Anime North Idol
Welcome to the Anime North Jpop and Anime singing competition! This event aims to be a platform to showcase the great singing talent that the fans of Anime North bring to the convention. Contestants will try out in an audition session for a finalist’s spot at the grande finale Saturday afternoon, which will be attended by a panel of celebrity judges and previous winners.
Do you have what it takes? Pick a song, practice your heart out, and come to compete for the prestigious title of “Anime North Idol 2014”!
Anime North Idol - Auditions
Saturday Morning: Windsor Room of the International Plaza (usually between 10:00 AM and Noon)
Anime North Idol - Finale
Saturday Afternoon: International Plaza Main Events Room at 3:00 PM
- The competition is open to all registered convention attendees, of all ages*, including professional performers and convention guests. Non-Canadian citizens are also allowed to participate.
- Contestants will be asked to read and sign all applicable Audition and Consent Forms. Consent forms are to be submitted at the time of their audition only.
- Contestants must perform solo; no duet or group performances will be allowed.
- Contestants may not have backup dancers or extras on stage.
- Contestants may not bring props or accessories on stage.
- Contestants may choose one song from Jpop, Jrock, Visual Kei, anime, manga, game, Disney, musical, vocaloid, J-drama or enka sources as long as it respects the “official karaoke rule” (see below).
- The song must be Japanese and at least 75% of all the lyrics must be in Japanese.
- The song may be no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 6 minutes in duration.
- The contestant must have the lyrics memorized. Lipsyncing will not be permitted.
- The contestant must provide the official karaoke track of the song they will be performing. Fan-made karaoke tracks or home made instrumental tracks will not be accepted.
- The contestant must provide their karaoke track on a CD as the only track in one of these formats: cda (audio), mp3 (minimum 128 kbps, maximum 320 kbps) or .wav. Do not bring your song on an mp3 player or a USB drive!
* Contestants 17 years of age and younger MUST provide a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian at the time of the auditions.
- Private auditions will be held in a designated room (please see above) on Saturday morning. The time allocated for auditions will be limited to two hours total. Note that coming to the audition room during the time allotted will not guarantee an audition slot.
- Contestants will be auditioned on a first-come, first-served basis and must be ready when called in front of the panel of judges. They will need to fill out a form prior to the audition (i.e.: name, song, etc.) and submit their CD (labelled with name and song title) with the karaoke track.
- Note that only legal guardians for contestant aged 17 or younger will be allowed in the room during the audition. Friends or “support groups” will not be allowed.
- Contestants will be asked to perform up to 60 seconds of their song.
- Upon completion of their audition, participants will be asked to leave the room immediately. The judges will not be in a position to offer feedback or advice to the contestant, or a second try.
- Once the auditions are complete, the results will be compiled and finalists will be chosen. The expected number of finalists is seven (7) but the Idol team reserve the right to chose more or less finalists depending on the outcome of the auditions.
- The names of the finalists will be announced within 30 minutes following the end of the audition period on Saturday.
- The finalists will be required to check-in with the event staff at the main event room (International Plaza, formerly DoubleTree Hotel) at the designated time for soundcheck and briefing. If a finalist is late or missing, they will be disqualified.
Anime North Idol Finale
The finalists will be called up in a random, predetermined order to perform their entire song in front of an audience and judges. Performances shall be judged based on:
- Vocal talent.
- Memorized lyrics.
- Stage presence and presentation.
- Song difficulty level, and originality.
- Judge’s personal choice.
- The contestant may perform a “skit” before their song, but the entire performance may not exceed six (6) minutes.
- The contestant may perform a choreographed dance with their song and are encouraged to interact with the audience.
- The contestant is permitted to wear a costume or cosplay during the performance, but any costume or makeup will not be taken into consideration by the judges for the final results.
- During the performance, no interaction with the MC or the judges (other then brief eye contact) is allowed. Contestants may not touch or approach the judges' table. Contestants may not go into the audience or attempt to do stunts or anything reckless.
- All decisions made by the judges (auditions and finale) are final and not negotiable. The auditions and finale scores will not be disclosed.
FAQ and Additional Guidelines
What types of microphones will be available?
There will not be microphones for the auditions. For the finale, the contestants will use regular wireless hand-held microphones (No headsets).
What if the Idol competition overlaps with another event I want/need to attend?
We will try our best so the auditions and the finale does not compete with another major event of the convention (e.g. the Masquerade) but we cannot assure that it won’t.
What’s in it for the winner?
The winner of the competition will receive the title of “Anime North Idol 2014” and a special award. It is most likely that the winner will be asked to perform at the Closing Ceremony. The winner will also have his or her badge covered for 2015 in exchange for a special performance for the next Idol competition. We also usually offer the winners a chance to act as Audition Judges the following year if they are up to it.
