Oct 7, 2022 - Things to Do

Confessions of a karaoke crooner

Photo of a man singing into a microphone.
Justin's friend Neil belts out a Tom Petty jam during a recent house (karaoke) party. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

👋 Hi, it's Justin! The city just launched its new Chicago Sings Karaoke Competition.

  • Top prize: $5,000

Why it matters: During the pandemic, my family went karaoke-crazy.

  • We got mics and a speaker and did karaoke through YouTube (amazing).

The intrigue: I've learned many lessons to help you ace this citywide contest:

Perform: You can be the best singer, but if you don't perform that song? You lose.

Crowd pleaser: Karaoke isn't an excuse for you to sing your favorite song. You have to read the room.

  • For instance: I love Justin Beiber's "Peaches" but I'm starting to realize nobody else does.

Know your range: We get it, you are a great singer. But the key changes in that Whitney Houston song can creep up on you and destroy your confidence quickly.

  • Also, don't do Whitney.

Pro tip: Everything sounds better in a country accent.

💭 Monica's thought bubble: I once entered a karaoke contest at the Japanese consulate, thinking I'd win just by nailing Patsy Cline's "Crazy" in Japanese.

  • Wrong: The winner dressed up, presented gifts to the judges and did an awesome dance. Take note!

If you go: The competition starts Sunday. Here's a list of the bars.


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