Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Everybody's A Critic

Since the competition began in 2003, I have been a judge at several of the Windy City Gay Idol contests each year.

No, you read it right.

The Windy City Gay Idol.

What's a "Gay Idol," you ask?



'Nuff said.

Windy City Gay Idol is a karaoke competition sponsored by one of Chicago's weekly gay newspapers, The Windy City Times.

And, I am a judge. Yes, me - - the redneck, homo, Sondheim geek whose career peaked when I performed SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! at Dollywood accompanied, not by a band, but by a cd that skipped, making that section of THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER where you count backwards from 30, a musical theatre clusterfuck- - I am judging other people.

In fact, I'm judging this year's final round at Circuit on June 15th.

I toyed with the idea of walking into the club holding a little dog and sporting a huge band-aid on my nose, but then my friend Ruth sent me this little article.

After reading this, I don't think I should even ATTEMPT to be witty or do anything that would make anyone think that I was mocking the festivities.

Somebody might be packin'.

Philippines Man Shot By Guard At Karaoke Bar For Refusing To Stop Singing

In the Philippine city of San Mateo, a patron at a karaoke bar was shot dead for singing out of tune, The Philippine Star reported.

29-year-old Romy Baligula was halfway through his song when security guard Robilito Ortega, 43, yelled that he was off-key.

Baligula ignored his comments and continued singing, upon which Ortega pulled out a .38 caliber pistol and shot the singer in the chest. Baligula died instantly, according to police.

The guard was detained by an off-duty policeman shortly after the shooting.


Alas, it does not seem to be a rare occurrence. So many fights and even deaths have occurred in Manila when patrons sing out of tune that the popular Frank Sinatra tune "My Way" was reportedly taken off many karaoke bars' song lists.

Did this reporter just use the word, "Alas?" What the fuck?

Anyway, Ruth and I were discussing this "Murder By Tone Deaf"...

...Ok, I'm reaching with that one, but cut me some slack. In a few weeks I'll be judging karaoke in what very well might turn into the lavender version of the Gaza Strip...

...and Ruth reminded me that she and I, our friend Dawn-Marie and our good friend Michael, who sadly passed away a year and a half ago, were sitting at the Gentry on Halsted when this bizarre man went up to the mic and started singing DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA.

And he sang it wretchedly. I mean, I actually would have preferred to hear Madonna sing that song - - LIVE! Friggin' MADONNA, ok!?! THAT'S how bad he was.

And then, it happened. I swear, the four of us didn't discuss what we were about to do. It just sprang out of our mouths - - each of us at the exact same time.

Right after this man sang the lyric, "Have I said too much?," all four of us screamed at the top of our lungs...

"YES!"

Funny? We thought it was.

Cruel? You bet'cha.

But when you consider what would have happened to the guy if he sang that song that in the Philippines, our little joke at the expense of the untalented seems rather kind...

...almost compassionate, really.

17 comments:

Lance's friend said...

laughed til I cried

Aaron said...

With the Gentry on Halsted closing, what WILL be the next capital of snark? :-)

(Oh, yes--Hydrate! I plum forgot. They have bad karaoke, too, sung by queens who all think they're Stevie-fucking-Nicks...)

Stephen Rader said...

Lance's Friend - Trust me, you would have cried HARDER if you heard that poor schmo sing that song!! :)

Aaron - Gentry on Halsted closing. I've lived here long enough to slightly remember when it was Carr's. Wasn't that the name? And I've heard it was Bugle Boy before that. Or am I confusing the bar with a brand of jean? Who knows...

Yes, open mic at piano bars is giving way to karaoke at places like Hydrate - - a gay bar that used to kid itself into believing it was a leather bar and now tries to make people think it's a hip and trendy club.

As a friend of mine said when Hydrate opened with it's bright blue and yellow paint, "It's the IKEA of gay bars."

Jeanne said...

Hydrate-I passed by that place on my way to showtunes last Friday. Do they always have that annoying mist pouring onto the sidewalk? I had to clean my glasses afterwards.
I was a bit surpised they didn't have scantily clad boys standing on the sidewalk "misting" themselves...

Stephen Rader said...

Jeanne - Wait a week or two into June and I'm sure some twink in a speedo that reveals his religion will be misting himself while dancing to house music that only he hears.

And I will go to Cold Stone Creamery, get a Love It size Cake Batter Ice Cream with Oreo cookies and graham cracker pie crust mix-in's, walk by him and laugh and laugh...

Jeanne said...

Mmmm...Cold Stone Creamery. :o)

Stephen Rader said...

Jeanne - You said it! That Cold Stone Creamery near my apartment causes my inner Robbie the Robot to go all "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Will Robinson!" everytime I walk past it!!!

David said...

Stephen, does this mean I won't be the only person trying to semi-HONEST as we listen to the 115th version of Kelly Clarkson or Whitney Houston songs? Finally we will be working together. We can take turns being the Simon. Hell, I can't even sing and I;m judging, so you're friggin' Pavarotti compared to me.

Stephen Rader said...

David - WOOHOO!!! I'm SO happy that you are judging the finals!!! This will be a blast!

But I gotta tell you, I am SO not a Simon when it comes to judging these things. I just can't bring myself to be too bitchy or mean. It mean, if they're up for a million dollars, then sure, I'll be bitchy, but otherwise, I'm much more of a Paula.

You know, get boozed up and flirt with the boys. That kind of thing.

Aaron said...

David, don't fret, at least you're PERFORMING: if Simon could perform, perhaps he'd be DOING it instead of creating a show that made it fashionable to ride on the backs of those who do. (Or DID, in Paula's case.) In fact, from that standpoint, both you and Stephen are OVERqualified to be "Idol" judges! But hopefully, it's at least fun for you...:-)

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - Thank you for the compliment, cute boy.

After reading that, I feel like Louise in GYPSY...

"I'm pretty. I'm a pretty girl, mama."

Master Aaron said...

I can be bitchy. I can be mean. Why wasn't I asked to judge the damn thing?!?!? Are they SCARED?!?! HUH?!?!?

Oh, and one other thing, you can both sing, you're both pretty, shut it already, and now I may have to go to the sick mess just to see the two of you work together.

Stephen Rader said...

Master Aaron - Of course, they're afraid to let you judge. You just might destroy them.

And you DEFINITELY have to come and see David and I judge together. This is not to be missed!!

jer said...

ps i'm going to dollywood this summer

Stephen Rader said...

Jer - WOOHOO!!! When are you going to be there? Have you ever been before? You will love it!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I always knew karaoke was dangerous.

Stephen Rader said...

Whim - So dangerous. So, so dangerous.

I've wearing kevlar on the 15th.