Brian Grubb: Martin, I am going to start with a conclusion and then work my way backward to prove it. That conclusion is this: Karaoke is sports.
My case rests on three factors:
1) Like sports, karaoke is done in front of a crowd.
2) If eSports are sports, karaoke is sports.
3) Karaoke is sports.
Martin Rickman: Karaoke is a skill that can be developed over time. You can compete at karaoke. You can be objectively good or bad at it. It is done in front of people. You get an adrenaline rush. It’s absolutely sports. I’ll take it one further and say I’m stunned there isn’t a World’s Best Karaoke Star show on TV. I’m not talking The Voice or even the lip syncing thing. I’m saying, get people who are normal everyday folks, have them crush it on stage using regular old karaoke machines and let the world decide. That’s something I’d watch.
BG: Who wouldn’t? Which brings me to this: Today, for our weekly(-ish) sports chat, I propose we select three tracks each and make the case for why they are some of the best karaoke songs to sing. If you have no objections to any of this, I hereby turn it over to you for the first selection.
MR: “Stay” by Lisa Loeb
This is the best karaoke song. It doesn’t take a lot of range. It has everything you hope a good karaoke song needs – everybody knows it, the breakdowns are good, the beginning starts slow, and the song builds, and it’s Lisa Loeb. This is the song I will open with, and it’s a real test for the crowd. If the crowd is on board, I can open up my full karaoke repertoire. If they’re lame, I can leave or go with safer songs if I’m stuck there and I need to sing more.
BG: “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley
A good karaoke song should have a low level of difficulty and be infectious enough to get the crowd into it. “Suspicious Minds” fits these perfectly. First of all, even the worst singer in the world sounds competent doing an Elvis impression, because even awful Elvis impressions sound okay. Listen to the song now and do one yourself. It’s fun. The best Elvis song to do it for is his version of “Blue Christmas” because he Elvises out about 16 syllables from the line “I’ll have a blue Christmas,” but for karaoke purposes, “Suspicious Minds” is the jam.