Fans of the Blackhawks and Bruins are treated each game night by Jim Cornelison in Chicago and Rene Rancourt in Boston to rousing renditions of the Star Spangled Banner belting out the national anthem with the same ferocity as the two teams play games.
Now the 2013 Stanley Cup competition is extended as the crooners will duel in a sing-off in the final of television show American Idol Seniors.
“Not since the hair-pulling match between Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler has there been this much interest,” producer Simon Cowell told interviewer Piers Morgan.
To reach the final, Cornelison and Rancourt beat Tony Orlando, Jermaine Jackson and Wayne Newton in a runoff where the contestants were required to sing tunes by the late country and western singer, Slim Whitman.
Cornelison won over the crowd with a knockout version of Whitman’s “The Cattle Call,” a song about a lonely cowboy on the plains.
“I sang it a few weeks ago just before the start of the LaGrange (IL) Pet Parade and it killed,” Cornelison said to the show’s panel of judges, which includes Ozzy Osborne, Kool of “Kool and the Gang,” Yoko Ono and Johnny Rotten.
While Rancourt struggled with Whitman’s classic “Indian Love Call,” it was his signature fist pump that put voters over the top.
“Show me a woman over the age of 60 who doesn’t melt like a piece of Velveeta cheese in a fondue pot after I do the pump,” Rancourt said.