Can you believe we’re coming up on a year since we ran the original Ultimate Slash Madness tournament? After 4.7 million votes, 4000 plus comments, hundreds of thousands of Tweets and a mountain of Tumblr postings that little tourney celebrating popular slash couples and the fans who ship them turned into quite possibly the biggest thing we ever did on the old AfterElton site.
Since then a lot has happened in the world of slash. We launched our popular weekly column, The Shipping News and for better or for worse references to “slash”, “shipping”, “OTP”, “fandom” and the like busted out of Tumblr and other online fandom hangouts and began to invade mainstream media and the popular vernacular. Actors and TV showrunners commented on it, tweeted about it, cheered it on… and in some cases probably wished it would simmer down. It’s true, all that fan fervor for certain non-canon pairings might get a little frustrating for actors if that’s all that anyone wants to ask them about.
Still, the heart wants what it wants. And fandom wants slash! Hence our Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney is now an annual event.
Last year, the non-canon slash pairing Sterek (a.ka. Teen Wolf‘s Derek Hale and Stiles Stilinski) beat out Supernatural’s Destiel (a.k.a Dean and Castiel) to claim the Ultimate Slash Madness crown. Will they pull off a repeat for 2013?
Supernatural’s Misha Collins might put up a good fight on behalf of Destiel judging by this tweet from last year…
This homonormative poll makes me sick! afterelton.com/2012/09/ultima… — No one could seriously think that those Teen Wolf jerks are gayer than us.
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) September 18, 2012
Indeed, throughout the tournament various actors and showrunners tweeted out messages to fans in support of a particular couple. Hell, John Barrowman, cool dude that he is, even plugged his ship (Captain Jack and The Doctor) and the tourney in general on TV’s Attack of the Show. That sort of championing definitely has an impact on voting, so Sterek isn’t a lock to win again this year. Maybe we’ll get some new blood… or an old favorite atop the rankings.
Before we kick things off with the actual voting we thought we’d throw it out to all you slash fans out there: which current and all-time great slash couples should be included in this poll?
Who is your slash OTP (“One True Pairing”) this year? You can let us know in the comments below, or if you want to get fancy and include fanart to lobby for your favorites. you can always submit that stuff to The Shipping News Tumblr.
Or if you really want to get fancy you can post your nominees directly on Twitter or Tumblr! Just be sure and include #OTPNominee as a tag and include a link back to this page….
Post whatever you want in support of your couple: fanart, animated gif, screencap, whatever. Get creative on behalf of your OTP because we’ll count reblogs, retweets, etc. in deciding which pairings make it into the actual tournament.
We’ve even got an assortment of banners for you to use with your fanart if you’d like…
We’re really looking forward to seeing what people come up with on Tumblr in support of their favorite slash couples this year and each week we’ll highlight some of the most creative postings in The Shipping News column.
We’ll announce the 32 popular slash pairings competing in the tourney and start the first round of voting by Monday July 22.
Please note, we define “slash couple” here narrowly to mean only non-canon male couples. We’re looking for fantasy male couples that exist only in subtext, slashwink, and the alternate universe of slash fanfic and fanart. Like Sterek, Stanno, Destiel, Merthur, Kirk/Spock, etc. That means that real people like those One Direction guys or actual textual gay couples, like Klaine or Modern Family’s Cam & Mitchell would not be included in this tournament. Finally, we’re leaving popular femslash couples (Glee‘s Faberry, Rizzoli & Isles, etc.) to our sisters over at AfterEllen.