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Published August 26 2011

Morast: Fargo woman battling on ABC TV’s ‘Karaoke’


It’s always kind of exciting when your cellphone vibrates. Maybe it’s your buddies inviting you to a secret party, the cute girl at work who you’ve been crushing on for weeks wondering if you’re doing anything later, or perhaps it’s Snake from Skid Row calling the wrong number (this actually happened to me).

And sometimes it’s Unknown Caller, that faceless intruder who ignores Do Not Call lists or nags you to settle the unpaid bills of a guy who used to have your new phone number.

These are reasons why we ignore Unknown Caller. And it’s probably why Cassandra Mae Jopp ignored the three months of queries of an Unknown Caller earlier this year.

Good thing her boyfriend answered one of those calls. They turned out to be from ABC.

The TV network was interested in having Jopp, who lives and works in Fargo, be part of their singing competition “Karaoke Battle U.S.A.”

One phone call and one TV episode later, Jopp is a semi-finalist on the program that’s aiming to find America’s best karaoke singer.

“It basically happened so fast,” she says. “I had never even heard about the competition.”

They’d heard of her.

Jopp says ABC found footage of her performance opening for Tim McGraw at WE Fest, along with some other YouTube videos, and thought she’d be perfect for their program trying to crown a king and queen of karaoke.

Turns out ABC was right.

After appearing in last week’s episode as part of the program’s North Region group, Jopp wowed the judges with a spirited, hip-shaking version of The Dixie Chicks’ “Let ’Er Rip” that propelled her to the semi-finals of the show, which airs Fridays on WDAY TV. From there, she’ll compete against other regional female winners for the top spot.

Jopp, 26, and originally from Hutchinson, Minn., says the entire season of “Karaoke Battle U.S.A.” has been taped – meaning she knows how she did.

And while Jopp can’t talk about what happens on the show until it happens on the show, she did say feels “very, very confident” about her ability to compete with the other semi-finalists.

Take that however you will – as a hint of potential glory or a crafty misdirection.

Regardless, this boutique manager says her success in this “Battle” has reignited her passion for singing.

“From here on, it’s all I want to do,” Jopp says. “It’s my dream.”

We’ll all have a chance to see her chase that dream on Friday nights.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518