Welcome to Brett’s Corner – a monthly column by the 2006 Bingo Caller Of The Year and GalaTV caller.
Judging The Finals
Over the last few weeks I have been up and down the land searching for the finalists for this year’s Bingo Caller Of The Year. And what a difficult job it has been!
Obviously I have had first hand experience of the competition from a caller’s point of view but watching it through judge’s eyes is a completely new experience.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the competition process there are two sections: the first is an interview type situation where you are asked questions on all aspects of the industry. The first section is 50% of the marks. The second part is your skills as a caller on stage and covers the remaining 50% of the marks. The caller with the most marks after both sections will win the title! Sounds easy? Trust me its not!
As a judge this year, I felt a bit like Simon Cowell off of The X-Factor! Some of the finalists were petrified as they walked into the interview room, they looked like they were about to get shot! Also some of the callers were close friends, yet I had to remain unbiased and impartial throughout.
There were times when I wanted to shout out ‘NO’ when they were getting the question wrong, but I just had to nod politely and just say ‘THANK YOU’ as they completely messed up the question!
The fun part of the judging process though was definitely the calling parts – especially the 3 minutes of entertainment! Some of the callers were proper entertainers – from a magician who baffled the crowd with a mind reading trick to a girl who played ‘name that tune’ with a kazoo!
After both sections we would go into a quiet room to add up all the scores. All of the finals have been really tight, with only a few points between first place and last.
But there can be only one winner, and that is the most daunting part of the day for me as a judge. Imagine a packed Bingo hall full of players from across the region, all rooting for their caller. Once the winner has been announced you get one section of the crowd cheers and the others baying for your blood. I even had some customers coming up to me afterwards to let me know how wrong I got it and how their caller was the better one!
Well now all the regional finals have been completed and the top 6 callers in the country have been picked. They will all be traveling to London on the last weekend in November to battle it out to see who takes over my crown and becomes the next ambassador for the industry. (And let’s not forget an all expenses trip to Vegas baby yeah!)
I’m looking forward to it, and next months blog will be all about the grand final. Good luck to the finalists! Come and get my trophy!