As always, these are people who went above and beyond, taking the time out of their busy schedules - because I *asked them*. Want to experience how much people love something you create? Get them to put in time and effort for it. That feeling of gratitude is something that *never* fades.
I'm especially excited because there are actually two long-time Idolers, members of the 100 Week Club, who have *never* been Gatekeepers before!!! Why? Because they are usually still in the competition when they show up!
For the first Gatekeeper round, many of them had no previous exposure to your work. For this time? Most of them do. Which I thought would create an interesting dynamic to see how those two groups differed.
Granted, they were two different weeks - but the results were fairly similar to each other in most regards.
Which, considering that I know these people's tastes - and they differ with the first group of Gatekeepers, that reaffirms that the voters clearly knew what they were doing by bringing together our Top 18.
All of that said,
Let's get to the Thank Yous!
Your Gatekeepers for this round were:
fourzoas - It's one of the worst kept secrets that she's one of my favorite writers, and people. And it's not just because we share a birthday! When she's not kicking ass writing, she's busy serving as the Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing and Teaching at a college in MS.
Not even the Russians could keep Kathrynrose away! :) You know her. You love her. She was probably one of the first people to say "Hello" to you this season and an incredible writer as well. If it wasn't for LJ changing things on us midstream, I have no doubt that she would having been standing on the other side of this exchange, cursing my name for bringing in Gatekeepers!
Speaking of Gatekeepers, I also brought back one of the most shocking exits of this season - from the last round of Gatekeepers. She was the first newbie to get immunity in the early weeks, and on most people's short list for the person they thought could end up winning. (based on what I've heard folks saying) - my_name_is_jenn!
The first of the "people who have never been Gatekeepers before", despite having been around Idol for a really long time - is alycewilson! Not only did she end up having a great run this season, but her son did as well! "Alyce Wilson has an MFA in poetry from Pennsylvania State University and has been published inThe Leading Edge, Poetry New York, The Texas Poetry Journal, Mad Poets, Kalleidetrope and Zuzu’s Petals Quarterly Online. Her chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs, and book of essays and columns, The Art of Life, are available from her portfolio site."
She also runs the online literary magazine http://www.wildviolet.net/
It's been a few years since we have seen applespicy in Idol. But those who have been around for long enough may have just gulped a little bit knowing that she was here, reading, and silently judging you! ;)
A name that *everyone* this season would know, and someone who wasn't around long enough to be the Spirit, but who really personified a lot of what this season has been, up to this point, was llblckraincloud, which is why I thought it was important to bring them back for this! "I'm a writer. I publish under the pen name "Cloud S. Riser". I've made the transition to DW as "divinemusings" (but I still check in on LJ often too if people want to add me there)
Elizabeth Hawksworth is a First Nations activist. You may know her from several seasons of LJ Idol, or from the Washington Post, HuffPost or Indian Country Media Network (yes, I totally Googled to find that one) She work a marketing manager position in the day, where she seems to spend quite a bit of time dealing with writers! She has two books published, Break for Beauty and Lake Effect: Voices of Toronto's History!
"chite, who was once Lynne Powell and who is now Lynne Glowacki, was the Season 4 LJ Idol winner and now does most of her writing professionally as a government contractor. She has five children and no time but was happy to take some this week to read Idol entries. "
Anyone who knows Idol history knows that Season 4 was one of the most difficult seasons *ever*. I just need to point that out to the newbies!
Last, but never least, is the other "has never been a Gatekeeper". I'm not entirely sure that she's ever been *voted out* before the Top 20. Unless I am missing something huge, I am pretty confident that she holds the record for the most times in the Top 10, and is one of the few who have even been in back-to-back finals! If there is anyone who knows what it takes to be at this stage of the game, it's gratefuladdict! She is seriously a legend and I am the one grateful that she accepted the invite to come help out this time around!
I'm grateful to *all* of you who stepped up to help out this week - and I know the writers are as well.
Thank you so much!
Now I'm going to go tally those results...