Orange County's Ultimate DJ Competition
White Rabbit Group's premier of Orange County's Ultimate DJ Competition began last night at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa with turntable-ist Terrorista scribbling against Menikmati for a shot at being crowned the winner of night one.
A total of 16 battle-hungry DJs of various styles were chosen to compete in the five-week competition, with four of them battling it out every week. Last night pitted Terrorista vs. Project Mayhem and Steve Angello's Size Matters competition winners Minaya & Vikus vs. Menikmati in round one. Each competitor gets a 20-minute set, where they are judged by the the crowd (equaling 60% of the DJs overall score in each round) who votes on the performer's: 1. Track Selection, 2. Technical Ability, 3. Versatility and 4. Showmanship. Through an American Idol style of text voting, results of the crowds opinion are projected on the back wall at the Detroit Bar for live polling results. The other 40% comes from three guest DJ judges: DJ Daniel (Acropolis RPM), Thee-O, Mo dj, along with other rotating guests, who observe from behind the decks. This set up is apart of a formula created by WRG to eliminate a popularity vote winner. This formula proved that the Steve Angello-approved Minaya & Vikus can be defeated, getting knocked out of the competition early by a relatively unknown opponent (congrats, Menikmatis!), in case any of you thought this was rigged. From here two finalists from each bout are chosen to perform another 20-minute set.
Tuesday's finalists, Terroista and Menikmati's sets are now streaming online for public voting at whiterabbitgrp.com till Monday. The winner will be announced next Tuesday night. Problems with streaming each set via the web, takes away a fans urgency to see each set live. As of now, nobody really seems to give a shit. Last night, a total of six people watched the final round.
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This competition is unique in a sense that OC is having a Simon Cowell-esque DJ competition. Integrating text-to-vote allows for maximum votes from the smartphone realm for EDM fans. Live polling results are another interesting aspect from the event, which cause emotions to run high if your DJ is getting their ass kicked. However $5 to see a buddy play for 20 minutes, when you can see them play at Sharkeez or see a well known act at the Yost and Sutra for free is a noteable downside. In my eyes, the main quality of a winning selector is the ability to use the decks to control the mood of the club, which can't be done during a chopped up 20-minute set of high-adrenaline bangers.
As a concept, the competition is great for the local EDM scene, as far as helping us discover a new diamond in the rough. We'll see if more heads turn out for the next one.
Next Tuesday at the Detroit Bar, week two of OC's Ultimate DJ Competition will feature Aaron Marcus vs. Taylor Jaymin and Ruben Arellanes vs. Keef Koded.