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Definitely an interesting evening in the theater. My first impressions were as follows.

Cavaliers, without a doubt the best performing corps of the night. other than not performing their drill for the ending minute, they performed lights out tonight. Definitely the best drill out their, followed closely by Cadets and Vanguard. Nice sound and great colorguard. For having the best drill overall, I would give them the benefit of not having the last minute. They were definitely the cleanest corps of the evening from what I could tell. can easily see why they are the fan favorite of the people who voted.

Cadets. Wow. I was really impressed with them tonight. I would say they have the 2nd best drill, and they were extremely clean for late June. First minute was probably their weakness tonight, as it gets off to a slow start. But once you get into the show, it is high tempo, great drill drum corps. I would not be surprised if they place 2nd at finals.

Blue Devils. I was a little surprised at their music book. It seemed very weak compared to years past. The show design was good, but nowhere up to the last 5 years in my opinion. I would almost be surprised if they end up top 3 at the end of the season. Although they can really turn it up late season as they have proved 14 times before. Crowd was pretty dead during their show. Not sure if it was because they were still feeling out the drum corps in a theatre, or whether everyone else just felt they were flat like I did.

Carolina Crown. I was not extremely excited with this show. I understand the concept, but somehow think things fall a little bit flat. The performance level seemed very good, but I would expect a few more corps to pull ahead of them later this summer.

Bluecoats. I have to say I really enjoyed their presentation tonight. They had great sound, and some interesting drill. I would expect them to be beating Crown in the very near future, but would also expect that at least one corps behind them will be passing them in the near future.

Phantom Regiment. I may be one of the few to think this, but musically this show falls extremely flat. It was performed very well tonight, but out of the top 8, I think it could be the weakest musically, although Blue Stars and Blue Devils also seem to be weak musically this year as well. Out of the G8, I would say Phantom and Blue Stars have the greatest chance of not making top 8 this year. Visually it is ok, but I really think their music limits their drill.

Santa Clara Vanguard. I have to say after seeing this show, I am surprised they came in last in the fan vote. While the performance may not have been the best, with some horn issues, I thought this might be the show with the most potential tonight. And while I don't know if they could possibly beat Cavaliers of Cadets this year, I have the feeling they could sneak into 3rd place by the end of the season. I think musically and visually they are in the top 3 in difficulty in both areas. So out of all the shows tonight, if they reach the potential of the show, I think they are a lock for top 3.

Blue Stars. First off, they had an extremely nice hornline. Alot of the people in the theater spoke of that after the show. They may have had the best sound overall with the theater speakers. However, that may have been due to the musical book being slightly easier than some of the other corps. And visually, this show lacks some. I think the staging of the risers really hurts them. Staging seems really forced, however if they moved it back a little more, I think they could make it work. However, if corps like Boston Crusaders and Madison Scouts can really bring it, I think they could overtake Blue Stars, and probably Phantom Regiment.

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Were you coming from the Ballston thratre? Found out it was cancelled when I showed up at 6! Metro-ed down to the other Arlington theatre and made it in by the middle of the Cavies' show.

Yes--drove from Ballston. Luckily the HOV lanes were still in effect, so 66 wasn't as terrible as it can be some nights. And the show didn't actually get under way at Tyson's till about 7. Any idea why Ballston canceled? I was panicked (it was about 6:15 when I got there) so didn't stick around to ask questions.

Edited by Farmboy

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Leaving shortly so let's post theater reviews here when we get home.

How many in attendance? Volume loud enough? Windy? Crowd response?

I'd think DCI will be interested in the comments, as well.

volume not loud enough really until Blue Stars ( and their synth), and I think the place was about half full. I thought there might be a bigger crowd, but I also expected a bigger one at the show site.

thoughts on the show, and the negatives first>

Blue Stars synth. Ouch. Really thought ensemble music would be lower, but then again I should know better.

SCV's not up to the drum line's level.

Crowd size. I mean, this is the first time the top 8 from last year meet, in the marching mecca of the world right? I mean really, how could you NOT expect a full stadium? Except it wasn't. I can think of other areas had it been held there, it would have sold out. yeah it was hot and windy. Have we become that #### spoiled that we need a dome for all big events? Really given all the hype, I expected more.

