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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Hello!

I'm preparing to enter a Karaoke competition and I could use advice on what order to line up my songs. I'm concerned that if I start with my strongest song(s) (when competition is less fierce) I won't have my best to use for the later rounds when the competition is stronger. But if I hold my best for later, I might not get a chance to use it.

The competition is four elimination rounds. Singers will be judged on, (not necessarily in this order of priority):
singing ability (obviously)
sensitivity, vocal range, power
Difficulty of song
breath control
movements
audience engagement

Here's how my four songs stack up for those features. This is in no particular order

Song A:
Difficult song for being rapid fire, non stop
Demands a bit of breath control skill because of the pace of the song.
Not too demanding for range or power.
Strongly invites movements.
Audiences love this song. I always get an enthusiastic response.

Song B:
Matches my vocal tones very well. Allows me to show off my 'crooner' voice. So it showcase my voice well.
A little bit demanding for vocal range.
Only a little bit demanding for power-notes.
Doesn't invite much in the way of movement.
Audiences respond well to the song. They really like the tune and sometime request that I sing it.

Song C:
A pop / rock song.
Allows me to show some vocal sensitivity at the beginning, then builds to power notes toward the end.
A little bit demanding for vocal range.
Doesn't invite much in the way of movement.
A little bit demonstrates breath control.
Very popular song with audiences. They often sing along.

Song D:
A show tune. This one can be a slam dunker to win a competition.
Strongly demonstrates vocal range.
Has parts that require sensitivity and parts with strong power notes.
As such, needs strong command of breath control.
Strongly invites movements.
Audiences really enjoy it.

So what's the best order to line these up in an elimination-rounds competition?

Any advice will be helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Two things...

1. Save the best for last.
2. Engage the audience. Meaning, get away from the monitor, walk into the audience, maintain eye contact with them, and sing to the crowd. Get them into it. Of course you need a song that you know by heart.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:42 pm 
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Whatever ones allow you to not have to rely on the monitor standing still and staring right at it.
Make the audience feel your songs/emotionally - again eye contact, feelings.
Our contests I always push the fact that a great singer with little to no stage presence can actually lose to a good singer that is entertaining and engaging and/or can make the crowd 'feel' what they are singing.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:14 pm 
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If you want to get out of the contest quickly, stand still and sing
a soul-crushing lost-love ballad.... that lasts 6 mins....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Never sing any Sound Choice Version of Journey's Faithfully even if you know the exact words because every version that Sound Choice ever put out screwed up on the lyrics on screen and that's what most judges are going to go by fir knowledge of the song. Even if you are singing the exact lyrics that Steve Perry sang without having to look at the screen, they are still going to think that you sang the wrong lyrics.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:44 am 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Never sing any Sound Choice Version of Journey's Faithfully even if you know the exact words because every version that Sound Choice ever put out screwed up on the lyrics on screen and that's what most judges are going to go by fir knowledge of the song. Even if you are singing the exact lyrics that Steve Perry sang without having to look at the screen, they are still going to think that you sang the wrong lyrics.

Not necessarily, judges often go on (at least ours) how well a singer can interpret and make a song their own.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Practice until you have more than one best song.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Most contests in my area graded on lyric accuracy and the judges basically let the lyrics on the screen dictate what were the right lyrics for them. If you strayed from what was on the screen, you screwed yourself in that judging category because most of the judges were too lazy to think for themselves and decipher when the Karaoke manufacturer screwed up on the lyrics when it was easier just to take the lyrics on the screen as gospel.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:47 pm 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Most contests in my area graded on lyric accuracy and the judges basically let the lyrics on the screen dictate what were the right lyrics for them. If you strayed from what was on the screen, you screwed yourself in that judging category because most of the judges were too lazy to think for themselves and decipher when the Karaoke manufacturer screwed up on the lyrics when it was easier just to take the lyrics on the screen as gospel.

Are the contestant made aware of the version the contest is using? This way they can practice on that particular version whether the lyrics are correct or not.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:36 pm 
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bazinga wrote:
DannyG2006 wrote:
Most contests in my area graded on lyric accuracy and the judges basically let the lyrics on the screen dictate what were the right lyrics for them. If you strayed from what was on the screen, you screwed yourself in that judging category because most of the judges were too lazy to think for themselves and decipher when the Karaoke manufacturer screwed up on the lyrics when it was easier just to take the lyrics on the screen as gospel.

Are the contestant made aware of the version the contest is using? This way they can practice on that particular version whether the lyrics are correct or not.

Ah but being the Journey Fan that I am, I cannot sing lyrics that I know are incorrect. I have to sing it the correct way or not at all, even if it is my best song. Unless I know for a fact that they have a Version with the correct lyrics on the screen. The other choice I have is to direct to the judges before the song starts not to pay attention to the lyrics on the screen because they are wrong and that I will be singing the correct lyrics.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:19 pm 
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The bottom line (for me anyway) is that contests suck. They do more harm than good. They're never judged fairly and cause a lot of hard feelings. I hate them with a passion and want no part of them.

It's funny how people show up for a contest that you've never seen before, and after they win, you never see them again.

Contests are not cool. Did I mention how much I hate them?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:40 am 
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Alan B wrote:
The bottom line (for me anyway) is that contests suck. They do more harm than good. They're never judged fairly and cause a lot of hard feelings. I hate them with a passion and want no part of them.

