The nights are getting longer, Cantabbers, which means the slams are getting feistier! All eight of our past season’s slam winners turned out for last night’s Champions of Champions Slam, each looking for a chance to depose Bobby Crawford from throne. The open mic was filled with solid work, including a few returning newcomers, and great enthusiasm from a supportive crowd.
Although a last-minute scheduling snafu kept Nate Marshall from making it to his feature, that just meant the Champion of Champions match took over the feature spot for the night! Any one of these eight poets would rate a full feature at the Cantab, we think, but some of them only got the opportunity to slam one poem before having to pack it in and go back to the bar. After an on-page sacrifice by Bobby Crawford, performance was the name of the game for the first round, with poets pulling out all the stops just to try to survive. The final season match-up came down to two on-fire performers, Mckendy Fils-Aimé and Sean Patrick Mulroy, with Sean’s momentum just edging out Mckendy’s warm reception from the crowd.
Did Sean decide to let his $50 season championship prize ride all the way to the next round? OF COURSE HE DID. In the final Champion of Champions round, Sean and Bobby faced off with new-to-the-Cantab work, each with a poem held back specifically for this very match-up. A remarkably consistent set of five judges was painfully divided on the vote, but challenger Sean’s decision to memorize crowdwalk just might have outstripped Bobby’s good look in laurels: by 3-2, Sean Patrick Mulroy was crowned our new Champion of Champions!
Next week: open slams start again for all you upstarts gunning for Sean’s tiara. Oh, and we’ll finally have a feature from Berkeley-Boise slam legend Cheryl Maddalena! See you there!