World Karaoke Championship

The next time you’re belting a Journey tune while trying to keep your balance and not spill your third drink, don’t be embarrassed the next morning, stand tall — you were simply cross-training.

That’s right, singing poorly and loudly is all part of the long, hard fitness journey to sing-song domination at the 2013 Karaoke World Championships. File this one under: Things We Did Not Know Warranted Championship Competitions, But What The Hell. After all, a little karaoke competition with a very big title can’t be that far-fetched, considering we live in a world that validates far sillier fare, such as tournaments for extreme ironing, Rock Paper Scissors, and weirdest individual on TLC.

This year’s Karaoke World Championships, which features amateur singers from 32 countries, takes place in Lappeenranta, Finland. The competition begins today and runs until Sunday. You can watch it streaming today (see below). Last year’s 2012 World Champion was from Spain. ¡Ole!

In the world of karaoke, as in road-trip playlists, song choice is important. You’re not just singing for yourself, you’re singing for the audience’s enjoyment too. Pick a lovesick ballad that showcases your pipes, you risk making your friends feel empty and loathsome of your talent. Here are five songs I hope we won’t be seeing in the championships:

1. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

Call me a heartless dullard, but this song’s position as the huddled-mass, feel-good finale of every karaoke outing has reached dangerously cheesy levels. Let’s sing together, but not to the tune of a grammar-school personal development poster.

Sing This Instead: “Hey Jude” by The Beatles

2. “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen (sung by many, including Celine Dion)

Great, we get it, you’re lonely and you want us to be lonely with you. But pick a more upbeat song that doesn’t make us want to open another bar tab.

Sing This Instead: “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

3. “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot

Is singing this still funny after 1992? I think it’s creepy to sing about the rotundness of women’s derrieres and I cannot lie.

Sing This Instead: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Feat. Wanz)

4. “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

I just don’t want this 1997 ear worm of a chorus to be stuck in my brain for another 16 years.

Sing This Instead: “Royals” by Lorde

5.”I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton (covered by Whitney Houston)

This is the anthem for participants who want to showcase their pipes while simultaneously alienating their less musically inclined friends. Also, it’s too long and no one else can partake in those difficult vocal runs.

Sing This Instead: Anything by Adele

Oh and the best part about the Karaoke World Championships? You have the luxury of clicking “Stop” when the singing gets unbearable.

Watch the space below for the livestream starting this afternoon:

PopWatchers, will you be tuning in? What are your favorite karaoke jams?