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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 20, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 20
Pride Idol corrals the talent on Country Night
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Pride Idol corrals the talent on Country Night

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

On May 15, Neighbours Seattle was transformed into a country and western hoedown as Seattle's cowboys and cowgirls turned out for the 2011 Pride Idol 'Country Night' to compete for a spot in the finals and a chance to become the next Pride Idol!

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!

This week, Karl Reyes returned to the judges' panel, joining trailer park cowboy Sister Domine Trix; the country fried steak herself, Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang; and me as we chose who would stay and who would go back to the ranch.

Contestant number one, Joshua Johnson, did not get the memo that there was a theme. Instead, he sang Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face.' The thing is, he was really good and performed the song like he recorded it himself. Thanks for the fun, Joshua!

Singing 'Before He Cheats' by Carrie Underwood, our second contestant, Jacqueline Rose, brought us back to Nashville. The song was a good fit for her range, and the performance was a joy to watch.

Shana Glennon was up next with her rendition of Sugarland's 'Settlin'.' Shana gave it her best shot and really stayed true to the song's country roots.

Giving us what I thought was the performance of the night, Julie Mains sang a flawless version of Shania Twain's 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman.' The performance was fun, countryfied, and not a parody - Julie really owned the song. Julie will return June 12 for the Wildcard round and a chance to win a spot in the Pride Idol finals!

Richard Sanchez returned to the Pride Idol stage to sing another song by a female artist. Richard, find that perfect male song and come back and wow us!

Ryan Smith has got talent. He oozes coolness when he is on stage and has an amazing voice. This week, after weeks of being named first runner-up, Ryan's version of Billy Currington's 'Let Me Down Easy' moved him to first place! We will see you in the finals, Ryan!

Lori Woodbury returned to sing an interesting version of Faith Hill's 'Breathe.' Lori has a very unique voice, and if she chooses the right song, she has the potential to move on to the Wildcard or Finale. Come back and sing again, Lori!

Over the past eight weeks, a number of stellar guest entertainers have stopped by to perform for the Pride Idol audience, and this week was no exception. Aleksa Manila joined hostess Gaysha Starr onstage to sing 'Does He Love You?' by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. Also joining the lineup was the fabulous Sharon Huzbenz, who performed two numbers with her usual high energy and talent.

Our very own judge, Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang, sang live and showed off some serious pipes. She was followed by Karolina Longoria, the reigning Pride Idol, who gave a performance that reminded everyone why she won last season.

This year, Pride Idol is themed!

May 29: Soundtrack Night

June 5: Disco Night

June 12: Wildcard

June 19: Pride Idol Finale

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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Pride Idol corrals the talent on Country Night
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