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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A battle of the vocal cords is set for Sept. 13 at Yokota’s Enlisted Club.

About 16 contestants will put their singing talents on the line for $500 during the “Yokota Idol” competition.

A spin-off of television’s “American Idol” for adults 18 or older, 22 entered the contest, assistant club manager Aaron Feinberg said.

The deadline to enter was Wednesday.

“We’ll see how many actually show up,” he said. “We’re hoping to have 16 contestants for the night of the event.”

The club was to hold a closed, practice run Saturday to narrow down the performers, if need be, and give contestants a chance to practice their songs, Feinberg said. The song list comes from the club’s karaoke book.

During the contest, each performer will sing one karaoke song for no longer than three minutes during the first round.

Judges will then pare the field to six contestants for round two, and down to three semifinalists for the third and final round.

The audience will choose the winner and runner-up through an applause meter, Feinberg said.

The winner will receive $500 cash, the runner-up $250 in club dollars.

Volunteer judges will try to imitate the “American Idol” panelists, Feinberg said. One will make wise cracks like Simon Cowell, and another will act like Paula Abdul, Cowell’s nemesis who tries to say something nice about everyone, Feinberg said. The third “expert” judge is an Air Force band member.

Yokota Idol starts at 9:30 p.m. in the ballroom.

Admission is free for club members and $6 at the door for others.

The club also hosts its Family Day picnic from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 13 in the parking lot. The event features blow-up rides, door prizes, free food and entertainment for all ages.

A comedy show then kicks off in the Spectrum Lounge from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Also that evening, 374th Services Division will announce winners for a Harley Davidson motorcycle, $5,000 cash and two shopping sprees — the grand prizes in Services’ summer giveaway contests.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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