Wow, what a night!
The first Semi-Final of the 2015 season for Capital Slam had a whole lot of new faces, with a couple of veterans thrown in for good measure.
And how do you symbolize that mix of youth and experience? How about having two-time CapSlam team member and 2014 CapSlam Champion Gavin Russell acting as host?
Gavin had the mic, Ruthanne had the music, Chuck had the door, judges were in place, slammers were ready… but first, we had some special treats!
You want veteran presence? How about an appearance by a member of the 2005 CapSlam team and all-around important figure in the scene’s early years… Kevin Matthews was on hand to drop a poem! Not just ANY Poem, but the one that started it all… he did ‘Raise It!’
Then we got a two-time member of CapSlam NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS (one of only two people to be on both of those teams), Brandon Wint! Brandon is soon to leave Ottawa for love and Edmonton, so this was likely his last appearance at our show for some time, so fare the well, Brandon Wint! You always have a home here with us!
With the preliminaries out of the way, it was time for the slam. Eight poets were there to try and win one of the four spots up for grabs at the CapSlam Finals.
We had to start with the ritual practice run and tonight it was Erica Howes who stepped up as sac poet! 9.5 8.9 8.4 8.1 8.3 – 25.6
Some tough judges there! Would they stay that tough? (Actually, yes. The judges were pretty consistent all the way through.)
So who was first out of the hat in the first round of the first CapSlam Semi-Final?
Nina Vuleta! The rookie wunderkind came out very strong! 9.0 8.0 8.8 9.2 9.0 – 26.8
The next name out of Gavin’s hat was Obnoxious! 8.2 7.9 9.2 7.8 8.5 – 24.6
With a rookie in the lead, a vet was up next, Rusty Priske! 9.2 9.2 8.6 7.9 9.0 – 26.8
We had a tie for the lead, but it was short lived as Sarah Ruszala was next to the mic! 8.9 8.5 9.0 9.3 9.3 – 27.2!
Another new face in the scene, Tony Gascon was up next! 8.6 8.1 8.2 7.8 8.5 – 24.8
He was followed by another vet, Brad Morden! 8.7 9.1 9.2 8.6 9.1… but, he went 3:12 for a .5 time penalty and ended with a 26.4
The penultimate poet of the round was Playto! 8.0 9.1 8.2 8.9 8.7 – 25.8
Only one name left in the hat… and it was another newcomer, Shawn K! 9.0 8.2 8.4 8.9 9.3 – 26.3
With four spots up for grabs, the difference between fourth place and fifth place was a mere .1!
But we had another round to go! Anything could happen!
First out of the hat for round two was… Rusty Priske! 9.2 8.6 9.5 8.9 8.4 – 26.7
Next up was Obnxious… who stepped on the proverbial landmine. He recovered, but it cost him time. 7.9 8.1 8.0 7.8 8.0… but he went 4:39 for a 4.5 time penalty and a final score of 19.4
Next up was the leader after Round One, Sarah Ruszala! 9.2 9.2 8.8 8.7 8.7 – 26.7
She was followed by Shawn K who was on the cusp of making it to finals… 8.5 8.7 8.8 8.0 8.7 – 25.9
Next was Tony Gascon back for some freestyle! 8.6 8.0 9.0 8.0 8.2 – 24.8
Playto offered a choice of poems for his second go-round! 8.6 8.2 8.3 8.9 9.0 – 25.8
The penultimate poet of the night was… Nina Vuleta! 9.5 8.9 9.5 9.0 8.9 – 27.4! Highest score of the night!
We finished things up with Brad Morden! 9.0 8.3 9.5 8.7 9.1 – 26.8
So… who were the four poets that would move on to the finals?
1. Nina Vuleta! 54.2
2. Sarah Ruszala! 53.9
3. Rusty Priske! 53.5
4. Brad Morden! 53.2
And big congrats for the other poets who may not be moving to the finals this year, but still left us with some great poetry!
5. Shawn K! 52.2
6. Playto! 51.6
7. Tony Gascon! 49.6
8. Obnoxious! 44.0
But before we get to finals… we have another semi-final to go!
Come out to the Mercury Lounge in two weeks on April 18th to see the following eight poets throw down!
Billie the Kid!
Nina of the Strange!