The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Karaoke stars shine during raffle event at USU

Kimberly Krieger, staff reporter

Juana Esquivel, staff reporter

Contestant sings "Black Magic Woman" by Santana during Karaoke Night at the USU Feb. 25. Photo Credit: Kimberly Krieger / Staff Reporter

Rachel Silverman, a 19-year-old modern Jewish studies major, approached the microphone with her head held high. Then, with the poise and grace of lead singer Freddy Mercury, she belted out “Somebody to Love” by Queen.

“I did splits on the stage, which was awkward,” said Silverman, who ended her Queen routine sitting on the pool table, singing without the aid of a microphone.

Silverman was participating in a karaoke event that goes on twice a semester in the University Student Union’s (USU) Games Room. Karaoke night is usually a competition; however, this event requires each participant to sing two songs through two rounds. This time, instead of competing, there was a raffle to win a $25 American Express gift card.

The event featured about 25 performances on Feb. 25 ranging from rock, pop, and hip-hop.

Along with her rendition of “Somebody to Love,” Silverman also planned to sing a duet version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi with her friend, Matt Schmidt, 20.

Schmidt is a music major, emphasizing in vocal performance, and said that coming to this event was something spontaneous.

“I’m going to make him look better because I suck,” said Silverman.

Although there is much fun and excitement during these karaoke events, it is something that usually draws in a smaller crowd. Ike Orjiakor, 20, is the games room coordinator, and he says that karaoke usually draws in a crowd of about 25 people.

“My favorite part about it is just everyone out having fun,” Orjiakor added.

The fun was silenced, but only for a moment, during another Queen song, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” During the climax of the song, the karaoke screen went blank and the music stopped. This was followed with a chorus of, “awwww!” from the audience.

Just minutes later, though, the music, singing and awkward dance moves were back on schedule. Round two was about to begin.

As the intensity was at its peak, Silverman and Schmidt went up to perform “Livin’ on a Prayer.” This time, Silverman did not opt to use her microphone at all.

“They limit movement,” Silverman said.

Ben Praster, a 19-year-old freshman theatre major, said he found out about the event through flyers posted in the USU. He added that he had previously been in the Games Room for a comedy open mic last semester.

Praster carried previous singing experience with him to the karaoke contest. Last year, he was in choir and sang “Johnny-Be-Good” at a pancake breakfast to wake everyone up.

However, he had a plan for the night. Before the contest began, he said he planned on singing “What’s My Age Again?” by Blink 182.

Praster said he had other songs in mind such as “Johnny Be Good” and “The Rock Show” by Blink 182.

“It’s all about rock and roll to me baby,” he said. “It’s all about rock and roll”.

Prester said if he won the contest, he would feel “accomplished that a first time freshman actually won for once.”

Besides the karaoke screen going blank during Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, another drawback during the contest was the karaoke machine’s inaccurate scores.

Performers received low scores from the karaoke machine throughout the competition. Some even received scores of “00” which led Orjiakor to say during the second round, to ignore the scores the machine was giving.

However, it did not prevent participants from having a good time.

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