As emcee Bert Parks led the applause, Klimpke walked off (barefoot) with the $2,000 grand prize.
The judges' decision drew heated remarks from the runner-up, Mary Beswick, 27. The Seattle singer was wandering around backstage afterward, imploring, "Get me a job, that's all I ask!" to any straggler who would listen. "I don't want to sound sour," she confided, "but I'm very disappointed. I was hoping to be discovered."
So was the winner—and still is. "My dream is to get a TV role," Klimpke says from his Denver home, where he croons to fiancée Vanda Weuve, 27. "Maybe this will help me. If not, I'll just keep singing in the shower. The $2,000 will pay for a lot of water bills."
Alan Klimpke, an actor-singer who usually performs at the Oakley Opera House in Denver, got the opportunity to use his pipes at New York's Radio City Music Hall recently. But he had to toss his modesty down the drain for the chance. Klimpke, 35, was one of nine finalists who, floating to the top from a field of 500, were competing in the Coast-to-Coast Shower Sing-Off, a contest sponsored by a soap company. Wearing only swimming trunks underneath, Klimpke was outfitted for the occasion as a walking shower stall. A wire ring around his neck supported a circular rod with a polka-dot shower curtain; a plastic tube running up his back culminated in a shower head with tinsel "water." Singing on a stage that had been rigged to simulate bathroom acoustics, Klimpke—a baritone who's been warbling in the shower since his soprano days—did a Willie Nelson takeoff: "Maybe I didn't shower/ Quite as often as I could have/ And I guess I didn't use soap/ Quite as much as I should have/ My little bar of soap, it just sat alone/ I just never took the time/ But it was ALWAYS ON MY MIND...."