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.
What makes Hotrod great? Preparation, effort and a steely will to win. Hotrod's reedy, tremulous voice is certainly bad, but not the worst KttD patrons are likely to hear. His wooden stage presence, sweaty delivery and sickly pallor paint an ugly picture, but is not as morbidly off-putting as say Cap'n Crunch or Soo Doh Nim. But Hotrod has always made up for whatever deficiencies he may possess by simply outworking everyone else. Nobody watches more game tape, nobody reviews and discards more possible songs, nobody practices as hard and nobody prepares themselves with as much vigor (think Clubber Lang in Rocky III). It's pretty much a given that when KttD rolls around, Hotrod will be there, ready to stand and deliver. Competitors who aren't ready to compete may as well not show up at all.
Strengths: There's a reason why Hotrod is the only two-time champion in KttD history. He's got all the tools, and more importantly, all the desire, to win every time he gets on stage. Nobody puts their bad voice and nervous stage presence together with really terrible songs better than Hotrod. And word from Hotrod's inner circle is that he is eager to avenge last year's embarrassingly decent performance with something for the ages. Hotrod's larger-than-life presence looms large over KttD, and under the right circumstances he could easily become the first three-time champion on February 17th.
Weaknesses: It almost seems unfair to call them weaknesses. Hotrod is still as bad as he's always been, and that badness was enough to earn him two World Championships of bad karaoke. It's not that Hotrod has developed weaknesses, so much as it is that the new wave of KttD competitor is like nothing the bad singing world has ever before witnessed. Facing a murderer's row of tone-deaf musical butchers, Hotrod needs to work twice as hard every year, and at some point, one has to question whether any amount of work will be enough. The KttDing world will have to wait and see what Hotrod has up his sleeves this year.