ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 04/23/12 -- Tonight, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) Owner/Operators, employees and suppliers from around the world witnessed powerful performances that rocked the arena from 16 semi-finalists in the Voice of McDonald's singing competition. Hosted by singer and actress KeKe Palmer, an audience of thousands cheered on the contestants as they each sang a song in front of a panel of judges from the music and entertainment industry, including Latin Grammy-nominated singer and actor Diego Boneta.
Following tonight's competition, the four finalists are:
•Chrislyn Hamilton -- Brisbane, Australia •Dyscem Müldener -- Munich, Germany •Lyam Soto -- Fajardo, Puerto Rico •Stephanie Savage -- Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
They will advance to the finals on Thursday to compete for the Voice of McDonald's title -- an honor that yields a grand prize of $25,000. In addition, the grand prize winner will lend their voice to an upcoming DreamWorks Animation movie, work with a music-industry executive to produce a record demo, appear in an upcoming McDonald's TV commercial in their local market, and receive a VIP trip to the American Idol finale in Los Angeles. The second prize winner receives $17,500, third prize winner receives $15,000, fourth prize winner receives $12,500, and all other contestants win $3,000. All finalists receive $500 for a celebration party with co-workers at their restaurants and a $1,000 donation in their names for their local Ronald McDonald House Charities or other children's charity.
During Thursday's final round, the four contestants will be judged by some of the biggest names in the entertainment, music and recording industries, including: Grammy-Award winning singer Toni Braxton, veteran music producers Ron Fair and David Foster, CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg, and prominent entertainment attorney and brand strategist Ken Hertz.
"It was great to share the stage with such amazing singers tonight," said Palmer. "There are some really talented employees that work at McDonald's and they have bright futures ahead of them."
"Judging this competition was extremely hard given the incredible performances by the singers at McDonald's," said Boneta. "I can relate to these kids because I was discovered at age 12 in a nationwide singing competition in Mexico. It was great to be a part of Voice of McDonald's and I look forward to seeing who will win."
The Voice of McDonald's is a worldwide contest to discover, recognize and reward the most talented singers among the approximately 1.8 million restaurant employees in the McDonald's system. This fourth edition of the competition started with an initial field of more than 20,000 entries, included more than 70 country contests and 30 live performances before the popular singing competition called on consumers in five markets and top music industry professionals to narrow the field to 16 semi-finalist contestants.
To learn more about the Voice of McDonald's finalists and to view a live webcast of the final competition on Thursday, visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com or www.voiceofmcdonalds.com. For downloadable web and broadcast-quality video clips, visit http://www.epklink.com/VOMSemifinals/.
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 33,000 locations serving approximately 68 million customers in 119 countries each day. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/mcdonaldscorp).
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