By John Friia
Grab your mike and hang on for the ride. Our Town, Lips and Absolute Vodka are sponsoring “Karaoke Idol,” where aspiring singers take to the stage to show the audience members what they’ve got.
The first round is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Lips, located at 227 E. 56th St. Prior to the competition, there will be a Vegas-style revue hosted by Lips’ Blackie O.
“ ‘Karaoke Idol’ is a great opportunity for singers, and the Vegas-style revue will be extremely entertaining,” promised Yvonne, co-owner and entertainment director at Lips. “Blackie O is a great host, and the waitresses are performers.”
For those people daunted about getting onstage to sing sober, Absolut Vodka will supply shots and cocktails to help them channel their inner Elvis or Madonna.
Sitting at the judges’ table will be individuals who have a lifetime of experience in the music industry, including Lee Evans, Carol Henning and Paula Liscio.
Evans is an award-winning producer, songwriter, engineer and musician. He has written music for artist such as Cyndi Lauper, Marc Anthony, Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, The Force MDs and Brass Construction. He is currently the CEO of Jambox Entertainment, which has become one of the top recording studios in Midtown since it opened 18 years ago.
“ ‘Karaoke Idol’ is a great opportunity for upcoming artists to showcase their talents and have a chance to record a song,” Evans said.
Carol Henning, a former NY Press Readers’ Choice for “Karaoke Idol 2010,” is a writer and performer from Tandava Arts and is preparing for her upcoming performance at United Solo Festival. The annual United festival features solo acts from around the world. Henning will be performing Blood and the Veil, a self-produced play, on Oct. 17 at Theatre Row Studio.
Liscio, an opera singer and vocal coach, has performed at Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, among other places. In addition, she has performed opera in Italy.
The second round of “Karaoke Idol” will take place Oct. 23, leading up to the finals on Nov. 13. From each preliminary round, three contestants will be selected to perform on the extravagant stage at Lips.
The grand prize is a $1,000 and the chance to record a professional CD, courtesy of Jambox Studios. The runner-up will receive a $500 cash prize and studio time. All other finalists will be given gift cards. In addition, finalists will get complimentary hairstyle makeovers from Dramatics NYC.
“Karaoke Idol” is open to all amateurs, but singers are encouraged to rehearse their numbers thoroughly, be ready to project a great stage presence and know the logistics of performing onstage.
If you believe you have what it takes, you can apply by emailing KaraokeIdol@ManhattanMedia.com or calling 212-268-0393.
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