Presented by: Mu Epsilon Kappa Society
Audition Sign-Up will be located at the MEK Booth. The booth can be found in Exhibits/Dealers Room.
What Is Ani-Idol?
Ani-Idol is a karaoke-style competition based on the famous show seen on TV. However, unlike the famous TV show, no one will be critical of their singing abilities on-the-spot. People sign up for this event to sing songs which must be primarily in Japanese in front of professional judges and a live audience. There are three rounds total. Participants are rated on vocal/singing performance, showmanship / presentation and stage appeal.
1. The contest is open to all registered convention attendees. You must have a valid member badge for the days of the contest. There is no additional cost to register for the contest.
2. No professional vocalists/actors may enter the Ani-Idol competition. If you are found out to be a professional, you will be disqualified. A “professional” is monetarily compensated for his or her work as a singer or actor.
3. Ani-Idol is split into two competition divisions: Traditional and Advanced.
Traditional – This division is for contestants who have never competed before or have never placed at any previous Ani-Idol events.
Advanced – This division is for contestants who have placed 1st through 3rd at any previous Ani-Idol contest. Contestants who have not placed but wish to compete in the Advanced division may do so.
All contestants will be judged according to their division.
4. The contest will be split into three parts for both divisions: Audition, Second Round, and Finals. In order to compete, you must be able to attend all three rounds. If you are involved in multiple events or panels, we will try our best to work with you. Contestants are not required to stay the entire time, and are welcome to leave if they need to run to another event. We will also shift the order of contestants if they need to be somewhere else at a certain time or arrive late. The rounds will be scheduled as follows
Second Round: TBA
5. Contestants must be at least 13 years old.
6. Cosplay is allowed at the event but is not required.
7. Sign-ups will be located at the MEK booth located in the Exhibits/Dealers Room until 30 minutes before the Audition is set to begin. Sign-ups will then move to outside the audition room. We will accept late sign-ups for auditions up to 30 minutes before the end of the scheduled audition block of time (Please check the A-Kon Schedule). This means if you arrive late to the convention, you may still be able to audition. However, once the time is up, we can no longer take ANY auditions.
8. Contestants will be required to bring your own music for the contest. Music must be on a flashdrive/USB drive. We no longer accept CDs due to computer compatibility. Please do not bring your iPod as your source of music as they will not be accepted.
9. Duets/groups may perform together; however, understand that prizes are picked for an individual winner, so we might not have prizes for each person in a group. Also, there may be a limited number of microphones, so groups will need to adjust. If the duet/group makes it past the Audition round, they MUST attend the other rounds with the same partner/group members.
Duets/Groups which contain members from both divisions must compete in the Advanced division.
1. When you sign up for auditions you must make a final decision on your song choice. When you sign up you will be required to provide your name, song choice, and series/artist it is from. You will also choose an audition time from a provided list.
2. Song choices for this round must be from an anime or video game that originates from Japan. Opening, ending, insert and ‘image’ songs are allowed. Vocaloid songs are NOT allowed in this round.
3. Song choices should be between 30 seconds to 1 minute in length for the audition, or for those of you familiar with other theatrical auditions: 16 bars. If you go over this time, you will be cut off by the judges. While you may start singing from the beginning of your song, it is suggested you CUT the song to showcase your voice as much as possible. Leaving in the pause before the start of a song or an instrumental intro does not help you show off your voice. A good rule of thumb is to use a part of the song that is the following: verse/chorus or verse/chorus/verse; however, you may use whatever part of the song you wish. These rules were made to help you, so please keep that in mind.
4. Songs for this round must be sung a capella only. That means you do not sing it with music at all so make sure to learn your notes!
5. Contestants completing in the Traditional division may bring lyric sheets with them for this round. Contestants competing in the Advanced division MUST have their song memorized.
6. Songs may be in any language for this round.
7. Auditions will be held in a panel room with only judges and MEK staff. Contestants will enter one at a time and perform for the judges. There will be no audience for this round. Contestants will be allowed to bring in family or friends if required for moral support.
8. For Advanced Division Contestants Only: In the event there are less than five contestants for this round, the Advanced division competition will be cancelled, but those who are prior winners may be invited to perform during the judging of the final Traditional round.
9. Winners of this round will be announced at the end of the event as well as posted at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth. If a contestant is chosen to advance to the next round, they must be available for the second round of the contest.
10. Judges will have score and comment sheets for you available for pick-up after the contest at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth.
Second Round Rules
1. Contestants who advance to the Second Round may check in 15 minutes before the Second Round begins. Contestants must be prepared to make a final decision on song choice when they check in. Check in will take place inside or near the panel room where the Second Round will be held. Please refer to the A-Kon Event Schedule for location and time. Contestants must be checked in by the official start time of the panel. If you arrive late, wait until a break between performers before letting a judge or MEK staff member know and you will be added to the end of the list.
2. Song choices for this round must be from media that originates in Japan. Along with anime and video game music, songs from J-Dramas, Japanese live action movies and TV shows, and live stage versions of anime, as well as J-Pop, J-Rock, VKei, and Enka songs are also acceptable for this round. Anime opening, ending, insert and ‘image’ songs are allowed. Vocaloid songs will be allowed for this round. Songs must not be from the same anime/game or artist as chosen for auditions. Songs must be in any language other than English for this round. Songs may have English phrases, but the song must be at least 50% in a different language.
