I'm really looking forward to tonight after last week's weather-induced, bad-stomach-bad-attitude debacle. The semi-finals have always been a lot of fun and we've got some great matchups again this year. With Omar, Roger, Oscar, Dawn and Sabrina in the mix, it should be a tight one. Conventional wisdom has Roger, Dawn & Sabrina coming out on top. While highly likely, anything can happen over four rounds and with Sabrina & Dawn leading off the first round and Omar closing it out, the early scores could quickly set the tone for an "upset."
Slam strategy is a fragile thing as it attempts to predict the whims of an often fickle crowd of random judges who willingly allow their personal biases to influence the scores. Roger is a bit if a chameleon, able to shift on the fly based on what the audience is feeling. He also has the uncanny ability to force an audience to deal with what he's putting out there. His stage presence commands attention, even when he's possibly insulting you and, if his back's against the wall, he's got the golden oldies he can whip out. Both Sabrina and Dawn weave magic with their words and are relatively grounded in their imagery but I've seen judges get lost with their work, too. If they can survive having the first two spots of the night, their depth should carry them through. Sometimes, though, the judges prefer the simplicity and sincerity of an Oscar. He's got limited depth but he's been working what he's got and has gotten pretty comfortable on stage. If he can avoid the rookie jitters, he could surprise. Then, there's Omar, the wild card simply for his sheer unpredictability. Focused, he's one of the best poets in the slam because of his energy and subversive humor and the fact that he's a damn good writer that knows how to combine the two. Unfocused, he sometimes berates the audience for their stupidity and that doesn't generally go over too well!
My picks? I predict a ridiculous show with the audience being the winner! ;-)
In other news, we finally went and got our taxes done this weekend and - surprise! - not only got a refund but got everything we paid out in taxes back and then some as a result of having two kids and being flat broke! So, while 2002 sucked, this certainly tempers the hit. Just in time, too, as we're starting to find apartments in the areas we're interested in moving to pop up in listings. There's one that's right around the corner from the kids' daycare which would be perfect! Crossing my fingers on that.