August 19, 2010 — We promised a hot and sticky night, and NYC, Ep. 29 did not disappoint! After a quick and dirty run through of the rules and regs, NYC Exec Producer Ann Heatherington assembled and dissembled judges Bruce Benderson (complete with high-tech nicotine distribution system), Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero (who sadly has never had a run-in with Geraldo Rivera), and Elna Baker (formerly Mormon, currently hilarious). As is LDM custom, the audience selected at random the first round readers, Melissa Petro (of Sex Work Matters: Power and Intimacy in the Sex Industry) and Benjamin Hale (The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore).
Petro led off with a steamy before-and-after tale of first lust, and lo, a theme was born. Hale countered with the ultimate taboo -- a chimpanzee’s sexual encounter with the female primatologist who is raising and training him. Hearst, judging performance, liked the way Petro held her ground, and Baker had “been there.” Benderson questioned the sophistication of Bruno, Hale’s simian narrator, but was ultimately in favor of the bestiality. A tough call, but the judges decided to advance Petro to the finals.
In Round Two, Rachel Shukert (Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour) read a comic account of her seduction-cum-date rape at the hands and mouths of two thong-wearing, tattoo-ed Italian dental hygenists. Her re-enactment, complete with 3-way dialogue, complete with Italian accents and internal monologue, was undoubtedly impressive. Not do be outdone, captivating performance poet Dasha Kelly (Hershey Eats Peanuts). went sans-papier, leading off with poem urging all women to embrace their inner animal in search of that elusive, mind-bending, face-twisting, growl-inducing orgasm. Kelly’s last piece brought the night back to a perhaps more erudite literary level, winding through entanglements of human histories.
The judges praised Shukert, for keeping them on the edge of their seats, admittedly more concerned about the possible brain infection than her sexual assault. Judges admitted again it was a very tough call, praising Kelly’s performance, as almost in a different category entirely, so enthralled that it made it difficult for them to look away from her in order to take their own notes. Ultimately, however it would be Shukert to move on to the finals against Petro.
Hurrying the proceedings towards climax, Exec Producer Heatherington grabbed two volunteers from the audience and dressed our finalists in large green garbage bags, while co-host Carter Edwards explained the true story that inspired the finale: once upon a time, as wealthy New York publishing executives deserted Manhattan for more temperate climes, the poor remained to contend with the hot, humid city - an environment that encouraged cholera to reach epidemic proportions - and many of them perished.
On cue the volunteers pelted Petro and Shukert with sticky balls of ‘cholera’, and the finalists writhed to catch them under their chins, on their stomachs and shoulders. Ultimately, Shukert emerged the most infected, to take home the coveted LDM NYC championship!