March 17, 2001 16:50
FERGIE CROWNED KING
Fergie triumphes at the Essential Relief DJ Duel...
Hard house DJ FERGIE has emerged the victor after beating off stiff competition from the likes of FATBOY SLIM, CARL COX, SEB FONTAINE and JUDGE JULES in the ESSENTIAL RELIEF DJ DUEL duel at LONDON's HOME last night (March 16).
The event, which was broadcast live on Radio 1 for a record-breaking eight hours, saw DJ battling it out with 20-minute sets, leading to the final between Fatboy Slim and Fergie.
Carl Cox, an initial favourite to win, told NME.COM: "Myself getting knocked out by Fergie will make some news, but then that's the name of the game - it's all good fun! It's great to see all the industry out supporting such a good cause and I'm glad to be involved."
After being knocked out by DJ Lottie in the first round, Darren Emerson explained to NME.COM: "Before I played with Lottie, we agreed to keep the tempo housey. That's what we did and it was a privilege to be playing against her."
In the preliminaries, the DJs played back-to-back in a test of their mixing skills and their abilities to read the crowd. The semi-finals then saw Jon Carter take on Fergie and Fatboy Slim battling Lottie. If anything, Fatboy Slim seemed to take the edge at this stage, pumping out tried and tested faves like Underworld's 'Born Slippy', Groove Armada's 'At The River' and his own version of 'Bird Of Prey' meets Leftfield's 'Phat Planet'.
It was in the final, however, that Fergie, who is also now the official Radio 1 Essential Mix DJ, came into his own, proving that hard house really is the UK's sound of the moment. The prize continues an amazing year for Fergie, who seemed astonished at his victory.
The knockout was hosted by Pete Tong and Sara Cox, and included Danny Rampling airing his Love Groove Dance Party live from the fourth floor. "I don't think I've ever seen so many DJs in one place," Tong commented to NME.COM. All proceeds from the event went towards the Comic Relief appeal.
The Essential Relief knockout heats in full:
Fatboy Slim beat Judge Jules
Jon Carter beat Seb Fontaine
Lottie beat Darren Emerson
Fergie beat Carl Cox
Fergie beat Jon Carter
Fatboy Slim beat Lottie
Fergie beat Fatboy Slim