Organizers hope a change in vocal format will once again fill the Eagle Ray Cove tiki bar with karaoke aficionados this Friday night. (photo courtesy of groothelm)
Blacktip Island’s Eagle Ray Cove resort will change its Karaoke Fridays to an all-Tuvan throat singing format tonight in an effort to revive dwindling attendance.
“Karaoke night’s always tied the island together, but with tourists still banned, it gets old, the same people singing the same songs,” resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “The last few Fridays we had three, maybe four people show up. That kills the vibe. And our alcohol sales.
“We tried doing a sing-in-the-language-of-your-choice version, but that was a train wreck,” Skerritt said. “Dermott Bottoms just got up there and babbled gibberish. Loudly. And off key. This way there’s no words. You just have to get the tune sort-of right.”
The karaoke DJ Alison Diesel said the idea is popular.
“We axed karaoke for two weeks to give everybody a chance to learn throat singing, and the response’s been bonkers,” she said. “We came up with the idea from a random online video. You can pick any song from the library, you just have to throat-sing it.
“It’s been a bonding experience, everybody learning a new skill at the same time,” Diesel said. “Folks are really looking forward to showing off on Friday night. And Gage Hoase’ll just sing in his normal voice.”
Island residents echoed Diesel’s sentiments.
“I’ve been practicing for weeks,” Christa Goby said. “It hurts to swallow right now, but my voice is spot on. People’re gonna hear ‘Strawberry Wine’ like they’ve never heard it.”
Some remained skeptical.
“I’ve always said there’s no way to make karaoke worse,” Reg Gurnard said. “Well, now Ali’s gone and done it. I’ll be down at the Ballyhoo, as far away from that nonsense as I can get.”
Diesel was unphased by the criticism.
“It’ll be cool to have a full tiki bar again,” she said. “Our sense of community’s been eroding lately. I’m way looking forward to the duets. I heard Marina and Cal practicing ‘Summer Nights’ yesterday and it sounded off-the-hook awesome.”