Now for the plusses.

Not a show I hated. Some will need time to grow on me, if they can at all, but not hating 8 of 8 is better than last year hating 2 of 8. Pleased to see people are listening.

Cesario on camera. Really, DCI needs him out front more. yeah he can be over the top, but he balances Dennis's grouchier moments.

Hops sense of humor when Rondo kinda of jabbed him about his reputation. Love him or hate him, the man can laugh at himself.

Recaps: people all over the slotting and it seems all judged their sheet regardless of who was who. SCV won drums but was in 7th. Cadets 2nd overall but 6th in drums. Phantom winning guard...funny I thought going all female was supposed to hurt them?

quality drumming from everyone.

Thoughts on the corps: Yes, I expected dirt, and after reading reivews, I knew some weren't finished. Face it, you won't see a complete show of all ideas until August. We jokingly said in theater "insert body here moment", "ending of the week moment" etc.

BD: MELODY!! Amazing! Easily the most I've liked them since 07. The show doesn't fully grab me yet, and I'll tell you why. You can tell they are trying to be more fan friendly. I just think the staff doesn't fully remember how. And at times it seems they try to be cutting edge for the sake of cutting edge and doesn't fully fit the show. Nice sound, but the big props are kind of distracting. Sure there's more to come.

Cavies: Far better than this time last year. Tenor feature cool, tho the stilts thing gets old after a while. Lots cool ideas, and the music when they stood still tells you they will be running their ##### off. Guard attire...well...yeah. Ties Spin Cycle for "WTF". Still a cool show I can't wait to see grow.

Bluecoats. Loved the Radiohead stuff, but after didn't seem like a Brave New World. Came across more like leftover 2010 material. Serious drumline. had to laugh at the "Hell" in the vocal.....I guess DCi is finally going PG13. I dunno, some nice ideas, but it may take time.

Crown...Iron Man. Guns and Roses.Rolling Stones. Queen. Van Halen punk rock pit. Really a fun show til midway thru the ELP stuff...then it seemed flat, and the ending kind of laid there. They tweak that, here's your Fan Favoite winner. Easily their best percussion ever. Very cool idea, and if they bring the ending up to the level as the first 2/3 of the show, look out.

Cadets: Easily the most I have liked them since 2000. As someone in the crowd said "Finally, the Cadets again!". Uniform thing works, and it makes those usual crazy cadet visual moves look crazier. ballad worked well, and at one point when the two pieces laid over each other, it sounded like les Miz. This show, if they don't insert a message and screw it up, can make life fun come August.

Phantom. Very pretty, and the guard works. Feel they rushed into the ending of Elsa's a bit too fast. Seemed more down than up, and I hope that gets fleshed out. Dr. Dan said there didn't seem to be more storyboard to come, and I think the show needs it to take it to that next level.

SCV: Amazing drumline. Over powering drumline. Brass not at their level. if they can get there, I think i'll like it. usual for late overly tough visual book, and it's hurting the brass. I really want to see this in like 3 weeks when the brass gets some gas.

Blue Stars: A cool idea that needs to be fleshed out more, but it needed more dynamic contrast...too loud too much...and that's not counting the synth. Surprised to see it last to be honest. The music isn't something I'd listen to every day, but it has some cool moments, and as the visual stuff gets fleshed out and added in, they can move up, especially if SCV's brass doesn't grow as fast as it needs to.

Crowd surprised some by the scores. Wish we could have seen the full recap, that would have really opened some eyes. Really surprised to see Bloo 7th in drums

Edited by Jeff Ream

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Although I already wrote a quick synopsis of all the corps, I thought I would mention what seemed to be the biggest surprises at the event tonight.

First shocker was the fact Crown won on Saturday. I don't think a single person was expecting that, especially at seeing their show on the screen tonight. 2 years ago alot of people were rooting for them to knock off Blue Devils. However when they did it tonight(well technically Saturday), no one could believe it, and no one would have thought they could have after seeing their second show.

