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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 29, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 17
Pride Idol goes '80s in week five
Arts & Entertainment
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Pride Idol goes '80s in week five

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The music of the 1980s is just plain fun. It's the stuff that karaoke legends are made of. The six contestants at this week's '80s-themed Seattle Pride Idol had us dancing (in and out of our seats), singing along, and remembering a time when bad fashion met bad makeup and a lot of hairspray. It was, in a word, rad.

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., when 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!

Jason Brotman, owner of the Baltic Room (1207 Pine St.), joined the '80s-fabulous Sister Domine Trix (who shamelessly flirted with the all-male contestant panel), me (who apparently didn't dress '80s enough), and the Axel Rose-inspired Kitty Corset (complete with red bandana) to judge who would be back to compete for the title of Pride Idol.

Gaysha Starr opened the show with an explosion of color and energy that embodied everything that we loved about pre-crack Whitney Houston: fun, talent, and big hair.

The show got off to a great start with Mike Bowers. Oh, how we love Mike. He is talented and always sticks with the theme. This week, Mike sang and danced his way to the finals with a wild version of "Footloose" from the classic 1980s movie of the same name. He had the audience on their feet from beginning to end. Great job, Mike (and nice Batman shirt)!

Next up was, Angel Chris, who chose a very ambitious song, REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling." Although he gave a beautiful performance and really showed off his vocal talents, he did not advance to the finals. Angel is a true talent through and through, and we hope to see him come back and give it another go.

In what was probably the most outrageous performance of the season, Jakey Vegas turned out Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" in such a way that the performance - although bad - was somehow & good? The great thing about Jakey was that he didn't take himself too seriously and just had fun with his performance (even incorporating some Gaga-inspired dance moves) that made the audience fall in love with him.

Newcomer Brendan Mack performed Frank Sinatra's "That's Life." Brendan sang an original version, which allowed him to show off some vocal talent, but in the end it wasn't '80s enough.

What's not to like about Ryan Smith? He's cute, talented, and confident onstage. Returning from a previous win, Ryan was back with a soulful version of Tom Petty's "Free Falling." The performance was original, beautiful, and enough to crown him the week's Wildcard winner. Congrats, Ryan!

Next up was JC Powers - OK, I gotta be careful here. JC's performance was one of those "you should've been there" moments. JC, who is a born extrovert, decided that come hell or high water, he was going to compete - and win. Well, Idol fans, he didn't win in votes, but he won the audience (and Sister Domine Trix) over with a sexy and primal version of "Break Down" by Tom Petty.

When is the last time you were in a conga line inside of a nightclub? Well, our guest performer, the lovely and oh-so-new Bianca Starr, performed "Conga" by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. Within minutes, the audience, host, judges, and contestants were circling the bar in a '80s-fab conga line. Oh, the horror! Bianca Starr gave us all she had, and the crowd loved every bit of it. Pure pop. Pure madness. Totally tubular '80s!

This year, Pride Idol is themed!
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 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 the third place winner, $500 to second place, and first prize is $1,000 and a Verizon Wireless phone with two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. or 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've got and become Seattle's next Pride Idol!

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