I have to admit, while living in China, I started to like karaoke (or “KTV” as it’s called there). I’m not a fan of the karaoke bar, with people taking the stage in front of lots of people and belting out horribly off-tune renditions of Blondie and Styx. I would never go to these places, let alone perform there! I do, however, like the private room karaoke places, where you and your friends can order some drinks, choose your songs and sing along to music you all love and listen to. These places are great for some fun, I would even consider having a party there one day.
Unfortunately, it’s not always jovial fun. Sometimes you get that one person who thinks they’re a superstar and insists on singing every song. This is the same person who throws a fit when others talk during their singing, or when there is a better singer in the room. These people are overly critical of everyone and aren’t afraid to point out the faults of everyone else’s singing, but they can’t take criticism of their own performances. These people take karaoke way too seriously. They ruin the fun for everyone by being too nit-picky of the other singers and by monopolizing the microphones and shushing people when it’s their turn.
Karaoke (KTV) is meant to be a fun night out with friends, not the audition for The Voice! It’s ok to sing off-tune in karaoke. In fact, it’s ok not to sing at all, and just hum along if the words are moving across the screen too fast for you. I only went to KTV 3 times when I was in China, but I had a blast every time. People are so friendly when they’re singing (and also slightly drunk), and everyone gets applause. That is, until the too-serious karaoke singer gets there. Then there’s tension and people are afraid to speak while he/she is singing. The alcohol seems to disappear, as people get less jovial and more frustrated. These people are the original “party poopers!”
I would love to go to KTV here in Singapore, but I have not brought it up to my friends yet. I’m still getting to know some people here, so I can’t really tell if we have any karaoke Nazis in the bunch. I think I will bring it up some time soon….it would be nice to go before our summer holiday. I’ll keep my eye out for people who are suspiciously adamant about going, and be wary of them. Karaoke is fun, it’s not a contest!