BB26 Results/Feedback

BhangraBlowout

Active Member
Messages
116
Hello BTF!

Our Board, Staff, Liaisons, and GW's South Asian Society hope that everyone who attended BB26 enjoyed the comp and the weekend! We all had a great time hosting everyone here in Foggy Bottom and were honored to be able to showcase eight of some of the best collegiate teams in the circuit. We were also thrilled to once again have crowd-favorites VSB perform along with our headliner Ashok Prince.

A big thank you goes to our judging panel Shahrukh Khan, Parmbir Singh Lally, Angela Luo, and Navneet Pandher. Due to unforeseen circumstances Simran Lalli and Amrinder (Nana) Pannu could not join us this past weekend. We would like to extend a special thank you to Navneet Pandher for stepping in just days before the competition and were so appreciative to have her on our judging panel.

Thank you also to our photographer Viknesh Lakshmanan and veteran videographer Harjot Hundal for capturing BB26 so well!

Congratulations to our placing teams:

1st Place: DRP
2nd Place: CMU Bhangra
3rd Place: The Michigan Bhangra Team

And a shout out to all the other phenomenal teams that performed:

UNC Bhangra Elite
Bruin Bhangra
Cornell Bhangra
Virginia Di Shaan
Illini Bhangra

Best Jodi: CMU Bhangra~ Hardik Singh and Ananya Suri
Best Dancer: Illini Bhangra~ Jaskirat Vig
Best Vardi: CMU Bhangra
Best Pagh: UNC Bhangra Elite

We're always looking to improve so please feel free to leave any and all feedback!

-BB26 Board
 
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Howie Magz

Well-Known Member
Messages
454
Having watched this show from the audience perspective I would like to say that Bhangra is very much alive in the collegiate circuit. All 1-8 teams truly brought it as I would say not a single team was technically bad or terrible. The show kept me very much engaged as every team really brought unique set design, some phenomenal dancing, and some sets that really surprised me in a positive way. I would say for the first time in a long time it was enjoyable to watch from an audience perspective. VSB as always really continues to promote Punjabi Virsa by bringing the kids of their academy and demonstrate the future talent of the Bhangra circuit so big ups to them. Going off of what Kartik said above, it was a great idea for the additional awards. Congrats to the blowout committee for putting on quite the show this year.
 

JesseMangat

Active Member
Messages
26
Great competition run year after year by Blowout committee and great organization. Placings this year however definitely were a bit shocking to just about everyone, and it felt like the judges really got this one wrong. The judging panel was very experienced, however with 2/5 original judges we met with for the judges meeting and Q&A not being able to be present at the actual competition, a former DRP alum leading the panel, the performances felt as if they were judged not according to the rubric. Huge S/O CMU who executed at an insane level as did UNC and definitely deserved higher placings. Nothing against DRP and congrats to them, love their style and sets but with their number of mistakes and their level of dancing, it just didn’t seem to match up with many of the other performances of the night or quite honestly look like a 1st place performance at any competition. As teams that prep very hard all year for these collegiate championships, getting the placings wrong at such a high level competition just shouldn’t happen. Teams getting robbed at comps like this really deflate a team's attitude towards the competition and the collegiate circuit as a whole as some of us even gave up the chance to compete at Championships of Bhangra the very next week for Blowout. Our team is proud of what we accomplished this season regardless and know where we stand in terms of our dancing, energy, and difficult sets, so aren't asking for placings to be changed but just wanted to create some conversation on how judging/rubrics at elite competitions like this can be fixed so the competition becomes more consistent to help the collegiate circuit keep growing and be properly rewarded for their hard work. If anyone does completely agree with the placings, would also love to hear the take/opinions and just create some more conversation! Videos can all be found posted on YouTube under Simran Singh's profile.
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,475
Videos can all be found posted on YouTube under Simran Singh's profile.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCDtvBcFeGwOzznOyFc63A
thanks for shouting out simran, don't personally know the dude but he makes legit vids.
shout outs to mithin, bhoops, simran, and anyone else recording bhangra, gtv is a fraud.

as to the judging, comps need to really work on what kinda dynamic a judging panel will have, all judges should really understand each other and be able to debate as equals so proper outcomes can be accomplished. that chemistry and respect is important.
 
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KironMizanur

Loughborough & Gabru Furteley
Messages
88
Props to Bhangra Blowout for the additional awards, I think it’s always more interesting when competitions give recognition like that.
More competitions need to start implementing the ‘Best Mix Award’.

A lot of mixers across the scene internationally, including myself feel that there isn’t enough recognition out there for the months of hard work we put in to ensure a team does well on stage.

