IMPORTANT NOTE: The KWC rules and judging criteria are being updated and will be released during February 2019. There might be minor changes in the eligibility of contestants, categories and scoring system. In the meantime every country may follow the 2018 rules.
KWC RULES AND JUDGING CRITERIA 2018
1. AMATEUR STATUS
The KWC Event is open for amateur singers over 18 years old. All aspiring amateur singers who are over 18 years of age should be given the opportunity to participate.
2. DEFINITION OF AN ”AMATEUR”
The competition is open to amateur performers only. All entrants must be over 18 years of age by the end of national finals. An amateur is deemed as someone who: a) Does not have a regular income as a vocalist. A regular income is defined as someone making a living from singing. b) May perform occasionally, provided that it is no more than 52 paid performances in one year, regardless of the amount of payment. This includes, but is not limited to, freelance singers, wedding singers, band singers, etc. and is subject to the other rules within these conditions of entry. c) Does not have a signed contract as a lead singer for an establishment or production, even if it is only part time and less than 52 performances a year. d) Does not have a management contract, a recording distribution agreement or a recording contract as a singer. e) Does not get more than 50% of their yearly income from music.
An entrant who may have had a previous entertainment history may enter after a 5-year break.
The main competition (Karaoke World Championships or KWC) is open to solo performers only. The duet competition (Karaoke World Championships Duets or KWC Duets) is open to duets only. These duets may comprise of two adult amateur singers.
The organizers reserve the right to make the final assessment regarding any entrant’s eligibility over and above these conditions of entry. Entrants may be asked to sign a legal document and provide proof regarding their eligibility. All issues addressing eligibility of contestants must be addressed, clarified and cleared 7 days prior to the National Finals. Proof of claim will be required.
3. TAKING PART IN KWC EVENT
Before taking part in the KWC Event, contestants must take part in their own country’s KWC country trials. Countries that do not have KWC country trials at the moment are specially treated cases, which the KWC Organization will handle and consider on a case-by-case basis. In 2018 there is a video submission contest to singers from these countries.
2003-2017 men and women have competed in their own categories. In 2016 the duets category was introduced and in 2017 KWC Junior. The duets may be comprised of different or the same singers that have been registered for the main (solo) competition. KWC Duets will be treated as a separate competition alongside the main (solo) competition. The trials for the main competition and KWC Duets may be organized separately or as one competition.
In 2018 KWC combined the male and female categories into one solo category = the main KWC competition. 2018 also introduces another category: KWC Champions, where all the previous KWC contestants (solo or duets) are eligible to participate, including previous World Champions. Every partner country is free to decide how they pick the singer for KWC Champions.
5. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SONGS
The language used in singing may be chosen freely by the contestant and the use of own backing tracks is allowed. However, if the language used is not English, a translation of lyrics must be delivered at the time of registration. In the event that a contestant chooses their songs from outside of the catalog available from the KWC Organization, the contestant must be able to provide sufficient evidence in order to prove that he or she has a right to use the backing in question at the KWC Event.
National Final winners of all previous Karaoke World Championships National Trials, i.e. those who have gone on to represent their country, regardless of their success in the world finals, cannot enter the KWC solo round again. Everyone is also allowed to enter the Duets round once. In KWC Champions there are no restrictions: A partner country is allowed to send the same singer for KWC Champions multiple times.
7. NATIONALITY / RESIDENCE
The contestant must be a citizen (has lived in the country for more than 3 years) or have a citizenship (i.e. a national passport and social security number) of the country he or she is representing.
8. SINGER’S BEHAVIOR DURING THE EVENT
Should the contestant act in an improper way; for example, compete or perform intoxicated or act disgracefully towards the competition or other contestants, the jury or the KWC Organization has the right to immediately disqualify the contestant.
9. SINGER’S OBLIGATIONS
All contestants must be ready to commit themselves to the tasks, rewards and obligations of being a Karaoke World Champion. The tasks, rewards or obligations might include tours, recording deals, promotion events and such. If the contestant is not able to commit him/herself to these requirements, the title may be handed to the first runner-up by KWC Organization’s executive decision.
KWC Organization reserves a full right to disqualify a contestant if any of the rules above are infringed.
KWC SCORING SYSTEM
All contestants in the Karaoke World Championships are to be judged according to the following criteria, free from any personal bias whatsoever.
For each category, each performer shall be scored from 1 to 10 points, with 1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest.
10 – Exceptional, outstanding
9 – Excellent, almost perfect
8 – Very good, but a few imperfections
7 – Very good, but several imperfections
6 – Good, but imperfections throughout
5 – Average
4 – Mediocre
3 – Unsatisfactory
2 – Deficient
1 – Disappointing
Judges shall award each performer between 1 and 10 points in these two categories:
VOICE & TECHNIQUE:
• Quality of Voice – natural richness of tone, depth, resonance; a strong yet dulcet vocal sound that is enjoyable to listen to
• Mastery of Voice – development of the voice through practice and training to attain a higher level of proficiency and virtuosity
• Range – ability to hit low notes and high notes, and to glide smoothly through different ranges without strain
• Dynamics – use of quieter and louder volumes as appropriate; variance of volume throughout performance
• Timbre – ability to sing richer, deeper timbres as well as softer, sweeter tones; variance of colors throughout performance• Pitch – ability to sing in tune and exhibit control of intonation
• Timing – ability to sing with rhythmic accuracy, taking liberties in a tasteful manner
• Breathing – supporting the voice with breath control, ability to sustain notes, taking breaths in correct places (generally between phrases)
• Skill – use of proper vocal technique (singing with an open palate, not shouting, not resonating in the nose, etc.), use and control of vibrato
• Diction – correct pronunciation of words and clarity
ARTISTRY & STAGE PRESENCE:
• Expressiveness – exuding emotion and passion, as appropriate for song, conveyed through the voice, body, and facial expression • Musicality – genuinely feeling the music, shaping phrases artistically, incorporating aesthetic nuances, taking liberties in a tasteful manner
• Lyrical – appropriate interpretation and delivery of song lyrics, placing emphasis on certain words
• Individuality – deviating from original artist recording(s) to make the song one’s own; creation of unique style and character
• Song Choice – appropriateness of the song for the singer• Charisma – allowing personality to shine through performance and emanate from the stage; radiating a special X factor that is appealing, magnetic, and makes for star quality
• Confidence – exuding command of the stage, strength of delivery with a self-assured performance
• Movement – use of space, walking, dancing, or other movement appropriate for the song; use of arms; posture, poise, energy
• Costume & Appearance – brightly colored, light reflective, or otherwise attractive costume that is appropriate for song; polished presentation on stage and on camera
• Audience Appeal – ability to connect with audience, use of eye contact, crowd response