Port Orchard native represents in singing competition

Jessica Barry sings in the shower; she sings in the car. Now, she’s singing in a American Idol-style vocal competition hosted by McDonald’s. And you thought they just made fast food.

Barry, 19, is a graduate of South Kitsap schools, including Hidden Creek Elementary, Marcus Whitman Junior High School and South Kitsap High. She works at McDonalds, and is studying business and marketing at the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus. This summer, while working at the Mile Hill McDonald’s, Barry hear of the 2014 Voice of McDonald’s (VOM) Worldwide Singing Competition and decided to try out, said the company’s regional spokeswoman Hope Lash.
In September, Barry learned that judges had selected her as one of the Top 25 U.S. semi-finalists to represent the McDonald’s Northwest Region, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

She flew down to Los Angeles, worked with a voice coach and recorded her music video for the on-line competition web site, where she is among 25 vocalists representing the United States’ various regions. The four worldwide categories are Asia-Pacific/ Middle East Africa, Europe and Canada. I’m not sure what happened to Central and South America.

This handy map I found on Wikipedia shows when McDonald’s restaurants were established around the world. The U.S. and Canada were the earliest adopters (no surprise there), with most restaurants established between 1940 and 1969. Many countries in Africa and the Middle East do not have McDonald’s. Iran and Boliva used to have McDonald’s but no longer do. McDonalds started trickling into South and Central America in 1975, with Brazil taking the lead, so as I said, I’m not sure why there are no singers from these regions. Nothing political mind you; just a question/ observation.

But I’ve taken quite a bird walk here. Back to the real story.

If Jessica is chosen as one of the top three United States favorites in this vote-driven competition, she will perform live at the McDonald’s 2014 Worldwide Convention in Orlando against 15 other global finalists. The winner will receive $25,000 plus opportunities to connect with top music industry producers and performers.

Voting opened Monday and continues through Dec. 2. And to paraphrase Barack Obama’s promotion of the Affordable Care Act 800-number, here once again is the McDonald’s vocal contest website, http://www.voiceofmcdonalds.com/voting. Click on United States, then Jessica Barry.

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