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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 15
Pride Idol gets soulful in week three
Arts & Entertainment
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Pride Idol gets soulful in week three

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

It takes guts to sing karaoke in front of a judge panel and live audience. It takes even more gusto to sing gospel karaoke!

Well, Seattle Pride Idol fans, if the foot-stomping, soul-singing contestants at last week's competition were any indication, consider me blessed! The competition was strong, the voices were heavenly, and the show was divine!

Pride Idol is a citywide singing contest produced and presented by SO&P, Verizon Wireless, FUZE, Seattle's Best Karaoke, and Seattle Gay News every Sunday night at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway) and is hosted by Gaysha Starr. Doors open at 6 p.m., where contestants can 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 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were on hand for the pre-show, Sinful Second Sundays, with a number of performances that readied the audience for the competition.

This week, DJ SeXXXual Chocolate (KJ Jones), joined the man-eater herself, Sister Domine Trix; the always dressed for the red carpet Kitty Corset; and myself to perform the hard task of judging who will stay and who will go. This was no easy task; the six contestants were unique, prepared, and ready to take us to church!

Richard Sanchez returned from the previous show to prove that he was down, but not out. Choosing to sing another big diva number, Richard and performed 'Wind Beneath My Wings' by Bette Midler. The ambitious number wasn't exactly what we had all hoped for, but Richard tells me he is coming back again and this time plans to walk away with $100! Keep it up, Richard; you're almost there!

Returning from last year's final's round, Mike Bowers delivered an amazing rendition of India Arie's 'Ready For Love' to a wanting audience. From beginning to end, we held on to every word.

In the most unique performance (so far) at a Pride Idol 2011 event, Gregory Conn wowed the judges and audience alike to become the finalist winner of the night! Mixing the 1960s classic 'House of the Rising Sun' by the Animals with the iconic 'Amazing Grace,' Gregory delivered a haunting version of the song that propelled him into the race to decide who will become Seattle's next Pride Idol!

Donta Rogers has energy and personality for days; on Sunday, Donta decided to slow things down and sing a gospel-infused version of the Beatles classic 'Let It Be.' The beautiful performance was a credit to the wonderful voice that Donta has shared with the audience week after week.

Newcomer Ryan Smith secured himself a spot in the Wildcard round. Ryan did everything right; he dressed the part, crooned beautifully, and really chose a song that showed off his vocal talent.

Clayton Smith can sing. He is an absolute joy to watch perform and I could listen to him sing anytime, anywhere. Clayton is a true performer and delivered a damn near perfect version of 'A Change Is Gonna Come' by Sam Cook.

This year, Pride Idol is themed!

April 17: Diva Night
April 24: '80s Night
May 1: Pop Culture Night May 8: Latino Night
May 15: Country Music Night
May 29: Soundtrack Night
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.

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 SO&P float during the Seattle Pride Parade, June 26.

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

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Workin' it: 9 to 5 the Musical
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PNB revives Balanchine's enchanted Midsummer Night's Dream
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Pandora Boxx returns to R Place
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Pride Idol gets soulful in week three
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Big prizes and fast money at Gay Family Feud
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Where It's At: Rock goddess Stevie Nicks finally returns to Seattle
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Mickelthwate an exciting young conductor
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Spend a medieval day on the town
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Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
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Hyatt at Olive 8 a cool hotel and Pride sponsor
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DVD a rare chance to see Wagner's Rienzi
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