Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thing 306 Singing Contest

Alright, just after I've recorded a song, I'm in a singing contest. Let me be clear. I'm not a talented singer. I'm a mediocre singer. I don't have stunning range and projection. I will not win awards or sell records with my singing voice. No one is ever going to pay to listen to me. Doesn't stop me from loving it. I really do love to sing. Personally, I think I do my best work in the shower, but I've been known to belt out a few half decent tunes while cooking and cleaning also. I don't think Pony Boy will ever forget the Aretha Franklin number that I was covering while cleaning in the nip about a third of the way through The Project... mind you, that'll probably be because of the amount of bare arse that came with the song. To be fair.

The K-Factor has been running in the Shannon Knights bar in Shannon Town for a number of weeks now. This was the third heat. I've never been a major fan of X-Factor or similar ventures, mostly because I dislike reality TV. This time though, I wanted to see what it would be like, not just to be on stage, I've been on stage for plays and musicals since I was about twelve, but because of the feeling of being judged. Because that's what this is. It's putting yourself out there to be judged, not just by the panel of judges, but by the complete strangers who are there to support someone else, or just for fun.
I'm positively amazed at how nervous I was. Like I say, I've been on stage countless times. Expressive Arts Theatre School from age twelve to eighteen. Mary Immaculate Drama Soc from eighteen to twenty two. Being on stage and singing isn't new to me, but the knowledge that I'm getting up there to be judged... holy shit did it scare me.

By the way, because I like name-dropping and pretending I'm cool; that nice chap in the photo up there is Gari Deegan. You may recognise him from The Late Late Show - he was contesting to be in the Eurovision. He's also the organiser of the K-Factor, and sort of a mate too.

It's funny when I think about it. The atmosphere at The Knights was great, the buzz was excellent, and people were clearly having fun. There was actually nothing to be nervous about, but there I was sweating bullets. Thanks be to The Frenchman it wasn't worse. He came with, to play guitar, since I'm still crap at that, so I could sing. Made me sound good too.
We started with Fidelity, the Regina Spektor song that I tried not to butcher there a week or so ago. If you want to listen again, here's the link: CLICK!! The only problem was that we hadn't really rehearsed it that day. In fact, we hadn't really done anything that day except watch sci-fi movies and drink coffee. It's not exactly preparation for a singing contest. I do paint a thoroughly lazy picture of myself though don't I? Jabba's got nothing on me folks.

So we were massively unprepared. And we really murdered it this time. I mean, wow, it was awful. If I'd been in the audience I'd have been throwing fruit. Judges were nice about it though. I think they were thinking "Awww god-helpus... the poor lad". To add insult to injury, we were supposed to sing two songs. We hadn't prepared a second one, so we just got up and did Jason Mraz, I'm Yours.... and we fairly rocked the house.

I was stunned. People joined in the singing, and not just in an effort to drown me out. It actually went well. The other contestants had been pretty class, and one of them Orla, was so good, it was pretty much sewn up that she'd be winning. She nailed it. So the competition was for second place, since two people would be going back for the semi-finals. We got called back to a sing-off. At this point I was completely gobsmacked. I think Dr Frasier, our one fan, was amazed too.
We lost... inevitable really. The chap in the photo is the guy that took second place. He rocked the house a little bit too. And he's sound out. So no complaints. Head on home and watch more sci-fi movies. It was a fun night out. Bit of an experience. Really enjoyed the second and third song. Thing 306 in the bag...

But wait... there's more.

The Judges get a "Wild Card" pick. Guess who? Ya, apparently I didn't ruin music enough to be discounted and me and The Frenchman are into the semi-final on Sunday March 13th. We'll be preparing this time. Actually doing some rehearsels. Getting The Canuck on board too. So this time round, when it all goes down I actually won't have an excuse. Which is alarming. I like blaming my failures on other things outside my control.

If you feel like turning up to support us, we'd only love to see you. Bring ear plugs. No fruit.

1 comment:

  1. I couldnt help but notice how much you seem to LOVE reality TV, much like myself. Here's a Thing idea - why not be the subject of your own reality TV show for 24 hours? I'm sure you could rope some camera-toting friends in. I, for one, would definitely tune in. Besta luck with that shteak.