I was a finalist/winner at a previous Anime North Idol. Can I participate and compete again?
Finalists are more than welcome, and indeed encouraged, to re-enter the competition again. Idol winners are asked to do a guest performance the following year. Although allowed, we strongly suggest Idol winners to become judges and/or staff members on the event instead of participating again.
Will videotaping and pictures be permitted?
Yes. Each contestant will be required to sign a waiver that will allow pictures and video to be taken and published by the audience and Anime North staff and crew. The contestant must accept that their performance may end up on YouTube, Facebook, or other social media.
Can I bring a musical instrument instead of a karaoke file?
No, only official karaoke tracks are allowed for this competition.
What is an “official karaoke track”?
The “official karaoke track” is the karaoke (voiceless) music file that is most often distributed with a given song by an artist. No other music tracks will be allowed for the competition, including home-made karaoke tracks where the voice track is digitally removed via software.
Also, make sure your karaoke file is the best audio quality you can get (128 kpbs or higher) and avoid youtube ripoffs. The official karaoke rule is enforced in order to ensure the highest sound quality possible with the professional A/V equipment used in the main event room.
When choosing your song, make sure your karaoke is from a genuine source. A good example of a fake karaoke is “God Knows” from the anime Haruhi Suzumiya. A contestant trying out at the audition with a fake karaoke won’t be considered for the finale.
Can I edit my karaoke? Add some harmonies? Change the key?
Unfortunately, the answer is no to all these questions. Note that some karaokes already come with their own backing track/harmonies and those are accepted.
Can I use an instrumental/piano version of the song?
If it is not the official karaoke version of the song, no.
Can I help? Can I be a judge? Can I be an Idol assistant?
Please email the director if you would like to help. Note that judge positions are awarded to people who have previous experience in similar events or are performer themselves. Note that these positions are internal to Anime North Idol competition and are considered separate from Anime North volunteer positions.
I have my karaoke song but it’s in FLAC/ogg/mp4/etc.?
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to accommodate every type of audio files, nor to offer re-encoding help. Please, burn your karaoke file as the only track on a CD in either audio (.cda), mp3 or .wav format only.
What if I want to audition just to “test the waters”?
We ask contestants to take this competition seriously. If you audition and have no intention to perform if chosen as a finalist, you are wasting the judge’s time and preventing other people from auditioning and being picked as finalists. A finalist who does not show at the finale will not be allowed to audition for the 2015 competition.
Where do I find karaoke tracks?
After you have determined if the song you’ve chosen has an available karaoke available, you can purchase the artist single online (i.e. Cdjapan, Jpopasia, eBay) or do a search on websites and message boards that may offer downloads of the music you are looking for. You can also use the message board for help.
The first verse/chorus of my song doesn’t start before a long instrumental introduction. Can I fastforward the song to the vocal parts for the audition?
Absolutely. Just ask us when entering the room at the auditions.
How can I ensure a good audition?
- Double check your CD and make sure it’s compatible with several players. Listen to the whole song.
- Practice, practice, and practice some more.
- Get your convention badge in advance.
- There is no preregistration or reservation of audition spots. So don’t be late!
- Keep in mind that we are looking for an Idol. We will pick our finalists upon their vocal abilities but also their confidence, stage presence, and personality.
- We’re all in this for fun, so don’t give the judges or the staff any attitude. It may end up on your score sheet.
How do I choose a good song? How can I boost my chances to win?
A good song is one that will make your talent and abilities shine. It is better to perform an easy song perfectly, than struggle on stage with a tough one. Upbeat and catchy songs that allow the contestant to engage the audience are also good choices.
Please, AVOID songs that do not have a musical introduction.
And remember that you will be singing LIVE! If you have difficulty reaching that cool high note when you practice at home, the stress of the competition will most likely make it impossible. So, please choose your song wisely!
I was chosen as a finalist. NOW WHAT?
- Make sure you have food and water prior to the competition.
- Check-in with an Idol assistant at the main event room (Ball Room Plaza - International Plaa Hotel) at the pre-determined time for briefing and soundcheck.
- Aside from legal guardians, friends and relatives are not allowed backtage and will not be given priority seating.
- Give your labelled CD to your assistant.
- If you start feeling sick, uneasy, or have a sudden urge to use the washroom, let an assistant know immediately.
- While waiting for the show to start, feel free to mingle with other contestants and listen carefully to instructions.
- Most of all, have fun!!!
Forms and Guidelines
For more information or additional questions, please contact the Director or check the Anime North Message Board Forum.
Thank you, and good luck!
Kathleen “Irulanne” Boucher
Anime North Idol