Of the 1.6 million McDonald’s restaurant employees around the world, 12 vocalists have made it all the way to the finals in the company’s third Voice of McDonald’s singing competition. Voice of McDonald’s is a worldwide contest to discover, recognize, and reward the most talented singers among McDonald’s restaurant employees.

Along with judging by top music industry professionals, customers also cast more than 680,000 online votes to help select the 12 finalists who have been awarded a trip to Orlando, Florida, along with a guest, to participate in the final competition to be held at McDonald’s Worldwide Owner/Operator Convention in April 2010.

“The musical talent we’ve seen this year is incredible,” says Rich Floersch, McDonald’s executive vice president and global chief human resources officer. “McDonald’s makes it possible for our employees to follow their dreams, both personally and professionally. These stars from behind the counters of our restaurants are an inspiration for all of us. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.”

Once in Orlando, finalists will perform in two rounds of final competition on a massive concert stage with a live orchestra in front of 15,000 McDonald’s owner/operators, employees, and suppliers in attendance at McDonald’s Worldwide Owner/Operator Convention.

An entourage will provide each finalist with expertise on hair and makeup, choreography, stage presence, and vocal coaching. The competition will be judged by a professional panel of international judges from the vocal and music industry, including the co-president of Sony/ATV Music Jody Gerson and entertainment attorney and agent Ken Hertz of Goldring, Hertz and Lichtenstein LLP.

The Voice of McDonald’s grand-prize winner will take home $25,000. The second prize includes $10,000, third prize receives $5,000, and all other finalists will win $1,500. All finalists also will receive $500 for their restaurants and a $1,000 donation in their names for their local Ronald McDonald House Charities or other children’s charity.

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