Mauj had one recently, Fever did, Championships too - other competitions should take note to make and have an award for this category to a standardised level at every competition and NOT just something that’s announced over the microphone saying best mix.
 
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khehra36

Member
Messages
50
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCDtvBcFeGwOzznOyFc63A
thanks for shouting out simran, don't personally know the dude but he makes legit vids.
shout outs to mithin, bhoops, simran, and anyone else recording bhangra, gtv is a fraud.

as to the judging, comps need to really work on what kinda dynamic a judging panel will have, all judges should really understand each other and be able to debate as equals so proper outcomes can be accomplished. that chemistry and respect is important.
Totally agree with this Hardeep. I feel like that is a major factor when selecting the panel for judging. The organization team needs to make sure to have prior meetings with all judges that are selected to make sure they all understand what kind of competition they will be judging, what kind of rubric is designed and what is expected out of them.

This is just my take on this. I am not sure if the placings were right or wrong as I have not watched any videos. All I want to talk about is the process that leads up to the comps these days regarding judging which needs a lot of improvement that can further minimize these mistakes if there are any which seems to be a trend at almost every comps these days.

What goes on with the collegiate comps that I have seen is that they get the funding from school. And funding is basically divided into what the cost of running the competition is which includes venue rental, food and other miscellaneous stuff. From my experience of judging the collegiate comps I have seen that most of the time judges expenses are not accounted for in the college funding. This results in a number of qualified judges not applying to these comps to judge. I would highly recommend to account for the judges expenses into the funding as well. I am sure if you can get funding to bring in a singer to sing for 15 mins for $10000. You can get funding to fund a judge flight and hotel expenses.

Regarding judges being on same page I would highly recommend the prior meetings with judges and teams to be held for every comp so everyone understands the mentality. This can help reduce the amount of shock that teams are starting to feel nowadays after every comp.

Thanks
 

srazdan

Active Member
Messages
11
I think one of the factors that may have had a role in the overall placings was that judges were reshuffled pretty close to the competition. Due to a personal emergency, one of the judges had to drop the week of Blowout, which is totally understandable. The committee was able to find a judge to replace the one who had dropped. However, unfortunately, one more judge dropped the day before the competition, which meant that the judging panel had 4 people (as opposed to 5). 1 of those 4 was new and 2 of the original judges, who might have had valuable input in making the rubric, were no longer judging the competition.

I’m sure that the committee did the best they could to put together a judging panel given these unforeseen circumstances and the judges did the best they could to align on the rubric. However, there's only so much you can do in a day.

If Blowout agrees, it might be helpful for other people if the rubric was publicly released so everyone can make a decision for themselves.
 

sdadoo15

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
296
So I have somewhat of a different stance, but I'm also kind of going to echo Jesse and Hardeep. There was absolutely no agreement in this judging panel, and more importantly there was a serious disconnect in the way they deliberated and the way the rubric was made. I don't have a big issue with the way things were judged, in the sense our feedback was decent and they were transparent with us. But it was pretty evident from the start that this panel should not have been a Blowout panel. No knock on their backgrounds because they are all genuinely qualified, but the point I have been trying to make for so long is that your judges have to match the rubric and the competition's vision. BB used to be a competition where teams would bring the most fire that they could produce, a competition where there was no fear to go above and beyond and no fear of taking risk in your set. This is what made it slowly become the collegiate championships, and Blowout rightfully coined their competition with that title. However, in the pre-competition judges meeting, it was so so evident that the panel (minus 1-2) did not have this mindset, and were going to heavily favor clean, "simple bhangra" over entertainment. Which is fine, but that's not Bhangra Blowout.

In terms of the actual meeting, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I really appreciated that the judges were trying to give us extra time for us to be satisfied with the discussion. There seemed to be a lot of contradictory statements made, the points didn't add up (UNC scored 2nd, 2nd, T-3rd, 4th yet ended up 4th overall in raw scores???), and most importantly it was so clear that the panel was split 2 v 2 on many issues. Again, not so much an issue with the judges themselves but a lot to do with who was chosen. Big issue with this overall was that deliberation was not conducted in the same mindset of the rubric but rather "it came down to personal preferences". Yes, I quoted that because it was said word-for-word in our meeting. When it came down to it, the set and entertainment weren't considered equally with dancing, hence the resulting placings I am assuming. This is the problem that happens when judges are chosen that don't reflect the rubric.

Finally, and I tried to make this the last point because I don't want to harp on this. But it was just completely shocking that no one in the audience, and essentially none of the teams, agreed with the placings. I don't know what happened, and quite honestly I have been avoiding speculating what happened, because it didn't seem to make sense to anyone. Nothing to take away from DRP, they ripped it, but a lot to take away from the way BB went about judging.

