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Singers & Hosts Wisdom Post how to be a great karaoke singer or host.

View Poll Results: Are Contests Good or Bad?
Yes, they're just for fun anyway. 12 15.00%
No, they're bad all the way around. 46 57.50%
Yes, with a good point scoring system. 22 27.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2002, 12:42 AM
jumpmaster jumpmaster is offline
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Exclamation Contests ... Good or Bad?

I would like to know what others think - hosts and singers - about karaoke contests.

I personally have been on both sides of them, and I despise them! In fact, I all but refuse to do them. When I do conduct a contest, I make it abundantly clear that I despise them, that I am not a judge, that I did not (because I will not) pick the judges, I am not providing any of the prizes, I'm just spinning the discs, and as for me...they all showed up and sang...so to me they're ALL WINNERS!

How can you pick judges? Out of the crowd? Heck no, they are bound to know some of the folks in the contest and that would seem to be a conflict in the making. Do you bring in "pros" or folks from local bands who don't make their living from karaoke and are not likely to "know" the contestants? How do you know they don't "know" any of the singers? What kind of band do they play in, rock, and if so would they even consider someone singing a song like "Silver Wings?" Why would any band member in his right mind volunteer for such a thing, and if they're paid, who will pay them?

The judges aside, how can any judging be fair? Do you judge on appearance, vocal ability, or performance? One singer looks and dresses exacly like the original but stands still, doesn't move around, looks at the screen and doesn't sing well. Another sings great, but lacks performance skills and doesn't look like anything like the original. Yet another person will jump around, be goofy, sing the song never looking at the screen and the crowd loves him, even though he can't sing a lick! Should that person win? Then you factor in nice looking, sexy, upbeat songs vs. slow old country, and so on, it ends up being like comparing bicycles to watermellons.

I've seen crowd applause determine the winner, and aside from humiliating the less qualified contestants, it seemed more like who brought the most folks with them than any real merit judging. I've seen judging based on scores of 1-10 for performance, vocal ability, and appearance which are all added up for a total score ranging from 3-30 and of course the most points wins. Now I know that sounds like a great idea, but when the scores are added all up, no one, not even the judges know how that person won!

The perfect winner would sing great, look like the original, and have the crowd eating out of their hands and have no real competition...but believe me, I've been to many contests and there's never a clear winner. What's worse, I have never been to a contest and had the person win that I thought should.

I don't recall ever being at a contest where the people I talked to, contestents or audience agreed on the winner. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "it was rigged" or they were "ringers" or "the judge was their friend" or something negative like that.

Furthermore, I've heard stories of bar owners doing a big contest and not coming up with the prizes. I've never seen it personally, nor can I confirm the stories...but still the stories in themselves are detrimental.

Anyway, unless you guys set me straight, I'll remain anti-contest. I can't seem to shake the feeling that by telling this one person they are number one, I've actually told all the rest of my singers they aren't number one. I can honestly say that all my singers are number one with me!

Any thoughts?

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  #2  
Old March 29th, 2002, 11:47 AM
kking kking is offline
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contests

Jumpmaster:
I have always enjoyed hosting contests and I have always hated the judging part. After seeing different contests and methods for judging, the one I chose for my contests is as follows: the contestants judge each other. This is more work because it involves making forms for each contestant to use for judging. This is how it works. Each contestant is given a form with everyone's name on it except theirs. I have three categories listed, with scores from 1-5. I then announce contestants names and make sure the contestant/singers are judging the right person, when that person comes up to sing. After the contest I pick up forms and tally scores and announce the winner. Hope this helps. kking
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  #3  
Old March 29th, 2002, 12:01 PM
MusicBear MusicBear is offline
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I wish the bar I went to voted in this way!

The K.J. passes out ballots at random to members of the crowd, and they vote in their own populairty contest...

Very unfair!

I've lost three times already, and I'm a pretty good singer if I do say so myself!
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  #4  
Old March 31st, 2002, 04:32 PM
danny_g danny_g is offline
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Every contest I have been to has been unfairly judged. In fact one of them had a very bad incident. Appartly one of the judges had been dating one of the contestants and basically they broke up for the duration of the contest just so she could compete. Well She ended up winning, the resukts were contested and apparently they added up the score sheets wrong. So a it actually ended up a tie and the prize was divided between the two contestants. Any way back to the judge/ contestant situation. The two got back together about a week later.
Other shows the only way to win is to have a great body or pay off the owner of the bar by drinking heavily every time you entered the place while the contest was going on. I drink soda only as alchohol interfears with a medication I am on, plus the fact that I don;'t like alchohol at all anyway. Tried it before I started the meds. Hated the taste. I competed in a contest where I positively nailed both songs I sang while a female who although she had a decent voice could not get the melody of Tina Turner's version of "Proud Mary" correct. One of the songs I nailed was a very difficult number especially at the end of the song. It was Journey's "Faithfully". I basically had the song perfect and I moved around the bar as if I was "Steve Perry".
Yet she got chosen over me. The KJ actually was surprized at the results as well- indicates to me he didn;'t have controll over who is judgeing.
One question thogh- How did you eliminate the singers doing a weakest link type of voting where the person who won wasn't necessarily the best performer? I would think that they would all vote for themselves and give all of their opponants bad reviews.
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  #5  
Old March 31st, 2002, 04:53 PM
kking kking is offline
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contests

