Well, we can’t say we’re surprised.

In the month and a half since unveiling what @BootsRaingear called “one of the strongest lineups ever” and delivering what @bobzy71 claimed is “one of the best things about Twitter” (an astonishingly low bar), 62 of the year’s most memorable monikers have been judged, voted on, and ultimately sent home empty-handed. We stand one round away from crowning the 2019 Name of the Year champion, and both of our final contenders have made quick work of their opponents at every stage of the tournament.

Standing at the top of the pile are Miss Houston 2018, Jizyah Shorts, and press attaché for the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam, Pope Thrower. While both have seemingly found success in their professional lives, only one will find success at the end of our very own Big(ish) Dance.

Justifying her claim to the top seed in the Dragonwagon Regional, Ms. Shorts was merciless in her rise to the top and never once failed to claim less than 70 percent of the vote. She made 16-seed Smart Chibuzo look pretty stupid after racking up a whopping 94 percent of votes in the first round, and she barely had time to use her blinker before passing nine-seed Cory Phast Lane with nearly 91 percent of votes in the second. Though the Sweet Sixteen produced her toughest opponent to-date in 13-seed General Booty, he was forced to wave the white flag after failing to capture more than a quarter of the vote. Jizyah got right back to business in the Elite Eight, showing little r-e-s-p-e-c-t to No. 3 Cletorious Aretha Fry and walking away with a 4:1 share of votes. In her most recent victory, the talented Texan showed no restraint against No. 8 Chastity Gooch-Fant, collecting nearly 73 percent of votes and knocking out “the only decent name left in the bracket,” according to @metaldipshit.

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On the left side of the bracket, Sithole Regional hopeful Pope Thrower seemed like a long shot after his introduction as an 11-seed. But winning the coveted endorsement from Roth and Magary on the annual NOTY Deadcast may have given him the boost he needed, and he refused to let his low seed stand in the way of achieving victory. He grilled No. 6 Princehoward Barbecue Yee in the first round, and refused to share any part of his victory with No. 3 Precious Orji. In the Sweet 16, Mr. Thrower continued his reign of infallibility with a Jaws-sized win over seventh-seeded Sharky Laguana. And in the Elite Eight, the press attaché fulfilled @ghostxlix’s prophecy, who declared that “[Alpha Omega Nickelberry III] is going to get destroyed by Pope Thrower and i am going to be devastated when that happens.” Sorry, @ghostxlix, but devastation is just part of the game. In the latest round, Pope T. weathered his toughest challenger yet in Storm Duck, but emerged victorious and has found himself in the ultimate matchup. And while @EstebanLFC23 may think it “sucks that ANOTHER Pope name will make it to the final,” 7,910 votes say otherwise.

So what will happen when Shorts meets Thrower? Will Jizyah make a mess of her opponent, or will Pope toss her aside? As always, make your voice heard below and follow the tournament on Twitter at @NOTYTourney, where @OBStateOfMind thinks “a 12 year old could do a better job running it.” Happy voting!

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