SICC-32: Now That We’ve Come To The End of Week Two, You’re Wondering Who Goes Through…

It was a wild night in Bellingham.  You wouldn’t have believed that it was the sixth and final night of Preliminary Week Two of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition and that these comedians were fighting for their last opportunity to earn a score that might push them into the Top 5 for the week–which would mean making the Semi-Finals.  You’d think that everyone would be tense and nervous, but this show, at the marvelous Underground Nightclub in Bellingham, was loose and hilarious (with moments of partial nudity.)

If you weren’t there, you’ll live with the regret the rest of your life…because it was definitely a night to remember.

All the complicated math that this competition uses said that there were eight comedians still in contention for those five spots–and that could have meant a nightmarish trainwreck…but all sixteen comedians on this night committed to making this a fun night for a growing audience…(and did I mention the partial nudity yet?)

Of those still in the chase, Scott Moran felt the bite of the “Go Up First Curse”–where the performer to go up first on a night has failed to make a Nightly Top 5 this entire year, so far–something that I don’t ever remember happening before.   Rick Kunkler had another excellent set–but got thrown off track during his planned closing joke due to a funny and unexpected crowd interaction.  Eric Krug was loose and silly–but he went a little too far, time-wise.

Speaking of going “a little too far”, have I mentioned the partial nudity yet?

Mrs Hughes had an excellent set–and any concerns of her not being able to connect with a younger audience were unfounded, as this audience LOVED her.  Mike Baldwin was also loved–even though he devoted some of his set to selling his merchandise (unheard of in a competition set–and, I understand he even sold two t-shirts at the end of the night.)

Xung Lam put up a solid set–he went into this night in 5th place and hoped to hold off Mrs Hughes who wanted to climb over him and grab it.  Will Weldon, too, very solid…as he hoped to hold onto 4th place and watch Xung Lam and Mrs Hughes wrestle each other beneath him.  And Brett Hamil, who went up second to last also had a solid set–completely recovering from an unexpectedly disappointing set in Tacoma the night before.

It should be noted that Heather Thomson had another excellent set, Adam Pateman returned from missing the Tacoma show with a well received effort, Blake Wexler’s set was fun (and have I mentioned the partial nudity yet?) as was Mike Cumming’s (again, I feel like I should be mentioning the partial nudity…)

And Seth Lazear had his best received set of the week…and Shanti Charan closed everything off with a devil-may-care attitude that found favor with this crowd.

When it came to the scores–they were, across the board, very high–which was both good and bad.  Good, because big scores are good…but bad, because some people had to depend on others tripping up a bit for them to move forward.

Blake Wexler and Shanti Charan both just missed the Nightly Top 5, which looked like this, for Preliminary Week Two-Night Six at The Underground Nightclub, Bellingham

  1. Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
  2. Will Weldon (Los Angeles)
  3. Adam Pateman (New York/Vancouver)
  4. Mrs Hughes (Pismo Beach)
  5. Brett Hamil (Seattle)

Mike Baldwin’s win locked up the first place for the entire week–having won three of this week’s six nights.  Will Weldon’s second place finish allowed him to hold onto 4th Place.  Since Mrs Hughes finished ahead of Brett Hamil tonight, it would be up to the Pismo Beach comedienne to challenge Xung Lam for that 5th and final spot.

In the end, it was as close as FIVE HUNDREDTHS OF A POINT for that 5th and final spot–astonishing, considering that it took six shows to get to that sliver of difference.

Here, then, are the Top 5 from Preliminary Week Two of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition…and they become the second group of five comedians to make this year’s Semi-Finals.

  1. Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
  2. Eric Krug (Austin)
  3. Rick Kunkler (Seattle/Los Angeles)
  4. Will Weldon (Los Angeles)
  5. Xung Lam (Seattle)

Heartbreakingly close, but Xung Lam holds off Mrs Hughes and hangs on to that fifth and final spot.  Mrs Hughes ends the week in sixth place, Brett Hamil took seventh, Scott Moran eighth, Blake Wexler ninth and Heather Thomson finished in the tenth spot.

This means these five comedians join the five comedians who made it through Preliminary Week One…and these your 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition Semi-Finalists are:

  • Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
  • John Beuhler (Vancouver)
  • Sam Demaris (Houston)
  • Patrick Keane (Los Angeles)
  • Eric Krug (Austin)
  • Rick Kunkler (Seattle/Los Angeles)
  • Xung Lam (Seattle)
  • Mark Normand (New York)
  • Rodney Sherwood (Seattle)
  • Will Weldon (Los Angeles)

The Semi-Finals begin, with these ten comedians and host Jim Short, on Tuesday, November 15th at the Comedy Underground, Seattle at 8pm.  Tickets are still available.

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