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zircon

The Final Fantasy VI Remix Contest: Results are in, check first post!!!

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doesn't it seem reasonable that the consensus for the best track would reach a vote higher than 4? .... Myself, I gave out quite a lot of 4's and reserved a few 5's for what I felt were the best tracks.

Well, I didn't get my voting done on time - think I was short by the last ten tracks - so my votes didn't really affect the outcome, but I basically translated my votes onto something of an A-F American-style grading scale, where

1 = F = Failed to meet any of the voting criteria

2 = D = Managed to meet some of the criteria

3 = C = Met all of the criteria well enough to count

4 = B = Exceeded what was asked for on some of the criteria

5 = A = Exceeded what was asked for on all of the criteria

So when I did my voting, almost everything I voted on was either a 2, 3, or - if I felt it was really good - a 4. Even some tracks I really enjoyed - as in, wouldn't mind putting on some of my playlists - only got 3s or 4s, because I was trying to be as objective as I could be; they didn't transform the source far enough, or transformed it too far from the original, or something else was too off for it to be worth a 5. I think I ended up only giving two 5's and a single 1. Meaning that, to me, a 3.7ish (think that's what you said the top score was, a while back) top score actually isn't really all that bad; it indicates that more than half of the people thought the track was exceeding what was asked of it.

Then again, you have no way of knowing exactly what everyone's scale was.

Yeah, it's slightly subjective, but that's the nature of public/democratic votes; no matter how well you try to regulate objectivity, there's still going to be a subjective element in the process. And as long as that was applied equally across the board by each individual - i.e. so long as Hardass A was equally hard on all tracks, and Easygoer B was equally generous with points on all tracks - it doesn't really matter, because it balances out.

That's just my thoughts, though.

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I thought the voting system was fine, but doesn't it seem reasonable that the consensus for the best track would reach a vote higher than 4? That's what is really surprising to me, it seems like there was some questionable voting. Myself, I gave out quite a lot of 4's and reserved a few 5's for what I felt were the best tracks.
This contest's was one of the better systems I've seen for a fair and balanced vote, as long as the sample size was large enough. I've been in many contests where it's much more of a popularity vote. The community here is well versed and the anonymity helps a lot to eliminate favoritism. Bringing up "questionable voting" doesn't make much sense; if anything the lack of disparity solidified what I (and others) seem to have thought: a lot of solid tracks, but some still needing polish (certainly including mine). I had no idea whose tracks were whose and that was refreshing when placing my votes.

According to my votes, I was more in favor of your Phantom Train track...

Me too, I was a little surprised to see Throne Reborn score higher; I almost didn't submit it because I wasn't completely happy with it. :P I'll definitely be polishing both of them some more.

XPRTNovice completely deserved the win IMO; did you play all those instruments? :)

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Also just curious, was a song number key ever posted anywhere? Or having the songs available properly tagged? I didn't see either anywhere yet. Thanks!

Zircon posted a file with all entries tagged but I just made this nifty list (not sure if this was done already, apologies for any mistakes):

1 Zas – Alexander's Courage (Blackjack)

2 Rexy, Brandon Strader – Black Genesis (New Continent)

3 Calum Bowen, Xarnax42 – Blackjack's Breakup Bossa (Blackjack)

4 Jakesnke17 – Dusty Route (Phantom Train)

5 Dosei – Emperor Orbs (Rest in Peace, The Gestahl Empire)

6 HoboKa – Frosted Rage Flakes (Umaro)

7 jnWake – Gestahl (The Gestahl Empire)

8 Brad Stark – Gestahl's Ambition – Magic and Empire (The Gestahl Empire)

9 Rexy – Gestahlian Sonata (The Gestahl Empire)

10 Radiowar – Ghetto Palm (Blackjack)

11 XPRTNovice – Gobble Snarf Snap (Phantom Train)

12 mellogear – Here Comes a New Continent! (New Continent)

13 Jack Menhorn – imperial.startupSequence//104 (The Gestahl Empire)

14 DJ T-Mayn – Island in the Sky (New Continent)

15 Anti-Syne – Johnny's Got the Funk (Johnny C. Bad)

16 GallenWolf – Lied fur die Toten (Rest in Peace)

17 Sole Signal – Loco Motion (Phantom Train)

18 Brandon Strader – Mogstradamus (Mog)

19 DrumJ8 – North Haverbrook (Phantom Train)

20 Chernabogue – Rhapsody of Madness (Umaro)

21 Mikeaudio – Riding Against the Empire (The Gestahl Empire)

22 DrumJ8 – Spacious Marimba (New Continent)

23 Meccaneer – Surreality (New Continent)

24 Cash and Change – Synthetic Phantom (Phantom Train)

25 Rexy – Take the Green Cherry (Umaro)

26 Zas – Tectonic Levitation (New Continent)

27 Gario – Terracide (New Continent)

28 Zas – The Face of Imperialism (The Gestahl Empire)

29 DDRKirby(ISQ) – There's Nothing Like Flying (Blackjack)

30 Sole Signal – Throne Reborn (The Gestahl Empire)

31 Sahasrala88 – Ticket to the Underworld (Phantom Train)

32 J Blom – Weapons of Magitek Destruction (The Gestahl Empire)

33 Fictionalhead – From Miles Above Moogle (Mog)

34 Fictionalhead – In the Zone (Gogo)

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In other words... with the exception of Fictionalhead's tracks, all of them are in alphabetical order for arrangement title. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out. :<