to danny g :
The singers get a judging form with everyones name on it but theirs. They don't get to judge themselves. Most people that compete in contests will judge their peers fairly and honestly according to their opinion of who truly did the best job. This is the only judging method that I have found that eliminates most of the bad feelings that are associated with contests. If there are any more questions on specifics, I would be happy to answer them. kking
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  #6  
Old April 1st, 2002, 02:24 AM
tinman tinman is offline
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contest

I judge these contest all the time. The only problem I have is (example) there were 6 winners and the 1st place winner walked away (stole) $600.. I suggested that there be at least 10 winners splitting money equally.. More people would show up and levels the playing field.. The judges were surprised in the last contest when a girl came in 3rd and could not sing well at all.. Something was up here.... The next contest will be judged by the judges and the KJ will not know the results untill we announce it.
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  #7  
Old April 1st, 2002, 04:41 AM
Cid_cat Cid_cat is offline
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Don't ruin Miller time with a contest. Just relax, sing and have fun!

I personally hate them....no one wins a popularity contest.
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  #8  
Old April 1st, 2002, 10:18 AM
tinman tinman is offline
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Contest are also for those people to invite friends out to hear them sing in a contest.. Those of you who don't (minority) probably cant sing or would never win a contest. Remember in our contest there are no professionals and I know. also people pay closer attention to those singers on that nite unlike other nites. one other thing: I am surprised at myself for keeping this thread going and wondering why the important threads of questions and concerns are not.. (i had problems but no resolve yet) thanks
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  #9  
Old April 2nd, 2002, 02:11 PM
jumpmaster jumpmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tinman
Contest are also for those people to invite friends out to hear them sing in a contest.. Those of you who don't (minority) probably cant sing or would never win a contest. Remember in our contest there are no professionals and I know. also people pay closer attention to those singers on that nite unlike other nites. one other thing: I am surprised at myself for keeping this thread going and wondering why the important threads of questions and concerns are not.. (i had problems but no resolve yet) thanks
I applolgize, for posting this "unimportant" thread! I thought this was for KJ's to discuss the "biz" and for them to get input both from other KJ's and singers. Contests, rotation, and many other subjects impact our profession and I thought it was important. It certainly is for me, as I have three of my clients who want contests and I am leary of them. I thought I could get input so as to make them better.

Are you a KJ Tinman? If you have absolutely no problems with contests and are a KJ, then you must have a "perfect" system for running it and I'd love for you to share your success with us. I personally have been in karaoke since the late 80's and as my original post stated, have never seen one come off without a hitch!?

By the way, I think your post may have been intended to basically say that they're for fun and not to be taken too seriously, and I have to say that I couldn't agree more with that sentiment. However, we do not live in a perfect world, and unfortunately, singers in my area take it way too seriously and there feelings do get hurt. Again sorry, for the "unimportant" thread.

By the way, what problems do you have that we may help you out with, that you are not receiving help for. I may not know the answer, but I'd be glad to help you out if I can.
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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2002, 02:27 PM
Brian Corr Brian Corr is offline
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To me karaoke is about drinking a few beers singing a song ot two and going home.

I like to try as many different songs as possible and get fed up with the same folk singing the same song (singular) week in week out.
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  #11  
Old April 2nd, 2002, 03:31 PM
tinman tinman is offline
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Its not that is is not important, but everyone has some stange ideas for these contest.

My reply was in frustration about installing a demo to check out.. still having problems..

There is a perfect way for contest.. Everyone should be a winner.
One girl who won recently, was graded very bad in previous contests and after 2 or 3 more attempts nailed it.. She won based on not only doing a good job but she worked for it and made improvements in both vocal and presentation..

This thread is probably not as important to me as the other I started, but is a good sounding board for all.. Sorry for coming off the wrong way.

I do KJ and am frustrated with the fact I played music for a living and a KJ gets paid more to do less.. (IMO)
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  #12  
Old April 3rd, 2002, 02:02 AM
danny_g danny_g is offline
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maybe there ought to be some way of having a year end awards ceremony that has catagories like best male singer, best female singer, best performance, most improved performance, best duet, best group song, best supporting vocalist etc. maybe that will take the edge off of the so called Contests that everone gripes over. It will give people something to strive for yet give everyone something they might get a chance to be reckognized for. Just a thought.
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  #13  
Old April 4th, 2002, 04:43 AM
Ken Ken is offline
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talent quests ......advice for those who need it

My husband and I have been hosting karaoke shows for 12 yrs, and although I don't particularly love the "choosing of judges", my system is fairly fool proof.

