Contestant Eligibility

  • The contest is open to all registered convention attendees. You must have a valid badge for the day(s) of the contest.
  • There is no additional cost to register for the contest.
  • Convention Staff and Crew, Guests of Honor, and Industry badge holders are allowed to compete, but are unable to win the contest.
  • Any documentation required by the convention for participation, if applicable, must be completed by the time of check-in.
  • Contestants may compete in both Individual and Group categories if they desire.

Song Eligibility

  • Anime song requirement. At least one of your song choices (i.e., one round) must be from an anime series, movie, or OVA.
  • Anime. For purposes of this rule, anime is defined as a commercially-produced animated production from Japan.
  • Image Songs. Image songs (defined as songs which aren’t necessarily used in an anime, but are on the soundtrack) are acceptable.
  • Live-Action Spin-off. Songs from the live-action version of an anime (for example, the live action Sailor Moon) are also acceptable.
  • Dub Songs. English or other non-Japanese songs from the commercially dubbed version of an anime series or video game are acceptable. (For example, Ricardo Silva’s Spanish-language dub of “Cha-la, Head-cha-la,” or songs from Robotech.)
  • Fan Dubs. Fan dubs do not meet this requirement.
  • Western animation. Songs from non-Japanese animation studios (Disney, Cartoon Network, etc) do not fulfill this requirement and are not acceptable for the general contest.
    • Notwithstanding the above requirements, songs from RWBY (Rooster Teeth Productions) are acceptable.
  • Jojo Rule. English songs which were not originally created for an anime series or video game, or straight covers of such songs (for example, Fly Me To The Moon [Evangelion], Walk Like an Egyptian [JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure], or any other “popular” Western song used as an anime series theme song) are not allowed.

General Eligibility

  • All songs must be from one of the following categories:
    • Anime series, movie, or OVA, as defined above.
    • Video game. Vocal tracks used in any released video game from any region.
    • J-pop or J-rock. Commercially-available or established indie releases by bands from Japan.
    • K-pop. Commercially-available popular music from Korea.
    • Vocaloid. Popular, publicly-released songs featuring Vocaloid synthesizers.
  • Lyrics. All songs must be fully memorized. Lyrics of any form are not allowed.
  • Audio alterations. Your audio file may not be altered in any way from the original source, with the following exceptions:
  • Vocal dampening. Fan-made “karaoke versions” are allowed.
  • Fade-outs and cropping. You may fade or crop your song to accommodate the time limit for your round or at any point within that time limit (at a “TV size” fade point, for example).
  • Prohibited alterations. While all non-exempted audio changes (as defined above) are prohibited, the following are subject to immediate disqualification: Tempo modification, remix/mash-up work, or the addition of any pre-recorded vocals, backup vocals, instrumentals, or other materials made by a contestant. This is a karaoke contest, not a music production contest.
  • We want to hear your singing voice, not those of the original singers. To that end, tracks with the existing background vocal are discouraged.

☆ If you are in doubt as to whether a song is acceptable for the contest, please ask us before signing up, and we will make a ruling.

Song Format

Deliverables. We expect you to provide your song in one of the following deliverable formats:
You must provide your own music for the contest on a portable flash drive or audio CD, with restrictions:

  • mp3, mp4, wav files are acceptable file types. These may be uploaded when you submit the form.
    • Please check your media before submitting it and make sure it works in a standard player.
  • Flash Drive
    • If submitting materials on a USB flash drive:
      • Have a readme.txt file on the USB drive containing your name, email address, and phone number.
      • Include your prelim, semis (if applicable) and finals song on the USB flash drive in a single folder.
      • If possible, no other files should be contained on your drive.
      • When the contest is over, please collect your USB flash drive. All unclaimed USB flash drives will be disposed of at the end of the convention weekend.
  • A CD with standard CD-audio format (Red Book) is allowed.
    • If submitting your own CD specifically for the contest:
      • Please write your name on your CD.
      • Track 1 should be your preliminary song.
      • Track 2 should be your semi-finals song (finals song if group).
      • Track 3 should be your finals song (for individuals only).
      • When the contest is over, please claim your CD. We are not responsible for lost or unclaimed CDs. All unclaimed CDs will be disposed of at the end of the convention weekend.
  • No iPods, MDs, portable music devices, or cassettes are allowed in the contest.

