Sunset Park resident Ana Mercado stole the show at the United Senior Citizens Center’s karaoke competition Tuesday, bringing the audience to its feet as she danced and sang Vicente Fernandez’s “Volver, Volver.”
BK Sings Platinum Edition was one of more than 20 competitions at senior centers across Brooklyn organized by Borough President Eric Adams. Brooklyn singers over the age of 60 were invited to participate.
Mercado bested eight other opponents in Sunset Park to move onto the semifinal round. The final competition will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Oct. 4.
“Isn’t it pretty?” Mercado said, holding up her medal.
The 65-year-old wore a white tutu underneath her yellow competition tee shirt. With a long string of pearls around her neck and a pop of red on her lips, she was a natural crowd-pleaser. The lifelong Brooklyn resident had only ever sung in church before the competition.
“I’m proud of myself, I guess,” she said.
David Soto channeled Frank Sinatra in sunglasses and a baseball cap for a second-place finish with his rendition of “A Mi Manera (My Way).” Luis Cardona came in third with “Mujeres Divinas,” another Vicente Fernandez song.
Borough President Adams addressed the crowd through a translator before announcing the winners.
“Brooklyn is a great place to live, and we are going to make sure you always have a place to live in Brooklyn,” he said. “Mi casa es su casa.”
Also in attendance was Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who encouraged the largely Latino crowd to vote and assured them they should feel welcome in America.
“We are here to stay,” he told them.
But the atmosphere overall was more jovial than political.
“We come here to eat, to relax,” volunteer Juana Cruz, 62, said in Spanish. “Here, we are family,” she added.
That familial spirit was evident by the thunderous applause and the dozens of community members who rose to congratulate contestants after each song.
“A lot of times seniors have this talent that they are not able to display,” said judge Edgar Alvarez, who works in the entertainment industry. “Not only is this a good show for us, but it’s something that makes them feel good as well.”