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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 20, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 16
Pride Idol breaks Buble curse in week three
Arts & Entertainment
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Pride Idol breaks Buble curse in week three

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Seattle Pride Idol, presented by Smirnoff, Seattle's Best Karaoke, Neighbours Seattle, Seattle Gay News, and MOViN 92.5, is back for week three, and the competition was a unique mix of style and presentation that made for a night of fun and entertainment.

The 2012 Pride Idol is a citywide singing contest hosted by Seattle Out and Proud (SO&P), running every Sunday night at Neighbours Seattle (1509 Broadway) leading up to 2012 Seattle Pride. Doors open at 6 p.m. for open karaoke, hosted by SO&P's Eric Bennett. Contestants must sign up by 7:30 p.m. in order to compete at 8 p.m., when the show begins. The grand finale is scheduled for June 10, where a winner will be chosen as Seattle's 2012 Pride Idol!

The 2012 season kicked off on April 1 with a bang, and week three kept the excitement going. Returning to host was the fabulous Gaysha Starr. Aleksa Manila, who also led the audience in a sing-a-long to Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Love of All,' joined the judging panel of Sister Domine Trix, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, and me as we voted to advance one contestant to the wildcard round and another to the grand finale.

Seven competitors showed up to wow the crowd.

Returning from the first round of competition, the first contestant, Charles Dobes, approached Pride Idol with a completely different style than before. Charles had first performed Elton John's 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.' But when the song didn't go over well with the judges, he was asked to come back with something new. Singing the Killers' 'Mr. Brightside' Charles showed that he could do more than ballads and won praise from the judges and audience.

When Pride Idol began four years ago as a small karaoke competition on the Hill, there was always one constant: someone would sing a Michael Buble song. But would they sing it well? Most of the time the answer would be no. Breaking the curse of Buble last week, contestant number two, Nathan Walker, delivered a wonderful version of 'Home,' and although he did not advance to the Wildcard or Finals, we'd love to see him come back and give it another shot.

Contestant number three, Ryan Crawford, is a Pride Idol alumnus. He's competed for the last three years and has really become a part of the show. Each time Ryan brings something new. His Sunday night performance of 'Call Your Girlfriend' by Robyn reminded us all why we love Ryan so much: he's funny, he can sing, and he connects with the audience. Ryan won the Wildcard slot and we will see him again in a few weeks as he works to outsing the other Wildcard competitors for the coveted spot on the Finals and the chance to win $1,000.

Not one to easily give up, Sarah Spears returned for the third week in a row to deliver another big song, Simon and Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' Sarah, like in weeks past, did not advance, but once again gave an enduring performance that left the audience captivated.

This week's winner is Jacob McIntyre. Jacob (returning from last week) bared his soul by singing Seether's 'Broken' (and playing on guitar). The performance was raw and the room fell silent as the crowd listened to every word and followed each nuance. Typically, a ballad singer or pop music entertainer wins on Pride Idol, but Jacob brought some rock and alternative music back into the competition and is reaping the rewards. We will see Jacob on June 10 as he competes to become Seattle's next Pride Idol.

Contestant number six, Moon, has got personality for days and she wasn't about to let the audience, judges, or host forget it. Singing Nelly Furtado's 'Turn Off the Lights' to a seated Gaysha Starr, Moon performed the song flawlessly while dancing and singing. Moon told me that she will return in a few weeks to give it another try, and we will welcome her back.

Zoe Dixon, the last competitor of the evening, performed 'Hopelessly Devoted to You' from the hit musical Grease. Zoe, also a returning contestant from previous years, lent the song a jazz feel with her smooth vocals and kept the audience's attention throughout her performance. Last year, Zoe was a finalist and we hope she returns to sing for us again and returns to the finals.

Each week there is a nightly prize of $100 for first place and a spot in the Wildcard round for second 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.seattlepride.org/idol-register.html. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest.

This year's grand finale prize package is very attractive: $200 will go to third place, $500 to second place, and first prize is $1,000 and a chance to perform aboard the Seattle Out and Proud float during the Seattle Pride Parade June 24. 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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Pride Idol breaks Buble curse in week three
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