- BC Games
West Van singer hits a high note at Canucks game
Amanda Wood, a diehard Canucks fan, had some pre-game jitters before Tuesday night's game at Rogers Arena — but it had nothing to do with how her hometown hockey team would do against the visiting New Jersey Devils.
Wood was about to sing the Canadian and American national anthems prior to puck drop in front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 19,000.
Wearing four-inch heels and standing in a puddle of melted ice in the Zamboni entrance, the West Vancouver singer had a few things on her mind as the arena lights dimmed — namely, not tripping as she walked out on the green-and-white roll of carpet and trying not to forget the lyrics to either national anthem. Although she could recite both in her sleep, many guest anthem singers have lost the words at sporting events.
Mostly, though, she was focused on making her friends, family and the fans who voted for her proud.
Wood had earned the opportunity to sing the anthems at the Canucks-Devils game by entering the "Rock the Rog" singing contest put on by the Canucks.
First, she had to submit a video of herself singing both the national anthems accapella. Wood, who made her video in the parking garage of her West Vancouver apartment decked out in a blue Canucks T-shirt, says her approach to singing the anthems wasn't all about showcasing her own vocal talents, but rather leading the crowd to sing along with her. "Join me in honouring these two countries," she explains. (Watch her contest entry here).
The top 20 contestants were selected by a panel of judges and then Canucks fans helped whittle the number down to 10 by voting on Facebook.
Wood was one of the finalists who then had one more challenge: perform the songs in a live audition at Rogers in front of current Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly, Beat 94.5 FM's Chris Palliser and a member of the Canucks organization.
Wood was the choice of the judges.
"The other contestants were really good it was a real honour to win because they were truly talented," she says.
But now it was her turn to perform. As she walked onto the ice on Tuesday night she says things went into slow-mo and the noise from the crowd suddenly seemed to be tuned out. All she could hear as she prepared to sing was Roberto Luongo's skate blades as he shuffled in his crease.
Then with her long blond hair flowing over her "Canuck blue" dress from West Van's Blush Bridal, Wood flawlessly belted out each anthem to the rafters in the biggest moment so far in her singing career.
She'd rocked the Rog, and the fans roared with approval.
"Just like an athlete you want to feel like you left it all on the ice," she says.
And she did.
Even Luongo seemed impressed.
"He did this big nod and smile," she says.
"This has surpassed anything I could have ever imaged," says Wood of the anthem-singing experience.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, but judging from the crowd response on Tuesday, expect to see Wood in Canuck colours again soon.
In the meantime, Wood, who has been singing professionally since 2006, is preparing for the release of a new album entitled My Love. She describes her style as a female version of Michael Bublé, combining jazz with adult contemporary and original songs.
For more, go to amandawood.com