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“KickenBird” Arizona Becomes Notorious On the High Seas”

by Sergio Horcos


Pacific Ocean Way Out,-At our last campfire chat, I told you about my whole experience with my family’s first Cruise experience. It was a Holland America Cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. If you missed that fireside chat, go to www.wickenburgnews.com, then hit Family and read “Cruisin’ The Best Vacation Ever?”

But I stopped short when I got to the little side adventure of “Cowboy Karaoke on the High Seas”... So pull up a stool and put your marshmallow in the fire and let me tell you this weird story!

            When I left you last, I was telling you about all the incredible entertainment that is included onboard a Cruise Ship. Man when you consider the expense put into those shows and then realize it’s included in the price of your cruise ticket, you realize what a bargain a cruise really is. But there’s another type of entertainment on board that I didn’t know about or count on. It’s the “Do It Yourself” kind.  It’s called a Karaoke Bar!!!

The second night on the ship, my wife and I are wandering around enjoying all the entertainment on the ship. We stumbled into a Karaoke Bar. Now, mind you,  I’ve never had the courage to sing in a Karaoke Bar before. But they are sure fun to sit in the audience an watch all the everyday normal people who have 9to5’s ,(and perhaps an unfulfilled dream in their heart,) get up there and give it all they got for the pure pleasure of it. So we sat and watched the brave souls try their hand…and the crowd went wild!!!

It had been a long night for my sweetie, so I walked her back to the room….But I just wasn’t sleepy yet. So I headed back to the rowdy party.   Pretty soon I found myself skimming though the Song Book. Then, as the hour got late and the crowd got thin, I found myself standing in front of a screen singing a bunch of words to a song I’d sung on the radio a thousand times, but never in public!. Lo and behold, I found myself entered into an American Idol type karaoke contest. “Show up tomorrow and sing another song…” they told me. Well, I was too dumb to say “No”, so I showed up. They had us all go on stage, one by one, to sing a piece of a song in front of  3 judges. They were playing the part of American Idol’s Paula Abdul, Simon and the other guy…And each one of us got grilled, in fun, with the “Simon wanna be” judge being hilariously cynical and witty. Little did I know, when I picked my song to sing, that he “hated Country Music and hated Rap Music…He called it CRAP” Well the number I picked, by Toby Keith, called “I Wanna Talk About Me” could only be described as Country Rap!  So I dedicated it to him! He had a hay-day critiquing me.  Boots, Hat and a guy from “Kickin-Bird, Arizona”. Well, that became the laugh line of the night, and yep!, I made the cut to 5 Semi-Finalists! This time, we had to pick a ballad and an up tempo, and show up in two nights. To keep the playing field fair, no one was allowed to use the club to practice…Just show up and do your best. So I did my best…I chose “Desperado” by the Eagles and “Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend” by Loverboy. The Wickenburg Magic carried me through and I made it to the Final Round of 3 Finalists!!!!At this point, this is getting a little crazy. You see, I’ve been with my darling wife for over 15 years…AND SHE HAS NEVER SEEN ME PERFORM ON STAGE BEFORE! Obviously, that also goes for my two boys, 8 and 9 years old, and all my extended family including my In-Laws, nieces, nephews, brother/sister-in laws et al who were all with us on this cruise!! So here we are, 30 plus in the audience rooting for “Wickenburg Arizona”.

But that’s not all. One of the semi finalists was Jerry, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, here in Phoenix. He did a stirring rendition of “Blueberry Hill”, but was, sadly eliminated. But now he, and all of is boisterous retired Police buddies and wives, (20 or more?)  all helped to make a little noise for the only Arizona Boy left in the Finals. At this point the venue of 200 seats had become Standing Room Only, so they moved us to the Main Theater, of 400-500 seats, where they hold their nightly Vegas Style entertainment. The final night has arrived. It’s down to 3 hopeful contestants all competing for the title of “Oosterdam Superstar”. (pronounced OH sterdam. It’s the name of the ship). I wanted to shed the Cowboy niche so “Simon” couldn’t peg me for being too narrow in my abilities, so I chose, “I Am…I Said”, by Neil Diamond, for my ballad, and “You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy” by Billy Joel. At this point, the announcer is having fun with announcing me by saying, “And now, all I need to say is one word...”WICKENBURG”  and our crowd would go wild.            So I did my best….Got a little crazy….and probably embarrassed my wife, kids and In-Laws, by running all over the stage and out into the audience…

And after much deliberation by the judges, “KICKEN-BIRD ARIZONA”

got the most applause, a little bit of International Exposure, and YES! The title of “Oosterdam Superstar!!!”

So, now I know what they mean by “15 MINUTES OF FAME!”  But it’s a whole lot more than that for me. It was a once in a lifetime chance to sing in front of my wife, kids and family. And, a chance to meet some great people from Phoenix, that I would never have met. In fact, if any of you wanna come down to the Fraternal Order of Police get- together in Phoenix, every Friday night, come prepared to sing a few bars of “Blueberry Hill” with my new friends and me!

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