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23 March 2015 @ 10:15 am
A Song of Holly Mooper and Gossip Dan ~2015 FMM Review~  
It was that time again: endless campaigning, vote exchanges and stuff. Combine all of them, and you have Fandom March Madness, an internet competition that pits characters from carefully-picked popular television shows and movies, battling head to head in a March Madness style! Open only to LiveJournal users not creating their LJs on the FMM date, the competition also lives up its middle name: Steel Cage. Put "Steel Cage" and "Fandom March Madness" altogether, and you get an event where LJ stans for a certain character somehow exist, swiftly filling in one of the two choices presented every round.

This is my third year participating in the game, and thank goodness I was fine all along; I spent my last year's FMM while suffering a Typhus, obviously limiting me to do stuffs involving computers and laptops, granted I did everything on my smartphone. The talent crop of this season did deliver some close fights especially in one of the penultimate matches, yet sadly easy wins are not exempt as few lucky ones did win the rounds they were in by a large margin. But two things that will be irreplaceable for this year's running, maybe becoming a legend of their own: Holly Mooper Dolly Dooper Molly Mooper Holly Hooper Molly Hooper and Gossip Dan.


16 fandoms from all four categories were chosen for this year's race, among them are newcomer fandoms, returning ones and not to forget "franchise entries", which comprises of multiple fandoms set in the same universe (i.e., Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Flash/Arrow, etc.). These new fandoms are Fresh Off The Boat, Galavant, Selfie and Veep for comedy; Faking It, Jane the Virgin, The Fosters and The 100 for Teen, plus the return of Veronica Mars thanks to its movie installment; Gotham, The Librarians, Outlander and Person of Interest for Sci-Fi/Fantasy; and last but not least The Americans, Empire, How to Get Away with Murder and Vikings for Drama, with House of Cards returned after its one-year absence. I had to tell you that even the most interesting fandoms might not make it to the FMM stage such as Castle, which unfortunately got lost due to lack of Community's Choice votes. Also take note that Veep is the last year's Office Pool winner's choice, and there were several adjustments to the roster due to the host's get-togethers, such as the merge of The Flash and Arrow and Gossip Girl, which actually is past its prime for this year but was put there on accident.

(Passing the Baton; Amy Santiago was chosen as this year's Brooklyn Nine-Nine representative and was set to repeat Rosa Diaz's success last year. Image: Amy likes Jake on Tumblr)

Attempts for second consecutive wins for Parks and Recreation, Community, Elementary and Sleepy Hollow was fresh for the picking, while runner-ups such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Veronica Mars had a prospect of revenge as they were robbed in their earlier years. However, most expectations were on the newcomers judging from past experience, especially HTGAWM. In fact, I put ALL my money on that fandom because I felt that it would be the breakout star for this year's FMM.

Onto the Preliminary, the represents were awfully the same: Most fandoms were represented by the exact same characters, some are returning ones from earlier installments, and most of the characters are female. The only diversity found were in Brooklyn Nine-Nine's new represent Amy Santiago, The Legend of Korra's Korra, Agent Carter's Peggy Carter (for Marvel), Teen Wolf's Allison Argent, Downton Abbey's Violet Crawley, and OITNB's Poussey Washington. My plan to have Helena represent Orphan Black failed even though my campaigning did work. I chose Helena because somehow she has this killer instinct and has more desirable trait than Allison, fit for killing the competition. Other than that, my money were on Annalise, Allison and Veronica, full stop.


The First Round delivered some of the easiest wins, with Tina Belcher and Katniss Everdeen, among others, won their rounds by such a difficulty. However, surprises abound as Korra, Tina Belcher, Michonne and Spencer Hastings advanced through the next round in contrast of their last year failures. Meanwhile new competitors Amy Santiago, Eliza Dooley, Jane Gloriana Villanueva, Allison Argent, Peggy Carter, Cookie Lyon, Poussey Washington and Annalise Keating made their advancements, with close races were displayed in the races of Dorian vs Jo Harvelle and Chloe vs Lana Kane, in which Jo and Lana won their respective rounds. As usual, champions Leslie Knope, Abbie Mills and Joan Watson made the first round a walk in the park. Other than the two aforementioned race, First Round went all normal.

