by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
2010 SOAP PRIDE IDOL
SUNDAYS THROUGH JUNE 20
Last Sunday, four Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP) Pride Idol contestants proved that numbers are not as important as personality as they made the judges - and the audience - sing along, laugh, and cheer. Pablo (last name withheld due to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; Pablo is an active duty sailor in the U.S. Navy), Nathan Tran, Kristopher Zello, and Elisha Anderson were, by far, the most spirited and engaging contestants so far this season. Week three of the contest was amazing to say the least!
Wearing the very latest in nun-punk garb and in "sister face," Pride Idol judge Sister Domine Trix opened the show with a lip-sync and dance routine to "Loosen up my Buttons" by the Pussycat Dolls.
Because last week's show fell on Mother's Day, only four contestants were on hand. Pablo, Nathan, Kris, and Elisha were the right four!
When contestant number one, Pablo, approached the judge panel (Andrew Miller, Sister Domine Trix, and yours truly) to sing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," I knew we were in for a treat. Although Pablo is not the best singer the world has ever known, he is a star. He engaged the audience, projected sex appeal, and was funny, to boot. Just when I thought we'd seen the best of Pablo, he surprised everyone by singing Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" (complete with dance moves) as his second song. The audience ate it up.
Contestant number two, super-cute Nathan Tran (wearing a soccer uniform and a smile), declared that he was going to "sing the best song I know how to do on Scaryoke" before launching into Daniel Beddingfield's "If You're Not the One." For his second song, "This Love" by Maroon 5, Nathan went out into the audience for a sing-along session with his fans. Nathan wasn't the best performer of the night, but you could tell he was having fun, and let's face it: that's what Pride Idol is all about - fun!
Contestant number three, Kristopher Zello, is a performer of the highest caliber. Kris has one of the best voices that we've heard this season. He absolutely nailed Simple Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now," but it was his second song choice, "Why Haven't I Heard From You" by Reba McEntire, that made Kris a stand-out performance of the night. Kris' voice was on point and his banter with the audience, other contestants, and judges ensured that he was going to place - and place he did. When all was said and done, Kris was voted the Wild Card winner of Pride Idol, week three. We'll see Kris on June 13 as he competes in the Wild Card Round for another chance to become Seattle's next Pride Idol. Good luck, Kris!
Contestant number four, Elisha Anderson, blew the roof off of R Place when she channeled Aretha Franklin - not once, but twice. Within seconds of Aretha's "Chain of Fools," it was plain to see that singing comes naturally to Elisha. She was, without a doubt, in her element; soulful, real, and just plain good, Elisha was a pleasure to listen to. Her voice moved the other contestants to cheer her on by singing backup and providing some very interesting, choreographed on the spot dance moves. Her version of Aretha's "Dr. Feel Good" was equally as good as the first song. Elisha did not scream Aretha, she sang Aretha - and for that, we loved her.
Special thank-yous go out to Guy Johnson (a guest judge) of the Seattle Men's Chorus for performing "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin; DJ SeXXXual Chocolate for always making sure the contestants have a song (or two) to sing; Eduardo Khawam for being a gracious and charming host; and the board and volunteers of SOaP - without whom Pride Idol would not be possible - for taking such good care of the judges and contestants. And last but certainly not least, R Place for providing the stage, bar staff, and Gay atmosphere for the competition.
At the end of the night, when the judges' score sheets were tallied and the Verizon wireless text votes were counted, Pablo was named the winner and will advance to the finals round on June 20.
Speaking of votes & all you future contestants listen up. Bring your friends! Each week, the Wild Card and Finals Round winners are chosen by a two-vote system of judge score sheets and text votes. In other words, impress the crowd and the judges and you'll advance. Make sure you bring your cheering squad, and after the last song is sung, they need to text their vote.
For more news on the 2010 SOaP Pride Idol competition, brought to you by Esurance, including a complete list of songs to choose from, signup links, and additional information for SOaP, visit the organization online at www.idol.seattlepride.org.
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