Friday, September 5, 2008

Judging: The Final Round

After a good night's sleep, our judges were ready for round two. This time, they were joined by a celebrity judge from (RED) and other Hallmark judges and once again, serious business ensued. The judges would have to narrow down the fifty remaining submissions to twenty finalists. Each judge made a panel of their top twenty favorite entries, based on the judging criteria. Their panel acted as part of their "vote." Then, they looked around at everyone's panels to see which entries earned the most "votes."

Sounds simple enough.  But simple it was not.  Each judge had personal favorites and would fight to the proverbial death for said favorites.  Keep in mind the judges all come from different backgrounds: marketing, design, editorial, etc..  Let's just say, we're glad they don't all have to send holiday cards together.  Scary thought.  The group hashed out what felt (RED) and what felt unique and they even had to let go of some of those favorites for the good of the group.  It's a good thing they had snacks to soothe the pain of such losses.  After much deliberation over each entry, the judges eventually decided whether it was finalist material. If yes, the entry was pinned onto the finalist board, as the judges clapped enthusiastically.

Here they are, our top twenty finalists (and alternates)! We can't wait to share them with you in all their (non-blurred) glory!


pecanbrittle said...

Those Hallmark judges are a tease
But everyone they try to please
They make us think our card is there
Among the chosen oh so fair

Upon the table do they lay
While the contestants muse & say
I think that mine is there to see
But then again it may not be

So we wait and stay so busy
Keep ourselves out of a tizzy
Judges work & keep us guessing
Which cards will receive the blessing

Those fine 20 are on the board
Possibly soon they’ll thank the Lord
While all the others have to wait
To see just one on Monday’s date

All have fun in this whole process
Judges have explained their progress
They’re always nice to all of us
I’d say these contests are A+

Nicole said...

Great poem pecan!

Ah! I can't wait to see the finalists!

Becky (Daisyduster) said...

I'm about to DIE with excitement!!! judges are a bit of a tease...but I'd rather have you teasing than get no glimpse at all!! LOL


R.D. said...

Well, I "think" I see what "could" be mine. LOL..Mine was mostly red, but if mine us up there, I think it may be on the board to the right, the second one down from the word "your" in the "your Holiday" sign. BUT, I didn't get a call today, and at least one person has admitted to knowing they are a finalist already (Congrats!). I guess that must mean more than one were called, if not all 20. :( I'm not one of them.....again...if that is the case. I guess I will just wait to see what happens over the weekend. I really needed this - so here's to hoping anyway. Good luck everyone.

poeticfisherman said...

I swore that I wouldn't say, "I think I see mine," but I can't help it. I haven't been contacted, yet, so I figure I should prepare for the next contest and write this one off, but who knows? Hallmark has teased before, as we all know!

Good luck to the lucky 20. I can't wait to see the finalists' cards.

Anonymous said...

Aside from displaying the finalists, I hope Hallmark will also display designs from the alternates since they were soooooo close to being a finalist.! Even if they had the designs for all the alternates recognized in one day would be awesome. Maybe make it "The Rest of the Best" section. Just an idea judges!

Anonymous said...

Too add to my earlier comment, I meant displaying the alternates online along with the top 20 finalists. Once the top 20 are announced, then they can maybe give a little honorable mention type of shout out to the alternates who almost made the final cut.

R.D. said...

Since this contest covered everything up to New Years, anyone want to take a gander as to what the next contest will be? I'm thinking either a generic thank you card or something like that, otherwise we are back to Valentines?

alexando79 said...

yes, best of luck to the finalists and happy holidays in september (it's never too early for holiday wishes, right?). i wouldn't mind the mentioning of the alternates. well, i know i will want to enter the next one because this has been a pleasure and those that enter and especially those that post on the blog are amazing, genuine and genuinely talented. and please don't forget to continue to fight the good fight and not let your (red) mission end with a card submission--that rhymes; not as good as the poems posted but it does rhyme. :)

poeticfisherman said...

Assuming the top 20 have been notified, I will say I am not one of them. (Thanks to the votes of confidence I received from Sharon and Sandideer, though.)

That said, I can't wait to try again in the next contest.

