After a month of intense online competition and campaigning, Tehachapi’s Maureen Recalde has been named one of three national finalists in the Voice of McDonald’s singing competition.
“I am just so happy and grateful for the people who sat on their computer and voted for me,” said Recalde of the outpouring of support she received. “Social media definitely helped and having laptop stations in our stores. It helped get the word out about voting.”
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Voted into the top three from a group of 22 regional entries representing the United States, the Tehachapi store manager was among 800 McDonald’s employees who entered the competition in August. Now, she and 15 other winners from the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and APMEA (Asia/Pacific/Middle East) will compete for the Global Voice of McDonald's title in April during the McDonald’s Worldwide Owner/Operators Convention in Orlando.
Above: Maureen Recalde at work. Photo courtesy of Tehachapi News
In the initial round of competition, Recalde, 22, impressed the celebrity panel of judges with her video submission: a cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You.” After being named Southern California Regional winner, she was sent to Hollywood to cut a video, this time a cover of Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional.” For the second round, the public was invited to vote for their favorite during the month of November at voiceofmcdonalds.com.
“I’m so proud of Maureen, said her mother, Mary Ann Paciullo, who owns the Tehachapi restaurant where her daughter works. “I knew since she was 3 years old that she was talented. I used to drive from Tehachapi to Santa Barbara when she was in college to watch her sing. I knew that some day that she was going to be able to accomplish something like this.”
After being notified of her win on Dec. 2, Recalde said she took some time to celebrate, but now has her eyes set on the weeklong trip to Orlando, where she’ll compete for the $25,000 cash prize before an audience estimated at 16,000.
“I do know they’re going to have a choreographed show planned for us, so that makes me nervous. At least we all have something in common — we all work at McDonald’s.”
For her final song choice, Recalde said she’s already begun scrolling through her library.
“I’m thinking about a pop song, maybe something jazzy. It probably won’t be country. It’ll take some time to choose it, but I know it’ll be good.”
HEAR Maureen Recalde on 12-15-11 edition of Californian Radio!
Also printed in the 12-15-11 edition of The Bakersfield Californian
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