Friday, January 19, 2018

Mariah Carey, Ken Lee, Karaoke, Talentime, Gong Show

Ken Lee audition! Probably the funniest audition ever on Idols misheard and misunderstood lyrics of Mariah Carey's Without You leaves this contestant on Bulgarian Idol singing a completely different song!

From youtube video: Idols Global. Nearly 5 million views. Thank you.

Don't laugh because it's been happening here in Singapore too during Karaoke sessions and at our own Talentime in the 1960's. Here are the stories:

Singing in Singlish in Singapore

Karaoke 2017:

A friend explained what happened when she attended a karaoke session at a private club one evening. 

So hilarious. Some years back we were at a country club in the East at a Karaoke lounge after dinner. My cousin and I had just finished a duet where we sang, 'The Moon Represents My Heart' in Chinese.

A towkay (rich businessman) took the microphone and wanted to sing but didn't know how to work the amplifier system to select the song. So he asked me, "You find song?" in his best English.

"What's the name?" I asked.

"Ah Chen My Loti," he replied confidently. Literally, it means, 'Ah Chen Buys Bread'.

So I asked him, "What language?"

"English," he answered, getting impatient.

I told him I have never heard the song, so I signalled the captain for help.  They seemed to understand each other perfectly because the song was played and Mr Rich Businessman was belting out, 'Unchained Melody.'

It was his horrific adulteration of the lyrics. For crying out loud, he didn't stop. His announced his next number proudly, "Now I singing, 'Four Line'. 

It turned out to be Bobby Helms, 'Fraulein.'
Before American Idol There Was Talentime 1960's:

In the 60's Singapore had its share of singing competitions known as Talentime. During auditions, participants had to go up to the pianist and give the song title and sometimes the original singer's name, before facing the microphone.

This Chinese guy came on stage and wanted to sing, 'Boh Sway Chew' (literally means No Wash Hands). The pianist was flabbergasted and held his laughter.

"Never heard of this song. Who's the singer?" the pianist asked.

"Hay bee!" replied the singer. Hay bee (literal: pounded dry shelled-shrimp).

The pianist stood his ground, "HAY BEE? Who's Hay Bee?"

The pianist couldn't contain himself when someone shouted, "ELVIS! 'BLUE SUEDE SHOES'!"
We Will Rock You: This Indian lady's version of Queens' big hit. Cute! From Razzump Video.
Steven Lee used to host The Gong Show on the radio where those taking part in the Talentime would be eliminated by him depending.

The Gong Show  (Written by Horace Wee):

The precursor to the Talentime show was the Gong Show produced for radio by Steven Lee. Held at Victoria Theatre, participants would be knocked out by the gong depending on how good they were.
Some hardcore ones who had entered many times would get knocked out after they uttered their first note. You should see the incredulous looks and the protests. Sometimes the audience participated as well.

Gif: Google.

Read on Talentime Comments below.

Wing sings "Beat It" on NZ TV! Video by Martin Lee.



This lady from Tamil Naidu was a hit more than two years ago and surprised that it appeared again. Andy, I just cannot understand why there are people trying to ridicule another just for a good laugh? She herself probably did not realise that her singing is terrible with her very deep accent. OMG.

anonymous said...

No, it was not in bad taste but everyone would have a good laugh hearing her sing. That was the intended purpose.


I've seen both previously. KEN LEE probably sounds better than Singlish? Don't see anything offensive there.

The pianist was in charge during Talentime auditions. During an especially bad singer, persons in charge would be in the booth prolonging the agony by not pressing the buzzer/cut off. The pianist would be making wild gestures/expressions to stop his agony. We were rolling the floor at times. Boy did he curse us out later.

Ha, ha, ha.


Ridicule???? This was carried on later in AMERICAN IDOL, years later. I suppose in proper behaviour we shouldn't laugh at others. But he'll lighten up people.

Hell, lighten up!! It's OK la.

L said...

It's all in the mind of the viewer. Nothing wrong to send.


Just schadenfreude, which means "laughing at someone's pain. Or malicious joy.

Don't worry... all those prank videos are about that. The word is German but has been used in English.


Personally, I don't like karaoke. It's like allowing a person with a gun to assault the public. In this case the ears. Some things are best done in private. Eg. Bathroom singing.

However, anyone who decides to do anything such as singing publicly has to expect to be a subject of ridicule. For others to laugh at you - well you made that decision to go public.


ha..ha..ha.... Good one.

We should get some like-minded folks and hit the karaoke.


Sometimes, we don't know what they're really singing.

SONNY LIM said...

Thank you, Andy, for the blog, I remember someone sending me about Ken Lee.

It is quite embarrassing when singers are not so good in those days. I met a chap in
a shop in Carpmael Road in East coast Called "British Hainan" selling beef noodles.
He has a lovely voice and claimed he has been a music teacher once.

Best personal regards


Hi Andy,

Thanks for those funny karaoke clips and that Indian women singing we will rock you in a strong Indian accent. Love that Boh Sway Chew becoming an Elvis hit.

Okay Andy, take care