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Bucharest, Ep. 1

December 4, 2015 — In our final show of 2015, Literary Death Match headed to beautiful Bucharest, teaming with the geniuses at the Festivalul Internaţional de Literatură Bucureşti for our Romanian debut. The packed crowd at Clubul Ţăranului in the National Museum witnessed an instant classic as Tara Skurtu narrowly outdueled Răzvan Țupa in Literary Spelling Bee III finale win Skurtu the LDM Bucharest, Ep. 1 crown.

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with a masterclash, led off by Skurtu, poet and translator, and recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, who reeled off both brilliant poetry and theatrics to set the tone. Next up was Mugur Grosu, award-winning poet, journalist, musician and artist, who teamed music and a mask with his poetic dazzlements.  

The mic was then handed to the night's all-star trio of judges:  Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu, writer, editor, founder of International Lit Festival in Bucharest; Luiza Vasiliu, translator of international best-sellers like Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test; and Andrei Gheorghe, Romanian TV & radio journalist. The three praised and quipped before making the night's first impossible decision, as Skurtu was advanced as the night's first finalist. 

Then the brilliant Romanian eve zipped into Round 2, led off by Svetlana Cârstean, the multi-award-winning Romanian poet who blew minds with her fantastic work. Finally it was Răzvan Țupa, Mihai Eminescu First Book in Poetry-winning author, who pulled off a LDM first by reading his work from different parts of his body — forearms, biceps, belly, chest, calves and thighs.

Again the mic was handed to the judges who delivered oddballetry, wisdom and laughs before making the night's second impossible decision, naming Țupa the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Literary Spelling Bee III, in which Skurtu and Țupa took turns spelling more and more complicated author names. In the final round, with everything to play for, it was Skurtu who pulled off the dramatic win in the end, winning her the Literary Death Match Bucharest, Ep. 1 medal and literary immortality to go with it.