[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Ladies and Gentlemen... or whatever it is that one would call those such as yourselves...

We come together today not to celebrate the successful completion of LJ Idol: Exhibit A, an adventure that we took. We do not come to pat each other on the back and talk of good times.

No, we come to bask in the glory of a victor and for all before them to crumble to the feet of the Winner and Champion of our first ever mini-season!

Maybe there can be some celebrating of everyone's accomplishments too. If you insist. Mostly though, it's about closing up the Green Room and sending in the cleaning crews. You weren't in there all that long, but man did you manage to stink up the place!!


Anyway - getting to the matter at hand...

In FOURTH PLACE, we have the one and only [livejournal.com profile] talonkarrde88
In THIRD PLACE, we have the complete and utter duplicate of [livejournal.com profile] milk_and_glass
In a stunning SECOND PLACE finish, after coming back from SECOND CHANCE IDOL. (there is something about "second" going on...) [livejournal.com profile] impoetry!

And of course, our winner. Who came in as one of the last people to sign up, and almost didn't - someone that I have long listed as someone who I would have loved to see in an "All Star" season, coming back and proving to everyone, but especially to herself, that she has something truly special, that is is something very special -

Please join me in congratulating our FIRST EVER MINI-SEASON WINNER, and Champion of Exhibit A:

[livejournal.com profile] zephyrly
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
When we kicked this mini-season off, I originally said that it would be about 2 months. Once we got a lot more people than I was expecting (in a little over 24 hours!) I pushed it up to around 3 months.

Week 1 kicked off January 21st. So, we are about a week or so over that mark. I think, all in all, that the pace was pretty good, under the circumstances!

In that length of time, I think that we managed to pack in quite a bit of writing!

Including the FINALE: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/646884.html Which is coming to a head TONIGHT!

Who will win? Who will place? Who will show? Who will go “wee wee wee, all the way home?”


***

Two of those who are eligible have opted to not take anything from the Community Chest, so that someone else can! The next two people who are eligible to select are:

[livejournal.com profile] kittenboo and [livejournal.com profile] myrna_bird

Congratulations! Take a look over at http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/633787.html and let me know your Top 10 choices!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's such a weird feeling, when someone who was very much family - until they weren't anymore - is in a hospital room somewhere, and things aren't looking good.

My former mother-in-law is (as of the last update that I heard) refusing any further kidney and dialysis treatments other than "for comfort". So, if you are of the kind who likes to send out good thoughts for people, I'm sure it would be appreciated.

She was there for myself and my ex when even my own Mom wasn't. We had our problems - what in-laws don't, especially when we are getting married in your early 20s, and full of "We can make this work" when all signs point to it being a fast trip to slamming into a brick wall.

There was a time when she referred to me as her son.

There was a time, during the divorce, that she threatened me with all sorts of things if I ever spoke to her or any member of her family again.

That anger mellowed in time, especially since my ex and I continued to talk - and no power on the Earth can keep me from my niece for any length of time.

She's a good woman, who has worked as hard as she could for her family, and who gets the shaft more often than she has ever deserved. Often from those she loves the most.

I'm not sure what more can be done for her. Especially if she doesn't want to continue to go through it anymore. But hopefully, whatever happens, it will happen as gracefully as she deserves.

***

In lighter news - we have a finale. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/646884.html and it's really, really close. So make sure you get out and support your favorites.

I wish I had something more "up" for the next to last Green Room of Exhibit A. Hopefully, I will have something better on Monday.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
What is it that makes a place “great”? What transforms words on a screen into real interaction and a group of people into a community?

The answer, of course, is ME!

I’m sure you wanted to hear something else, but screw that you bunch of whining hippies. Gather up your discussions of aversive racism and its effects on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (and the second discussion about how sexist it is to assign the male gender to the inhabitants of the moon.. and just how geocentric it is that we discuss “the moon” as revolving around us, instead of naming it for its own inherent merits rather than just its relationship to us! And the… ) you get the point. Gather that stuff up and get down to the funky sounds of our FINAL FOUR battling it out for your amusement!
http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/646884.html

And since it’s all about me, and I told you to do it, now you will!
See how that all works out in a very convenient manner?

And btw – I don’t tend to do this, but I’m feeling generous – we have a new member in the community, who posted in yesterday’s Green Room. But it was at the end of the day, so I doubt a lot of people saw it. Go haze her! Um… I mean “welcome”… http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/646150.html?thread=65947142#t65947142
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

It’s come to this. One last poll and Exhibit A will be over.

What have we learned from all of this? How are we different than we were just a couple short months ago when we set out on this journey together?

Maybe you have the answers, or maybe it’s the questions themselves that are the most important thing. Always asking and striving to ask better ones of ourselves and those around us.

