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Friday
Oct082010

LDM100: Vancouver

October 8, 2010 — The LDM100 tour epically continued with the Literary Death Match's Canadian debut at W2 Storyeum. The night of lit nerdistry to remember ended with performer/humorist Sara Bynoe outshining co-finalist/journalist Steve Burgess in a tightly contested LDM Songstravaganza by a final score of 7-5. 

But before the LDM's first Canadian crown was donned, the night began with Bynoe going story-to-excerpt against author/comedian Charles Demers. Bynoe masterfully performed a piece about drinking to the point of blackout, and Demers followed with a crowd-winning excerpt from his much-lauded essay collection, Vancouver Special

LDM creator and the night's host Todd Zuniga then turned the mic over to the cast of all-star judges that featured Vancouver is Awesome creator Bob Kronbauer, the hilarious and dazzling Diana Frances, and Talent Time host Paul Anthony. Frances was impressed by Bynoe's ability to win the audience when there was a massive mural of a creepy old man handing a small child a crystal ball, while Kronbauer admitted he was swayed by his long-time fandom of Vancouver Special. After a deliberation, though, the judges decided — after first mistakenly announcing Demers the first-round champ — that Bynoe was to advance to the finals.  

After an intermission, the second round started in a hot hurry, with Burgess leading off against Nikki Reimer. Burgess' enthusiasm was contagious as he read for the first-time ever, from his soon-coming novel (with his 85-year old father in the audience, looking on). Next was Reimer, who won the crowd with an assortment of poems from her book [sic], highlighted by Next Top Model. 

Again, the judges were handed the mic, and again they reeled off delighted critiques for both authors, with Anthony telling a story of eating a bagful of marijuana as a youth in Winnipeg, only to hilariously repeat the same, pared-down story in response to Reimer's reading (intangibles!). After deliberation, Burgess named the night's second finalist. 

Then came an ridiculously fun finale, in which Zuniga split the audience in two, pairing each half with one of the night's finalists, while LDM Vancouver co-producer Sean Cranbury (of Books on Radio) spun a mix of Canadian-or-'80s tunes. The goal was for the audience members to race forth and announce the name of the musical artist singing the song to win the challenge for their author. Bynoe's team was feisty out of the gate, charging to a quick 5-1 lead, before Burgess' half came to life, narrowing the gap to 6-5. But then Team Bynoe dropped the hammer, shouting out "Feist!" — winning Bynoe the LDM title, and literary immortality. 

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