Double Decker Idol

The search for Dubai's best amateur singer begins in earnest as the best, and the worst, voices that emirate has to offer descend on Double Decker.

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Karaoke fans will have the chance to win big prizes this week, courtesy of Double Decker Idol. Host Catboy, of 92FM’s breakfast show, tells us more.

This isn’t your first time hosting; what was it like last year?
It’s a real mixed bag; you’ve got some people who are absolutely amazing and those who think they’re not so good, but get a bit of courage up and give it a go. It’s open to anybody but you have to get there early to enter.

What should we sing to win?
A good song stands out – last year we banned Robbie Williams songs halfway through because we got sick of men banging out ‘Angels’.

Would Robbie Williams be allowed onstage?
The man himself? So long as he wasn’t singing one of his own songs.

But surely people who are actually good aren’t really in the karaoke spirit? We hate them.
Once [wife and 92FM co-host] Geordiebird and I went to a karaoke night and two girls did harmonies, and I think that kind of spoiled it for everyone. That said, I do like the people who are better than you’d think. We had a guy last year, a lawyer, who seemed – not boring, but I would say straight-laced. But he did some Vanilla Ice and I think that was the best thing I saw that year. He should have won it. He came too late to join up, but we let him sing while the judges were deciding and the entire pub went crazy.

Vanilla Ice?
Well people like a bit of cheese like that, rather than all the old standards. We get a million Celine Dions in there, so you have to come along with something different. There was a guy last year who did ‘Simply The Best’ by Tina Turner, and he had a real soul voice that made it sound like Al Green or something. He actually made me like it for the first time ever.

Will Geordiebird be singing?
No, she’ll just be judging. Double Decker’s takings would be seriously down, you know what I mean? I’ve seen her once – she did a Lionel Ritchie song and it was a world apart from the original. There’s bad and there’s Geordiebird.

So then: give us one last tip.
If you can get up and sing brilliantly but you’re boring on stage, you’re probably not going to do as well as someone who’s less talented but brings the audience to life. You’re better off singing a cheesy song because that’s going to be more memorable. Nobody’s going to walk away saying the girl who did ‘My Heart Will Go On’ was good, but when you’re talking about the guy who sang The Darkness...

So we stand a better chance if we wear tassels and a big wig?
Actually, last year we only had one lot in costume – there was a hen night of about 20 women that turned up as the Spice Girls. It was great – there were quite a few Gingers with Union Jack dresses on and some 35-year-old Baby Spices.

Sounds nightmarish, to be honest.
On paper it doesn’t sound like you should come along, for credibility’s sake. But it’s just so much fun – everybody loves watching it and experiencing their three minutes of fame. So just come along, relax and sing your heart out.

Double Decker Idol runs at Double Decker every Friday, from June 4 to August 29.

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