HEAT two on Saturday, August 14 proved to be an even more popular slam (as these heats tend to be!) with 14 slammers hitting the stage.
As Tonya said: “People usually get to heat two and go FUCK why didn’t I go in the first heat?”
The slams this week dare I say were even more “finger clicking good” then heat one – with a ton of range of topical issues, both repeat slammers and newbies, and poems that inspired those even the most least interested in slam (unlikely in that crowd).
Again with the top three going through the final on August 28 (kicking off at 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm) the judges had their work cut out for them.
Regular slammers will remember Ross, the runner up of the July slam, with his hilarious poem “Fuckwits”, that I don’t think left anyone straight faced.
With a score of 26.64 (.05 higher than Emmerson, who placed fourth), Ross used highly recognisable body language reminiscent of all of us putting our head in our hands when also exposed to a ‘fuckwit’.
Through the use of repetition and crude humour, Ross’ rendition of his slam for the finals was somewhat more defined (as someone who saw him perform at the July slam) but still as hilarious.
“Fuckwits in love, fuckwits in hate, fuckwits on the loose, will fucking procreate”, had to be my favourite line.
As well as: “Fuckwits in the future… fuck we’ll all be there.”
It’ll be interesting to see what new poem Ross pulls out for the final on the 28th.
Second place, with a score of 38.19, was regular slammer Manveen Kohli, who I think once again blew the crowd away with her thought provoking, personal poem around anxiety and panic attacks (complete with a content warning).
Audience members from the 2020 final will remember Manveen took out the win for heat two, making it through to the top four of the finals with her poem entitled ‘Man Up, Princess’.
Manveen shared rhymes and words that I think even those in the audience who didn’t even experience anxiety could relate to.
With such confidence and a poem committed to memory, Manveen shared insightful and thought lines such as “When you’ve become accustomed to not breathing, you just call it life” (in relation to panic attacks).
I also responded well to “I’ve had more conversations with myself than anyone else” as it was very reminiscent of having anxiety.
The win for heat two was taken out by a newcomer who I think no one underestimated, particularly as soon as she walked in donning Elizabethan style makeup and clothing.
Jane, a newcomer for the 2021 finals, slammed a poem drenched in themes of transitioning through gender.
Despite reading from a piece of paper, it was Jane’s confidence and her passion that made her performance so captivating.
Spitting verse like “It’s been 18 months since I killed the shell I once was” and repeating again and again and again “The world asks me why don’t you pass? Why don’t you pass? Why don’t you pass?”
With a massive score of 28.34, Jane definitely deserved the win for heat two which will take her through to the final.
“I’m an intergalactic trans from out of a space and my world is a lot fucking nicer than yours.”
Notable verses go to poet Niel Smith for his slam centred around the Olympics “What anthem will they sing with our lips sewn shut?”, newcomer to 2021 Emmerson: “We’re all trapped in a calcium cage with nowhere to go”, newcomer Kate Jeffery “You are all here for rebellion but none of you, for change” and 2020 finalist SPM “Curiosity is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind.”
Heat 3 on Saturday, August 21 is the LAST chance for slammers to have their shot at getting into the final, with just three spots remaining.
Doors open for sign ups at 4.30pm in the Four5nine bar at the Rosemount… so write it down!
PIP WALLER (she/her)
Editor at The Independent Press Co.