Second shocker was how great Cavaliers and Cadets(yes, Cadets on the positive end of the feedback early season). Everyone seemed to be blown away by their drills, and how clean they both were. Watching them , it was hard to believe it was only their second show of the season. And everyone was excited by the Cadets and how non controversial they seemed this year, so far at least. A few people in the audience actually thought Cadets were going to win tonight(well last night I guess).

Third surprise for the crowd would be Cavies not having their closing drill. Granted they have more drill than anyone else, except maybe Cadets or SCV, but usually Cavaliers come out a little more prepared than anyone else, so anything else is kind of a surprise.

4th surprise is how many corps changed places. 5 out of the 8 corps switched to a different position between the 2 nights. And while Blue Devils remained 3rd both shows, the way that corps above and below them switched places really seemed to surprise alot of people. The 2nd show of the season, and 3 corps have already beaten them.

I think the biggest surprise of the night was how SCV was received. It seemed like their show was either loved or hated. But most people agreed it could probably be the biggest surprise between now and the end of the season. And many people think they are going to end up placing much higher than last year, including the people who didn't care for their show.

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And how'd you get in for $14? It cost us $15 at Crosswoods (about 5 miles and 10 minutes away)?

(That guy probably looked at you and said "What a dork.")


Actually, that guy was me :tongue: .

Regarding the theater experience...

Overall - sound wasn't too bad...of course, Blue Stars sounded the loudest of all the groups because of their staging and extremely mic'd pit.

OK - some observations:

Overall - some interesting productions. Yes, some had more dirt than others, and the fact that they were all either 100% completed, or #### close. Great job, everyone.

Blue Stars: Move the ramp/platform thingy further back, or situate it so that you can use more of the field.

SCV: Way too esoteric and bland for me. Some intricate drill, but the concept of escaping from Hell does not come across at all.

Phantom: I really wanted to like this show, but I just couldn't. This show is seriously lacking impact moments, which makes the show flat. I'm really hoping they add and tweak A LOT, or this will not be a good year for Phantom.

Bluecoats: Love the first 1-2 minutes of the show. Unfortunately, the show is 11 minutes long. Percussion is the strongest section and they play the heck out their book. However, the concept of the show is lost behind the overall muddled musical selections.

Crown: Far and away my favorite show. I NEED to see this show live because, if I loved it in the theater, I can't imagine how WOWED I'll be when I see it in-person. Contrary to a lot of other observations, this show has a lot of demand, but it's executed well. This show is why I love Crown - it's an audience accessible show with a great concept that they sell 100%.

Blue Devils: OK, I've made smarta** comments about BD's new uniforms, as well as their shows for the past several years. I won't here, but I need to ask fans of this year's BD production; what am I missing? My thoughts when seeing/hearing this show is that it's not a top-5 show in any way. There is no demand, it's lacking in even medium-velocity drill, and I don't understand any of what they're trying to convey. So, I ask again; what am I missing? because I just don't see how this show is even breaking a 70.

Cadets: Love the concept, am BLOWN AWAY at their drill (they are seriously bookin'), and really love how the entire corps is conveying the product. The two separate colored uniforms work incredibly well with the drill design, and they look really good, too. When they clean this up, they'll be contending for the title.

Cavaliers: These are the Cavies I've come to know and love. The drill is tight, the guard is performing at a higher level than this part of the season usually affords, and the concept/design works! Could easily win the title.

My Favorite Corps / How I Saw the Placement:

8. SCV / Blue Stars

7. Blue Devils / SCV

6. Phantom / Blue Devils

5. Bluecoats / Phantom

4. Blue Stars / Bluecoats

3. Cadets / Cadets

2. Cavaliers / Crown

1. Crown / Cavaliers

I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone improves and transforms throughout the season.

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First I have to say that this event was fantastic and I hope similar things are offered like this early season in the future!

My review is simply on the designs of the top 8. All the performers did a tremendous job and thank you for performing what is definitely the strongest first showing ever for almthe corps! Kudos!!

