So it’s a been more than a few days since it all went down. I’m going to blame it on the G20.
First off, as predicted the talent off the hook, chain, and scales. It was a great treat to have Elyse Maltin, London Poetry Slam, as our guest host. She did a killer job of trying to keep the judges from falling victim to score creep. Or at the very least of giving us all good case of the WiLlEs from the way she described it.
In keeping with the momentum we’ve been having since February we had many new faces out, including a writers group from Brantford and a new BSP fan celebrating his birthday with us, and old faithful ones too. After a brief hiatus where we treated to another well memorized poem by Rick Harrett, the resident BSP Open Mic anchor and HUGE fan of Robert Service. Though she qualified for the team, Livingston returns to what she knows, loves, and does best, and that’s rock out the open mic with some hot acapella.
Now I don’t remember the exact order everyone went in for the slam proper, but I do know that it was bangin’. Lip Balm (AKA Matt Miller) hit us with usual ferocity of words. Though he didn’t make it to the 2nd round don’t sleep on him. I predict you will see much more love for him on the score front in the months and years to come.
Next to be eliminated was yours truly. Even though I didn’t make the team this was the first time I did both pieces off-page and continue to grow in my ability to perform. Especially with my Peace & Love Affair poems which I dropped that night.
Lishai continues to inspire with the love story of herstory so far and her passion for community. LOL Not to mention her contempt for Descarte.
Without barely even glancing at the mic Truth Is… took control of the room and our hearts with a strong delivery of a piece about trying to call her mother. She took a chance with a new poem in the last round but still finished well.
Whether you like Hip Hop or not you can’t deny the talent that lay on the lips of Made Wade. In his confident bravado flow he had the crowd hipnotized with an introduction to Mista Ignorance.
Our very own Tomy Bewick always comes correct and finals night was no different. He challenges a would-be attacker to go ahead and stab him but to beware of the fight that waits for him. Then for 3 minutes he shares the longest 2 minutes of his own life: the day his daughter was born! Afterwards, it’s hard to find a dry eye in the room.
Yogi the always proud father has always been a natural storyteller. He weaves rhymes and stories through the air to your ears with his words and hands working in unison. And even though he stumbled over his words a few times, unforced passion in his words won the hearts of our judges and earned him the title of BSP’s first EVER Grand Slam Champion.
So allow me to introduce to you the 2010/2011 (1st EVER) Burlington Slam Project team:
Yogi, Tomy Bewick, Made Wade, Truth Is.., & Lishai (alt)
Well last night was truly madness. Early indications suggested that we could possibly have a good sized crowd. But the last minute snow storm that rolled in put a cloud of doubt over numbers. Then on the way to the slam I waited for some friends at the wrong spot to give them a ride to the slam. Next time I’ll give you door-to-door service. How does that sound?
So when I finally arrived I was greeted by the sight of some faithful BSP attendees. It was also nice to see that some of the people who made it out to last months slam (taped by TV Cogeco & featured by Brendan McLeod). It seemed every time I turned around chairs and tables were being moved around to accommodate more people. And even though they were running a little bit late, a whole crew of poets from Buffalo arrived with Ntare.
Needless to say the night was jam packed with poets! 14 people signed up for the Slam! As with BSP tradition Rick kicked off the Open Mic in grand fashion and is sure to make a Robert Service fan of even the strongest doubter. Rolling Zen also showed up to share a new piece written in response to his visit to a WWII concentration camp.
Some memorable pieces from the 1st round were Nikki sharing her desire to be “That B*tch” you can’t get off your mind, Made Wade the superhero warned us of his arch nemesis “Ignorance” and how he planned to school him, and who couldn’t forget our sacrifical poet, Ms. Christmas, and her poem about how a special poet makes her feel.
Right after the first round, The Recipe served up a fresh course of poetry and showed exactly why they are the 2009 national champions. Ian shared his love for his laptops “backspace” even though she has some “viruses”. With the Canadian olympic hockey being displayed on the TV The Recipe explained how “The Good Ole Hockey Game” is really black. For me, their most amazing piece went form A to Z and back again.
After the break everyone came back ready to see who reigned supreme. Since we had so many poets sign up and a 3-way tie for 6th, only the top 5 poets went into the final round: Ten Thousand, Nikki, Made Wade, Franchise, and Kiki (aka Killah). 10-K’s passion was apparent as his voice rose and fell in turn with the emotion of his poem ebbing & flowing. IMHO, Nikki really connected with an inspiring piece encouraging big women to ignore the pressure to be the “ideal woman”. Made Wade continued to school us on stereotypes with his signature smooth flow. The Franchise gave us his version of “the love poem”. Kiki finished the night off with a very personal piece.
It was tight night, with Kiki going into the 2nd round leading Made Wade by .1. I got an eerie feeling when 2nd round Made Wade got 9.5’s across the board. Kiki finished her 2nd round with a 9.4, 9.6 and three 9.5’s. So in the end Kiki won with a 57.1 beating Made Wade by just .1 and Nikki coming in 3rd.
Since this was the first night of qualifying for the finals, that means 1st, 2nd, & 3rd get points to help them place better in the finals to make the 2010 BSP Slam Team.