I remember the feeling I had when I first learned that Russia had interfered in the karaoke competition, which I had so desired to win, like it was yesterday. Because it was announced just yesterday. But the more-than-a-week leading up to that moment was filled with trials and tribulations, which I had to come to terms with.
In the very moment that I lost the karaoke competition, I knew there was foul play afoot. It was as if the entire bar asked at once, “Sam who?” Even the karaoke DJ reaffirmed my suspicions of prejudice from the judges, though his ramblings about Russian accents in that moment didn’t register with me, because truthfully, I was hurt.
It’s not that I wanted the beer cooler with attached bottle opener. Hell, I would have just given them the beer cooler if they really wanted it. I just wanted to be number one at karaoke. I mean, all the signs pointed to me winning, so you can imagine I was pretty devastated. You see, this is now my third-consecutive time placing second in a karaoke competition. These competitions only come around a few times a year, and I’ve been practicing songs almost every Thursday night, when Finny’s Pub hosts karaoke night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to keep practicing and trying to earn that “number one at karaoke” title, which I so deserve.
Most of the week after losing the karaoke competition, I spent hiking in the dense woods of Pennsylvania. I camped and backpacked when I had to, but mostly I just walked. I felt like I had lost touch with reality and needed to realign myself. I tried singing the songs I had sung the night of the competition, but I began to feel a sense of loathing toward those songs; I felt so naïve in thinking that song selection could win a karaoke competition.
By the end of the week, I had reintroduced myself into normal society and was ready to return to the karaoke stage. My unnamed source inside Finny’s Pub continued to claim he had information about interference in the karaoke competition and what I immediately found strange was that the word Russia kept coming up. Part of me wanted so badly for it to be true that I wasn’t responsible for my own loss, but addressed it with a grain of skepticism. Within the next few hours, as the evidence began to pile up, I launched a full-throttle investigation into the potential of Russian interference in the karaoke competition.
That investigation continues and more and more revelations pour in everyday. This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can read all about my personal accounts of Russian meddling in my upcoming tell-all book, What Happened At the Karaoke Competition?