Monique is Panama’s representative in the Karaoke World Championships, one of 40 amateur warblers selected from 30,000 entrants for the competition, which is being held this year for the first time in its spiritual home of Japan.
Accountants, teachers and economists from as far afield as the Faroe Islands, Guatemala and Brazil battled it out for the prestigious title of the world’s best karaoke singer in the competition run since 2003.
And like everyone around the world who has ever grabbed the mic, for a brief time under the spotlight, the contestants found their 15 minutes of fame.
“Karaoke can make everyone feel for one moment like a professional. Only karaoke can give you those few minutes of glory on the stage,” said Vladyslav Karasevych, a contestant from Ukraine.
Resplendent in a black and white “Harlequin” outfit and white hat, and proudly waving a Ukrainian flag, Karasevych introduced his compatriots, including a woman dressed like “Hatsune Miku”, a vocaloid character with long blue ponytails and a miniskirt.