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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 1, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 13
Seattle Pride Idol is back!
Arts & Entertainment
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Seattle Pride Idol is back!

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Seattle Pride Idol, presented by Verizon Wireless, FUZE, Seattle's Best Karaoke, Neighbours Nightclub, Seattle Gay News, and MOViN 92.5, is back, and it is bigger and better than ever!

Pride Idol is a citywide singing contest produced and presented by Seattle Out and Proud (SO&P) every Sunday night at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway). Doors open at 6 p.m., where contestants sign up to sing in the 7 p.m. competition. The grand finale is scheduled for June 19, where a winner will be chosen as Seattle's 2011 Pride Idol!

The 2011 season kicked off on March 27 with a bang. Hostess Gaysha Starr welcomed back last year's Pride Idol, Karolina Longoria, and returning judges Sister Domine Trix, me, and new 2011 Pride Idol judge Cookie Corset. Karl Reyes of the Seattle Opera House joined the panel as we voted to advance one contestant to the Wildcard round and another to the Grand Finale.

Nine competitors showed up to wow the crowd. This was no ordinary karaoke night! We couldn't have asked for a better group to start off the season.

Contestant number one, Zoe Dixon, came with sass and confidence as she performed 'Black Horse and a Cherry Tree' by KT Tunstall. Her vocals and song knowledge advanced her to the Wildcard round!

Next up was the adorable Ramiro Orellana, who bravely and skillfully sang Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance.' His performance left the audience cheering and wanting more. Although he didn't advance to another round, I highly encourage Ramiro to come back and give it another go.

Contestant number three, Christina Brewer, sang Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' with perfection. Christina really owned the song and made it her own. Great job, girl!

Super-sexy Dillon Larkin rocked 'Drops of Jupiter' by Train. Dillon was clearly comfortable onstage, at one point singing to the judges and telling the audience to drink a FUZE/Absolut cocktail.

Who doesn't like Madonna's 'Like a Prayer'? Fauna Doyle, contestant number five, made us love it!

Brandee Medeiros, contestant number six, won over the audience and judges to become the night's winner and advance to the Grand Finale. Delivering an amazing rendition of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep,' it was clear to see that Brandee is going to give her competition a run for the money to become this year's Pride Idol. I think we've only just begun to see what Brandee will bring to this competition.

Bringing rock to the competition, contestant number seven, Jenn Miller, offered Idol fans a good performance of Alanis Morrisette's 'You Oughta Know.'

Next up, Jennifer O'Brian went out on a limb to sing a great '80s classic: Pat Benatar's 'We Belong.' Jennifer has a lot to offer the competition as a vocalist, and I highly encourage her to return in the following weeks.

Returning from last year's competition was the amazingly fun and energetic Dante Rogers. Dante is an absolute delight. He owns the stage and puts a lot into every performance. On Sunday, Dante brought us back to the '70s as he sang 'Disco Inferno' by The Trammps, which earned him second runner-up!

This year, each night of Pride Idol has a theme:

Sunday, April 3: R&B Night
Sunday, April 10: Gospel Night
Sunday, April 17: Diva Night
Sunday, April 24: '80s Night
Sunday, May 1: Pop Culture Night
Sunday, May 8: Latino Night
Sunday, May 15: Country Music Night
Sunday, May 29: Soundtrack Night
Sunday, June 5: Burlesque Night

You don't have to choose songs that go with that night's theme, but it is highly encouraged. Also, remember to dress the part - you are performing, after all - and try to win over the judges and audience alike.

Each week there is a nightly prize of $100 for first place, a Verizon Wireless Bluetooth Device and a spot in the Wildcard round for second place, and two VIP tickets to Le Faux at Julia's on Broadway for third place.

Who's going to take home the Pride Idol trophy and prizes this year? Why not you? You can sign up in person the night of the competition or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/162931. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest.

This year's Grand Finale prize package is very attractive: $300 will go to third place, $500 to second place, and first prize is $1,000 and a Verizon Wireless phone with two round-trip tickets to the continental U.S. and Canada aboard Delta airlines (courtesy of Orbitz) and a chance to perform aboard the Seattle Out and Proud float during the Seattle Pride Parade, June 26. Seattle Out and Proud (SO&P) produces Seattle's annual pride parade.

Come out and sing! Show us what you've got and become Seattle's next Pride Idol!

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Seattle Pride Idol is back!
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