10 Ways To Be A Winner: Dj of the Year Competition Insights from Marcello Pedalino

10 Ways To Be A Winner: Dj of the Year Insights from Marcello Pedalino with Pascal Levesque, Adam Weitz, Steve Mood, Jazmine Gonzalez Bumpass, Darryl Jake Jacobsen, Jack Bermeo, Vinny Liotta

As a judge for the Dj of the Year competition at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, I’ve been asked by a few of the finalists what it takes to win our industry’s coveted title. In the interest of full disclosure and fairness to all 12 competitors, I thought it might be best to share my insights with everyone- based on my experience of being on both sides of the score card.

Here we go;

1) Nail your introduction. This is the only element of the evening that you can actually control. There is no excuse to not have it mastered by competition night. It counts for 20% of your over-all score. Is it scary to perform in front of your peers? Yes. Are fellow entertainers a tough crowd to please? Yes. If you flub a single word or pause unnecessarily for 2 seconds during your delivery will everyone notice? Yes. Will any of that be different this year? No. Tough noogies. Practice your intro until you are dreaming about your intro at night and thinking about your intro when you wake up… then practice it some more. If you get anything less than a perfect score for your intro, there is no one to blame but yourself.

2) Nail your introduction.

3) See #1 and #2

4) Win the crowd over like Pascal. You don’t have to be well-known or a previous winner to do well at the competition. Heck, you don’t even have to be from this country. Bring the goods and a positive attitude and perform your heart out. The crowd and the judges will feel it if you make a genuine connection.

5) Choose the right soundtrack like Vinny. In addition to having the talent and the likeability factor, the music you choose as your background track or performance edit is paramount.

6) Be creative like Adam. You will not find words like ‘predictable,’ ‘boring’ or ‘standard’ in his vocabulary. Let your imagination go and your artistic flair shine. Don’t let the categories of the competition get in your way. If you are impressive, you will leave your mark on the competition above and beyond the plaques that are given out.

7) Be original like Steve. Bring something to the table that has elements of personalization and distinction. And, if you can be humble at the same time like Mr. Moody, you’ll also learn that nice guys can finish first.

Marcello Pedalino, 3-Time Recipient of The DJ TImes DJ of The Year Award8) Be a polished emcee like Jack and don’t scream into the mic. I’m shocked how many seasoned entertainers still do this. The judges want to see you be in the moment, but stay in control like Mr. Bermeo.

9) If you are performing with a team, execute your routine flawlessly like Jazmine. If your dancers are better than you are and just up there for eye candy, it’s going to work against you. Dj of the Year winners are those who fire on all cylinders from every aspect from start to finish.

10) Know your audience like Jake. Give the crowd something awesome and useful that they can wow their clients with at their next event. And, if you do well at the competition, be generous like Mr. Jacobsen and share your ideas with those who contact you afterwards.

Have fun and good luck everyone!


The MMP Entertainment and Event Production Team helps the world Celebrate Life! MMP is led by Executive Director, 3-Time National DJ Entertainer of the Year and ADJA Leadership Award recipient, Marcello Pedalino.

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