Capital Slam Finals

The night was finally here. The night that hummed with anticipation.

The night when Capital Slam would crown its 2013 Champion and we would all find out who would make up the team that would represent Ottawa at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Montreal.

As Ruthanne Edward – the Slam Master for the evening – gave the judges their last instructions and DJ PrufRock lowered the music so that the host, Ikenna Onyegbula, AKA OpenSecret, could address the crowd, everyone in attendance knew they were in for something special.

The show started with three guest poets, there to share and warm up the crowd. The first was Emma Blanche of the Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam team. The next was ‘new find’ Abby Kassirer. The last was Ottawa Slam legend, Brandon Wint. All three – whether fresh voiced or veteran presence, helped make the room come alive with energy.

Then came the ritual… the sacrificial poetic blood. For the first round it was Shaun Sullivan, who was the runner up in the first CapSLam semi-final of 2013.

Then Ikenna took to the magic hat that would help decide the finalists’ fate. First out of the hat… regular season champ, Gavin Russell.

7.0 8.5 9.0 9.3 9.5 – 26.8

Right away, people could tell that there was an outlier. Would the low-ball judge stay true to those scores, or would there be an adjustment… what slammers call score creep?

Next up was D-Lightfull (of note… the finals were a perfect split of male and female voices, for the first time in CapSlam history).

8.0 9.0 9.1 9.3 9.5 – 27.4 (and NEARLY a time penalty… she went 3:08)

D-Lightfull took the lead, but there were still 6 more poets to go.

Next out of the hat was Kimbit.

8.0 8.5 8.8 9.0 9.4 – 26.3

The judges were staying consistent so far.

Rounding out the first half of the first round was Rusty Priske.

8.0 9.2 9.4 9.5 9.6 – 28.1

The judges were in agreement with the audience about the personal piece Rusty did. He took the lead.

Brad Morden was next up.

8.4 8.5 8.7 9.1 9.5 – 26.3

Next up was Bruce Narbaitz.

8.0 8.7 9.0 9.5 9.5 – 27.2

A strong, ‘in-the-mic’ score for Bruce.

The penultimate first round poet was V.

8.9 9.0 9.3 9.3 TEN – 27.6

V vaulted into second place while grabbing the first ten of the night.

The first round finished off with Candice Bruchhaeuser.

8.0 8.5 9.0 9.2 9.4 – 26.7


1. Rusty Priske – 28.1
2. V – 27.6
3. D-Lightfull – 27.4
4. Bruce Narbaitz – 27.2
5. Gavin Russell – 26.8
6. Candice Bruchhaeuser – 26.7
7T. Brad Morden – 26.3
7T. Kimbit – 26.3

Then came a break as the poets scrambled to get ready for round 2 and the crowd buzzed about what they saw in round 1. Rusty was the first round surprise, but could he hold it? Who would be the buzz of round 2?

Round 2 kicked off with another sac… the runner up from the other CapSLam semi-final, Kay’la Fraser. Hoo-rah.

First out of the hat for round 2… Candice Bruchhaeuser!

8.5 8.8 8.8 9.2 9.4 – 26.8

That would probably keep Candice our of the 3rd round, but she certainly had nothing to be ashamed of as earlier she had been named the CapSlam Rookie of the Year for 2013.

Next up was V.

8.9 9.0 9.0 9.3 TEN – 27.3

She stumbled a little bit in the poem but she recovered nicely.

Next was Gavin Russell (who had the mathematically worst draw of the night).

8.9 8.9 9.4 9.5 9.8 – 27.8

A nice bump up for Gavin!

He was followed by Kimbit.

8.7 9.0 9.0 9.5 9.5 – 27.5

A good bump from ROund one, but it didn’t look like it would be enough. Nothing is certain however…

Next was Bruce Narbaitz… and his dance party.

9.5 9.6 9.6 TEN TEN – 29.2

Who was going to be the talk of Round 2… and the whole slam? Bruce Narbaitz. Wow.

Rusty Priske drew the unenviable task of following that.

8.5 8.9 9.0 9.3 9.5 – 27.2

Quite a slip from his first round. Could he hold on?

Next was D-Lightfull.

9.0 9.1 9.4 9.5 9.6 – 28.0

Huge! second highest score of the round and third highest of the night (thus far).

Brad Morden wrapped up the round.

9.0 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.8 – 27.9

A very good score, but was it enough?

Top five went onto the third round.

After two…

1. Bruce Narbaitz – 56.4
2. D-Lightfull – 55.4
3. Rusty Priske – 55.3
4. V – 54.9
5. Gavin Russell – 54.6
6. Brad Morden – 54.2
7. Kimbit – 53.8
8. Candice Bruchhaeuser – 53.5

So we knew who the team was, but who would be the champ? (And who would be the alt?)

First up – Bruce Narbaitz.

9.0 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.7 – 28.5

Still buzzing over the Bruce Dance Party – the crowd still loved them some Dancing Flower!

Next was V… who blasted the roof off!

9.1 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.8 – 28.7

She was followed by Gavin Russell.

8.9 9.3 9.5 9.5 TEN – 28.3

The penultimate poet was… Rusty Priske…

Uh-oh. Landmine time. Rusty lost his poem. He got it back but the damage was big.

8.0 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 – 26.0

The last poet up was D-Lightfull.

8.5 9.0 9.3 9.5 9.5 – 27.8

While the ‘scores were being tabulated’, Ikenna invited a special guest up to perform… Patricia Staples making her live poetry debut!

Standing ovation!

Then came the team announcement…

The team alt would be the person who holds the record for the most CapSlam team appearances with FIVE (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)… and professional team alternate… Rusty Priske!

In FOURTH – the 2012 Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam Champion and the 2013 Capital Slam regular season champ and now first time CapSlam team member, Gavin Russell!

In THIRD – 2010 Urban Legends team member and now first time CapSlam team member, D-Lightfull!

In SECOND – 2012 Capital Slam Rookie of the Year and 2012 CapSlam team member, V!

And now, the 2013 Champion! He was the 2011 Rookie of the Year and a member of the 2011 CapSlam team… BRUCE NARBAITZ!

Amazing team! Things are going to be hot in Montreal this November!

There is no Capital Poetry Collective show on June 8th, but on June 15th hit the Mercury Lounge for former CPC Director Nathanael Larochette playing with The Night Watch at their CD Release Party!!


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