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Competitive Karaoke brings local singers to Vancouver

Longview’s karaoke league hosts city-vs-city team competition  

VANCOUVER — Voices of all kinds could be heard echoing from doors of 6 West Lounge Thursday night, as participants from Longview and Vancouver battled in a karaoke competition.

Odd as it may sound, karaoke has caught the interest of many in the region. In Longview, a league of competitive karaoke singers has been formed, and the group has begun hosting tournaments at local taverns and restaurants.

Singers from The League, competitive team karaoke, compete at 6 West Lounge in downtown Vancouver Thursday night. The League has over 80 members and is beginning to host city-vs-city tournaments. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Singers from The League, competitive team karaoke, compete at 6 West Lounge in downtown Vancouver Thursday night. The League has over 80 members and is beginning to host city-vs-city tournaments. Photo by Jacob Granneman

The group, known simply as The League, was formed roughly six years ago by Longview native Junior Shaw. The decision was made to form the group when karaoke became popular at his bar in Longview, Shaw said.

“So we started it, it was family one hundred percent,” Shaw said. “Then it just became bigger than what we expected. Instead of the 24 people that we knew and loved, it jumped to like 40, and then 60, and now 84.”

Shaw says the way competitive team karaoke works is somewhat similar to baseball.

Junior Shaw livens up the crowd at a team karaoke battle hosted by his karaoke league from Longview. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Junior Shaw livens up the crowd at a team karaoke battle hosted by his karaoke league from Longview. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Teams of about eight singers compete more accurately against the songs, than their opponents. A panel of four to six judges then assesses the performances based on how closely they sound like the original artist.

Judges then score each team member’s performance out of 10, and total the combined score of the judges. At the end of the night, the team with the highest combined score wins the competition.

On Thursday, Longview singers traveled to downtown Vancouver to compete in a city-vs-city battle. Longview is still undefeated, winning both rounds of the evening.  

Sandra Denham sings at a city-vs-city team karaoke competition in downtown Vancouver. Sandra has been both a coach and player for The League, competitive team karaoke, and was on the winning team last season. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Sandra Denham sings at a city-vs-city team karaoke competition in downtown Vancouver. Sandra has been both a coach and player for The League, competitive team karaoke, and was on the winning team last season. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Sandra Denham has been a member of The League for about three years; twice as a coach and once as a player. She competed Thursday with her friends from Longview and her daughter there to cheer her on.

“The biggest thing is The League is a family,” Denham said. “It’s for fun, we all love to sing; it’s all of our passion. I did it to meet people and then gained a family.”

With nine more Pacific Northwest city-vs-city competitions on the calendar, The League is focusing on becoming the governing body for team karaoke competition in the state of Washington, Shaw said.

“I got 26 clubs around the State of Washington, all as hosts for tournaments,” Shaw said. “Imagine softball league, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

For more information on The League and competitive team karaoke, visit there Facebook page.

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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