(MOSCOW) -- The eighth annual Karaoke World Championships kicked off Thursday in Moscow. The first night of the competition featured 31 talented singers, stemming from Kazakhstan to the Faroe Islands, vying for two record deals, a shot at stardom and one million Russian dumplings, courtesy of the event's sponsor.
"You have to be like the artist, but you have to put your two cents in," said 30 year-old Edward Pimentel of Albuquerque, New Mexico, trying to explain how the competition is like the karaoke most of us know. Except here, if you look at the lyrics on the stage monitor, you get points deducted.
"This is more like the Olympics of Karaoke," said Team USA's self-described mentor Brian Scott when asked how the competition differs from other amateur singing contests like American Idol. "It's a lot different, karaoke, than those types of reality shows. This is more like an Olympic event for all the countries of the world."
The contestants have one more night to impress the judges before the finalists are chosen for Saturday night's final round. One man and one woman will be awarded a record contract in Finland, the home of the Championships, and, of course, a million dumplings.
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