Best of luck to the finalists.

R.D. said...

poeticfisherman, I am keeping an open mind for a bit longer. I'm not sure they would call people on the weekends, and we haven't had but one yet proclaim to be notified on the blog. :) SO I am keeping a bit of hope alive they did not call everyone in one day, Friday.

Here is to hoping, and I too look foward to the next!

poeticfisherman said...

The main reason I'm not keeping as wide an opened mind is because I had previously asked the question, on a different blog post, if the unveiling on Monday the 8th meant that the finalists would be notified prior to then to allow the 72 hour window for completing the paperwork, etc. The response I received was, "Yes."
Now, it is possible that the judging ran late and everything is henceforth, backed up, and it is also possible that by unveiling the finalists, one at a time, on the blog, that the window to contact and confirm them is longer. I'm just basing my opinion on what I was previously told by the judges.

Anonymous said...

Blessings and good fortune to all !!!! :) I am so excited I can hardly wait !!!! :)

Cindy Lou Who said...

Shew...the wait has been intense!

I'm holding out an cc of hope that finalists could still be contacted after the reveal starts. Probably not :(

I'm anxious to see what the next contest is and start thinking of ideas!

Good luck to everyone and Congrats to those who have been notified.

Anonymous said...

I read under "the rules," that finalist notication would take place between August 22nd-September 5th.
I suspect if you have not been notified by September 5th that it is not going to happen. But again, you never know, eh? Best wishes and good luck to those that qualified.

R.D. said...

Well, then, Poeticfisherman, I guess my hopes are dashed again. Geeez. I could have sworn I saw mine up there too.

Someone should make an area where we can show each others cards that didn't make it and give each other critique. :) I know I'd like to see them!

Anonymous said...


Could you verify if all 20 have been notified as of yet?

"Alot of bellies with butterflies writing in here"!

Thanks....Sure all the 20 cards will be great!

Emmi :)

Wordy McGee said...

Warning: spoiler alert!

For those of you still curious as to whether we've notified all of the finalists, yes, we have. We'll still be revealing them one at a time, however, on the site and on the blog, so check back every weekday to meet the "finalist of the day." Good job to everyone who entered. We saw lots of truly amazing holiday entries and we had really tough decisions to make when it came to choosing only 20 finalists!

Wordy McGee said...

Did somebody say alternates? Well, you'll be happy to know that we'll display the alternate designs once all of the finalists have been revealed. They deserve your comments and praise, too, after all.

Cindy Lou Who said...

HEY PECAN BRITTLE - is that a Sphynx as your picture????

Cindy Lou Who said...

Thanks WORDY - that helps my nerves.

I'm so very happy for the finalists and alternates. I anxiously await the daily reveal(s).

pecanbrittle said...

cindy lou --- yes, she's absolutely a Sphynx ... too fat in that photo tho'. Now she has become a very sveldt lady and thinks she's a model (the way she walks)!

Cindy Lou Who said...

(sorry everyone for the off topic, I promise I'll stop after this one)
PECAN BRITTLE - She's just adorable! I like the crinkled, foldy, belly pudge they get when the sit (even the trim ones). She's more of a prancer now instead of a waddler?

Mine bald girl is trim, I think, and absolutely loathes her clothes. She'd rather sit there shivering than have me put a sweater on her.

I'd love to see more pictures of her and/or stories; if you'd consider sharing them.

pecanbrittle said...

cindy lou --
Our lady Sphynx has lots of charm
And in a flash can twist your arm.
Here’s a photo for you to see.
She’s very busy like a bee.
In rare times when she’s sitting still,
Praising her lots gives her a thrill.

Anonymous said...

I will say that I don't feel the judges selected the top quality cards thus far. As of right now, I would not purchase any of those cards as an holiday one to us, nor do I think a lot of them represent the meaning of (RED)...I had friends send me their designs and they I thought were of much better quality and uniqueness and overall theme. Hope the rest of the entries get better.

Anonymous said...


You also have to consider that if all of the best cards were "wreath" designed (and the wreath card is awesome), they can't pick all 20 of those as finalists. They also have to pick different styles of design to appeal to wide range of an audience.