Queer Idol, June 12, Hannah's; June 14, Ann Morrison Park 

Some brave competitors have tried to elbow in on the viewership dedicated to each season of American Idol, but few have succeeded. And though they probably won't be offered a time slot on Fox, one group is taking the popular show, giving it a hard tweak and offering it up as a major portion of the entertainment slated for this year's Pride celebration. It's called Queer Idol.

On Thursday, karaoke contestants will take to the stage at Hannah's for the preliminaries. Five finalists will go on to compete Saturday on the Boise Pride Festival stage at Ann Morrison (near the fountain) with the hopes of earning the title of Queer Idol 2008 and some sweet prizes. Judges for this year's competition include yours truly in the role of the sweet but spacey Paula Abdul. 103.3 KISS FM DJ Hooker in the Morning plans to slip into not only the signature tight T-shirt but also the attitude of caustic Brit Simon Cowell. And Pride's own director Kris Jenkins will fill the big shoes of big dawg Randy Jackson.

Jenkins said he hasn't seen too many people sign up to participate yet, but he's not worried. "People usually wait until the very last minute," he said, and then fill up the roster. Participants can sign up at Hannah's the night of the competition, so there's still time.

If this year is anything like last, it promises to be enjoyable—and amusing—for everyone involved. Jenkins said several men tried to pay homage to the eight-octave range of the diva Mariah Carey. A few people crooned Bonnie Tyler's one hit, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and one especially vociferous young vocalist donned a replica of the King of Pop's white, sequined glove and though his singing voice wouldn't have garnered him a Top 10 hit, his lively, energetic performance just might have. Here's hoping this year's performances are able to top last year's, and as one of the judges, I humbly request that the performers "Bring it on."

Open to anyone 21 and older. June 12, 8 p.m., $5 cover, $5 entry fee, Humpin' Hannah's, 621 Main St.; June 14, 5 p.m., Ann Morrison Park Fountain, 1000 Americana Blvd. Visit boisequeeridol.com for entry forms and fees.

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