Blue Devils: Some very nice moments in the show with music that is very lucious, energetic and powerful. Unfortunetly these moments are only during "park and bark" sections. Don't get me wrong, they are great and full of energy but they happen so frequently it kinda loses it's impact by the 7th one... The fact that these sections are the better parts of their show is probably a problem with a season like we have this year. Music is much better this year but somehow I feel that I still get lost listening to the familiar melodies? Visually it is very cluttered with the white frames and polls. Definitely not as effective as the mirrors and chairs were. I think BDs show could be that much better if they centralized their visual ideas a little more.

Cavaliers: Very Impressed with the design of this show and it felt so exciting to see how allthe elements were so purely in the cavalier style and approach. The guard and percussion had some very extraordinary moments that were exciting! The guard, stilts, the upside-down tenor feature, the visual moments were engaging, easy to grasp and performed at a Strong high level. Nature boy added a level of mystery and goosebumps that really brings the whole show together! But the Bach Fugue in the opener was spell binding and to me it was presented with such a high level of bad assness that i instantly fell in love. Congratulations on a very well designed show

Bluecoats: perhaps they were trying too hard to be "different" but I felt my self loosing focus in the middle of their show. The ballad was unique but it seemed repetitive or drawn out. Perhaps the theatre was not the best way to experience the "quadrophonic" sound so perhaps that contributed to the loss of focus I experienced. On the other hand Creep was goosebumpy and i think that sing can really connect with the audience. I loved the meaning that the song gave their program. The closer was reminiscent of last year which was a very good thing but interesting when the show is titled "brave new world". Mackey works so very well for them and I was iagain mpressed with their handing of it. However I feel visually they haven't held true to the title of their show. I just wanted more visual risks from them but overall a good show. Just needs that extra something that the cavaliers so clearly had... Just not sure what.

Crown: I was definitely smiling at some of the visual and musical antics in this show. Whether I was smiling because it was fun or cheesy probably doesn't make a difference because it was fun to watch! battery appeared to be vastly improved from last year and thank goodness because this show shows them off a lot. I'm pleAsently surprised at the integration of the Rach and Rock worked pretty well... Not what I was expecting. I really loved the arrangement of pAint it black and thought it made for a better drum corps tune than i ever thiugt was possible! I thought the pace of the bohemian rhapsody ballad was not very engaging. Eruption was fun and I did like the gimmick of the drum major doing air guitar while conducting. Honestly, I think for the showfo really sell the concept they need more of those kind of "gimmicks" or "tricks" in their show, but those gimmicks have to also tie into the the Rach portion of their show. Simply cutting to Rach music after playing "Rock" just won't cut it. I think I can see why the judges thought it should be crown to be the corps to end BD's streak! Lol

Cadets: completely blown away by this show (equal to cavies in terms of incredibly strong visual and music design) the dual uniforms are unbelievably effective and I loved how I completely lost track of time with this show. By the time they got tothe classic cadet closer (amazing with the dual unis) I didn't believe that they had played 12 minutes of music. The show Flys by at an exciting pace and it was the kind of trance that I love to be in at a drum corps show. And j honestly felt that no other corps moved faster than them tonight. Wonderful concept played out mastefilly on the field. The show screams Classic Cadets and I was nearly screaming with the drum battle in this show! I felt some of the transitions in the show seemed forced and that's where some of the pacing and energy get thrown off balance a bit.., and I was not 100% sold on some of the angel and demons characterization (especially when the camera zoomed in without the corps wearing shakos). The music in the ballad is amazing (grace) :P and I look forward to see this show evolve into possibly one of the best cadets shows in recent history... or ever? Too early to tell hehe

Phantom: with so many "edgy" shows that don't want to take time to develop lovely ballads I'm glad phantom has taken care of that. Very majestic magnificent music but with the relatively slow pace of the show the performers need to work twice as hard at relly emoting to the audience. If I saw it live I probably would be receiving those vibes but the theatre it was hard to grasp on to that. I think all the parts are there for a very successful phantom show! I can't say enough about how beautiful east of Eden is. I just want to cry hearing it sometimes because it is just magnificient and the opener is still my favorite part of this show. the story line was not 100% clear because I was at the mercy of the camera man!

