One of the greatest things about singing karaoke is that you are not there to be judged. It is a fun pastime and a way to entertainingly exercise your vocal chords with friends. Still, there are many contests around the world in which contestants are judged for their karaoke prowess. These are very enjoyable as well, as the singers may dress up like their favorite warbler to please the public. For example, you may see an Elvis with the long sideburns and cape or a Tina Turner with the spiked wig and glittery mini-dress. Whether they decide to come as a ramblin’ man ala’ Blake Shelton or a crazy, colorful Lady Gaga, it definitely adds something exciting to the performance and that is part of the judging criteria. Some enjoy engaging in some theatrics during their choral communication, including dancing and audience interaction. The contestants usually fall into the ‘high end’ area of karaoke singers; the ones that you watch at a neighborhood bar and say, “What are they doing here? Why aren’t they on the radio?” I was actually surprised to find so many karaoke contests online. Almost every state had a listing and they ranged from small neighborhood challenges to county fairs to career launching competitions. Laughlin, Nevada has a huge one in the fall with a prize of over $25,000. The Karaoke announced. This contest is in its tenth year and the winner will go on to compete in the National round in L.A. and that winner will go to the World Championship in Finland. I had the pleasure of speaking with Marty Marrero, who was in charge of casting. He has been a casting director for many years, working in commercials and film and is with HelloGia Productions. This is his first year with the Karaoke Championship and it is also the first year that it has been held in South Florida. The Westfield Broward Mall has been the location for this event, which has been every Thursday since the beginning of the year. April 25th will be the final contest in Florida, before a winner is chosen to go on to compete at the National level. This is fitting, as the last week of April is National Karaoke Week! Marty has been enjoying the process and is finding tons of new talent. “I am discovering so many great singers for who this really could be a public career. If they win, they will make the
state of Florida very proud.” There are approximately 15 singers every week and a total of around 200 so far in the Florida competition. The criteria are: 1). Voice quality, 2). Rhythm & Tempo, 3). Vocal Expression, 4). Stage Presence, & 5). Entertainment Value. The only main rules are the participant be over 18 and not have an existing record contract. Marty revealed that he “is dreading the finals because it is so difficult to choose with so many phenomenal singers this year.” So what about you? Do you have what it takes to charm the critics with your compelling crooning? Or would you rather just stick to wowing the walls off your favorite little haunt? Either way, you can follow the Karaoke World Championships of this heralded hobby on http://www.kwcusa.net. This is the biggest and most respected karaoke event, bringing together singers from all over the world, indifferent of race, nation or religion. And don’t forget to get out there and continue your amateur karaoke career or try it for the first time, especially April 21st through the 27th – National Karaoke Week!