There are always four judges set up in different areas of the room. I have created the judge sheets so that although "dress" and entertainment value play a part, in the scoring, they are only worth 30%, 5% for introduction, 40% for voice-i.e. tone, rhythm, clarity etc, 10% for ability to sing without much tv reference, 15% for suitability of song to voice (i.e.singer choosing the right songs for their voice).

The only time I ever had any trouble, was when I got in professional judges (Whose answers I didn't even agree with).....some people thought it was "rigged"....which of course it wasn't ....if anything I would love to have "rigged"it right.....so the right person had won.

So now I rely purely on audience judging..... when i'm adding up the scores after the talent quest......if a judges scores look particularly biased.......I'll exclude it from the totals.......

Hope this info helps

Leanne
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  #14  
Old April 21st, 2002, 11:27 AM
JesterXXX1 JesterXXX1 is offline
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Contests

Contests suck! I have been a KJ for over 10 years and I hate them. Sure, it might be good for the bar for that time period....but trust me you can LOSE customers too. When you hold a contest, all the "ringers" come out to try and grab the money. This stinks, because the average Joe WILL NOT SING with these semi-pros. Karaoke is not about who can sing the best, it's about FUN. I have regulars that come to my show every week and frankly, they're horrible vocally...but they have a blast and the crowd love them because they're entertaining. Make your shows FUN and you'll never need a constest. Joke around with your customers, make them feel at home. Try playing a game. On occasions I do "KAMIKAKE KARAOKE", where the singer has NO idea the song he/she has to sing. It is quite amusing, especially if you get a man to sing chick songs like "I AM WOMAN".
People will laugh there ass off!
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  #15  
Old April 21st, 2002, 11:45 PM
TraxMasterDJRob TraxMasterDJRob is offline
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Hi All.
I've found the reading of this discussion very interesting. ThankYou!!!

.....(I digress)....I've KJ'd contests, been a contestant blah blah ect. ect. just like most of you. I DO NOT LIKE CONTESTS!!!
DO NOT DO THEM!!!! I'll tell you why
Most owners want to do them to make instant cash. This is called "A false sense of Economy". Oh sure, they make $1500 or more, the few nights they host a contest. But all of the 'ringers' and their people will go back to the bar they're used to. If you, (KJ), can talk some of the singers into coming back, good job! But next week, in all likelihood, they're going 'home' and your stuck with whatever crowd you had before. Your 'people' will still come. You have to build -that- group. How many regulars, (remember, they spend more $$ over time) have any chance in those contests. It humiliates the people you have been trying to make think were good or at least halfway decent.

If they know they suck, they stop coming to sing.

The ringers that didn't win think it was rigged (all that BS & Drama). That's not good P.R. for the bar! And, there are lots of losers, only 1 winner. Lots of pissed off people. The ringers are at their 'Home' bar and business has dropped off.

The best way to build business is to advertise and put on a good show. Word of mouth has and will continue to support karaoke. A good show night in and night out will triple the business for a bar owner whose got nothing going on. It takes about 2 months and you should be doing pretty good. At the begining is when advertising is most important. Mr./Ms. Bar owner needs to be able to accept a little loss for the 1st month'ish. Then expect to break even, followed quickly by reliable and consistant crowds making them $$$. It's really rather easy. BUT!!!!....

YOU, Mr./Ms. Karaoke Jockey!!!! Please use the fundamental rules for KJ'ing, ie. use a rotation, don't let 1 person sing 3 or 4 times in 1 rotation, just because they're helping someone on a song, you have to limit that as much as possible. A person new to the bar that night sees this girl sing 3 times since he last sang. That's not good business. Everybody's money spends the same. It is important to remember that. Great singers will jump on you, make you believe your their best freind, and manipulate you into letting them "help" someone else sing songs all the time!

Please do not play for Tokens. It is crucial that you charge the going rate (in your area).

The reason a KJ makes more than Live Bands is simple. A 4 piece band splits $350 - 500=$75-125 a night. A KJ splits $175.00 with 0 people (not counting spouses, of course)!! Simply Math, My Man. It's nothing personal against bands, I Love Live Bands. I've never done that, wish I could. BUT!!!!!!

Bands cost the bar owner more money than KJ'ing, plus You drink less for free than 4 people drinking for free. That's what bar owners need to look at. Beside the fact that once your business is going strong, you make just as much $$ for the bar as the Band can. Simply Math, My Friend.

