I am not a big fan of karaoke contests. Karaoke, historically and philosophically, is not a competitive event. Karaoke is about the need to perform, to be accepted on that public level...about taking the chance to step onstage regardless of talent level and make the effort and receive acceptance regardless of talent. It is the effort that is lauded, and perhaps for 3 minutes and 49 seconds someone can forget their troubles.
My philosophy at my shows is to show a good time in a non competitive environment. Everyone is a winner, and everyone leaves feeling good about themselves.
That is not possible at a contest. Only the winners feel great, and there are always sore losers or those who feel something unfair occurred, and they, or someone else, was somehow cheated or robbed.
Most contests ARE unfair. You are at the whimsy of judges who may or may not be biased...you could bring the talent and maybe be chastised for your color, your gender, your sexual proclivity or preference, or maybe just for being unkown in a room full of regulars.
I resist any involvement in contests for that reason....
So...I find myself hosting a contest every Tuesday since April. Twenty five weeks later, we concluded it last night, and I aim to not see it revived.
We narrowed the field to 25 finalists...of which 13 attended to compete for a trip for 2 to the Atlantic Resort in the Bahamas. There were a lot of great singers, but some DEFINITE standouts.
After all was done and said, and the results were in, the winners were announced and the prizes were awarded...and immediately the complaints started.
Before the first place winner was even off the stage, 2 complaints in person and I saw one of the singers leaving angry with 2 other people. And when they go to the next show and complain about the contest, whose name will they use...the bar? No...it will be that goddamn Harryoke whose contest was rigged or unfair.
I dont need that karma...
I got on the mic and announced loudly that I do not pick the judges, or make the rules or score the talent, I am just the host and if there are any complaints or hard feelings to address them to the bar management and not me. I even put that in writing on the rule sheet as I want to distance myself from the negativity as much as possible.
But, whenever you send someone home as a loser, you are breeding negativity. I dont like losers at my show, they are all winners to me.
Just doing the math, the contest is actually detracting from my show. On Tuesdays I run a 25-30 singer rotation, and then they put a contest in which runs off some of my regular non competing singers. Most of the people competing would be there anyway, so it is not a dollar draw to the bar. Then the bar has to pony up for the cost of prizes...and they get badwill from the losers going elsewhere bad mouthing the show and their bar.
Lose lose situation in my eyes...and this is what I will be discussing with the management next week.
Whore that I am though, and loyal soldier, if they say to start a new contest, I will...but everyone will know how I feel in my heart about them.