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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 7, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 19
Seattle's Pride Idol: Round One
Arts & Entertainment
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Seattle's Pride Idol: Round One

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

2010 SOAP Pride Idol
R Place
Sundays Through June 20


Welcome back, Pride Idol fans. This week's competition - the first of six rounds to decide who will compete in the Wildcard and Pride Idol Finals - was hot, hot, hot! With the preliminary rounds behind us and the 2010 Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP) Pride Parade ahead of us, there was no looking back as eight contestants blew the roof off of R Place with the fiercest competition to date.

This week's Pride Idol, presented by Esurance and hosted by the very charming and sexy Eduardo Khawam with music by DJ SeXXXual Chocolate, had it all. Starting off the show with a dynamite foot-stomping, knee-slapping performance was the incomparable Lady Chablis (R Place's premiere drag queen and RuPaul's Drag Race season three hopeful). Soon after, the competition was off and running with returning judges: the very serious and sassy Andrew Miller ("You'd better impress me!"), the beautiful and oh-so-fun Sister Domine Trix ("Wait, where am I?"), and me, Shaun Knittel. Also returning was special guest judge Guy Johnson from the Seattle Men's Chorus.

The first contestant to kick off the regular season was Kelly Young. Kelly gave the crowd its Gay camp fix of the night with "I Need a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler. Although Kelly didn't end up placing, I have to say that she was most certainly an honorable mention. Kelly, give it another go - you got some pipes, gal, and I think we've only just begun to see what you are capable of.

Next up was a return performer, Chris Sullivan, who sang "If You're Not the One" by Daniel Beddingfield. Chris showed off his amazing range and good attitude. Although his voice comes off a bit theatrical, there is no denying that this boy can sing!

Contestant number three, Karolina Longoria, was the Wildcard winner of the night and will return on June 13 for the Wildcard Round to compete for a chance to be Seattle's next Pride Idol. Karolina (who is engaged to be married to her girlfriend - nice ring!) gave the right amount of moxie and attitude while she performed the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice." Wildcard round winners beware; this is the girl to beat, and she isn't going down without a fight.

The surprise of the night was Andre "Huggy B" O'Donnell. Part comedy and part self-promotion (Huggy B is one-half of the local openly Gay rap group Shit Damn Hella) with plenty of freestyle rap, Andre delivered the season's only original piece, "Carbs." Wearing a shirt that read "Carb Thuggin," Andre won over the audience and after all was said and done, secured some new fans for Shit Damn Hella.

Splitting up the competition, SOaP President Eric Gauthier was honored by the organization for 10 years of planning the Seattle Pride Parade. A lot of people in the community may not be aware of just how much work goes into the annual Pride parade and all of the events leading up to it, but Eric certainly does. Thank you, Eric, for all that you do! Also, the crowd serenaded Eric with "Happy Birthday" as he celebrated turning God-only-knows what age (try as I may, I could not pry his real age out of anyone - you've got a loyal board and volunteers, Eric).

Picking up right where we left off, Toby Jones (who won the third-place spot and an iPod Shuffle) sang Chris Brown's "Forever." Two weeks ago, Toby was a competitor in the preliminary round and, after taking the advice of the judges, returned in much better form. "Forever" was a great song choice, and Toby has inched that much closer to qualifying. Hopefully we will all get to hear that beautiful voice next week.

Also returning from the preliminary rounds was contestant number six, Michelle Carman. Michelle, who always looks stunning and sings songs that are unique and challenging, performed "Bathwater" by No Doubt. Although Michelle didn't do as well as I had anticipated, she was by no means bad. I hope to see her come back and compete again - there's a star in her waiting to shine.

And then there was Bryce Munger. Seattle, I cannot tell you how ridiculous - yet sexy - Bryce' performance of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" was. Complete with sunglasses, striking good looks, and suggestive dancing with the microphone stand (which resulted in the death of a cocktail by clipboard - how dare you, Sister Domine Trix!), Bryce was a delightful step away from the norm. Proving that he was more than just a pretty face, the homosexually challenged Bryce (that's right, boys and girls - straight people can and do enter the competition) gave the performance of a lifetime. Bryce, you can sing for us anytime you'd like!

The winner of Pride Idol, round one, was Ryan Crawford. Ryan's win should send a message to Pride Idol hopefuls: Yes, you do need to sing well, but it is all about the full package. Ryan worked it! From audience banter and dance moves to hitting the right notes at the right time, it was clear that Ryan had claimed the top spot as his own. Paula Cole's "Feelin' Love" may not be the song that most would choose for the contest, but Ryan saw something in those lyrics that worked for him - and ultimately for us. Great job, Ryan, and congratulations. We'll see you on June 20 for the Pride Idol Finals.

For more news on the 2010 SOaP Pride Idol competition, including a complete list of songs to choose from, signup links, and additional information for SOaP, visit the organization online at www. www.idol.seattlepride.org.

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