SCV: I was worried reading all the comments about SCV on here last night and two nights ago and I think I saw what most people were saying but I already know that thy are going to improve tremendously in the next few weeks. The show was very.. Interesting. It had some very energizing moments with the percussion but the highly dissonant brass book falls a bit flat. It was hard to engage myself in the show and I sometimes lost my place. I need to see this show again to get a better read.

Bluestars: this corps ways gets the short end of the stick and never enough respect! The show was great and very entertaining. I thought the guard and drumlins played a very critical and influential role in making this show great. The music had a lot of energy and it was performed great! I dont know what the judges saw that they.felt this deserved last... But I am confident that that little snafoo won't happen again soon enough. The story was hard to follow but it didn't matter. One complaint, the electronics were not very well balanced but I thought would be very effective once balanced correctly. The scaffolding on the field set the tone of the show very well and was utilized pretty effectively! Great show from them this year and I hope the judging community would stop ignoring the incredible work that is being done with this corps.

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AMC Empire 25 @ Times Square NYC

Pretty low attendance comparing to the annual championship broadcast... which is understandable. I am surprised that this is only one of the two theaters screening the event in Manhattan (of all places). There were a number of Bluecoats and Cadets fans in the house, which provided the much needed excitement in the auditorium.

BD - It is sad to see their 2-year winning streak go. I never enjoy their programs but though we were too harsh (and jealous) of their technical achievement. I somehow think their 2009 production was better... in term of grabbing the audience.

Cavaliers - It is clean... enough said

Bluecoats - It is a bit disingenuous to say that they are starting afresh. It is really a variation of "Metropolis". It is difficult to exceed the high expectation. Still, great music but not the championship-caliber visual program. While many expressed the displeasure with the guard uniform, I think it is far superior than last year.

Crown - Just what we expect from the group. Most DCPers commented about how chessy the pre-show is. I actually think that is very "Crown", especially when you think about program like "Fin".

Cadets - Hands down the most well thought out program and received the most responses from the audience. The juxtaposition of the good/evil is designed and performed well. Among all the "innovations" George tried the past few years, this one really did the trick.

Phantom - Very easy on the eyes and ear. But not as challenging as other programs we saw tonight. Definitely the program with the least potential given its book. Look forward to the final version of Elsa came August! I hope they don't bother too much with molding their "Juliet".

Vanguard - Given how badly reviewed they are on DCP, it exceeded my expectation by a lot. Plenty of cringe worthy moment by the brass. They were barely relevant during the closer. For sure the one program that has the most room to grow. While it is much messier than "Bartok", it does have a more approachable closer this time around.

Blue Star - A bit too easy for the corp. Loud, confident especially comparing to Vanguard. I don't think they could overtake SCV after San Antonio (but may very well do between now and then).

SCORING - cheer erupted when BD was placed 3rd. Boos when SCV placed above Blue Stars.

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Already Posted this in the Reviews section, but Here it is again.

I did my review by just doing groups of 3 under the following categories:

3 Shows I Walked Away Humming the Most

Blue Devils


Blue Stars

3 Shows I Felt Were the Most Sophisticated All Around




3 Shows I Most Expect to Meet or Exceed Placements From 2010




3 Shows I Want to Listen to Most Again

Blue Devils



3 Shows I Could Enjoy Even if on Mute



Carolina Crown

3 Shows I May Find Hardest To Buy Into

Blue Devils

Carolina Crown

Blue Stars

3 Shows that Will Cause the Most Injuries



Blue Stars

3 Shows I would Call My Overall Favorites Right Now




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Cadets- this is the best Cadet show I have seen since '00. My only complaint- demons in pepto bismol pink and WTF with the "main angel" who is in my mom's white bathrobe ? They play well, the uniform contrast works. This show will challenge in August.

I'm sorry, but I found the "mom's white bathrobe" part hilarious. Like I audibly laughed! And I really don't want to appear rude, because like you, I thought the Cadets were f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c. Sure it's June, but when this corps programs some of the hardest material of any corps, they have a chance to make some incredible moments come August! I think the characterization will only continue to develop and improve through July.

I enjoy the "White" Angel and think the roles of both main Angel and Demon is good. But that comment was funny. :tongue:

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some thoughts.

