Microphone on stage

17 Signs You’re a Douche at Karaoke

In my previous post, I highlighted the ten ways a KJ is a douche at karaoke.

I was asked to follow-up with ways a patron could be a douche and the response was overwhelming.

It’s definitely possible to be a douche at karaoke towards the KJ, whether it’s mic grabbing or being disrespectful to the singers. Here are 17 signs you’re a douche at karaoke.

You Nag the KJ

Oh, how I can count the ways a person can nag the KJ. This involves constantly coming up and asking when you’re up, changing songs and orders constantly before your song comes up, and even sitting within bubble-space next to the KJ.

It’s cool to ask the KJ when you put in a song when you’re up. We’ll tell you.

If it’s a long rotation, we’re possibly dealing with 15 or more people who want to sing. Pick a song up front and don’t try to compete with other singers.

You’re Off Key

We’re all amateurs at karaoke and we do our best. And I’ll admit: I suck at singing. I’m no professional and ninety-nine times out of one hundred, my vocals are cringe-worthy (and my brother wholeheartedly agrees).

However, it helps to know the song you’re singing. We karaoke peeps who go to shows regularly have more than likely “heard it all” and hate to see a song butchered by someone who doesn’t know the highs and lows of the song.

What follows might be a quick bathroom break during the song, or even that coveted smoke break outside (we’d rather fight the weather than your voice).

Yelling Into the Microphone

You’re already amplified. You don’t need to screech (yes, I said screech) into the microphone further.

If we can hear you without the microphone, you are way too loud.

It wasn’t too long ago that I heard someone sing Hello by Adele as a goth version. The man was so loud that my friend who was sitting next to me had to put her fingers in her ears. It was a bit overwhelming.

The Dreaded Feedback Squeal

Nothing ruins a karaoke night sooner than the horrible sound of feedback. This usually happens when you get close to one of the speakers.

Be mindful of where you’re standing. Do not sing close to the speakers. Otherwise, the feedback squeal will have us all holding our ears should the worst happen.

Grabbing the Microphone Without Permission

Microphones are an expensive shiny object that must be protected. The KJ will give you the mic when he or she is ready.

Usually you just want to sing, right? But grabbing the microphone before the KJ is ready is a big no-no.

Disrespecting the Microphone

Did you just kill a song? Mic-drop time! Nope. It’s a quick way of getting booted out of the rotation.

Likewise, if you treat the microphone like a baton that you want to toss into the air and do party tricks.

Sorry, karaoke is not your thing then, because if a KJ sees either, you’re likely to get booted out of the rotation.

It’s Always Your Turn

It’s cool to sing along with your favorite song, but not when your voice is so loud that it drowns out the person singing on the microphone.

I once attempted to sing 21 Guns by Green Day, then with a loud screeching voice, someone decided to sing along with the chorus.

All I could hear is a screeching, “21 Guns!” The crowd could hear it too and it was highly distracting.

An honorable mention is the douche that asks the KJ for the second mic without permission so that he can join in on someone else’s song. No, and no. Wait your turn.

Refusing to Return the Microphone

Okay, your song is done. This is your cue to hand the mic back to the KJ.

This is not your cue to make an announcement or a long epilogue. The KJ could just turn your mic off if this happens.

I once was KJ for a show, and after the show was over, this douche wanted to announce a contest winner. No, and no again. We’re there to enable users to sing. We’re not there to accommodate your end-of-night quest for attention. Our show is over and we’re tired. Let us be!

Cuffing the Mic

When singing, you know better than the KJ regarding sound right? We are constantly making adjustments to your mic depending on your key and how loud you sing.

Adjusting a mic when a singer is cuffing is nearly impossible. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and the KJ quickly corrected me.

You Act Like Karaoke is a Contest

We’re all amateur singers unless you happen to be a signed professional belting lyrics at whim. Don’t be the diva that holds one finger in the ear to ensure you are on key.

Karaoke isn’t a contest unless it is specifically a karaoke contest being held by a bar. And even then, it’s not like you’re going to suddenly be discovered.

