The judges speak

Before the 2017 Red Bull BC One World Finals kicked off we interviewed 4 of the 5 judges to get their comments on what they judge on. After Menno battled to victory, we were able to get feedback and comments from 3 of the 5 judges: Intact, AT and Niek. Check out what they had to say about any decisions that were hard to make, those who maybe didn't do as well as they thought they would, and the competitors who stood out for them:

What happened on the stage showed me the picture and it wasn't as hard for me as I was expecting. And I know everybody, all the people and friends (talking about the competitors) and I thought it might be hard to let go of that fact but honestly it was easy, and I didn't have any doubts on decisions or like 'maybe this' or 'maybe that.' Every battle for me was clean, no ties. Some battles were really close but you could see the difference.

About highlights, B-Boys of the day I was really surprised by:
Wing because I know this guy for years and I know the way he dances. I think today he opened more than usual, he was more into dance. Even though his style is more like sets, for me he opened more the other side, it was like 'wow.' Especially his battle against Issei, for me it was like destroying, from that side (from Wing).

The second guy I remember was Shigekix. Last time when I saw him he was another level, right now he was dancing, keeping the shape, his moves were more consistent than before and he surprised me a lot. But what really stopped me from giving him the win (against Menno) was a lot of repeating. He's cool, he's dope, he's got a lot of potential but he needs to work on his vocabulary. You can't go with the same stuff, repeating. That is the thing that really influenced my decision (in Shigekix vs Menno).

And then the winner, Menno. From the first battle I could see he was ready. The first battle showed me, ok he was not joking he really was preparing, and on this stage you can see who really was preparing and who was not. The vocabulary, the amount of ideas, the creativity inside of this breaking art form was high level. I was trying to imagine if I battled him at this moment and every battle I was like 'what if I would be there.' And then semi-final battle I was imagining if I would be there, I wouldn't even know what I would put against him. He was so consistent and self-confident, even with the pressure from his home country, but he really was like the fish in the water, it was his environment, he made it perfect.

The final battle was ultra kind of easy, and all 5 judges had Menno, even though Crazy Legs and Hong 10 didn't get to show, they had Menno.

Some battles I was expecting would be really dope that wasn't so dope as I was expecting:
I thought Ratin would go harder against Menno, but I think from the first moment he stepped out on the stage he lost mentally. He was like lost.
Also Alkolil against Moy, I was expecting more from this because it's two different generations and I think they both were in good condition for this event but maybe because of this pressure and nerves they didn't make it like I was expecting. I was thinking this would be the highlight battle of the night.

But yeah, this is me, my emotions and thoughts.

I was surprised that I felt so confident in my decisions, because I thought it'd be more pressure, but I felt I was really focused and I was sure every battle I felt like I knew why I gave it to somebody.

The hardest battle of the night, for me to judge, was Issei and Wing. I gave it to Issei because I think his movement all the time is so clean and so smooth. I'm hypnotised every time I see him dance. Wing was really original with original stuff but I gave it to Issei because the flow and quality of movement was more smooth for me.

Menno was on fire, he's like water.

Is there anyone who didn't do as well as you thought they would?
I thought Alkolil would do better than he did. I think he didn't find the fire today like he found in Silverback and we are humans, it is natural that we don't find it every day. So yeah, maybe him that I wanted to see more on fire.

Shane against Lil Zoo was hard for me because I felt like Lil Zoo didn't do a lot in his second and third round, so that one was tricky- I went for Shane.

Kill against Ayumi was almost an impossible decision because everyone knew it was going to be a style thing. I think Ayumi was a bit rushed in her stuff and didn't deliver her moves like she usually does. Kill also wasn't super clean but he did some crazy shit so I took that into account. I was like, maybe Kill, and was leaning towards him. It was super close. I think it could have gone another round.

What did you think of Thesis vs Lil Zoo? As it was a 2 - 3 decision.
I think Thesis in his second round got a bit stuck in his spacing and he kept on going when he was so close to Lil Zoo, and it felt like he didn't control the space. I think he had a more distinctive style but I don't think he was really on point. And I think Lil Zoo was super dynamic and battling hard.

Why do you think Shigekix lost to Menno?
Shigekix I think had thrown all his moves and he started repeating, like slides, he did another of those shaky freezes on the music. It starts to look too similar. That's his issue still. He got so much better it's crazy, in his whole form and everything. But I just think that sometimes he stays in the same domain, you know, that's what hurt him, for me, in his battles.

Anyone who stood out for you?
I think Menno stood out, he was so in control, experienced and didn't give away stuff. I think in the final he wasn't at his best but Wing neither. But I think he was what you're used to with Menno, he goes up and down and this was definitely up for Menno.

And Wing, man! Wing was fucking crazy! Like, for me, he killed Issei! It was like, 'damn man!' Issei was bringing shit and couldn't touch him, it was like miles apart for me, it was crazy! Wing was fucking Ill!

End of interviews
In the craziness of the aftermath of Menno winning Red Bull BC One, we didn't manage to catch up with judges Hong 10 and Crazy Legs, but these comments and feedback from judges Intact, Niek and AT give us an important insight into why the 3 raised the cards they raised, and picked the winners they picked.

Red Bull would like to thank the judges for taking the time to give us their feedback.

Written Emmanuel Adelekun

You can watch below the full event from Amsterdam: