Well, it wasn't a round.
It was, to Cass's utter surprise and something akin to horror, a solo.*
Which meant up on the stage alone.
He went, bravely, stood on his mark, and at a whispered command from his music teacher tried to smile....except one side of his face wasn't working and the other looked like he suddenly couldn't remember what muscles to move to make it work. After a moment when he looked like he had a giant invisible cigar hanging out of his mouth he finally (like he had a toothache!) smiled, and then the music started.
And he sang. And we could hear him. Could even understand the words.
Afterwards, of course, hearing the applause, he grinned like a champ and sauntered off the stage, waving with both hands.
Ten boys singing the same song. Then a pause. And the judging.
He's decided the third-place ribbon means he's going to do it next year, too.
*I'm guessing they all practiced together every time? Well, no harm done.