Karaoke Contest Tips

What Makes a Great Karaoke Contest


Karaoke is so much fun and so is a great competition.   Spectators and participants have enjoyed karaoke for decades and our annual Karaoke Contest is no exception.  Vince is the local favorite Karaoke DJ in a broad radius and we are so fortunate to have him as our Resident Pro.  We are looking forward to another  awesomely entertaining Karaoke Contest.

We thought we’d share a few tips from some karaoke pros.

  1. Practice Singing. While you need not be the “best” singer at the competition, and you certainly don’t need to be professionally trained, those things won’t hurt you. Karaoke contests are usually judged on some combination of vocal ability, audience response, and stage presence, but if you can nail the singing part, the judges may give you some leeway on other aspects of your performance. The best way to practice karaoke is to sing karaoke.
  2. Memorize the lyrics. Most karaoke contests allow you to pick your own songs, and if you’re going to win, you should have practiced these time and time again. Yes, the words are right there on the screen, but if you know the words and have perfect timing, you don’t even have to look at the screen. Not only will your overall performance be more masterful, you may impress the judges and audience with your knowledge of the songs.
  3. Understand the format of the contest. Karaoke contests are usually either judged by a panel of judges or by the audience. In some of the latter, the audience will actually formally vote, while in most a judge or judges will try to gauge the audience’s reaction to a song.
  4. Follow the rules. Some contests require different aspects of performing. Make sure to follow the rules or you probably won’t win even if you give the best performance.
  5. Extend courtesy to other performers.Yes, other performers are your competition, but don’t try to malign them or mock them, even if someone really can’t sing. Be polite, and unless the rules dictate otherwise, applaud everybody. Remember you will very likely be judged on your audience’s reaction to your songs, and many of your competitors are part of the audience. They won’t treat a poor sport kindly.
  6. Cater to the audience (or the Judges). Above all, sing to the audience, not to the karaoke screen. Beyond that, know your audience. Understanding your audience will help you choose songs and direct your performance in a manner that most appeals to them. Observe the crowd and their responsiveness.
  7. Choose a song that showcases your talent. There are a lot of songs that just about anybody can sing passably, but if you’ve got an exceptional vocal range or a unique vocal attribute, choose songs that reflect that. If you want to awe the audience–and you do–you need a great performance of a difficult song.
  8. Develop your stage presence. People come to karaoke to see a performance, not just to hear one. Don’t just stand there and sing, and don’t act like you don’t know what to do during an instrumental interlude. Convey the emotions of the song with your facial gestures and body movements.  If you can find a video of the original artist performing the song you’re going to sing, all the better.
  9. Dress the part. And dress professionally. Your attire can help the judges remember you, especially if you go to a themed competition or if you’re only singing certain kinds of songs.
  10. Be true to the original. Even if it’s subconscious, most people judge a karaoke performance by how close it sounds to the original. It’s amazing when someone gets up to sing a Garth Brooks song and you could swear they were listening to Garth himself. Try to fit the mood and style of the song.
  11. Relax and have a good time. If you have a problem with stage fright, you’ve got to learn to suppress it. There are a number of ways to do this, but probably the best is to fight it by singing a lot of karaoke. Don’t take yourself too seriously up there, and even if you’re nervous, show the audience that there’s nothing you’d rather be doing.
  12. Be a good winner (or loser). If you win, congratulations! Now be gracious. If you don’t win, don’t mope, don’t make excuses, and don’t get mad about how “the contest was fixed.” You’ll likely see these people again if you continue to compete in karaoke contests, and you want to leave them with a good impression of you.

Good Luck!