SICC-34: Semi-Finals Week-Night Two Top 5

(L-R: Leif Skyving-MC, Graham Kay-5th, Zoltan Kaszas-4th, Dave Merheje-3rd, Kortney Shane Williams-2nd, Trenton Davis-1st)

The Edmonds Center for the Arts is a beautiful 700 seat theater and, for the second night of the Semi-Finals of the 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition, the good people of Edmonds filled every single seat.  That’s right…we sold that place out…and it was good.

Good?  No, it was great.  The crowd, in addition to being large, was hot.  They were up for this show from the very beginning and they carried their enthusiasm all the way through to the end.

Of course, the quality of the performers in this Semi-Finals Week could have had a lot to do with that.  Each of them is amazingly funny and each of them is distinct and different from each other, in perspective and style.  It makes for a great night of comedy…but it also puts a lot of pressure on our judges.  They’ve got to find some way to use numbers to differentiate one very funny performer from another also very funny performer.

And tonight, those scores were amazingly close–as befitting a great night of comedy in front of a sold out audience…an audience that included Rick Steves, the PBS travel expert, who, it turns out, definitely likes a good night of laughs.  (Rick couldn’t have been nicer…but we have to let you know that he came in through the front door of the Edmonds Center For The Arts for this show–evidently, he only sneaks in through the back door when he’s in Europe.)

Let’s throw some bold print your way about who made the Top 5 tonight, rather than reading some starry-eyed blather about local celebrities who just wanted to enjoy their evening.

SICC-34: Semi-Finals Week-Night Two Top 5
1- Trenton Davis (Chicago, IL)
2- Kortney Shane Williams (Seattle, WA)
3- Dave Merheje (Toronto, ON)
4- Zoltan Kaszas (San Marcos, CA)
5- Graham Kay (Toronto, ON)

So, Trenton went up last and took first on the night and Graham went up first and took 5th place for the night–that’s the sign of an impressive show, that the people who started and finished the show both made the top 5.  Trenton and Graham have now snagged a podium finish on both nights of the Semi-Finals, as have Dave Merheje and Zoltan Kaszas.  Just missing tonight’s Top 5 (and tied in 6th place for the night) were Steve Hofstetter and Rodger Lizaola, both of whom put out excellent sets…as did Sam Demaris and Lonnie Bruhn who were, themselves, tied…and right behind Steve and Rodger.

Also props to Kortney Shane Williams, who rebounded from a somewhat rough set on Night One to take second place in Edmonds.  He rearranged his set and definitely came to the stage with the right energy to crush it tonight.

 While everyone is doing great, some are doing slightly better with the scores than the others.  As we reach the midway point of this week, will some people make changes to their set?  (Kortney already switched some things up and found some success.)  Will they hang tight and dance with the one they brought, figuring that the audiences and judges will be different each night?

Just as no one can tell you what the Matrix is…no one can tell a comedian participating in this event what the best choice is going to be.  Each comedian just has to trust their instincts and do their best to be really funny every single night.

And on this night in Edmonds, everybody was really funny.  It was a good night.  You should have been there.

This is a great show and you’re going to want to see this group of ten comedians doing their best ten minutes.  Thursday night, the competition comes to Tacoma for a show on the UW-Tacoma campus.  We’ll be playing the Carwein Auditorium, there…a lecture hall that can seat 140.  (If we can fill a 700-seat venue in Edmonds, we should be able to fill a 140-seat lecture hall in Tacoma.)

Friday night, we’ll be at the Skagit Valley Casino in Bow–and that show is already sold out.  (Sorry–but if you snooze, you lose when it comes to this seeing shows in the Semi-Finals.)

Saturday night is the last night of the Semi-Finals–it is the night where the five finalists will be announced.  The show on Saturday, November 23rd, will be at the Snoqualmie Casino.  That might be your best chance at getting tickets to see this excellent group of comedians all at once.

…but first things first…Tacoma on Thursday night for Night Three.

Can’t wait!

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