3. Songs for this round must be a minute to two minutes in length. At the two minute mark music will be faded out and/or a MEK staff member will politely inform the contestant of the end of their turn.
4. Backing tracks are allowed for this round, and will not be required to be karaoke/instrumental tracks. Contestants may bring karaoke tracks if they want. Contestants may also sing a capella.
5. Contestants competing in the Traditional division may use lyric sheets for this round if they so choose. Points will not be deducted for use of lyrics. However, those with memorized songs might receive more points.
Contestants competing in the Advanced division must have their song memorized for this round. Points will be deducted for the use of lyric sheets.
6. For Advanced Division Contestants Only: All Advanced division contestants MUST have at least ONE type of visual aid for this round. The visual aid can be stage movements/dance, costume, props, audience interaction, etc. Bottom line – Don’t just stand on stage and not move. Not sure if your idea would be ok? Email judges in advance (before the convention) to make sure!
7. Second Round will be open to the convention public which means there WILL be an audience. Contestants are encouraged to bring in family or friends for moral support. Traditional division contestants will perform first. Advanced division contestants will perform once all other contestants have finished.
8. Winners for this round will be announced at the end of the event as well as posted at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth.
9. Judges will have score and comment sheets for you available for pick-up after the contest at the Mu Epsilon Kappa Booth.
Final Round Rules
1. Contestants who advance to the Final Round should check in 15 minutes before the Final Round begins. Contestants must be prepared to make a final decision on song choice when they check in. Check in will take place inside or near the panel room where the Final Round will be held. Please refer to the A-Kon Event Schedule for location and time. Contestants must be checked in by the official start time of the panel. If you arrive late, wait until a break between performers before letting a judge or MEK staff member know and you will be added to the end of the list.
2. Contestants may choose any song for this round that is not from the same anime/game/show/etc. or artist used in their previous rounds.
3. Contestants will be required to sing the entire song.
4. All final round contestants (Traditional & Advanced) are required to use karaoke/instrumental tracks for this round. A capella will not be permitted for the final round.
5. Contestants competing in the Traditional division may use lyrics sheets for this round; however, it will affect their score. Songs that are memorized will receive a higher score.
Contestants competing in the Advanced division must have their song memorized for this round.
6. Songs must be in any language other than English for this round. Songs may have English phrases, but the song must be at least 75% in a different language.
7. For Advanced division Contestants Only: All Advanced division contestants MUST have at least TWO types of visual aids for this round. The visual aid can be stage movements/dance, costume, props, audience interaction, etc. Bottom line – Don’t just stand on stage and not move. Backup dancers and other theatrical visual aids will be allowed for this round. Get creative. Make a show. The possibilities are endless. Not sure if your idea would be ok? Email judges in advance (before the convention) to make sure!
7. In the event of a tie, contestants will have a ‘sing-off’. Contestants will choose a new song, either a song sung in a previous round or a new song, and perform for the judges.
8. The Final Round will be open to the convention public, which means there WILL be an audience. Contestants are encouraged to bring in family or friends if required for moral support. Traditional division contestants will perform first. Advanced division contestants will perform once all other contestants have finished.
9. The winners of this round will be crowned Ani-Idols of their respective divisions.
10. The top three of each division will receive prizes and trophies.
The top winners of each division will also be invited to perform during the cosplay half-time show on Saturday night if they so choose.
11. Judges will have score and comment sheets available for pick-up after the contest at the Mu Epsilon Kappa Booth.
Judges and Judging
Judges for Ani-Idol are chosen from a pool of people who have an extensive history or career in music and/or theatre arts. Japanese professors have been brought in to judge for language proficiency. In some cases, judges may be musical guests of the convention.
Contestants will be assigned a numerical score from 1-10 by each judge based on vocal/singing performance, showmanship/presentation and stage appeal. The scores from each judge are then tallied to come up with a total score for the contestant. The winners will be determined by the total sum of their scores.
All decisions made by the judges are final.
In each round judges will receive a judge sheet for each contestant. Along with scoring area, there will be areas for judges to write down constructive criticism/suggestions, and anything else they feel is helpful. After each round is over and judging is complete, contestants can pick up their sheets at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth to keep.
- First place winners of the Advanced Division may not compete in an Idol contest run by Mu Epsilon Kappa for two years. For example, if you win at A-Kon 25, you may not compete at A-Kon 26 or AnimeFEST 2015, but you may compete at A-Kon 27. The top three winners in the Traditional Division may compete again the next year; however, they must compete in the Advanced Division.
- The top three winners for both divisions will be invited to join the Ani-Idol All Stars group. This group often gets special invites to perform in concerts at conventions and events around Texas.
- During the contest, Contestants may not touch or approach the judges’ table. Contestants may go into the audience or use an audience member in their act. Actions that encourage general audience participation as a whole (such as asking the crowd to clap) are okay. Contestants in the Traditional division will not be allowed to use “backup dancers”.
- All aspects of the act, including but not limited to costume, conduct on stage, and song lyrics, may not exceed a PG-13 rating.
- The only persons allowed in the performing area are the MC, convention staff, Mu Epsilon Kappa staff, convention special guests, judges, and contestants.
- Decisions made by Mu Epsilon Kappa or the convention are final and non-negotiable.
- All rules for the Ani-Idol Contest are subject to change without notice. While we attempt to keep you up to date of any changes via the convention website, these changes may occur at any time.
For ALL questions, suggestions, issues and/or requests for confirmation regarding Ani-Idol, please email MuEpsilonKappa@gmail.com