To resove your tech-thread issues...email support, they get back to you.

Well, I'm tired of all this thinking and typing, so bye for now.

GO PISTONS!! GO RED WINGS!!! GET OUT LIONS & TIGERS!!! (just kidding) Rob E
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  #16  
Old April 22nd, 2002, 06:20 PM
Ken Ken is offline
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talent quest controversy

Well I do tend to think there is good and bad to talent quests. Our Friday nights have been for over 11years now, in one place, i.e. we have performed shows for approx 570 nights at one place. Each year we run between 2 and 3 talent quests (12 weeks long....i.e. 24 to 36 weeks out of the year in talent quest mode). Most Friday nights we are playing to between 300 and 500 people. We believe our success is due to, firstly us..and our system....we run a 3000 watt (RMS) sound system, Ken mixes from centre floor, I run the stage with, two 3-tray players (so I can cue ready). We also have a laptop computer set up by the mix, so as the singer is leaving the stage they hear themselves instantly played back through the speakers.

Most singers that get up and sing.....sing because they love it.....and they are serious about singing "right", so I am there if they want advice on how they sound after they've sung.....occassionally I sing in their ear for a few lines until they get the hang of a song.

Sometimes we do get people who come in from out of town just because there is a talent quest, but once a person has won a talent quest, they can't enter another one at the Club for the next two competitions.

So as far as talent quests being a quick fix.....and not a longivity thing......I don't agree.......we are proof, that us, equipment and talent quests (for half the year) "combination" is what works......11yrs in one place is more than just coincidence.

Leanne
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  #17  
Old April 23rd, 2002, 01:53 AM
TraxMasterDJRob TraxMasterDJRob is offline
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It's great to hear a "Contest" success story. I was begining to wonder why they were invented in the first place. You keep up the good Karaoke Leanne & Ken.
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  #18  
Old April 23rd, 2002, 02:17 AM
Ken Ken is offline
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ta mate

thanks for the vote.........we are the highes paid karaoke in New Zealand......so I guess we have to be doing something right huh?

cheers
Leanne
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  #19  
Old September 3rd, 2002, 02:38 AM
NOW & THEN NOW & THEN is offline
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karaoke contests

Well i'm new at this and may mess up , but here goes. I love to sing at karaoke and I kj with my daughter , and I agree!! Karaoke contests are a kj"s nightmare! My solution is a compromise, and seems to placate my singers.
What i do is ask for 5 or 6 volunteers from my singer list to compete and i make it a very upbeat fun thing. here is how it works: I first get the owner of the establishment to agree on 1 grand prize( usually a $10 to $20 bar tab) and to give each contestant a free shot. Then we write down 5 or 6 "FUN" song titles ( Female and Male titles ) and put them in a container. We then have each contestant draw a song slip out and that is the song they must sing. We usually have the bartender or owner choose the winner based on overall peformance and / or crowd reaction. We keep the stakes LOW and the fun HIGH! Usually everyone laughs it up and makes all the singers feel special, but i try to read my crowd before i decide to do a contest. Taking the pressure off the songer seems to make them happier and i still fill thier need to compete. ( judge question impossible though ) hope you like the suggestion.
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  #20  
Old October 1st, 2002, 08:00 PM
slateman slateman is offline
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Drawing Contest

A KJ at bars in my area has contests; however, he has drawings: the first time you get up to sing, you get a numbered ticket. Close to the end of the show (but not right at 'last call'), he'll do the drawing.

This draws singers to the bar (and keeps 'em there), promotes equal opportunity, and if you're buddy-buddy with other singers who leave early they can give you their tickets to increase your chances.

Another KJ (both with the same company) runs a trivia contest.

These are both great golden means for karaoke contests; however, I don't know if they can do for the bar in $ what a contest based on getting more warm bodies in and drinking can (like the popularity-based contests). Face it, it's the bottom line that counts and even puts the karaoke show there in the first place. But luck-based contests result in alot fewer broken hearts at the end of the night.

I personally don't like contests for all the previously posted reasons, but also because it tends to draw what I like to call "superstars" to the local (non-contest) karaoke scene/shows.

These people are usually extraordinarily good singers; are easily overheard talking to their ever-present crowd of friends about how they only go to contests and how horrible the current show/KJ is; are surrounded by a crowd of friends that will blow the house down with cheering when THEY sing, but not a clap or shout for anyone else, contest or no; act like they are WAY above coming to karaoke just for karaoke's sake; act like the KJ and all the other singers are just "the help"; and will always pester the KJ with stupid stuff & demanding he or she start the song over AT LEAST once every time they sing. In short, they're like the stereotypical "Hollywood actor with an attitude."

Ever meet anyone like this at a show?

I dunno why I just ranted; maybe I'm just bitter, but people like that at karaoke shows really ____ me off!
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