General Contest Format

  • Signup and Check-in
  • Contestant limits.
    • The number of acts is limited to 45 total entries to keep the length of the contest reasonable.
    • 35 spots are reserved for online pre-con sign-ups when available;
      Remaining spots are reserved for at-con sign-ups. These are first come, first served.
    • Once the 35 spots have been filled, online signups will close and you will need to sign up for one of the at-con spots.
    • Once the sign-up cap has been reached, any additional at-con signups will be placed on a waiting list.

☆ To be guaranteed a spot in the contest, we highly recommend that you sign up online early in the sign-up period before the convention. However, please note that every year, there are numerous cancellations; even if you are on the waiting list, your chances of being in the contest are still very good.

STEP ONE:

  • Sign-ups. In order to compete in the contest, you must sign up.
  • Personal information. All information requested on the sign-up form must be completed and correct.
  • Legal name required. You must use your real name on the sign-up sheet. A stage/fan name field is available should you wish to indicate what you would like us to call you on stage.
  • Song selection. You must use different songs for each round. You may not sing the same song more than once in the contest.
  • You must specify the songs you are going to sing when you sign up for the contest.
  • You are able to upload via google drive on the sign-up form. If you know what songs you will be singing and already have the karaoke tracks, feel free to submit them.
  • Song changes. You may change your songs freely (and do not need to notify us) up until you check in for the contest. Once the contest check-in period has closed, you may no longer change your song selection.

STEP TWO:

  • Check-in requirements. All pre-registered contestants are required to check in before the contest to confirm their appearance.
  • The check-in period will be posted in advance to the convention schedule.
  • The check-in period closes One Hour prior to the start of the contest. The final contestant list, including wait list entries, will be processed and finalized at this time.
    Contestants who fail to check-in by the One Hour cutoff time will lose their spot in the contest and will not be called to compete.
  • To check in, you must show your valid badge for the day(s) of the contest as well as any documentation required by the convention, confirm your information and stage name with Karaoke staff, and provide your music for the contest or choose a song from our database.
  • Contest Order. Contest order is determined by Karaoke staff once the check-in period has closed.
  • We make every attempt to facilitate and accommodate requests for contest order (e.g. as early as possible, as late as possible, etc.), but may not be able to accommodate all requests.
  • Contest order may be altered based on song selection, logistics, or other pertinent operational concerns as deemed necessary by Karaoke staff.
  • Contest Categories. There are two categories of competition: Individual and Group. Contestants may compete once in each category.
    • Individual category. If you are competing in the Individual category, there can only be one person on stage during your performance.
    • Group category. In the Group category competition, all members of the group must perform in all rounds to be eligible for a prize.
      • All members of the group must sing during all songs, either as lead or as backup.
      • Contestants may compete in only one group.
  • Song Length. Songs are limited to the following lengths:
    • Preliminary (Qualifying) round:
      • 1.5 minute OR verse/chorus (individual category)
      • 2.5 minutes OR 2verse/chorus (group category)
    • Semifinal round (individual only): 2.5 minutes OR 2 verse/chorus
    • Final round: 5 minutes.
    • Songs longer than these limits will be faded out when the limit is reached.
    • Contestants may also elect to fade out or end their song at any desired point within the time limit, without penalty.