Or maybe you just like getting eliminated! I’m not sure what it is, but for whatever reason, season after season - and now into this mini-season, people seem to enjoy bashing their own heads against this particular section of internet wall, and I couldn’t be more happy about that!

Thank you to everyone for a great mini-season! And now on to the pol... wait. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. There was a matter of the Week 13 results that I promised!

For most of the time it was a tight one, but in the last 24 hours or so, one name started coming to the top a little bit more than the others.

For those who don’t know -the system is 1-4, with people ranking their selections in order. So your second favorite entry would receive 2 points, and the 4th favorite would receive 4. The contestant with the lowest overall score ends up on top. So it’s both ranking, with a little strategy thrown into the mix. As usual. ;)

People have been wondering what the “advantage” is, and why that is in quotes. It’s because I honestly don’t know - will this be an advantage? It might give them momentum and confidence. Might it be a detriment? I honestly don’t know. Heck, I don’t even like the idea of “winning a week” in a competition that’s based around lowest vote goes home! I don’t subscribe it to at all. But this is a special occasion, so why not do something a little different, even if I don’t know the ultimate impact.

Because I’ve never announced a winner of anything in a voting thread before!

The person with the best overall score for Week 13 is [livejournal.com profile] impoetry!

Congratulations.

Now for the vote that actually matters!

When the poll closes, 1 contestant will win, and the rest will not.

it comes down to this.

The poll closes Monday, April 29th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!



[Poll #1910509]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
In honor of ANZAC Day, I will be landing all of you off at the wrong location and let you fight it out for several months before deciding to pull back. Then I will have Mel Gibson be in a movie about you.

Speaking of long, fruitless mistakes where you take heavy losses – today is the deadline for not only the new entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/645813.html but also for you to send me your votes! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html A bit of a lead has opened up, but it’s still close enough that a couple votes could make the difference in who wins the “advantage” and momentum going into this finale!

This time next week, Exhibit A will be a thing of the past! Maybe one day someone will declare a holiday to honor it!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Votes have been coming in, with people emailing me to rank their favorites:

In case you missed it, here are the details cut and pasted from yesterday’s Green Room: If you've read to this point, I have another special thing for you! I want you to read the Week 13 entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html and then email me a list at clauderainsrm@gmail.com , in order 1-4 (1 being your favorite piece)

The contestant with the best score is going to have a "possible advantage" going into the finale. The deadline to get your votes to me is Thursday, April 25th at 7 pm EDT It's open to anyone, but you need to let me know your "user ID" in order to vote! Thanks in advance.

At the moment, *two votes* could change the “bottom” to the “top”. That is how evenly matched these Final Four are! So make sure to send in your votes, and see who is going to get that “advantage” in the finale!

While that is happening, the Final Four are also starting to submit their last entries for Exhibit A: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/645813.html

So, make sure to check that out in between CAH games, and sending off ricin to Elvis impersonators!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I'll confess, around Week 7 or so, I called an audible.

Exhibit A was originally going to be a Final 3, but from what I was seeing out of this group, that didn't quite feel right. So, I changed it to being a Final 2 for a really brief moment, before realizing that no, it needed to be a Final 4. I even toyed with the idea of going further than I had ever done before and saying "Final 5", but really that's taking it way too far! :)

Looking at the Final Four, I'm really glad that I made that choice. Granted, it doesn't "count" (in terms of normal Idol legacy), but it definitely counts as it's own, very special thing. But it's the very first time that we have ended up with an equal number of males and females in the finals!

All of them are someone who have been discussed, in a previous season, as having a great chance of getting to the finals, and winning it all. One of them is about to get that chance!

Another audible that I called, and I'll admit that this was touch-and-go right up until the end - is the final topic. The rest of the season has all been selections picked from submissions from contestants, and I almost went with one of them. I love the idea of asking the "why should you win?" and then turning around and also asking, "Why should your opponent(s) win". It's been with Idol since Season 1, and really caps off the season on what I think it is the right note: Having confidence in yourself, while showing your appreciation for the people around you, and cheering them on. It's something that I feel strongly about, but I worried that, with only a couple months under your belt, that having that "moment" might not work, and that people wouldn't end up getting what I wanted them to get out of it.

But, as we got closer, and I saw the connections that had formed over the last couple of months, I decided that the finalists *deserved* this topic. It's a special moment, and I hope that they can all appreciate it, and each other. I think they can, and will.

***
If you've read to this point, I have another special thing for you! I want you to read the Week 13 entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html and then email me a list at clauderainsrm@gmail.com , in order 1-4 (1 being your favorite piece)

The contestant with the best score is going to have a "possible advantage" going into the finale. The deadline to get your votes to me is Thursday, April 25th at 7 pm EDT It's open to anyone, but you need to let me know your "user ID" in order to vote! Thanks in advance.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this mini-season is going to shake out!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
For your reading pleasure: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html

Make sure to take the time over the next couple of days to check out the semi-final entries!