Sorry for this viewpoint, and you can hate me for it, but Bhangra Blowout needs to seriously re-evaluate what kind of competition they have historically hosted and what kind of competition they want to be in the future. There needs to be consistency year to year, because I couldn't honestly tell you right now what BB is looking for in a winning performance. Right now, the way it has been the last 3-4 years, I'm having a tough time viewing them as the collegiate championships.

P.S. I am pretty upset we chose BB over Championships of Bhangra. I luckily had the opportunity to compete at both, and Champs was unbelievable from start to finish. It is a shame teams like MBT, CMU, UNC, Illini and many others were invited and chose to drop it due to Bhangra Blowout. Will post a more thorough review of that competition in that thread, but having a full board of people with dance experience does wonders for a comp :)
 

Basim

♥ BTF ♥
Staff member
Messages
1,459
No knock on their backgrounds because they are all genuinely qualified, but the point I have been trying to make for so long is that your judges have to match the rubric and the competition's vision. BB used to be a competition where teams would bring the most fire that they could produce, a competition where there was no fear to go above and beyond and no fear of taking risk in your set. This is what made it slowly become the collegiate championships, and Blowout rightfully coined their competition with that title. However, in the pre-competition judges meeting, it was so so evident that the panel (minus 1-2) did not have this mindset, and were going to heavily favor clean, "simple bhangra" over entertainment. Which is fine, but that's not Bhangra Blowout.

....

Sorry for this viewpoint, and you can hate me for it, but Bhangra Blowout needs to seriously re-evaluate what kind of competition they have historically hosted and what kind of competition they want to be in the future. There needs to be consistency year to year, because I couldn't honestly tell you right now what BB is looking for in a winning performance. Right now, the way it has been the last 3-4 years, I'm having a tough time viewing them as the collegiate championships.
^ This. Couldn't agree more with the aforementioned points that Sahil made.

Competitions should know what teams they cater towards and the type of competition they are/have been. The judges should be selected based on the types of teams that the committee expects to win (which is also what the rubric should reflect). If you pick traditional judges (or judges who mainly danced for traditional teams) to judge a modern competition, of course there is going to be an inherit bias. Same with vice versa.

This is true unless a particular competition is changing drastically, which needs to be communicated to the public (and especially competing teams) well in advance - i.e. Blowout wanting a winning team to be a live, folk team that dances from the voice & music of a live band.

~ Basim :)
 

nikhil95

Member
Messages
46
Honestly I feel like all comps should release rubrics and judges feedback, it just makes things more transparent. I understand it opens up judges to criticism, but at least it allows others to form their own opinions. Also future committee's can use the feedback to pick judges they feel are qualified AND judge per comps rubrics
 

scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
I didn't compete at blowout, so I can't speak to the judging feedback, but I think a perspective that could be added to this conversation is the fact that the people who run these competitions aren't always long-time Bhangra dancers who are well-versed in the circuit, the judges and the various judging styles; and that lack of nuance I think can be amplified when the line-up was so tightly stacked. Watching from side stage, every team seemed to have brought their best.
I think moving forward we have to ask ourselves how this can be fixed and what our expectations are. The people that have commented on this thread have definitely competed on some big stages/been in the circuit for a minute, but the people who put together these competitions have not. Do we expect them to know who is who in the circuit and what their general approaches to judging bhangra are? Because I have been to enough competitions to know that just trying to explain the basics of what we need to compete (i.e. get pagghan tied and our mix to actually be heard on stage) is hard enough.
I think a common resource should be made available to comp organizers via BTF that can quantify judging experience and where they are on the folk vs modern spectrum (yes I know this was mentioned in a previous thread, but I am bringing it up again bc I think it could be a relevant solution).
I also second @nikhil95 request to start making judging scores public.
 

Jahordon

Active Member
Messages
37
And just as we all suspected, the panel-leading DRP alum stole the win for DRP. Collusion!

17130

As teams that prep very hard all year for these collegiate championships, getting the placings wrong at such a high level competition just shouldn’t happen. Teams getting robbed at comps like this really deflate a team's attitude towards the competition and the collegiate circuit as a whole as some of us even gave up the chance to compete at Championships of Bhangra the very next week for Blowout.
I really dislike language like this. Calling placings wrong means that there are objectively correct placings clear for us all to see. If that were the case, we wouldn't even need judges. Getting robbed is a matter of perspective. If one of these "robbed" teams swapped places with DRP, then maybe DRP would feel robbed.

There was absolutely no agreement in this judging panel, and more importantly there was a serious disconnect in the way they deliberated and the way the rubric was made.
Except for all of them agreeing on DRP as being 1st.

