Karaoke is an interesting social experiment. It takes something everyone loves doing on his or her own (singing) and turns it into one of the most vulnerable experiences a person can have. When it goes well, it’s an incredible adrenaline rush. When it goes badly, there’s no well deep enough for you to hide your shame in. You can learn a lot about a person by the song she chooses, and when you’re a single guy out on the town, you’re looking for any and all indicators to help you decide who is someone you’d actually enjoy entangling yourself with. Here are a few karaoke indicators to help you determine if a girl is worth making an effort for.
1. Current Top 40 Hit
Her lack of ingenuity is problematic. She probably got roped into going by her friends and is only going up because she’s finally had enough vodka crans to not give a fuck. This is fine, just don’t expect me to be impressed. I hardly want to see Rihanna sing her own music live, let alone a drunk girl with questionable tonality and no high range whatsoever. Is it because she only has space in her brain to save the lyrics of 10 songs at a time, so as soon as she has a new favorite, the oldest one in the back gets kicked out? I’m running with that assumption. If the likelihood that the song a girl performs will play in the cab on the way home is more than 50 percent, it’s safe to assume she’s dumb. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe she’s dumb enough to go home with you. That’s pretty dumb.
2. Rock Ballad
I like a girl who’s down to get into some classic rock in front of a crowd. Obviously the same rules that apply to guys when it comes to rock songs should apply to girls. Pretty much half of Journey’s songs are off limits, along with any Tom Petty song that has the word “free” somewhere in the title. Girls can get away with some things that guys can’t, though. I personally consider “Come On Eileen” and “Sweet Caroline” to be hacky karaoke songs. Sure, it’s fun when the whole crowd gets into it, but EVERYONE thinks he or she’s the one who will bring some new fire to the song, and that person never does. But girls can get away with it. If a drunk redhead is belting Dexys Midnight Runners and leading the whole crowd, I’m probably going to talk to her afterward. Is it fair? No, but that’s life.
3. Ironically Serious Tune
Singing a song ironically is a hard line to walk. You don’t want to pick something that people are actually going to take seriously, but you also don’t want to look like a pretentious prick. That’s why “fun” is the angle to take. You always want someone who’s going to sing a song that’s against type. My buddy has gotten laid too many times singing Jewel’s “Foolish Games.” Girls go the opposite way. If a girl can get up and really get into a testosterone-heavy song, she’ll impress the shit out of me: something like “Cherry Pie,” “Runnin’ With The Devil,” or “Jet City Woman.” Any girl secure enough in her femininity to belt out some cock rock is good in my book.
4. Rap Song
My preferences for karaoke rap performances tend to skew toward either old school, obscure, or nostalgia. I’m not giving a girl doing a Drake song a second look, but if she’s up there flowing up some Souls of Mischief, ‘Pac, or early Eminem, I’m all in. Lord help that woman if she does any Nelly song, because I will not stop hitting on her. Obviously, the key here is if she knows all the words. If she’s slurring her way through the second verse because she doesn’t remember it, count me out. If you stare me in the eye as you deliver a heavy Nas verse? I might jizz my dungarees and pass out on the spot.
5. “Belt It Out” Anthem
Stay away from this girl. I cannot stress this enough. All Whitney Houston/Diana Ross/Aretha Franklin songs should be banned. You want to ruin my night in three minutes? Let an entitled white girl go up and attempt to sing a song perfected by a proud black woman. It’s a lose-lose situation. If she bombs, it’s horrible because not only are your ears being assaulted with broken high notes, but you also feel her shame intimately. If she’s incredible? She’s probably insufferable. No one who goes to karaoke with real pipes and does a song that proclaims that fact to everyone there is an enjoyable human being to be around.