Treat karaoke as fun and you’ll have the time of your life.

Not Clapping for Other Singers

This is one of my rules. Clap always. I don’t care if you hate the song or even the singer. It’s a sign of respect to clap for a song. You’ll make it for a much more enjoyable evening if you give singers some recognition.

It’s heartbreaking to try a song and not receive even a single round of applause.

Also, if you’re in a group and you only applaud those in your group, it’s very noticeable. And the rest of the crowd just thinks you’re there only for your group and nobody else.

Playing the Manager Card

It’s time to announce the last singer. This is when the douche light is on and someone comes up and wants to sing one more song.

“I know the manager and I spent a lot of money here.” I would hear.

Guess who also knows the manager? We do. And it’s the manager who says how long we can do karaoke.

If we were to accommodate one more singer, it won’t be you. It’ll be the next person in the rotation.

It’s also a slippery slope. If we let one more singer in, the next singer will want to sing too.

By the close of the evening, we already have in mind who the last singer will be.

Putting in Phantom Singers

So you’re in a group and they’re all karaoke shy. Here’s an idea! Let’s put the entire table in the rotation and then decide to take the primary mic and sing along as support.

This is a pretty douche move. Unless it’s an actual duet, it’s not cool to put multiple in the rotation and not let them sing the song for themselves.

One KJ I know refuses to put in songs for others unless they physically come up and put in a song.

Expecting Special Treatment for Duets

Some want to put in their song and have a special “duet” that doesn’t count for their turn.

Sorry to break it to you, but duets should come out of your regular turn.

Exceptions are if it’s a slow night, but in general, a duet counts as your turn at karaoke. Make the most of it.

Changing Your Song Mid-Turn

I’ve seen this happen constantly. A person will start a song, realize they don’t know it well, and ask the KJ for a redo. While this happens, all the regulars face palm.

The regulars have their songs and know them well because of constant practice. If you’re not comfortable singing a song, you shouldn’t put in for it.

Some KJs allow redos, while the rest suffer through hearing your rendition of this new song that you also probably barely know.

When I was a KJ, I had a rule of no redos and I’m not alone.

There was a guy at one of my shows that wanted to sing Baby Got Back. It was a long rotation, and by the time I got to him, he was too intoxicated for rap. He made it through a quarter of the song before he gave up and handed me back the mic. I asked on the mic, “Who wants to take over?” A lady immediately got up and did insanely well for the rest of the song.

You’re Too Drunk to Sing

You do not sound better drunk. You just think you do. If you’ve had too much to drink, there’s a tendency to slobber all over the microphone (ick!), slurring your words, or just missing the timing of the song.

While we want all patrons to have a good time, there is a limit to how intoxicated you can be to sing. Know your limit and please don’t attempt to sing when you’re two seconds away from hurling all over the stage.

Getting Touchy-Feely with the KJ

This happened every other show when I was a KJ. It typically involves a guy or gal who wants to put their hands on my shoulder, touch my arm, or in general make flirtatious gestures.

I have a bubble and I don’t like it when people break the bubble. Don’t touch me. Just give me your name and song please.

Your Turn!

I’ve likely missed a few points or irked some of you. Feel free to comment your own pet peeves or expand on a point I covered. You’re welcome to rip me apart as well. I’m used to it.

5 thoughts on “17 Signs You’re a Douche at Karaoke”

  1. One that I had to deal with twice last night: waiting until the KJ is singing to try to talk to him. Many times, the KJ has to sing, either to maintain the tempo of the night, or to bolster a short rotation. And when they’re singing, they are actually busy, even if they know the song cold.

  2. I can’t stand the “helper” who asks for a mic (they won’t sign up for their own turn) during someone else’s song. Some of these people will even turn to the singer to “get permission” to join them. Sorry, no. The current singer waited their turn and started the song solo and that’s the way they’ll finish it. It is incredibly rude and distracting to interrupt a someone else’s song. Dance and sing along (not too loud) as part of the audience. That is the way to participate when it is not your turn.

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