I wasn't there to watch the sets live, and I'm not qualified enough to say what I think the placings should be based on the videos I've seen. However, the outrage over this seems rather excessive and premature. I think in the future it would be reasonable to ask for rubrics before people start making aggressive claims about the panel and their scorings. If the scores seem outlandish, maybe then we can open a dialogue about whether or not it was appropriate for teams to be scored the way they were.

All the judges had DRP first, so I think it's pretty clear that's a unanimous win. CMU, MBT, and UNC were between 2nd and 4th for all the judges as well, so there's some consistency there. I can understand there being some confusion and frustration as to why UNC didn't place, but the points themselves just weren't there for them, even if a few judges had them placing.
 
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God_of_Bhangra

New Member
Messages
1
Yerrrrrrrr!
- The charisma, hype, and credibility of this competition seems to be diminishing with every passing year.
- The board clearly needs someone with a strong Bhangra IQ to guide them in picking proper teams that dance well (compared to just flashy/favorites) and picking judges who are experienced/mature enough to a judge of the "Collegiate Championships" as there seems to be disparity with the placings.
- As someone who danced at Championships, I'd highly recommend for more collegiate teams to aim to come there as this comp was hands down incredible.
Shout out to all the placing teams from this year at BB.
 

bhangrasux2.0

New Member
Messages
1
Great competition run year after year by Blowout committee and great organization. Placings this year however definitely were a bit shocking to just about everyone, and it felt like the judges really got this one wrong. The judging panel was very experienced, however with 2/5 original judges we met with for the judges meeting and Q&A not being able to be present at the actual competition, a former DRP alum leading the panel, the performances felt as if they were judged not according to the rubric. Huge S/O CMU who executed at an insane level as did UNC and definitely deserved higher placings. Nothing against DRP and congrats to them, love their style and sets but with their number of mistakes and their level of dancing, it just didn’t seem to match up with many of the other performances of the night or quite honestly look like a 1st place performance at any competition. As teams that prep very hard all year for these collegiate championships, getting the placings wrong at such a high level competition just shouldn’t happen. Teams getting robbed at comps like this really deflate a team's attitude towards the competition and the collegiate circuit as a whole as some of us even gave up the chance to compete at Championships of Bhangra the very next week for Blowout. Our team is proud of what we accomplished this season regardless and know where we stand in terms of our dancing, energy, and difficult sets, so aren't asking for placings to be changed but just wanted to create some conversation on how judging/rubrics at elite competitions like this can be fixed so the competition becomes more consistent to help the collegiate circuit keep growing and be properly rewarded for their hard work. If anyone does completely agree with the placings, would also love to hear the take/opinions and just create some more conversation! Videos can all be found posted on YouTube under Simran Singh's profile.
ya man some teams did get robbed. UNC shoulda replaced yall.
 

nikhil95

Member
Messages
46
@Jahordon I feel like rubrics should just be published by committee's when they create the review thread. Although I will say that it is not ideal to have alumni judge their previous team. Idk how long judges danced with other teams, but @UmerQureshi96 mentioned in the other thread that he wouldn't judge for FCB for several years due to his long standing involvement. I hope this is the gold standard committee's TRY to adhere to. I understand that good qualified judge's are hard to come by but ideally people should not have had elongated relationships with teams competing. I also appreciate that there is a dearth of female judges in the circuit, and therefore those guidelines should be more flexible.

If there was an issue with how the competition was scored it is clearly not with the judges based on the data. Having no judging experience myself, and not seen the UNC vid, I would be interested to see how others would have judged the top 4 teams in question, with the same criteria. What areas do you think the judges scored teams too highly in or not given a team enough credit? How could the committee work to make this rubric more "fair" for next year?
 

brasian117

New Member
Messages
2
I feel like rubrics should just be published by committee's when they create the review thread. Although I will say that it is not ideal to have alumni judge their previous team. Idk how long judges danced with other teams, but @UmerQureshi96 mentioned in the other thread that he wouldn't judge for FCB for several years due to his long standing involvement. I hope this is the gold standard committee's TRY to adhere to.
Definitely post scoresheets early, as these ones cleared up a lot of the speculation above. But these scoresheets reinforce that good & consistent judging occurs outside of affiliations and personal team history, and that judging is a group endeavor and not directed by panel "leaders." Calling out judges' personal histories is mad convenient when you do it because you didn't place.... less convenient when the evidence doesn't add up.

The meatier discussion here is what @sdadoo15 and others have mentioned above, which is absolutely related to how the panels/rubrics are constructed - BB's identity and vision; then, now, and moving forward. If any lurking board members, past present or future, can give us some insight on how they feel about this and where they would like to see this go, I think it would be very interesting for a lot of us!
 
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