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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:02 am 
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I entered a karaoke contest last night to try to qualify for semi-finals, I didn’t get in. I sang Hot Blooded by Foreigner, I thought I was pretty good. Got lots of compliments. My friend did get into semi-finals with Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood. I’m not a huge fan of country at all, I can’t sing that.

I think my friend beat me because of her stage presence, so I need to work on that. I think my song choice might’ve been bad too, even though I nailed it.

I want a song that lots of people know. I can’t really sing my favorite band Muse’s songs because they’re not really well known. The judges judge song choice so I want something they’ll already like.

I want to do New York, New York by Frank Sinatra for the finals. I reaaaally good at that song, I think I’ll nail it. I need to beat this girl who also got into the semi-finals tonight with an Adele song. I can’t really sing Adele, too low.

I need some options for this upcoming qualifying round in 2 weeks. I get 2 more tries to get in, so if I fail in 2 weeks at least I get one more chance in 3.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 11:42 am 
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What were the gender of the judges, is your friend cute? Could be a possibility, i've seen that happen first hand in many contests i've seen ran at various different clubs. Just be aware.

That being said when I run contests, I STRESS stage presence can be the make or break between an ok performance and a winning performance. The ones I run are about the whole package. A great singer that just stands there staring at the monitor or blankly staring at the audience will lose almost every time to a decent singer that can work the stage and/or audience.
That being said.........Sinatra - YAWN! Been done to death. If you worked the stage with Hot Blooded, that could have been a winner, if you just stood there, staring at the monitor......

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 8:53 am 
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Stage presence is crucial. It's what takes singing and makes it a performance. I stumbled into and won a karaoke contest because of it, despite not being a great singer (SmoothEdge can verify that I am not Actually Good At Singing), because of working the stage and the audience interaction on a song they weren't expecting a guy who looks like me to do well with--"Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool.

What is your voice like? What kind of music do you connect with, aside from Muse? What can you cold rock without looking at a screen? What can you make your own?


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:33 am 
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I used to scan a room trying to pick the perfect song for the people in the room and the current mood. Then I'd fear it wasn't the right choice. Crowds smell fear like sharks smell blood in the water.

Pick songs you can nail. Forget about genre. Take arrangements you know inside and out including the lyrics.

Own the song. If you pick Sinatra, do it your way. (get it?). Practice and vary your delivery from his. You are going up against amateurs. Don't lose by going up against Sinatra because you will.

Have fun with the song.

Sell the song.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 4:14 am 
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Personally, and from my experience with contests, how they're run and how they're judged, I would avoid them altogether.

I have never, that's right, never... seen a contest judged fairly or impartially. All they do is cause anger, frustration and ill feelings.

I know that some of the KJ's here may be an exception to this and actually run a fair contest. They are in the 1% who can run a good contest. The other 99% should be avoided, if you want to keep your sanity.

One of my regular singers recently entered a contest at a competing bar. She was encouraged to enter because she is a really good singer. She's got the voice, she's got the moves, and she's got stage presence. The whole package. So... did she win? Of course not... the owners niece did who can't sing worth a lick.

This is why I don't and won't do them. I hate them with a passion. And take my word for it, this is how 99% of the contests are run.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:57 am 
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Alan B wrote:
Personally, and from my experience with contests, how they're run and how they're judged, I would avoid them altogether.

I have never, that's right, never... seen a contest judged fairly or impartially. All they do is cause anger, frustration and ill feelings.

I know that some of the KJ's here may be an exception to this and actually run a fair contest. They are in the 1% who can run a good contest. The other 99% should be avoided, if you want to keep your sanity.

One of my regular singers recently entered a contest at a competing bar. She was encouraged to enter because she is a really good singer. She's got the voice, she's got the moves, and she's got stage presence. The whole package. So... did she win? Of course not... the owners niece did who can't sing worth a lick.

This is why I don't and won't do them. I hate them with a passion. And take my word for it, this is how 99% of the contests are run.


The question was not, "Do you think karaoke contests are fair?" OK, you don't like contests. I don't either and never ran them or participated in them. But this isn't about your opinion on them or mine. Can you not derail even a single thread?

Most of the advise here can be used with a contest or just performing in general.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:28 am 
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MrBoo wrote:
The question was not, "Do you think karaoke contests are fair?"

You are absolutely correct. However, it seems from his post that this may be his first encounter with entering a contest. So, I think that he should be made aware of the reality of what he can expect.

