Best karaoke host - 2000
Mel Apodaca, a former investigator for the Denver Coroner's Office by day and a self-proclaimed "karaoke slut" by night, was captivated by the musical phenomenon as soon as a friend introduced him it. As Apodaca felt pulled by the powerful lure of karaoke, he noticed deficiencies in the business: Hosts took their jobs lightly and lacked enthusiasm and sympathy for karaoke virgins, so Apodaca decided to change all that. Seven years ago he took over the Karaoke Showplace business (303-839-1355), a hosting gig that takes him to the city's karaoke hotspots. Now working mostly at Ogden Street South and Charlie Brown's, the metro-area karaoke guru distinguishes himself from other hosts by taking an interest in the singers and encouraging first-timers. Apodaca sets the mood by singing the first tune himself, possibly a number by Elvis or Sinatra; he's also quick to defend the daring singers from audience hecklers. Denver karaoke fans, meet your mentor.