CCC 2019 Semi-Final Results + Feedback

The time has come. The two finalists who will be squaring off at Cardistry Con this year are:

Lars Mayrand

Salvador González

Our judges have also written feedback for all the contestants, which you can view along with their votes for each round below.

Feedback for Bracket 1/2:
Lars Mayrand vs. Thanh Cong Le


Touch's thoughts:
As usual with Lars, this video was full of personality: he has a very distinct style and we love that. We thought the first minute of the video was a bit weak in terms of moves though, but it gets really good after!
We enjoy the variety, and we love the conceptual two handed cuts, it’s a nice mix of original/weird idea made into coherent cuts. The highlight for us were the displays, especially the one handed displays, with really cool/clean instant closers. The Gaolock/Sybil shout out was also pretty hilarious!
In terms of the video itself, it was fun and easy to watch, with good camera angles and various location. The counting up theme was also a nice touch! Congrats, overall a very strong entry!

The theme in Gaolock’s video was fun, and the overall thing was pretty entertaining to watch, with interactive moves like the platter sliding etc. There were some very nice concepts with high impact moments, but some of the moves could have been performed cleaner. Overall, it was pretty much what would could expect from Gaolock, in a good way: Lots of WTF moments that we had to re-watch a few times, like that spin on spread to thumb thingy.
One issue that we have with Gaolock’s style though, is that we sometimes don’t know whether he’s using a gimmick or not, and that makes it very hard for us to judge. We don’t mind people using props or gimmicks in cardistry, as long as it’s very clear that that’s what he’s doing.
About the video, it’s better than your last rounds, but be careful about your angles, it makes it sometimes hard to really get the moves. We would also love to see more camera movements fitting the moves as it will add a little bit of dynamism to your video.

 Both contestant showed a very recognizable style with strong personality, but Lars’ moves seemed more refined and complete to us.

Touch's vote: Lars Mayrand

Jaspas' thoughts:
Whimsical versus whimsical. In the battle between Lars and Gaolock the 2 cardists approached the competition with equally whimsical concepts and mediums of expression. Lars' choice of performing moves while counting up led his video to have a naturally progressing series of moves that grow in size over the moves. Gaolock's video however was more of a myriad of different small concepts that led to completely different feeling moves. My favorite move in this battle belonged to Gaolock in the form of his whimsical 1 thumb display at 1.32, but my vote goes to…

Jaspas' vote: Lars Mayrand

Patrick's thoughts:
What a matchup, these two videos are insane. Both of these videos are driven by awesome presentational concepts. Gaolock’s video brought together the cardistry infinity stones while Lars’ video counted up from 1 to 8 with moves that matched the numbers. I thought both of these ideas were great but Lars’ concept wins the presentation battle for me. Move-wise again I felt Gaolock really excelled with using surprise and playing off expectations. I always love Gaolock’s Sybil stuff! I have no idea how he does that aerial triangle setup and I have no idea how he does that helicopter spin riffle shuffle thing so smoothly. I would have liked to see more fully-sequenced ideas on top of the really quick cool moments though, cleaner execution would also help certain ideas. I thought Lars really stepped it up from the last round. The 6 face display and the 8 face display are two of the sickest things I’ve ever seen! Lars’ execution continues to be pretty much perfect in my eye, I can’t see any hesitation or sloppiness that’s holding back any of the performances. Gaolock’s video shows a clear step up in terms of personal effort and I really appreciate how Gaolock addressed the criticisms from the previous rounds but I feel that Lars’ video takes a clear step ahead of Gaolock’s at every opportunity. This one goes to Lars for me!

Patrick's vote: Lars Mayrand

Feedback for Bracket 2/2:
Azlan Valentine vs. Salvador González 


Touch's thoughts:
We love that Salvador’s whole CCC has a continuous storyline: the more we see, the more we want to see what’s next, and that’s just super smart for a championship like that. As usual, the performance is nice and smooth, and we love the work he’s doing on flow.
The two handed cuts seems a bit more conceptual that in the first round, but you still manage to make them flow perfectly. We love the variety, and there was some very good power moves like the one handed Waterbend thing, but we did feel like a few of the moves didn’t really fit a CCC semi-final video: at this point in the championship, there’s no room for filler moves anymore.
About the video itself, as usual it’s very well made, but some moves were hard to get due to the angle (out of frame for a lot of them). And it’s good to see you outside but be careful of the lighting: it's often too contrasted with direct light and it creates big shades that hides packets. It would look cleaner in a more diffuse light.

 It’s fun to see a battle with 2 very different approaches: Salvador has a very cinematic performance while Azlan is going for a more natural/casual style.
Just like Salvador, Azlan clearly knows his moves, and the performance is great and looks effortless. We do think that there can be an improvement on flow and timing though.
There was some really good designs in 2 handed cuts, and we especially love “100 Grand”. The “Yang Chan” type move at the end was also pretty crazy!
Overall, the video was really fun to watch, but felt a bit short. Still a super nice entry!

Touch's vote: Salvador González 

Jaspas' thoughts:
Both cardists had beautiful move-centric videos that amazed me. I find it really interesting that compared to his entries from last year, Salvador's videos this year seem to be a lot more mature and carefully put together, whereas Azlan's videos seem to be more similar to Salvador's videos of last year; energetic, powerful, youthful. Azlan's move at 1.33 certainly was the highlight of the video for me. It's one of the few examples of complex cuts that I really enjoy, in which the complexity of the cut doesn't encumber the Cardists' ability to execute the move smoothly, the viewer's ability to grasp what is goin on, nor the move's expression of interesting concepts. That being said, Salvador's maturity of his style and moves from the previous year fills me with more excitement. The slippy slidey style of 2 handed cut's that is so crucially Salvador-esqe makes me want to see how the Salvador experience progresses into the final round.

Jaspas' vote: Salvador González 

Patrick's thoughts:
Two very different videos. One is like a short film and the other is like a music video! Salvador’s story didn’t grip me as much as it did in the previous round, it didn’t feel like it had much of an impact on the actual cardistry portion of his video. I like the material from Salvador this round, nice stuff. Balanced set! I felt like there was decent enough variety and the execution was around where it needed to be. I think Azlan came up a little short this round, I don’t think he delivered as hard with this video. I didn’t feel like there was that much material from him in this video, it felt like he was holding back too much. Fun vibe overall but a little too light on substance. While I definitely think aspects of Salvador’s video could be improved, the shortcomings of Azlan’s video ultimately really hold Azlan back for me in this round. I’ll give this one to Salvador!

Patrick's vote: Salvador González 

The final videos will air at Cardistry-Con 2019.

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