Meaning...

In most contests, song selection, stage presence, and a great voice mean absolutely nothing. The winner or winners have already been decided. Those are the facts.

So, giving him advice on song selection and working the crowd is great. But he needs to know that none of that really matters 99% of the time. And that it wasn't about your song choice at all. It was about you just weren't as pretty as that hot babe.

Remember, if the KJ has a chance to "score" with that babe, even though she can't sing, who do you think is going to win? Yes, I've seen it so many times.

These are the facts. Knowing this is more important than what song should I sing.

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Last edited by Alan B on Mon May 20, 2019 6:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:29 am 
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But I still wish him luck.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:40 pm 
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Alan B wrote:
Personally, and from my experience with contests, how they're run and how they're judged, I would avoid them altogether.

I have never, that's right, never... seen a contest judged fairly or impartially. All they do is cause anger, frustration and ill feelings.

I know that some of the KJ's here may be an exception to this and actually run a fair contest. They are in the 1% who can run a good contest. The other 99% should be avoided, if you want to keep your sanity.

One of my regular singers recently entered a contest at a competing bar. She was encouraged to enter because she is a really good singer. She's got the voice, she's got the moves, and she's got stage presence. The whole package. So... did she win? Of course not... the owners niece did who can't sing worth a lick.

This is why I don't and won't do them. I hate them with a passion. And take my word for it, this is how 99% of the contests are run.

Normally, I would agree with you but a friend of mine ran a contest that was vocal quality only and how well it would record because the prize two hours of recording time in a professional recording studio with a CD of the finished product.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:55 pm 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Alan B wrote:
Personally, and from my experience with contests, how they're run and how they're judged, I would avoid them altogether.

I have never, that's right, never... seen a contest judged fairly or impartially. All they do is cause anger, frustration and ill feelings.

I know that some of the KJ's here may be an exception to this and actually run a fair contest. They are in the 1% who can run a good contest. The other 99% should be avoided, if you want to keep your sanity.

One of my regular singers recently entered a contest at a competing bar. She was encouraged to enter because she is a really good singer. She's got the voice, she's got the moves, and she's got stage presence. The whole package. So... did she win? Of course not... the owners niece did who can't sing worth a lick.

This is why I don't and won't do them. I hate them with a passion. And take my word for it, this is how 99% of the contests are run.

Normally, I would agree with you but a friend of mine ran a contest that was vocal quality only and how well it would record because the prize two hours of recording time in a professional recording studio with a CD of the finished product.

Like I said, Danny... there are exceptions. They may be few and far between but nevertheless, sometimes they're done right, which is not very often.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 4:47 pm 
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Alan B wrote:
DannyG2006 wrote:
Alan B wrote:
Personally, and from my experience with contests, how they're run and how they're judged, I would avoid them altogether.

I have never, that's right, never... seen a contest judged fairly or impartially. All they do is cause anger, frustration and ill feelings.

I know that some of the KJ's here may be an exception to this and actually run a fair contest. They are in the 1% who can run a good contest. The other 99% should be avoided, if you want to keep your sanity.

One of my regular singers recently entered a contest at a competing bar. She was encouraged to enter because she is a really good singer. She's got the voice, she's got the moves, and she's got stage presence. The whole package. So... did she win? Of course not... the owners niece did who can't sing worth a lick.

This is why I don't and won't do them. I hate them with a passion. And take my word for it, this is how 99% of the contests are run.

Normally, I would agree with you but a friend of mine ran a contest that was vocal quality only and how well it would record because the prize two hours of recording time in a professional recording studio with a CD of the finished product.

Like I said, Danny... there are exceptions. They may be few and far between but nevertheless, sometimes they're done right, which is not very often.

If I were to run a contest, which normally I would try to talk the venue out using the argument that it only attracts fly by contestants who disappear the second the contest is over and chases away regulars that just want to sing and not be compared to any other singers, it would be judged on vocal ability with how well they made the song theirs while they sang it. No points off for deviation from the lyrics on the screen.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Only contests I ran back in 99-01 that was based on vocal only was one where we did a 5 song CD studio recording for the winner. The judges didn't see the contestants or the screen - they were turned away so they could only hear.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 6:31 am 
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Lonman wrote:
Only contests I ran back in 99-01 that was based on vocal only was one where we did a 5 song CD studio recording for the winner. The judges didn't see the contestants or the screen - they were turned away so they could only hear.