Cut to the Second Round where more surprises were thrown under the bus, specifically Allison Hendrix. It was my fault that I didn't include her in the Office Pool due to myself being too realistic that Game of Thrones would eat up any competitor in its path, and that she owned Sansa Stark, a total opposite of what would happen before my eyes. My favorite Annalise was even owned by Poussey, even though it ended up in a close finish fashion. Kinda gutted that she didn't make it as this would be her year, but that's OITNB for you; trying to win things more than just Critic's Choice Awards + avenging Sophia Burset's failure last year. Another surprise would be Tina Belcher once again for succeeding going far enough, having defeated Lana Kane in what I could dub as "The Battle of Animated Comedy Series", and the same story is true for Michonne having defeated Jo. Last but not least, Amy, Jane, Argent, Carter and Violet continued their breakout burst in this round. From this point on, I realized my Office Pool start tumbling apart.

In Sweet Sixteen, Amy Santiago took out Leslie, but I already saw that coming so it wasn't a surprise, so did Veronica to Jane, Katniss to Argent, Abbie to Michonne, Joan to Violet and Poussey to Olivia. Tina's run however went surprisingly smooth after defeating Winston, but sadly for Allison Hendrix, I've bought a feels train ticket that led to her loss against Peggy Carter, even worse with an easy win by a gap of 42,2%. I guess the Clone Club on LJ seems to have a lesser population than outside LJ. As such, Veronica and Katniss remained, and on the run for the second victory were Amy (for the B99 fandom), Abbie and Joan. Realizing that "Annalise for FMM 2015 win" campaign no longer worked, I changed my direction: to win Veronica Mars this year.

(The Bitch is Back; Veronica Mars returned to the FMM stage thanks to its movie installment. Image: you are the sunrise on Tumblr)

Things get more predictable in Elite Eight, with Amy managed to defeat Tina by a huge gap, ended Tina's run on this year's race, yet it was a great run for her while it lasted. The Veronica vs Katniss race was one of the toughest and I expected it to finish in a close fashion, but it was a huge gap win all along for Veronica. However, it wasn't really that surprising considering that the LJ fandom is still strong with Veronica Mars. Peggy Carter stood strong after ending Abbie's second run in the championship, and finally Joan topped Poussey for the Drama bracket final. Since then, my fear of Peggy Carter strengthened at this point as she was the breakout star for this season and that she would conquer this year's FMM. Other than that, the Final Four was about Amy vs Veronica and Peggy vs Joan.

Into the Final Four, for the second Final Four match-up, the writing was so big on Joan's wall, making Peggy's win awfully easy, but the Amy vs Veronica race made this year's FMM an exciting one; starting with Amy leading over Veronica, after a gazillion of vote exchanges, Veronica took a last-minute win over Amy, and that said there were no second titles once again. For Veronica, however, it was a moment of truth; after years not making it to the final round of FMM, she has done it this year.

(Peggy Carter, THAT ONE FACE we shall not forget for this year's FMM. Image: I SAY THEE NAY on Tumblr)

Finally, it was the final that got everyone sweating: Veronica Mars vs Peggy Carter, live from your PC / Laptop screens brought to you by LiveJournal. Unfortunately, it was horribly anti-climactic; Peggy led the first hour onwards with a very large gap. Less Veronica Mars stans meant any campaigning was fruitless (as bessyboo pointed out), and of course Peggy Carter took the 2015 FMM victory. It didn't even need John Hindhaugh's commentary as it was, once again, anti-climactic. I would have cooked truckloads of popcorns and ordered tons of sodas if the Peggy vs Veronica race WAS as close and exciting as the final minutes of Bathurst 12 Hour.

(Can you believe it? Image: Veronica Mars Confessions on Tumblr)

Even with Veronica Mars movie reached its first anniversary, I have failed to present something for her. If only she won against Peggy then the victory would be symbolic because of the said reason, with the end of the Championship round coincided with, well, Veronica Mars movie's first anniversary. Now I don't know whether she will return again next year or not.