Because the FINAL FOUR will be writing something else entirely. Something with it’s own rich Idol history:

Why I should win Exhibit A/Why my opponents should win

That’s right. It’s the last week of LJ Idol: Exhibit A! Congratulations to our FINALISTS!!

It’s about time the four of you made it to the end!!! :)

(I'm sure you will have comments about this development, feel free to share them in the Green Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/645471.html)

You have until Thursday, April 25th at 8pm EDT to link your entries back here.

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The deadline is looming: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html and it is quickly running out of thread!

Make sure to read the entries as they are coming in, so you can get to the commenting early!

How was your weekend? Who was your weekend? Why was your weekend?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
As we wind down the mini-season, what have been some of your favorite entries/moments?

Again, I'm planning for Exhibit B right now, and this whole mini-season is a new thing for me. So I want to hear feedback. Have you gotten your - or someone else's- $5 out of the experience?
I'd like to think so! But you know how people are! ;)

***

What are you doing this weekend? Other than playing Cards Against Humanity and celebrating the successful capture of a 19-year old madman?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning, Idolers.

I read a comment this morning about how “one religion is prone to acts of terrorism” and I couldn’t agree more!

It is way past due that we, as a global society, take a good hard look at how to deal with the Irish Catholics!

That Thatcher is so weak on terrorism that she just sits back and allows her cities to be bombed on a regular basis!

We need to remove all the foreigners from the country, and the Irish Catholics, and then we will be safe! Right? Who’s with me???

Well, OK, technically, I’m going to remove you as well and then build a wall around my apartment/country to keep you from sneaking over to steal my jobs. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t also be with me on this one!

***
In other news – we had results last night, and sent two people home: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644486.html

And a new topic, for the SEMI-FINALS: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/644678.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Just one more week separates you from the end of this mini-season.

One more entry to write before you are facing each other in the finale. One more vote to survive.

Just one more topic, provided by one of your fellow competitors this season, one more chance to prove that you are

"Worthy of a name"

The deadline to link your entry back to this thread is Monday, April 22nd at 8pm EDT

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The easy thing to say would be “It was a bad week for poetry”, or maybe even label it as “fiction’s revenge”, and believe me, I was kind of tempted to do just that. Heck, you could even say that it was a bad week for breakdowns and tales of self-discovery.

Instead though I think that the people leaving us this week are unique enough that I need to get serious for a moment. Only a moment though, I’ll start kicking people soon enough! ;)

For all that their entries had in common this week, and for all that they showed of the commonality between these two women, they are very different in a few key ways:

[livejournal.com profile] eeyore_grrl is a newbie, who did something that most people said couldn’t be done. She wrote poetry, week after week. Every season (or mini season in this case) someone comes out and tells everyone what they can’t do if they want to survive. Most of the times, they are right. But the exceptions, oh those exceptions make me smile! People who just say “OK” and keep doing what they are doing, because it’s what they are good at it, and want to live or die on their own terms.

She definitely did just that in Exhibit A. I’m really happy that she decided to try her hand at this, and am glad that she is now a part of the Idol family! I hope we will be seeing a lot more of her in the very near future!

She was, without a doubt, impressive. Even in a mini-season, getting to the stage just before the semi-finals, is incredible. I hope she is extremely proud of herself, because she should be.

The other one... wow she’s definitely not a newbie. In fact, she’s been around Idol for a very long time. That said, this is the first time that I’ve ever had to eliminate her. Not because she’s ever quit, but because she wasn’t allowed to play.

That’s right, she was one of the previous winners who decided to come out and have some fun this season!

Every season gets a little more competitive in terms of raw talent and I’m constantly saying things like “Wow, this is the best Top 50 I’ve ever seen!” Some people “get it”, that with smaller numbers in the earlier seasons, not everyone in the Top 50 was as good. But with more people, you are going to get better writers in that mix. Some people don’t get it, and think that “Oh, earlier seasons must not have been that good!” I hope that with two earlier season winners coming back this time (the other having dropped out) that we can dispel that myth once and for all.

It’s especially weird to be eliminating her this particular week, considering that her entry was a period of time that I was very much around for, and so saw all of that first-hand.

Considering that she came within a couple votes of making it to her second semi-finals, I think it’s fair to say that she did very well for herself, and made Season Two proud. I was starting to wonder if we had our own Sandra Diaz-Twine! :)

Leaving us this week is [livejournal.com profile] tru2myart! (aka [livejournal.com profile] audreybuttercup )

Thank you to you both for coming out and playing! It means alot to see people who discovered Idol seasons, years, apart, coming together for something like this.

