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DJ Expo 2020 is ramping up to be the biggest and best ever.

Do you have what it takes to compete at DJ Expo’s Entertainer of the Year?

This year, it’ll be held Wednesday, August 12.

Here’s how to enter:

If you’ve got a dance or game, send a headshot, with your name and company information, and a description of what your entry is — game, dance, or otherwise, in written or video outline. If it’s your first time competing, organizers Jake Jacobsen and Mike Alevras request you send a 30-second or longer video of yourself performing at a private event. “Just so we can get a feel for their performing style,” said Jacobsen.

Email your entry to:

Want some insider info on how to score points? We spoke to Pascal Levesque, of Pascal Party in Quebec, who won the competition in 2013 and has been judging for the last several years — and drives 30 hours by car to do it.

He gave us some inside scoop that can help anyone to navigate the prospect of competing.

dj expo 2020
Pascal Levesque, one of the EOTY judges

DJ Times: When judging, what elements are you looking for in a performer?

Pascal Levesque: I like to be surprised, but I’m looking at the technical aspect first. The way a performer holds his microphone, the body language, facial expression, the way they involve people. I want to see a smile, I don’t like when they hide their microphone like a rapper!

As for body language, I like when they move their arms as they talk. Walking around, moving their body to show confidence. I watch they eyes. I want the performer to have eye contact with people. This is what I call “technical aspect”

What’s after technical aspect?
I look for “Efficacy.” A lot of EOTY spectators are DJs and they will have an event a few days after the competition. Are we able to use your routine at our next event? Sometimes, easy stuff are the best. By the way, I use a few myself! When I can affirm “I wish I had this idea first,” I will give a good score.”

Register for DJ Expo 2020 here.

How does the scoring work?

We have a scoresheet with a lot of criteria. We have one sheet per contestant. We have about 7-8 different things to note and have a “notes” section. For me it’s important to note what I liked the most and what I’d like to see improved. I take care to write a few lines for each competitor. What is most difficult is that we must hand over our score sheet after each performance. But, I take the time to write my impressions to everyone as I would like if I were the contestant.

What are some of the criteria?

I go back to “Efficacy.” I remember the first time I saw the competition on YouTube. Marcello Pedalino won his 3rd title. After first viewing, I was able to repeat his routine.

Criteria are: Originality, Efficacy, Overall Presentation, Crowd Involvement, we have notes for “dance” or “game.” This year, they some new criteria. Each criteria has its own percentage. Some are more important than others. We need to give notes for their introduction — one of the hardest parts for a contestant.

DJ Expo
Ricardo Medrano won EOTY in 2017

What are elements of a perfect introduction?
Short, concise, without any hesitation. I want to look forward to seeing them on stage. I remember when I did it few years ago, I had to change my hand mic continuously because I was shaking.

Which of the criteria is most important?
Overall presentation is the most important. It’s around 40% of all criteria. This part includes all technical stuff  I’ve mentioned. How you sound on the mic, how well you lead your dance or game, how good is your body language…

Talk about originality…how important is it and what makes it “original”?
I want to be impressed! I like things I’ve never seen but I also like when they use something old with some “add-on.” Just like Artem Lopez, who used “bingo” game with songs 2 years ago, I was very impressed. Three-time winner Jack Bermeo is a specialist in originality — year after year he brought a very different routine.

I had several discussions with participants to talk about their performance and the way I feel about their score. It’s a great pleasure to give them some advice when they ask to. They can call me anytime. I don’t not own the truth, but if I can help, I will!

I think I’m hard in my comments and I ask them before if they are ready for that. Few years ago, I had my great friend Ricardo Distefano who helped me this way when I competed in 2013. If he didn’t tell me the truth, I would have not won. He’s a big part of my participation and my title back in 2013 !

Note: There will be a slight change to the scoring at DJ Expo 2020 in that the most unique performance will now be taken from the Originality section of the judges form. The scoring will be done on an Excel program done simultaneously on two laptops by two scoring judges. If there is any disparity between their scores they have to both start over and score that contestant again. It will also be more streamlined — 10 minutes after the last contestant is finished the results will be announced.

Register for DJ Expo 2020 here.