It was tense in the gym at Aptos High School Friday night as 75 people read through a tongue twisting script to try out to be the announcer for the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Five went on to the finals after getting scored by judges including Vice Mayor Hilary Bryant, Grind Out Hunger Fighter Danny Keith, Santa Cruz Warriors player Daniel Nwaelele, radio deejay Jim Pearson from KTOM's The Jim Show.
There was no Simon Cowell. The score ranges were 7-10, but there were only a few 10s given. Two were to Santa Cruz Derby Girls announcer Kim Luke, who has been at the microphone for that roller team for three years. She improvised on the script, adding a line about bringing the Warriors to "peace-loving Santa Cruz."
"You have to improvise," she said in an interview after she read. "That's what it's all about."
Plenty of contenders had trouble with nervousness and the basics of reading, speaking and pronouncing tough names, such as coach Nate Bjorkgren and assistant coach Vitaly Potapenko.
The finals will be held Dec. 16 in front of Warriors season ticket holders and management and former NBA player Jerry West.
Luke was one of the finalists along with Salinas High announcer Brian Day, Jordan Ciliberto, who works for the nonprofit Community Bridges, Emil Diazon, a longtime high school announcer and Barry White-voiced pharmacist Dana Hausman, who works at the Rite Aid in Aptos.