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updated: 9/15/2011 2:17 PM

Lake in the Hills singer seeks international karaoke fame

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  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com Josh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

      John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com Josh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJosh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

      John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJosh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJosh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

      John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJosh Scholl of Lake in the Hills is a finalist on ABC's Karaoke Battle USA.

 

Josh Scholl may have been a little too over-the-top for producers of "American Idol" and "X Factor" with his zebra print spandex outfits, screeching vocals and Alice Cooper-inspired stage presence.

But the 28-year-old Lake in the Hills native has found his niche on ABC's "Karaoke Battle USA," a singing competition not unlike "Idol" and "X Factor."

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Scholl is one of four contestants on the show's finale, which airs 8 p.m., Friday. At stake is a Hollywood recording contract and the chance to represent the USA in the World Karaoke Championships in Killarney, Ireland.

(Spoiler alert: The Karaoke World Championships were held earlier this month).

Family and friends are planning a viewing party starting at 6:30 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings, 461 S. Randall Road, Algonquin -- right across the street from Jacobs High School, his alma mater.

"When I auditioned for other shows I always wanted to stand out and the feedback was always that it's a little too much," Scholl said from his parents' Lake in the Hills home Wednesday. "But (Karaoke Battle) was with a live band instead of a cappella and it was a little more relaxed."

Scholl, whose parents bought him a karaoke machine to strengthen his lungs as a child, performed Pink's "Raise Your Glass" to showcase his vocal range.

"I was jumping and doing the splits in the air, wearing spandex," Scholl said. "It finally went over well."

While the aim of the show is to find the country's king and queen of karaoke, contestants have moved beyond trying to follow the lyrics on a monitor.

"The level of talent on this show is amazing," Scholl said. "This is not your average karaoke-going experience. If you're reading the words at this point, you're not going to give a very good vocal performance."

To qualify for the semifinals, Scholl beat 30 male performers in qualifying rounds at the local, state and regional levels. He then spent a week in Los Angeles last month to tape the final episodes.

A 2001 graduate of Jacobs High School, Scholl attended Northern Illinois University and graduated in 2006 with a degree in theater. He has designed and performed in haunted attractions at Six Flags Great America and is the lead singer of the '80s cover band, the Breakfast Club. The group asked him to join after watching him perform live-band karaoke.

"My dream would be to come up with a stage show that rivals (Lady) Ga Ga -- very Alice Cooper or Queen," Scholl said. "Put together Ga Ga beats, throw in some reminiscent rock 'n' roll fun with screaming guitar hooks and great melodic vocals on top."

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