Of the three, this one is going to be the most difficult to write. I've known you the longest of the three, and as you mentioned, we're friends. Which always makes it a little awkward to talk about someone as a contestant. :)
When I launched this season, it was billed as "LJ Idol: Homecoming." I envisioned it as old schoolers coming home, and in a lot of ways that is what ended up happening. Sometimes a moment in time can connect to a theme and create something unexpected. You showing up to write again was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure how long it would last, but it's always enjoyable.
You came in with a very "old school" approach to Livejournal. You wrote about your life - the good, the bad, the awkward moments. You opened a vein and let it pour onto the page, which is why people responded the way they did.
It's not just the quality of writing (which is always great), it was the honesty you were bringing. I think that, with the world the way it is, that honesty is something people are craving. They want to acknowledge the scars and they want to see the broken places where we all can heal.
As the guy running the competition, seeing the response to your work was a treat. It gave me hope that Livejournal itself wasn't completely dead. That there were still people who wanted to read about other people's lives. As Gary, someone who actually gives a shit about you, it was sometimes painful to read. Because that version of me wants you to be happy. (Fortunately, in this space the version of me that ends up winning is the one that kicks you for being a damn hippie!!)
I'll admit, I may have been laughing a little too hard when I saw you trying to sacrifice yourself - because I knew that you had picked the exact wrong time to do that. The twist that week really didn't allow for it to happen. But then I thought, "Well, she will just sacrifice at the next stage"... but then you didn't. "Or maybe next week"... but you didn't. It was as if you hit bottom, but the fact that first the game, and then the voters, buoyed you back up again.
It was in the weeks after that, when I realized that you were going to be sticking around until they voted you out, that I started to think you were in this for the long haul.
As a matter of fact - and because I promised that I'd reveal this when the time came - YOU were the third member of the Final 3 in that dream. (Which, for those playing along at home - it was karmasoup, viagra and kittenboo - which, at the time of the dream was one of those "OMG - how would THAT happen??? moments, where you look at the field remaining and try to come up with scenarios where everyone else on the board - and there were A LOT of "big names" on the board at that point) But then it got to the point where it could have been real and I freaked out a bit, because maybe I had psychic powers. :D)
People know that my brain thinks in terms of strategy - so while I could see why people were enjoying your writing - there was also a part of me going "They aren't stupid enough to let her get to the end are they?" I would hear who people thought was going to win ("The threats") and I'm going to be candid, your name wasn't on it. Which is INSANE. I can only imagine that they had no idea that you were a semi-finalist in Season 4, and that you were taken out by the worst design of a twist that I've ever had in Idol... one that I continue to regret. As far as "capability of getting votes" goes - people might look at the totals for this finale and think "Wow, that's a lot of votes!" But we both know those were weekly vote totals at some points "back in the day!" ;) We also both know that with a quick email, you could have doubled those numbers. That's not who you are though.
You set up the perimeters of what you were, and weren't, willing to do - and you stayed inside of those lines. I applaud the restraint and the moral compass that has guided you to this point.
I wanted to point that out, not just to point out that you are a legitimate threat who should never be underestimated, but more importantly, because I think it dovetails nicely into what you wrote about all season long. You could have easily closed up emotionally and ran up the totals to insane heights. Instead, you made the decision to make yourself vulnerable. You embraced the idea that you might NOT win, that you just wanted to fight the good fight and be satisfied with the result either way.
That decision - that moment - encapsulates an entire season's worth of writing. It's a living Portfolio.
Your writing has been solid all season, and I think people need to go back and take a look at anything they may have missed. Your final entry was great. I think when people are writing about their lives, about their truths, that it's sometimes difficult for folks to judge quality. But what you put out there, in terms of writing, has top notched, and as I've said in other places, I truly hope that you are proud of yourself. Because you should be. kittenboo
may have claimed Second Place in LJ Idol Season 11, but I think Heather may have won the gold in humanity.
Your story is just starting new chapters, and I can't wait to see what twists are in store!