Judging

  • Criteria. Contestants will be judged in different areas relevant to their performance using a unique judging method developed by Karaoke staff.
  • Overall judging criteria are as follows:
    • Vocal/singing performance: Most heavily weighted. This includes, but is not limited to: pitch, rhythm, tone, overall vocal quality, and vocal support.
    • Showmanship/presentation: Moderately weighted. This includes, but is not limited to: Song choice/difficulty, stage presence, general appeal, and overall emotiveness.
    • The scoring system and judging methods are designed to weigh vocal performance and consistency throughout the multiple rounds of the contest.
    • Additional judging categories (i.e., “bonus points”) may be considered at the discretion of the Karaoke staff and judge panel.
  • Advancement.
    • Individual category. The top twelve individuals from the Preliminary round advance to the semi-finals. The top five individuals from the semi-finals advance to the finals, from which the Individual winners are determined.
    • Group category. The top five groups from the Preliminary round advance to the Finals, from which the Group winners are determined.
    • Consistency guidelines. The overall contest winners are decided by a performance across all rounds.
  • Ties.
    • For the purposes of this section, a “tie” is defined as an equivalent whole number score total (e.g., 123.4 and 123.1) in all rounds excluding the final round, and an identical score match to a hundredth of a point (e.g., 123.45 and 123.45)  in the final round.
    • In non-final rounds, a tie may also be declared at the discretion of judges or Karaoke staff if the numeric scores of contestants at the cutoff are within a half decimal value (.5) of  one another (e.g., 123.9 and 124.3)
    • In the event of a tie in the preliminary rounds, the tied acts will all advance.
    • In the event of a tie in the final round, the final round score will serve as the tiebreaker.
    • If the final round scores are the same between the tied contestants, then a majority vote of the judges will determine final placement.
  • All decisions made by the judges are final.
  • All scores and judging data is kept confidential. Score sheets are not available to contestants upon request.

Performance Rules

  • A cappella Singing. Contestants may not sing “a cappella” style.
  • Interaction with MC, showrunners, judges, and staff. No interaction with the MC or with Karaoke staff is permitted as part of your performance (i.e., once the music starts).
  • Contestants may not touch or approach the judges’ table.
  • Fade-out exception. You are permitted to interact with Karaoke Staff (including the MC) when you have finished your song and would like it faded out.
  • Audience Participation. Contestants may not go into the audience, invite an audience member on stage, or use an audience member in their act. Actions that encourage general audience participation as a whole (such as asking the crowd to clap) are okay.
    • The Moé Rule: A legion of prepared fans that rush to the front when you perform, dance along in the audience in a coordinated fashion, wave glowsticks, or otherwise make a scene constitute a breach of our audience participation policy.
  • Performance area. The only persons allowed in the performing area are the MC,Karaoke staff and guests, judges, and contestants. Friends, relatives, fans, mascots, managers, agents, and any other persons or beings not actually performing in the contest are not allowed on stage or an area adjacent/in front.
  • Props. Any props carried on stage must be relevant to your costume or outfit and not impact or disrupt your performance in any way. Props that alter the lighting or staging of your performance are not allowed. You must clear all prop usage with staff before your performance. Cosplay prop usage may be considered as a minimal factor in your overall stage presence/performance but will not impact your score.
    • Permitted Example: A staff that matches your costume which you incorporate into a light dance routine.
    • Disallowed Example: A prop that spews confetti on the stage and audience, or adds a laser light beam/fog machine effect.

Conduct

  • General code of conduct. As a convention for anime fans of all ages, we hold certain standards of behavior which all convention attendees should abide by at all times. For more information, please refer to the Code of Conduct.
  • Abuse of equipment or facilities. You may not drop, tap, strike, blow on, spill liquid on, or otherwise damage or mistreat, through either ill intent or neglect, any equipment in the Karaoke room at any time.
    • This includes but is not limited to: microphones, speakers, TV screens, stands, computers, chairs, tables, lighting, stage, or any other property not belonging to you.
  • Guidelines. All aspects of the act, including, but not limited to: costume, conduct on stage, and song lyrics, are to abide by no worse than a PG-13 standard. If you’re in doubt as to whether something is suitable, just ask yourself, “Would you do this in front of your mother?” If you’re still in doubt, please email or post and tell us what you have in mind, and we’ll work something out.
  • No guarantee to participation. If any violations of policy occur, Karaoke staff reserves the right to disqualify offenders from the contest or terminate the act in mid-song. In extreme cases, offenders may also be subject to convention penalties including loss of badge and removal from the convention.
  • Have fun. While this rule is not strictly enforced, we encourage you to make the most of your time on our stage and in the Karaoke room. Our contest is an opportunity to share your love of music with your fellow fans, shine onstage, grow as a singer, and make new friends!

If you have any questions, please contact the Karaoke Contest Manager at reg@ookiisoracon.org

Good luck to all contestants and see you at the con!

To sign up for the Karaoke Contest, CLICK HERE