Sort of like The Voice's Blind Auditions. I like that.
I can see it now, one of the judges getting all hot and bothered with a sultry female voice, thinking that he's going to get some if he pushes to get her to win and the person turn out to be a chubby not so pretty pre-op transgender male to female.

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 8:37 am 
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On May 16 jerryjones made his first post asking for help... and was never heard from again.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:04 pm 
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If the singer has just a little charisma, stage presence, and the bar is his local haunt he can win singing the TV Theme "The Love Boat". Count on it. I've witnessed it!

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:12 am 
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I don't think this guy really exists since he hasn't responded once since asking the question.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Frankly, I don't blame the OP for not coming back. As usual, and like many posts here, "someone" decided to derail his original question.

Why couldn't "someone" simply start a new thread, such as "Are Karaoke Contests Worthwhile?" or some variation thereof, instead of hi-jacking a newcomer's thread?

Perhaps, by answering his question, and only his question, we might have gained another regular contributor here.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:44 am 
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Earl wrote:
Frankly, I don't blame the OP for not coming back. As usual, and like many posts here, "someone" decided to derail his original question.


Earl, I don't see it like that at all. Everything posted is very relevant. It's more than just asking about "what song should I sing". It's taking a look at the whole picture. All of the information posted, was even more helpful that choosing a song, since it ties into the reality of contests and what you may encounter. And this was certainly the place to post it.

Look at it like this...

A poster creates a new post called "Songs To Audition Speaker With". He's interested in buying a speaker, let's call it "B", and is looking for good material to try it out with. Now, if you have experience with this speaker as not being very good you might say... Why even bother? B sucks, so no matter what songs you play on it are not going to sound very good. Move on to something else.

See, how relevant that is? You are bringing something very important to the poster's attention. And opening his eyes to the whole picture. And this is where it belongs.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:44 am 
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Earl wrote:
Frankly, I don't blame the OP for not coming back. As usual, and like many posts here, "someone" decided to derail his original question.

Why couldn't "someone" simply start a new thread, such as "Are Karaoke Contests Worthwhile?" or some variation thereof, instead of hi-jacking a newcomer's thread?

Perhaps, by answering his question, and only his question, we might have gained another regular contributor here.
He mentioned more than just what song, he mentioned that his friend (a girl) won because she had more stage presence. A better song choice isn't necessarily going to be the answer - hence the reason for my response that a decent singer with good stage presence will almost always win over a really good singer that doesn't move.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 am 
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jerryjones wrote:
I entered a karaoke contest last night to try to qualify for semi-finals, I didn’t get in. I sang Hot Blooded by Foreigner, I thought I was pretty good. Got lots of compliments. My friend did get into semi-finals with Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood. I’m not a huge fan of country at all, I can’t sing that.

I think my friend beat me because of her stage presence, so I need to work on that. I think my song choice might’ve been bad too, even though I nailed it.

I want a song that lots of people know. I can’t really sing my favorite band Muse’s songs because they’re not really well known. The judges judge song choice so I want something they’ll already like.

I want to do New York, New York by Frank Sinatra for the finals. I reaaaally good at that song, I think I’ll nail it. I need to beat this girl who also got into the semi-finals tonight with an Adele song. I can’t really sing Adele, too low.

I need some options for this upcoming qualifying round in 2 weeks. I get 2 more tries to get in, so if I fail in 2 weeks at least I get one more chance in 3.


I stopped doing karaoke contests years ago when a friend of mine, Brian was hosting a big contest in Fl. There happened to be a prof. female singer in the contest, among 20, also up against a couple of girls who brought 100 guests to cheer. They paid back several places, total maybe 20 in the contest. The prof. singer who was clearly the best was not even in the top 5, while the girls with 100 cheerleaders were 1, 2 respectively, and sang OK. After the contest I noticed one of the girls speaking to a judge, clearly they knew him. This didn't sit well with Brian who called the prof. singer later and apologized, never hosted a contest again. Bars, clubs, etc. use these contests to bring in patrons, singers etc. and that's OK. Just be aware of what it is, most contests don't use prof. singers or people in the music business as judges. Use the contest for experience, have fun, nothing more or nothing less. In my own case, I was a certified Miss America Judge, as well as a trained operatic singer doing Groban, Tom Jones, etc. and would never get in these contests, unless there were independent out of town judges with a music background. Good Luck.


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