It's funny how people show up for a contest that you've never seen before, and after they win, you never see them again.

Contests are not cool. Did I mention how much I hate them?



8) When I was hosting full time I worked very hard to build up a feeling of comradeship between my regular singers. A singing contest destroys in a short period of time this feeling of mutual respect. Any benefit hoped for by the venue as far as increased traffic is a sugar rush, and will only last as long as the contest continues. In over 20 years of hosting I only have hosted one contest, and that was because it wasn't a regular gig of mine. I did none of the judging and only acted as the air traffic controller for that evening.

P.S. Did I mention that what you usually do as a host is good most nights, on contest night everyone is a diva, or you made someone look bad on purpose, it was fixed, worst host ever I didn't win, you didn't make me sound like Elvis. Have plenty of extra bar towels handy for all the crying.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:30 am 
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Alan B wrote:
Contests are not cool. Did I mention how much I hate them?


I've been in a few. As Smoothedge will tell you, I really have no business being in an actual singing competition, so if a bar I am at has it on a regularly scheduled karaoke night, I enter just so I can get my karaoke fix.

My personal opinion on contests mirrors yours--the only way I find them agreeable is if they are at a place that typically does karaoke on one night, and then they have the contest as another night that normally doesn't have karaoke. That way, it keeps the people who are just drunken karaoke enthusiasts (e.g.: me) on their regular schedule, and lets the competitive folks have their night as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:00 am 
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Alan B wrote:
The bottom line (for me anyway) is that contests suck. They do more harm than good. They're never judged fairly and cause a lot of hard feelings. I hate them with a passion and want no part of them.

It's funny how people show up for a contest that you've never seen before, and after they win, you never see them again.

Contests are not cool. Did I mention how much I hate them?


Won't be seeing you at the contest then? Just guessing. :wink:

I agree that, on one level, the judges often go off in unexpected directions and lots of hard feelings can fly out of contests. That means that we've got to go into them with a different frame of mind. Play to win, yes, but it's mostly going to do you good by making you better at what you do. If you win, then great. If not, you're now better.

Getting ready for competition has made me notice things like what really grabs an audience; how letting go of worries about judgement gets me singing better; it's shown me the incredible amount of support in the karaoke community; and it's made me work on improving my singing every. single. day. Which is pure joy. So even if I lose, I win.


Last edited by CruneMeATune on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am 
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Alan B wrote:
Two things...

1. Save the best for last.
2. Engage the audience. Meaning, get away from the monitor, walk into the audience, maintain eye contact with them, and sing to the crowd. Get them into it. Of course you need a song that you know by heart.


Best for last - good tip. Thank you.

Doing songs you know by heart - pretty much a gotta. Cause if you don't know even the words, how can you concentrate on delivering a good show.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am 
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Lonman wrote:
Whatever ones allow you to not have to rely on the monitor standing still and staring right at it.
Make the audience feel your songs/emotionally - again eye contact, feelings.
Our contests I always push the fact that a great singer with little to no stage presence can actually lose to a good singer that is entertaining and engaging and/or can make the crowd 'feel' what they are singing.


You are so right. That's one of the first things that karaoke nights taught me: people forgive a lot if you're entertaining, and a big part of entertaining is 100% commitment. Commit. Commit. Commit. Feel it. Let it go.

Then I realized, that's also true for professional performances. I hadn't noticed before how many professionals actually aren't perfect singers. But they grab my attention. They feel it. They know how to engage the audience.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:16 am 
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c. staley wrote:
If you want to get out of the contest quickly, stand still and sing
a soul-crushing lost-love ballad.... that lasts 6 mins....


Good point, brilliantly made! XD

[I went to find an example on the internet to emphasize your point. Got lost in a country music vortex. ]


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:19 am 
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Lonman wrote:
DannyG2006 wrote:
Never sing any Sound Choice Version of Journey's Faithfully even if you know the exact words because every version that Sound Choice ever put out screwed up on the lyrics on screen and that's what most judges are going to go by fir knowledge of the song. Even if you are singing the exact lyrics that Steve Perry sang without having to look at the screen, they are still going to think that you sang the wrong lyrics.

Not necessarily, judges often go on (at least ours) how well a singer can interpret and make a song their own.


You two are getting to a very interesting and important point. I've found ways to make songs my own without changing lyrics, but if I can have at least a little wiggle room then I can totally knock some songs out of the park. For example, the version we have here of Andra Day's "Rise Up" closes without lyrics, but just a backing tack of "Uh uh.." s. If I'm allowed to sing "Fooorrrr youuuuu...." over that backing tack, it closes the song so well. Would the judges allow that? I don't know.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:31 am 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Never sing any Sound Choice Version of Journey's Faithfully even if you know the exact words because every version that Sound Choice ever put out screwed up on the lyrics on screen and that's what most judges are going to go by fir knowledge of the song. Even if you are singing the exact lyrics that Steve Perry sang without having to look at the screen, they are still going to think that you sang the wrong lyrics.


Yah. Like the version that they play here of "Love Runs Out", starts the second verse with "I'll be your ghost, your fin "
What the heck is a fin?

But that rules the song out for the competition, cause I. Just. Can't. Sing. That. Awesome. Lyric. Wrong.


Last edited by CruneMeATune on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:31 am 
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earthling12357 wrote:
Practice until you have more than one best song.


Thank you. Yes. My problem is I have to choose.


Last edited by CruneMeATune on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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