Boring Friends, Silly Drunks and Wedded Un-bliss

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Karaoke can be a dangerous endeavor. What can you sing that won't make friends shun you? How can you go balls-out during your next performance? Each week, RFT Music writer and professional karaoke host Allison Babka answers your burning questions about maximizing your melodies and minimizing your friends' pain. Ask her stuff by emailing rftkaraoke@gmail.com or hashtagging #rftkaraoke on Twitter.

How do you get your quiet friend to join in on the karaoke fun? Is it OK to submit a song suggestion for them? - (Like a Rolling) Stone

Dude, don't be a jerk. I know you mean well, but unless your friend absolutely loves surprises AND public performances, I'd stay away from secretly putting their name into the karaoke punch bowl. You risk breaching your friend's trust and embarrassing the hell out of her, and for what? A giggle and some peer pressure? Not worth it. Be a better friend than that.

What I suspect you're really wondering is how you can make sure your friend is having a good time when they're at a karaoke bar with you, which is awesome. Honestly, Buddy might be perfectly content playing the loud, clapping cheerleader from the table while you belt out "Mr. Roboto." But if you truly think your pal would have a good time at the mic, you'll have to ease them into it. Once they've demonstrated that they enjoy being around karaoke, suggest that your whole table perform together. Let your quiet friend offer up song options, and assure them they can be Tito Jackson in the back of the group instead of the flashier Michael or Jermaine. If they seem to dig that, gently suggest performing a duet together on another night. And if you find success there, they might just take on a solo without any further help from you. But don't push too hard or too quickly, and don't take it personally if you can't convert them. Some people are singers, some are supporters, and you might just have to live with that.

At what point is it OK to grab the microphone out of someone's hand and take over? Not that I ever did that. During a Hank Williams Jr. song. Because that guy was butchering it. - My "Friend" Is a Mic Hog

Questions to ask yourself before stealing the mic:

1) Is the singer your bestest-bestest friend with whom you've shared diarrhea woes and My Little Pony shopping expeditions? In other words, is this person used to your shenanigans?

2) Has the singer indicated "Dear God, someone come up and help me, please?" through miming or speaking?

3) Is the singer sprawled on the floor, too drunk to continue?

4) Is the karaoke host taking a pee break?

If the answer is yes, then sure, I cautiously recommend lending your voice to their efforts. Otherwise, let them finish their song and don't be a douchebag.


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11 comments
AMBabka
AMBabka

@TriCityKaraoke Thx for sharing my #karaoke column from @rftmusic / @riverfronttimes! LMK if your tweeps have Qs for next week! #rftkaraoke

KaraokeKrashers
KaraokeKrashers

@AMBabka We REALLY want to get to STL. Let us know when a good time would be!

AMBabka
AMBabka

@jrosenbaum Thanks for the RT and the follow, Jason! Always nice to find another #karaoke junkie! :)

AMBabka
AMBabka

@nicksargent Thanks! I'm so excited about this! Wasn't sure how it would go, but I sort of lurve it! :) #rftkaraoke @RFTmusic

AMBabka
AMBabka

@ericasmith Thanks, Erica! :)

AMBabka
AMBabka

@stldesktop I'm excited about it!

AMBabka
AMBabka

@karaokekrashers Pretty much anytime! I host on Fridays, but there's #karaoke every night in #stl - except maybe Sundays. #MOlovesGod

nicksargent
nicksargent

@AMBabka for sure. That's a great vehicle for your voice. #pardonthepun.

stldesktop
stldesktop

@AMBabka You have every right to be. It's a good read!

KaraokeKrashers
KaraokeKrashers

@AMBabka Haha! Sounds like we will have to make a week of it when we head out. You can be our #karaoke tour coordinator!

AMBabka
AMBabka

@karaokekrashers Dude, I am all over that shit. #karaoke

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