But that wasn't the point of this post. Really.
No, this post was inspired by listening to the singers in my division. Wow. And I don't mean wow in a good way. After the first singer, I whispered to Ellie, "I don't know how he got in over me." Her response: "Neither do I." After the second singer, we just looked at each other; there was no need to say more. The third singer was the only one who even approached my class, and I'm confident I would have beat him. Neither one of us understand how I didn't make the finals.
We have no idea what the preliminary judges were thinking. I may not have sung my absolute best, but I sang well. And on a bad day I can sing circles around the first two singers.
This isn't a case of overinflated sense of self. If anything, I tend to be too harsh a critic of myself. I know full well that the reason I compete in the Avocational division is because I can't beat the fine singers in Division V. Last year, when I placed third, I acknowledged that the first and second place singers were better than me, because they were. And you'd better believe I know good singing! When I heard Dana (last week's failed date) and the others in her division, I knew she was going to win. And she did. I knew Michelle had kicked ass. And she won Division V. I talked to Tom, who heard my repertoire on Friday morning. He agrees with me. I talked to Leslie, another voice teacher with whom I'm friends. She agreed that the first two singers didn't belong.
I talked to Ellie after she handed out the prizes. She told me the judges strongly considered not giving a first-place prize in Avocational, that all three of those finalists scored pathetically low across the board. So, I have to wonder what the hell the preliminary judges were thinking. I didn't barely miss, like I did two years ago when I made one silly little mistake in an otherwise flawless performance and just missed the finals by one point. No, I missed by 8 points. And I wonder how many other singers in my division got similarly screwed. I guarantee you, with competent judging -- and the finals judges are all respected musicians and quite competent -- I would have smoked that pathetically weak field and walked away not only with first place in my division ($300) but the oratorio prize ($50). It really is infuriating. And I can't blame my accompanist, because his mistake cannot account for the fact that the judges advanced two bad singers to the finals. I thought that maybe his mistake allowed another good singer to sneak by me, which is what happened two years ago; but, no, he is off the hook. The preliminary judges were simply out of their minds!
But I am happy for my friend Michelle. She really does have an incredible instrument and she is such a fantastic person. I absolutely love her to death because she has such a beautiful soul and beautiful voice. I wish we both could have celebrated, but she definitely deserves her $500 prize.
And I'm happy that I met QotN, that she kept glancing in my direction when I was sitting with others, that she mentioned her "ex-boyfriend" a couple of times, and that she gave me her number. That's almost as good as making the finals! ;) Hopefully it will work out.