Let me just say this before I review so you can understand why I feel the way about some shows and not bash me for my taste. I like serious shows, and emotional shows, shows that make me feel something. I don't like cheese and gimmicks. so...

BD: they perform very well . I was looking forward to possibly enjoying a BD show for the first time since the earlier part of the 00's after all i heard of their return to melody and what not. I do like their music book better than the last few years but i guess the source material just doesn't appeal to me (on the football field). Was pretty disappointed with that and the fact that they free form to a lot of sets instead of morphing drillwise... and the props... ugh... that being said, this may be THE most talented corps membership of any corps, they do everything they do very very well and they will be contending for the championship.

Cavaliers: I think i enjoyed it but not quite as much as Mad world (but MUCH more than 09!!!). Do the guys on stilts serve a purpose besides standing in random spots? I think the stilts guys need masks!! , that would give them more mystique. GREAT drill.. and the guards use of color is fantastic. Music didn't appeal to me very well, but their visual helps. Their upside down tenor thing got the loudest applause in the theater.

Bloo: there was an audible "ick' from the theater when they showed their guard uniforms...about the show... it's a bluecoats show, if you like their shows, you'll like this one, if you don't, you won't. I don't really remember much honestly, sorry. oh wait, they had some pretty cool drill in a wedge very early on in the show.

Crown: I may be one of the few that liked the 2nd half more than the first. Because it was more NOT rock music. I like rock music, just not in my drum corps. I won't speak too much about how I enjoyed the music because obviously it's not my taste. So on to the performance. I did not notice any weaknesses. Very great performance but I'm not sure if it will compete with some of the other guys down the road from a design standpoint (primarily drill design.... which is NOT bad at all, it's just not fantastic).

Cadets: My favorite of the night. If I ever see jeff sacktig at a strip club, I will be purchasing him him a private room (I can put money on this claim... mainly because I'm certain I'll never step foot in one.. lol). Because he pulled off an incredibly difficult task, and not just pulled it off, but did it amazingly. VERY intense show, I love it. My only complaint: the guard costuming... sooooo not intimidating.... i want to be intimidated....i want to see gloriousness in the angel guard. also the demons need to work on their angry faces on the pre-show in the corner of the field , it came off a little cheesy. Why not have the demons imitating some type of demonic/pagon ritual or something over in that corner? going around in a little circle with something going on in the middle... that'd be cool. (Hop, if you do that, I want credit!) .... but anyway, the show is awesome and I REALLY want this show to win!

Phantom: Good music, but I agree with those who say it left them a little flat. I have no doubt that this grow will develop quite a bit though. Drill looks much better than the last three years, and was surprisingly clean, however their demand isn't quite up where it should be. I think the repertoire choices is more to blame than the designer in this regard. When the music allows for faster drill it's very good. Don't get me wrong, I really love the music and source material... but I think we need to see more fast paced music. They will need to add more GE to this monster, and transitions are a little awkward. I'm surprised that the brass is scoring so well after the dress rehearsal... maybe i've been playing too much chamber music lately. But I'm happy about that. This was my second favorite show after cadets. Can't wait to see where it goes. The show was a very nice change of pace as well from the other corps featured tonight. Very different from the rest of the pack. Simplicity can be a very good thing.

Vanguard: wtf

blue stars: loud!!! after reading reviews I didn't think I would really like it, but it's not half bad. I like the brass and visuals. I don't like the guard costuming, what is the deal with the cross dresser? I also didn't like some of the electronics... especially that hideously cheap oboe sound. I can fart something more beautiful than that. but other than that the show was enjoyable. I like the intensity. I do agree with whatever commentator talked about the condensed drill and the scaffolding being to close to the front of the stage.

overall thoughts:

1. I see these corps in three separate groups come finals: first tier: cavies, bd, cadets (in any order) secont tier: bloo, crown, PR (any order) and the blue stars and vanguard in the next tier... with maybe madison who knows. I'm sure i'll be wrong here, but that's how it seemed to me.

2. vanguard, crown and blue stars guard members can all swap uniforms randomly with one another and I'm not sure anybody would notice.

my theater cranked up the volume after somebody requested it, and it was nice.

Edited by general_tsos_chicken2
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