Candidate Survivor, put on by The Stranger and Washington Bus, drew two lines of ticket- and non-ticket holders that wrapped around the building of Neumos on Tuesday. And it didn't disappoint—the highlight of the night being Bob Hasegawa's flute performance, during which he vaped into his instrument. I didn't think he'd top the outfit he was wearing when he came out, but he did. He still didn't make it through the talent portion to make it to the third round.
We all knew Nikkita Oliver, the clear favorite of the night, would dominate the talent portion. (The only question was which talent, and it was both singing and rapping.) Jessyn Farrell's saxophone-playing and singing George Michael's "Careless Whispers" was also pretty impressive. Watch their performances below:
Cary Moon gave a mock-TED talk ("BED talk") about how to run for mayor. (She said as a policy wonk, her only talent was Powerpoints.) Oliver won Candidate Survivor with more than half the votes in round three, with Farrell getting 29.4 percent of votes and Moon 20.1 percent. The two white men, Mike McGinn and Jason Roberts, didn't make it through the first round; but McGinn got a kudos for giving Oliver the mic first on a question about the statement "Blue Lives Matter."
The cringe-inducing moment of the night came from Jenny Durkan's impersonation of Melissa McCarthy impersonating Sean Spicer; yes, that happened, and she brought out dolls to mock candidates with Fred Flinstone as McGinn. She knew better than to mock Oliver, but in the performance at one point said "colored person." One of the judges quickly corrected Durkan, who—when she was voted off after the round—later apologized for using the term and said Spicer "took over the skit."
Moon got a big win Wednesday morning: The Stranger's editorial endorsement. The editorial board points out that this isn't a surprise—given that Moon has written for The Stranger and received an award from the paper back in 2007—but alongside The Urbanist's endorsement, it could help her win votes among civic-minded progressive, urbanist voters having a hard time deciding between Moon and Farrell. Four Stranger reporters, however, wrote a dissenting editorial endorsing Oliver instead. Seattle Weekly endorsed Oliver, and both papers endorsed Jon Grant for city council position 8. (The Seattle Times has already endorsed "business" candidates Jenny Durkan and Sara Nelson.)
Updated July 13, 2017, at 12:30pm: This post includes the dissenting editorial from the Stranger.