(Too much disappointment, cannot handle. Image: htgawm gifs on Tumblr)

Unfortunately, my Office Pool for this year slumped in contrast to last year: 550 points, 20 points adrift from my previous Office Pool. As said, my prediction tumbled after Second Round ended. Though in the Second Round, my Teen, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Drama brackets were fine, until twists here and there ruined it. As such, I entered Sweet Sixteen with only six correct predictions at my disposal, out of 23 in Second round. This means I almost lost three times the predictions and I was out of luck. Even with Veronica, Katniss and Abbie being correct predictions for Elite Eight, it didn't do the justice. In the end, I took Veronica Mars all along until the final round. And there you have it folks, how to fail in FMM Office Pool.

My picks for the Office Pool were based on the mix of previous match-ups (for characters and / or fandoms) and intiuition. I always take into consideration that those who won before won't win in the current year's FMM, but wasn't very specific WHEN those past champions be owned by another. And then there are these considerations based on how strong the fandom is in the LJ platform, which is why I was being too realistic in predicting the Second Round match-up between Allison Hendrix vs Sansa Stark because Sansa stans are louder than the Clone Club in my opinion, even though that MY ALLEGIANCE is on Orphan Fucking Black. But then the most fatal of a mistake is that I didn't know that Peggy Carter IS THAT strong knowing the fact that she is in the same universe as Natasha Romanoff and that she would continue where Natasha left off last year. Had I put Peggy in place of Felicity for Sweet Sixteen, my Office Pool won't slump, but the end result would be the same because I predicted Sansa to go as far as Final Four opposite Annalise Keating. Speaking of Annalise, I'm pretty disappointed at how she was robbed by Poussey this year.


My tradition last year was to showcase how FMM names are fit as AI names in one of the racing games I always play and also showcase my bought DVDs of competing fandoms in FMM, which is sadly ARE bootlegs as original DVDs of them are too expensive to afford and that I'm not putting my rich man's economic mindset on. Plus, not to mention they're harder to get here for some reason; you can only find them on CD stores inside malls, nowhere else. Can't afford them? Buy the bootlegs as your rebel and enjoy your thug life. This year? Haven't found the time when as I was all busy with all the madness happening this month. However, if I had to choose which ones I could buy for my next visit, they would be Reign, The 100 and Outlander. However, if I were to crank up to eleven, then I would also add Empire, Agent Carter, Jane the Virgin and HTGAWM, because YOLO.

Sometimes I wanted to get a job and earn some money so I could live my YOLO life well, as well as affording things I normally couldn't at normal pace. Wanted to book one job, but my college activities were somehow the forbidden fruit to eat.


Fandom March Madness isn't the only March Madness existed this year for myself. As said in the previous "Roar Before FMM" post, I also followed Fall/Winter 2015 Fashion Week and Zimbio TV Couples March Madness. The Fashion Week has ended weeks ago and for some reason it had a much better race compared to this year's FMM and even ended with a bang and not some anti-climactic win, even though it's just tall models strutting down the runways and stuff. Expect an action replay of the fashion week for the next couple of days, hopefully end of March at latest. Meanwhile for the Couples March Madness action replay it would be posted in early April as the competition ends 31st March PST which means 1st April my time. All times are GMT +7 if you will.

And now we're hibernating for the 2016 Fandom Steel Cage March Madness...

(Images: Molly hooper on Tumblr, unknown source)

Goodbye Molly Mooper, Goodbye Gossip Dan...

Butterflysnogged on March 23rd, 2015 12:36 pm (UTC)
I didn't participate in the office pool this year, but I did have a lot of fun voting and looking at various stans.

I was pleased that Karen Gillan's Eliza Dooley was able to put up a tiny fight and got her represent on for "Selfie." I was saddened that Annaliese Keating got bumped out of the competition so early.

I was not surprised that Peggy Carter took the win though. She's taken the world by storm.
FANDOM WARRIORfandomwarrior on March 23rd, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC)
In the end, everything was unexpected for me. I thought Annalise would take the world by storm but no... :(