Oh, and before I forget - you can now send me your list of your Top 5 choices of things you would like from the Community Chest: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/633787.html

Also, I’m still waiting to hear from [livejournal.com profile] applespicy and [livejournal.com profile] fourzoas, so if you want to claim something, let me know!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
NOW is the winter of our discontent. Or maybe the Spring of our Idol deadline day. The actual day this time! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/643566.html I made sure that the days were wearing name tags, and confirmed that yes, this was the day that two people were going to be going home.

I haven’t seen Malcolm Freberg anywhere around, so things should go relatively smoothly.

Of course, there is still the entire day left to go, so quite a bit can happen between now and then! Make sure that your voice is being heard on who should be going on to the semi-finals of Idol’s very first mini-season!

***

Our thoughts and hearts would be going out to the people of West, TX if they weren’t already on loan to the people of Boston. Seriously, I’m going to have to start borrowing hearts just to send them out to folks in need. Perhaps from Idol contestants. We can start harvesting them!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You’ve been rather quiet lately – what’s on your mind?

What has been going on in your life? (Because you all share one collective life as far as I’m concerned. You all look alike to me!)

We are in the period that is always slow on LJ, even during the “good ole days” there was always a huge drop off. I’ll admit, that makes me nervous for Exhibit B. But hopefully we can remain a pocket of excellence in a desert that is Livejournal. Which is not as good as the “dessert” that is Livejournal.

***
The poll closes tomorrow – your last chance to decide who will make it into the semi-finals for the mini-season! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/643566.html Yeah, I just revealed that. What can I say? I’m feeling generous.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A terrorist attack in Boston. Massive earthquakes over the past week in Iran. Selena Gomez wearing a bindi.

There are just some things where the images from a story stick with you, and you just can’t seem to shake them.

I hope you, and yours, are all well today and aren’t too distracted by any of those above news stories…. Or anymore distracted than the rest of the planet is.

After all, you have a massive news story of your own – the new poll is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/643566.html and we will soon have a Top 4!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

Please take the time to tell the people you love just how much they mean to you.

On days like these - no, nevermind that, it’s not just “days like these”, it’s every single day.

Just f’ing tell them.

What happened today in Boston was completely senseless and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the city, and the families around the world. Because the Boston Marathon truly is a worldwide event, people come from all over the place to take part. So it’s not just a Boston thing, or a US thing, it’s a People thing.

We are all in this humanity thing together, it’s about time that we started acting like it.

In that spirit, here’s the poll - so we can judge each some folks and eventually eliminate them, thus crushing their hopes and dreams!

What? You expected a better segue?

We are currently at our Top 6, and after this, we will have our Top 4! Which, for those of you who have a difficult time at math, means we are losing two.

It’s going to be a difficult decision, but take the time to read everything, comment, and vote for your favorites - and tell a friend or three to do the same. Especially those first two, because who doesn’t love feedback?

The poll closes Thursday, April 18th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!



[Poll #1908641]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
After the discussion a few days ago, I was thinking about “How do you bring ‘single contestant voters’ into the fold?” Because that’s something that happens quite a bit, people will start off just showing up because they really like their friend, and end up checking out other writers, and before they know it, they are hooked! Next thing you know they are hanging out by the dumpsters at libraries, hoping that someone might throw away a short essay and getting treated at the Free Clinic for a broken F5 finger.

I happen to really like “rec lists”. I know there are times when they aren’t the most popular things, but for the life of me I can’t understand why. Unless of course, the people who oppose them never tell their friends about anything else they like. “Did you see a cool move? Hear a new band? PLEASE DON’T POST ABOUT THEM!” No one wants to hear what you like! That’s not what blogging is for! Spend more time posting cat pictures! Unless of course, you can post rec lists in the form of cat pictures. “This cat wants a cheeseburger – and another entry from (fill in your favorite writer)”

When they see someone they trust – you – telling them “Hey, check this out” – it has a way to transforming single contestant voters into “willing to go on a blind date with that entry” people – maybe even into “it’s complicated”! Until before they realize it, things aren’t all that “complicated” anymore and they are full on “in a relationship” with many different writers, like the poly-LJ users that they are, embracing diversity and gender-neutral pronouns!

***
Check out the entries as they come in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/642519.html
And hopefully the remaining 6 will get on it, and start posting their entries there! : D
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I dropped some knowledge in yesterday's Green Room. Now I can't find it. I think that someone must have kicked it after I dropped it, and now it could be anywhere!

If you see any knowledge around, be sure to let me know! There might be a reward!

***

I also let people know that an extra incentive has been added to the Community Chest. So if anyone wants to change their Top 5, let me know! The current list is here: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/633787.html

I still need to hear from [livejournal.com profile] lilycobalt, [livejournal.com profile] applespicy and [livejournal.com profile] fourzoas with their selections!

There is also a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/642519.html

***

So, what is going on with you this weekend? Anything interesting?

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