JAN.02 | Turn around bright eyes ...

  • Posted on: 3 January 2009
  • By: Michelle

In what is fast becoming a holiday tradition in the Bartleman family, today we dusted off my brother's PlayStation, warmed up our vocal cords and totally rocked the house with SingStar (we also tried our hand at Wii bowling ... but that is an entirely different post).

Of course (and, surprisingly, without the influence of alcohol) what began with a lovely Taylor Swift duet by my brother's girlfriend, Amanda, and I, quickly degraded into this rendition of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It?" ...


And this version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ...


And this interpretation of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" ...


Now ... let me explain something. You know those people who, when handed a SingStar microphone or invited to Karaoke or asked to join into a campfire sing-along, vehemently insist "I can't sing" or "I am a terrible singer" or "I have an awful voice," then go on to earn high scores on SingStar, or sing a two-part harmony for Kumbaya, or win American Idol or something?

Let me be clear about something. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

When I tell someone "I can't sing" ... what I really mean is I CAN'T SING. There is no gray area in this matter. I am off-pitch, off-key, off-tone and off-whatever-else-you-can-be-vocally-off-of. There is no level of singing ability here. This isn't like running, where, unless you are short a couple of limbs, everyone can honestly say that there exists an ability to run, regardless of how slow or uncoordinated. I am like the paraplegic of vocal aptitude. I am a tortuous American Idol audition. I am Cameron Diaz in the karaoke bar in "My Best Friend's Wedding."

Now, listen. The reality of my singing abilities have not gone unnoticed to me. I am keenly aware that my talents do not lie in the area of vocal performance. I have come to terms with my vocal deficiencies.

But, and here is the crux of the matter, why is it that people always seem somewhat surprised when, after warning them that "I am terrible singer," I (for some unexplainable reason) actually start singing, and they realize that ... well ... I AM A TERRIBLE SINGER. Which part of "I am a terrible singer" did you not understand?

Now, I come by my singing talents naturally. If ANY Bartleman ever tells you "I am terrible singer" you should take that as a serious warning of imminent aural danger, not some token declaration of feigned humility.

All that to say, I am, predictably, not very good at Singstar.

And I have had "Total Eclipse of My Heart" stuck in my head for two days now.