Thursday, May 26, 2011 , Updated 12:00 a.m., May 31, 2011
New karaoke reality TV show airs in August on ABC
Auditions in Dallas are Tuesday, May 31.
DALLAS News to us: Texas is the second-best state in the U.S. for karaoke talent, falling right behind the country's best karaoke state, New Mexico. The designation was given by Wendell Payne, president of KWCUSA. And he'd know: He's organizing a competitive national karaoke championship that will, for the first time, air on ABC in August as a reality series called Karaoke Battle U.S.A.
The competition is part of a bigger series called the Karaoke World Championships. “It's kind of like the Olympics of karaoke,” Payne said.
The singing contest starts at the local level. In Dallas, auditions for Karaoke Battle U.S.A. are Tuesday, May 31 at House of Blues. Two winners will be picked, and they'll go onto the state level. From there, if selected, they must battle through regional and national levels.
Taping by ABC begins at the regional level. Houston will be the first region featured on Karaoke Battle U.S.A.'s debut episode on August 8 on ABC. The show will run for six weeks: Four weeks focused on each of four regions, and two weeks for the national competition in Hollywood.
“When I started this thing, I never dreamed it would start there at the national level,” said Payne. “I always thought the finals would be picked up by the local stations. I never dreamed it would start off at this place.”
- Don't pick a song that you're doing because of a relationship. “The reality is, people always get a song and they can't do it,” he said.
- Do relax and have fun. “The biggest thing people do is they think they have to be perfect. And they do, but they're so worried about being perfect that they forget they have five categories they're being scored in,” he said.
- Don't just stand there. Just having a good voice won't cut it.
Think you've got the pipes? Participants in the karaoke battle will be judged in five categories: sound quality; rhythm & tempo; vocal expression; stage presence; and entertainment value. At the regional and national levels, judges will comment “like American Idol: Give a critique and tell them how bad they were or how good they were,” Payne said. Former karaoke champion Brian Scott will be one of the three judges on the ABC show at the regional and national level, but Payne wouldn't reveal the other two judges yet. He assured us: “They're two great people!” And yes, they're famous.
Read the rules here.
Shannon Sutlief contributed to this story.
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