The 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition returned to the beautiful Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley after a year’s absence and the fine people there welcomed us onto their island, near their town and into their hearts as they packed the house to see Night Four of Preliminary Week One of this year’s event.
And, if the thundering hooves were any indication, they certainly seemed to enjoy the show. You see, our host and MC for this evening’s event, the lovely and talented Alysia Wood, was trying to set the level of sustained cheering from the audience that would indicate to her that a performer on tonight’s show would deserve the bonus “tremendously obvious encore point”…but she couldn’t quite hear the difference between what this audience thought was “good” and what they thought was “excellent and deserving of the point.” So, off-handedly, she asked them if they could stomp their feet…and they did! And while they laughed, enjoyed and clapped for every performer on tonight’s show…only when they added the stomping of their feet would a performer get the encore point.
There was a lot of stomping of feet on this night, to be sure. While they did not stomp their feet for everyone, they certainly did for the first performer of the night, Rodger Lizoala, who wasn’t going to let the “Go First Curse” trip him up in his efforts to keep himself in the Top 5 for the week and, thus, move on to this year’s Semi-Finals.
Along with Rodger, many of the familiar faces you may have seen in the Nightly Top 5 pictures from the previous three shows continued to put together strong sets: Trenton Davis, Parker Postyeni, Laura Hayden, Kortney Shane Williams, Sam Demaris, Steve Hofstetter and Garrett Clark all got the feet a-stompin’ (as did David Conolly, who has come close but has yet to manage a podium finish on any of the four night so far.)
But, the set of the night went to Auburn, Washington’s Meghan Flaherty. Meghan, who had not made a Top 5 either in the three shows of this year or when she competed in the 30th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition, hit on the idea that her chosen outfit for this night made it look like she was a “back-up singer”–and that warmed the crowd to her immediately. The fact that she kept going back to reference that observation in her set made them fall in love with her. And by “them”, I mean not only the audience and their stompy feet but also the judges and their often-cruel pencils.
Because, when this night’s Top 5 was announced…many of the familiar faces weren’t called: No Steve Hofstetter, no Sam Demaris, no Trenton Davis…etc.
The last name to be called up…the overall winner of the night as determined by the judges and the WICA audienc was, in fact, Meghan Flaherty…as Langley felt it was time for this back-up singer to take center stage and revel in the foot stompin’ she’d earned. Congratulations, Meghan!
And here’s the official results–the nightly top 5 from WICA on this night.
SICC-34: Preliminary Week One-Night Four Top 5
1- Meghan Flaherty (Auburn, WA)
2- Garrett Clark (Vancouver, BC)
3- Laura Hayden (Hermosa Beach, CA)
4- Rodger Lizaola (Seattle, WA)
5- Kortney Shane Williams (Seattle, WA)
There’s a bunch of our competitors this year who are now ignoring all of the advice of previous participants who have told them “Never Look At the Scores!” That’s out the window now, as four shows are in the book and nobody’s an absolute lock to move on to the next round. Lots of complicated math and two shows stand between five of this week’s performers and advancing in this competition. Tonight’s results definite made those equations far more complicated than even they were before.
Night Five of Preliminary Week One of the 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition will be held at a new venue for the competition–but not a new venue for comedy. Emory’s on Silver Lake in Everett has been the home to a regular series of sold-out stand-up comedy shows produced by a competitor in last year’s SICC,Cory Michaelis. We hope, then, to get a great crowd of comedy lovin’ Everett folk for a very important show in this competition. (And you might want to wear some comfortable shoes just in case there’s more stompin’ to do!)