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Seattle's Pride Idol: WEEK TWO
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Seattle's Pride Idol: WEEK TWO

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

2010 SOaP Pride Idol
R Place
Sundays
May 2-June 20


Welcome back, Pride Idol fans. The last preliminary round on April 18 showcased more local talent as nine singers tried to perform their way into the Wildcard and Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP) 2010 Pride Idol Finals.

But before I go into the competition recap, I'd like to introduce you to this year's Pride Idol judges. First, taking on the role of loopy and oh-so-nice Paula Abdul-type personality is the lovely and always entertaining Sister Domine Trix. Fun, supportive, and with a killer wardrobe, Domine Trix is a welcome addition to the panel.

Next up is Andrew Miller, who each week will give us his best Simon Cowell. Andrew is what I can only describe as bitchy-constructive; in other words, it takes a lot to impress him, but he will let you know how to get back into his good graces. (Hint, hint: Contestants who do not perform so well can come back and compete again, so listen to the judges for maximum improvement.) Lastly, there's me, Shaun Knittel, in all my Randy Jackson-esque glory.

I'm looking for style, star quality, and to tell you, "please - for the love of God - pick the right song for your voice." In addition to Domine Trix, Andrew and I, each week a special guest judge joins us. This week, Guy Johnson from the Seattle Men's Chorus was on hand to offer some good critiques. Guy had so much fun judging he stuck around and sang a few songs for R Place Karaoke with DJ SeXXXual Chocolate, who also does a great job as the Pride Idol soundman.

This week, the show opened with Stephen Crago singing Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Wearing a simple black shirt and blue jeans, Stephen delivered the song with little fanfare, which made for a solid and real interpretation of the song.

Delivering the first show tune of the night was Chris Sullivan, singing "Out Tonight" from Rent. Chris did well, not because he was vocally powerful, but because he clearly was having a good time - always a plus!

Next was the very brave Jerry "Jay Love" Smith, who sang, for the first time at karaoke ever (wow!), Luther Vandross' "Superstar." Jerry wasn't the only one to perform R&B or soul, contestant #5 (returning from last week) Bee Jay sang "Back at One" by Brian McKnight, and contestant #7 Toby Jones performed "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men.

Contestant #4, Richard Sanchez, attempted Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time," which was an honest performance. Michelle Carmen, contestant #6, sang the night's only country music with a very fun and upbeat performance of "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson.

The Pride Idol Preliminary #2 Wildcard winner, who will go on to compete for a spot in the Pride Idol Finals in the Wildcard competition, was Josh Vegas. Josh, who danced and gyrated to Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog," was the crowd favorite of the night. The Pride Idol Preliminary #2 winner was Mike Bowers, who blew the audience and judges away with a wonderful vocal of "Your Song" from Moulin Rouge. I can't wait to hear Mike sing during the finals on June 20.

And now for a very important announcement: 2010 SOaP Pride Idol will take a break this week - the only week this will happen - and will resume the following Sunday, May 2.

Pride Idol is an absolute blast. Make sure you show up and get to know the SOaP board members; these are the people who work year-round to put together our Pride Parade, so don't be afraid to come over and say "hi."

Pride Idol, presented by Esurance, takes place at R Place every Sunday, May 2-June 20, at 8 p.m. Registration is open to everyone and competitors are encouraged to "bring it!" as they compete to be the next Seattle Pride Idol. For more information about SOaP and Pride Idol, visit www.idol.seattlepride.org/schedule.php.

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