With the Eight Annual Karaoke to the Death VIII fast upon us, the editors at Dabysan in Hammersmith Palais thought it would be a good time take a closer look at some of the main competitors: their strengths, weaknesses and potential obstacles to taking home Lord Ramsey's Cup.
KttD co-founder Dabysan steps up to KttD's stage carrying a lot of disadvantages. A hyper-extrovert, Dabysan never met a stage he didn't like. If you haven't heard about his love of performing, wait five minutes and he'll probably tell you about it, along with anything else that might be on his mind. If you time his infrequent pauses for breath just right, you may even get a chance to respond. So the palpable, squirming sort of discomfort that plays such a critical role in so many great KttD performances simply isn't a part of Dabysan's playbook. Making matters worse, in certain limited lower registers, Dabysan's singing voice can actually be borderline pleasant, as Akaijen likes to gleefully point out. Given the current state of play in the KttDing world, with new tone-deaf introverts casting their hats into the ring every year, it's reasonable to ask if the sport Dabysan helped create may be passing him by.
Against that impressive slate of negatives, Dabysan weighs in with just one enormous asset -- volume. If KttD was conducted without the benefit of amplified sound, Dabysan would win every time. What Dabysan lacks in discordance, he makes up for with sheer sonic impact. When Dabysan gets his voice around a particularly ambitious high note, the townies in the way back look up from their pool cues and take notice. Armed with the right song, Dabysan can deliver a performance that inflicts real physical pain on his vict...er...listeners. He proved it in KttD V when he swept all competitors with bone-chilling interpretation of Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now," and through the years he's consistently tallied votes with his piercing performances of the greatest hits of Boston, the Bee Gees and Spandau Ballet. The big question for Dabysan is: will his one-dimensional attack -- strong as it is -- be enough to conquer a new breed of KttD competitors, who are transforming the sport every year into something new and altogether more wretched.
Strengths: Raw power. Dabysan's voice is an impressive instrument, and really not in a good way. It's something that people remember, the way people remember childhood traumas. With his out-sized delivery, Dabysan will always have a puncher's chance to win Lord Ramsey's Cup.
Weaknesses: KttD audio chronicler Vanna (who's audio posts are a must listen for any true KttD fan) once remarked to Dabysan, "when I heard you on tape it was sooooooooo much worse than I remembered it in person, but when you're up there, you're having so much fun, its easy to forget how bad you suck." There's the rub for Dabysan. In a competition that trades on humiliation, a congenital lack of shame may ultimately be a fatal flaw.