And so it begins again, the sixth season of Seattle Pride Idol – friendly tournament for some, entertainment for all. For the next 10 Sundays, the portion of the community who can sing on key is invited to register and do so at upcoming competitions. Winners from each week will compete against each other in a final round, and that victor takes all.
This year, competitions will be held at the usual hub, Neighbours Nightclub, on Broadway between Pike and Pine. And in the spirit of shaking things up, three competition nights will be hosted offsite, once a piece at The Baltic Room, The Lobby Bar, and OutWest.
Miss Gay Seattle 50 Olivia LaGarce and a sampling of local drag queens will host the events. And a panel of locals who tote backgrounds in vocal performance, entertainment, and music production, as well as two Seattle Pride Idol winners from seasons past, will judge.
How does it work?
To register, participants show up the night of a competition, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and add their name to a list; each evening is limited to 10 contestants, first come first serve (if there are more than 10 people interested in competing, those who miss the cutoff will be bumped to the following week’s list). Karaoke-style from a list of over 10,000 titles, contestants select a song to perform and then wait their turn. Each week’s winner moves on to the Final on June 8, and the runner-up goes on to a Wild Card round on June 2; the top two winners from the Wild Card round also compete in the Final.
“Everybody is welcome; we encourage the entire community to participate,” Adam McRoberts of Seattle Pride told The Capitol Hill Times. “We want to find Seattle’s biggest and brightest singers.”
And it’s not just for fun, the winner wins big. $1,000 in cash big. A vacation from Alaska Airlines valued at $1,500 big. Getting to perform on a float during the Pride Parade, onstage at the Seattle Pride Picnic and PrideFest, and singing the national anthem at a Seattle Storm game big.
Second and third place winners of the finale make out with prizes in the form of cash and technology, and, in the meantime, there are nightly cash prizes for the first, second, and third place winners of weekly competitions.
Seattle Pride Idol owes its creation to Seattle Pride, the Capitol Hill-based non-profit that works to educate the community on LGBTQ issues through community outreach and events like Seattle Pride Idol. Its other events include the Pride Picnic, Pride Brunch, Seattle PrideFest, and the Pride Parade.
“Being that it’s our 40th anniversary, the parade will be bigger and better than ever this year.” McRoberts said. “Celebrity Grand Marshal George Takei is joining us this year in the parade. Also rather exciting is that the band that played the first Seattle Pride in 1974, Lavender Country, is reunited and is playing this year in the Seattle Pride Parade.”
While Seattle Pride is always looking for opportunities to grow and expand within the community and partner with events that might want to fit under the Seattle Pride umbrella, McRoberts said that Seattle Pride’s goal is to not encroach upon other non-profits but to showcase them and the hundreds of likeminded groups in the city – exactly what it will be doing in the parade. That way, the community knows where to engage.
“It’s all coming together so quickly this year,” McRoberts said. “I recommend that people keep their eyes on SeattlePride.org for the most recent details and updates.”