April 1, 2010 — The Literary Death Match return to The Hideout was an April Fool's evening rife with surprise, as Caroline Picard of Green Lantern Gallery & Press outdueled The Encyclopedia Show's Robbie Q. Telfer in the strangest, most un-finale finale ever (detailed below), to take home the Literary Death Match championship.
But before the finale April Fool'd anyone, the night began with Picard leading off against Opium9 250-Word Bookmark Contest finalist Kevin Leahy. Picard threw the first punch, moving through a tale that had the audience and judges gripped, before Leahy read a short piece about Pac-Man's struggles as he turns 30.
The hosts — Opium's Todd Zuniga & Comedy Central blogger Dennis Diclaudio — then handed the mic over to the judges — Zach Dodson (featherproof books), Trap Door Theatre's Tiffany Joy Ross, and hilaritress Cameron Esposito — were then handed the mic, where they blurted affectionate critique, with Leahy's workday shirt undoing his chances, and Picard was chosen as the night's first finalist.
After a booze-fueld intermission and a commercial break hyping Opium Live's iTunes channel, the second round led off with Telfer going up against Uncalled For's Tim Jones-Yelvington. Telfer, a slam poet extraordinaire thrilled with three poems — the first: a man's one-sided conversation in which he wanted his neighbor's bear out of his yard. Then up stepped Jones-Yelvington, dressed for battle in a black, sequined shirt and sequins on his face, who's pitch-perfectly-performed story featured the use of a real-life Taylor Lautner standee.
The judges again were handed the mic, and again another tough decision awaited. After a long deliberation, they finally emerged naming Telfer the night's second finalist.
Then came the night's high-concept unfinale-finale, in which the finalists were first blindfolded, and while Zuniga talked about one finale happening, something completely different was being told to the audience via posterboard, which let them know that they were in on the finale, and that the loser would be the first to remove their mask. Then one of Chicago's "heroes of literature" was brought on stage, and the crowd went insane, welcoming "ghost Oprah." Then the two finalists were handed the night's first weapon: a cluster of crab legs. A cream pie was then made, the night's second "weapon" — in which they were both handed marshmallows with the idea that the other was given the cream pie. And while Picard was reticent, neither ultimately budged. When a "winner" was announced (albeit falsely), neither budged then, either. Our attempts to make them peek had failed! And finally, the least dramatic task was required: the first to eat the marshmallow would win. But before that was fully said, Picard gobbled down her marshmallow in record time, and was announced as the night's ultimate champ. Insanity! Lawlessness! Literary Death Match.