As the Best Fans in Baseball know, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal are excellent flameballers and all-around good guys. But what's finally getting everyone's attention lately is their adorable exuberance for karaoke.
See also: "Ask a Karaoke Host" Archives
At a recent benefit for Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, Wainwright and Rosenthal showed off their daddy dynamics by duetting on a karaoke version of "Love Is an Open Door" from Disney's Frozen. Both men have young daughters and other assorted family members, so we can only imagine how many times they'd been forced to listen to songs from the Oscar-winning film before finally deciding to give a tune a go -- and they did it with feeling. Lots and lots of feeling.
In the video below, Rosenthal took the part of joyful Anna, while Wainwright sang for the duplicitous Hans:
And for reference, here's the original Disney version:
As the Riverfront Times' designated karaoke connoisseur, I'm compelled to point out a few of the great things Wainwright and Rosenthal did to give the audience a memorable performance. I've got expert opinions to share, people! So take note, because National Karaoke Week kicks off Sunday, April 20, and you'll want to pick up some pointers for the seven days of sing-along fun you're surely planning.
SONG CHOICE Normally, we're not fans of Disney songs at a karaoke bar. But before you grab your pitchforks and head our way, we caveat that you should consider tailoring your song choices to your venue and audience; what might work in a gay bar or college lounge might draw ire at a dive bar. But the Cardinals pitchers were at a benefit for an organization that helps children, so the song from the kid-friendly Frozen absolutely was appropriate. Moreover, "Love Is an Open Door" was uplifting and inspiring, and we're sure it encouraged others to have a little fun with their own song choices.
Continue for more karaoke tips and an encore performance by Wainwright.
DUET TYPE It can be scary to sing alone if you're not used to it, so we recommend duetting with a trusted friend when you're just starting out or feeling especially nervous. Unfortunately, many people think that "duet" equals "two people singing the exact same notes at the exact same time for the entire song." That's why Wainwright's and Rosenthal's duet was a great choice -- their song clearly had verses and notes for two singers, so each man could get into character. They even managed to harmonize a little. It wasn't perfect, but it's evident that Rosenthal sometimes went for the higher notes of his character.
RAZZLE DAZZLE Newbies often think you need to be a spectacular singer before even attempting karaoke, but that's definitely not the case -- all you have to do is sell the performance. No matter what type of song you're doing or where you're singing it, the key is to look like you're having a blast. Wainwright and Rosenthal easily got the audience on their side by pointing to the crowd, clapping, maintaining eye contact and moving around the stage. Doing jazz hands is a lot easier if you're already familiar with the tune, and given the way Wainwright and Rosenthal didn't have to stare at the screen constantly, we're guessing that they've each had a ton of Frozen practice in the car or shower.
Moreover, Wainwright and Rosenthal turned their on-field leadership into onstage leadership. Because it can be nerve-wracking to karaoke in front of your coworkers and bosses (or wealthy teammates, managers and owners), these two volunteered an example of silliness and effort, giving others "permission" to let loose." They completely sold how fun karaoke can be.
The best part of karaoke is when you just let it go, and Wainwright has become an expert at that. Watch Waino impersonate Billy Ray Cyrus -- mullet and all! -- while singing "Achy Breaky Heart" during a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit last summer:
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