sing?

MICHAEL BATES: No, no. I'm always sober. I am always good.

BARBARA MILLER: Alongside a cash prize Michael Bates gets a chance to record a single with the
winner of the women's competition, Frenchwoman Juliet Gonnet.

He says life will never be the same again:

MICHAEL BATES: Look I hope this does change my life and I hope that, you know, I can wave goodbye
to my job and say hello to my new journey and living my dream.

ELEANOR HALL: That is 22 year-old Australia Michael Bates, the new karaoke world champion, speaking
there to Barbara Miller.