Monday, April 06, 2009

Down to Business

It all boils down to this week.

On Friday, the finals of the Karaoke Contest happen. (Warning - The Bowling Alley's website sucks ass, view at your own risk) On Friday, I'll go up against five other people (four girls and one other guy) for the top prize: $500 cash money. Already, I'm worried.

Why am I worried? My singing skills are sound, and I highly doubt I'll flub much of my performance at all. I'm sticking to my big guns selection, too, the best songs I do period. I'm not nervous, performing in front of crowds is old hat for me.

No, the worry comes from, once again, what I perceive to be some seriously shady judging. Allow me to explain.

Last time, it was some bitch of a judge that decided talent wasn't important; it was more important to be politically correct and send one male and one female winner off to the next round. Forget talent, we had to be fair! Fuck that. But I endured, and came back this year to find: biased judges yet again, only this time, they're not gender-biased.

Nope, they're apparently genre-biased.

Here are the results for Semifinal 1:

1st place - Female, sang a Country song.
2nd place - Female, sang a Country song.
3rd place - Me, sang a Rock song ("Come Sail Away" by Styx).

And the results for Semifinal 2:

1st place - Female, sang a Country song.
2nd place - Female, sang a Country song.
3rd place - Male, sang a Rock song.

It's kinda hard to NOT notice a pattern. And then, there were flaws in the judging for the qualifying rounds as well. One night, Jill and I tried to get Andy qualified for the contest. When it came time for Andy to sing his chosen competition song, the judges were... Well, not at their table paying attention, that's for goddamned sure. Two of them were up and about, drinking beer and talking to their friends. The others? Who knows, I didn't see them again til they sat back down some 20 minutes later.

Look, I'm not pissy because I didn't win, or that there's a chance I might not win. That always exists, and I'm all kinds of cool with it. But when I don't win because people can't be objective and do the job they were asked to do - like judge a contest based on singing talent, stage presence and overall performance - THEN I get pissed. It's not just me that's getting ripped off

For example:

How can a girl score higher than me at all when her Stage Presence (did she move around, make contact with the audience?) consisted of standing there like a statue, occasionally bobbing up and down during instrumental sections, and staring at the screen like a deer in headlights? Stage Presence is also factored into Overall Performance, and if you're just going to stand there, well, your score is most likely going to be affected.

Something tells me the judges have no concept of what "Stage Presence" is, let alone how to judge it and couple it with singing talent to form Overal Performance Voltron.

And to favor one singer over another simply by their choice of genre? What about those of us who can't stand Country music, and refuse to sing it? Because you like Country more than Rock and Roll or Hip Hop or R&B, that means you have to favor those who sing nothing but Country?

Dirty pool, not cricket - in a word, WRONG.

So, to counter this, I'm doing two things: blabbing about my discontent here, on my world-stage soapbox, and taking over the Electric Avenue stage for practice sessions designed to improve my performance. If I lose on Friday, it won't be because I can't sing or can't perform, or can't deviate from any sort of set path. No, I'm bringing extra spice, aspects of my performance that I rarely bring out at all, even with Buck-It. My stage presence will be central to the performance as well. There won't be any statuesqe views of Eric that night.

No, if I lose on Friday, it'll be because of the same reason I lost last year: Shitty, stupid, inconsiderate, biased, clueless moron judges.

For those outside of Central PA who are interested in seeing me perform and deciding for yourselves whether I'm just being an egotistical blowhard or can actually walk the walk, I invite you all to check out my YouTube Channel. There, you can find both Karaoke and Live Band performances I've done over the past two years. But I'm not limited to those two years, mind you! I've been in the game for over 18 years at this point! Ever since the days back in Fred's garage when we were all kids...

Keep an eye on the YouTube Channel, too, because I'm planning on posting video of my practice sessions - provided Justin isn't being a douchenozzel about the whole thing. He's put me off practicing for an entire week because he wants help making his ManCave awesome. I've been decent and gave in, so this week, it's his turn...