John Symms and Colby West Win People's Choice Award at JOSS!
I never planned to win at Jon Olsson Super Sessions. Colby and I agreed from the beginning that we didn't care about making the winning video. In fact, we weren't sweating the People's Choice award that heavily either. We figured that the predominantly Scandinavian crowd would give it to one of the three Scandinavian teams in the contest. And if not them, probably to Team America, the one with Simon Dumont and Tom Wallisch, who is literally the biggest freestyle ski star in Scandinavia, despite being an American. We just wanted to make a video that would make, as Team Canduh says, bunch people laugh once it hit the Internet.
After each video, the announcer held a decibel meter up and asked the crowd to cheer out its reaction. The response to our video was 114 decibels or something like that. I don't really know what that means, but it sounds pretty loud to me. I couldn't believe it. When they announced that we won People's Choice, it, like, totally jazzed me up. And my team. We were all hugging each other, and smiling uncontrollably. I was so happy that I was shaking. Suddenly, Team USA was euphoric with the elation of knowing that we'd completely smashed our greatest expectations. That was important, considering what we were about to find out.
If you asked the thousands of screaming spectators at the Mix Megapol Arena in Åre, "My Friend Is A Pro" was the best video of the contest. Tight. The official judges disagreed. In fact, they completely disagreed. Five judges ranked the submissions against each other on five different categories: Tricks, tricks, concept, overall impression, and photo slideshow. The best video each category received 12 points, the worst received 0 points, and the intermediate places received intermediate point amounts spaced at 2-point intervals: Points = 2*((6 - (r - 1))), where r is the team's rank in a particular category. I was told after the awards ceremony that the points system was made up as a device to build the suspense for the awards show crowd, and actually had little correlation with the real evaluations of the videos—except, of course, their opinion that Norway made the best video.
Either way, as the scores came out category by category, the first two hurt a little bit. You know, last place and all. Then when the concept score came out as a zero (despite glowing praise from the judges for having made the most entertaining video of the contest), we started to get excited. Could we have gotten shut out by the judges and still made the crowd favorite? It doesn't get much better than that.
We got close. Soo close. Our team's photographer, Alex O'Brien submitted the sixth best (second worst? half empty? half full? third world?) photo slideshow, however, blowing our perfect shutout with his two points. WTF, right? What a downer. But in a world where winning the crowd is better than winning the money, 0 points can still be better than 2 points. And 2 points is still a damn good score.