Denver VS LA VS Cape Town VS Washington DC… those were our finalists and what a final it was.
To start the night though, in what was a really brilliant move on BNV’s part, was showing a video of every team’s chant (cause chants were massive!). I believe I’ve posted about the chants before but any excuse to link to this vid then I damn well will, it’s just a brilliant thing they’ve been doing over there and a great thing for a team to have. (View it here)
Before I get into the finalists I’ll go through the supporting performances. So for the final they kept on with their idea of having one of the best performances from the previous round opening the new one so after getting all 10’s in the semi’s it was Ashville opening up the final and it was another stella performance from them.
The final also had the Hawaiian team do a fantastic piece about Hawaii which was really well done. (View it here) Along with the Hawaiian team they also brought out the Atlantan team. Why? Well not only cause it was a great poem (View it here) but also because next year Brave New Voices is going to A TOWN, Atlanta Georgia. The night also had a representative from Philadelphia’s team getting up and performing which finished off the guests which were nicely interspersed between the finalists performances to keep the dynamic of the night.
But now the main part of the night, the actual finalists. Like with the semi finalists i’m just gonna go through each team in reverse order of how they finished and talk about them.
So in 4th place was Denver. And that’s certainly not a knock on them. They were a fantastic team and very deserving of their place in the final (as shown byt hem being there clearly) and they were great in the final, but sadly for them there were 3 better teams on the night. Taking nothing away from their poems though. Their standout performance for me being their poem on Denver (View it here).
In 3rd place was LA. I’d seen them in the Semi’s so I knew they were great and they brought it again for the final. As ever they were on point and did themselves proud. There poems were consistently great and seemed to have the audience on their side. I would go into more depth about them but I talked about them in the semi’s so you already know how I feel about them. Their poem on the LA shootings was probably their standout performances of the night (View it here).
In 2nd place… Cape Town. And what a story and what a festival they had. I think most people had adopted Cape Town as their second favourite team after their own and it showed in the final. The crowd gave them a lot of love and just admired how far this team had come and what they had done. They BROUGHT it in the final too which worked on getting the neutrals on their side. They deserved to be on that stage and were phenomenal. It was brilliant to hear a different set of voices performing. And this isn’t a knock on anyone but hearing that much poetry over a week you start noticing some themes, especially cultural ones as these are all teams from America so that seems to seep into the poem a fair bit (wether intentionally or not) which isn’t a bad thing, it happens. So Cape Town offered diversity which was refreshing but they also brought quality writing and quality performances through too. They wowed me in the quarter’s when I first saw them and they wowed me again in the final with even more amazing performances, this one especially (View It Here).
Which means, in first place and the winners of Brave New Voices 2014 was Washington DC. It was a weird environment for the final as I honestly think most of the audience wanted Cape Town to win as they’d all just been charmed and won over by them. But as the night went on I think there wasn’t much questioning that as charming as Cape Town were and as amazing as their writing was, Washington DC were that bit better. They brought it. Undoubtedly. Their poem Waters (View it here) just destroyed the whole room. You could feel in people’s reactions how moving a poem it was and I think that prompted the first chants for “Ten’s” from the judges which they did oblige with. They were the only team to to send out poems to perform individually and both those poems were just so hard hitting and powerful, with one about an unwanted Hand Job (View it here) and their closing piece about one of the teams fathers (View it here). For me though, their standout performance which won me over was their poem called “Collumbasing” (View it here). It was such a great concept and had that great balance between humour and seriousness which I personally love and won over by. They were very much deserved winners and whilst the point isn’t the point the point is the poetry, they were worthy winners of Brave New Voices.