An Examination of the Muppet Madness Tournament

There is nothing more thrilling, or more disappointing, to the Muppet fanatic than the Muppet Madness Tournament.  It is one of the most fun parts of being a Muppet fan, and it remains more popular than any of the other similar competitions.  What is really great about the tournament is that it’s not all main characters, and now the tournament is even better (debatably) because all of the contestants were chosen by the fans.  Let’s take a look at what events and circumstances could lead some contestants to unexpected victory.

First, Rowlf and Walter were cruelly put in the same bracket.  Last year, Kermit was neck and neck with Walter up until the last hour of the tournament.  Kermit won in the end, but some felt cheated because the Muppets’ star and oldest surviving member (not to mention the first Muppet to win the key to a city and get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the inspiration for the Muppets’ logo) was put up against all other Muppets, which seemed unfair.  Will the Kermit fans be so annoyed with the Walter fans after their fight last year that they will all vote for Rowlf?  Or, will the Walter fans get vengence?

Beaker is one of the most heavily marketed Muppets.  His face appears on the DVD cover for The Muppets about as many times as it appears on the movie screen, but he is still very popular.  While he is well known among casual fans, there is generally a desire in hardcore fans for a lesser-known candidate to win as a testimony to Muppet knowledge.  Mildred, however, might not be the right lesser-known character to beat Beaker.  (If you are reading this and happen to be FrogFan76, understand that most of what I just read was sarcasm and Mildred is both the best known and most cherished Muppet ever.  P. S., it was really hard to refresh the page and vote for Walter more times than you did for Mildred, so I’ve got a bone to pick with you.)

Sweetums vs. Bean Bunny is very Muppet*Vision 3D heavy as both are probably best known for that attraction.  Sweetums has been in the tournament before and has not done too well, so will his fans avenge him?  Maybe not since many fans really miss seeing Bean Bunny and wished he was in the 2011 Muppet movie.  As for Animal vs. Dr. Teeth, this is once again a well-known vs. unknown case, and it is difficult to determine which way this could go.

The passing of Jerry Nelson in August made everyone remember and cherish the Count, who was recently voiced by Matt Vogel.  This could give the Count the lead.  Also, more people remember the Count fondly from their childhoods.  A couple months after August, Mitt Romney made everyone fondly remember Big Bird, which could give him the lead over another of Jerry’s former characters, Mr. Snuffelwlerhzgpqohfp Snuffy.  I don’t know what else can be said about Cookie, Sherlock, Grover, and Roosevelt, except that Super Grover has won before, which could be a blessing or a curse to Roosevelt.

In the Fraggle section, we have Sprocket vs. Ned Shimmelfinney.  Will the childhood memories of Sprocket give him the advantage over Ned, who is just the basic offscreen joke?  Matt vs. Boober is Dave vs. Dave, an interesting choice for a bracket.  It could go either way.  Wembly vs. Red could also go in any direction, as both are many people’s favorite Fraggles.  Then, there’s Cantus vs. Gobo.  Gobo has the biggest advantage in that we the fans were all so happy to see him the the “Do It Anyway” music video, and he has the loving memories of Jerry Nelson going for him.

This next category should be called “Misc.” because Bear is owned by Disney, and Waldo C. Graphic might be as well.  Waldo was short lived, but his opponent, Baby Sinclair, has remained a favorite of those who know the show.  After all, he’s the baby, so you gotta love him.  Plus, some love of Kevin Clash after his resignation might boost the Baby to victory.  Bear vs. Sid is tough, because neither are from very popular shows.  On the other hand, Bear has once again been paired up with the character whose Muppet-ness is debatable.  Sid was created by the Henson Company after the sale.  Interestingly, Waldo and Sid are two digital puppets, and that type of puppet has never been used in the tournament before.

The Worm and Ludo were in the tournament in 2011, and lost in the first round.  Maybe they can get their shot this year.  The Worm is up against Sir. Didymus, one of the characters with the funnier lines in Labyrinth.  Ludo has to battle it out with Fizzgig, a fight I would love to watch.  I can’t wait to watch what happens each hour in the 2013 Muppet Madness Tournament at www.muppetmadness.com!

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