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Hahaha... yeah, I see what you mean with my Umaro entry having stylistic similarities to the Return All Robots theme. :lol:

Good thing you bumped it up, because I didn't state which entries actually tickled my interest during the voting. Aside from yours, XPRTNovice's and Sole Signal's Phantom Train track as I stated earlier, I also got some enjoyment out of:

* Anti-Syne's entry for the sheer amount of fun given to a lesser-known source

* Brandon's Mog entry for making me laugh with the quirky direction (!!)

* Radiowar's Blackjack track (which I apparently mistook for Anti-Syne when I first heard it)

* Chernabogue's Gogo track (not Umaro as it was erroneously stated in the ZIP; what happened? :razz: )

* Zas's Blackjack entry (again, the Star Trek homages were really cool, just was hoping for more substance if anything)

* Callum and Xarnax's Blackjack vocal song (Jesse, I say now's a good time to start investing on a better vocal microphone, because you've got skill and dedication in that field from what I saw of you in the past 6 months :D)

* Gallen Wolf's Rest in Peace entry (amazes me to see what ANYONE can do with such a short and meandering source, and I believe you nailed the feel right on while still making it personal)

* Mikeaudio's Empire track (by far my favorite of my rivals for this source tune; made me think of Dr Manhattan's arrangement style going darker, and fits the impending ominousness of the source tune :D)

* Gario's New Continent track (shame you didn't finish it properly because you could've easily given me and Brandon a run for our money :()

* J Blom's Empire track (I told WillRock through IRC that you would probably out-rank me due to the sheer emotion there; almost reminiscent of the Desian cues from Tales of Symphonia; nice going!).

* Fictionalhead's Gogo track (cleaner than Chernabogue's, though not quite as creative, but still pretty neat; I'm still laughing at the fact that both your songs got the same score xD)

It was great listening to them back, though all in all a difficult vote. I may have been harsh with my rankings for it, but all in all I definitely got a kick out of the whole procedure, and I hope that some of you guys will be brought onto the project :)

Thank you much for the kind words :). I'm really glad that it was enjoyable. I don't know if anybody would be up for this, but since Locke's theme wasn't remixed by anyone (and also a lack of remixes of Locke's theme on Ocremix besides the one by Vampire Hunter Dan) has anyone thought of perhaps starting a Locke tribute project?

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I did review all of the votes myself and checked to see if any of the patterns were iffy, for example people voting 1-1-1-1-5-1-1-1 or similar. Everything was above board, though (perhaps because I told people in advance that I would be checking for such shenanigans).

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Poppin' Lockin' Treasure Huntin'. :grin:

Srsly though, a dedicated project might be overkill, but there could be an audition/contest held for the track itself.

Up to Zircon and McVaffe though. ;)

Yeah it could go to the overkill side easily, but it could be done. It would have to be incredibly organized to avoid repetitive mixes and also to bring as much variation as possible. Actually, you could view the project as variants of a theme. The people involved would have to always use Locke's theme as the main source, but could use other final fantasy sources alongside it, not just Final Fantasy VII (e.g. Up to Final Fantasy X). Granted its a bit risky, and definitely a challenge. The number of mixes would have to be moderate as well, like maybe 8 tracks. Its just an idea but with some good planning and enough creativity, in my opinion it could be pretty successful. To everyone else, what are your thoughts?

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Yeah it could go to the overkill side easily, but it could be done. It would have to be incredibly organized to avoid repetitive mixes and also to bring as much variation as possible. Actually, you could view the project as variants of a theme. The people involved would have to always use Locke's theme as the main source, but could use other final fantasy sources alongside it, not just Final Fantasy VII (e.g. Up to Final Fantasy X). Granted its a bit risky, and definitely a challenge. The number of mixes would have to be moderate as well, like maybe 8 tracks. Its just an idea but with some good planning and enough creativity, in my opinion it could be pretty successful. To everyone else, what are your thoughts?

To clarify, I meant overkill as in: there are already two FFVI albums in the work simultaneously at OCR.

Plus, the absence of Locke remixes in this context may also indicate a genuine lack of interest in the theme.

Not a certainty, but something to take into consideration nonetheless. ;)

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To clarify, I meant overkill as in: there are already two FFVI albums in the work simultaneously at OCR.

Plus, the absence of Locke remixes in this context may also indicate a genuine lack of interest in the theme.

Not a certainty, but something to take into consideration nonetheless. ;)

Ahh I see what you meant, and that is true. I guess the best way to approach this will be to see the outcome of the albums first. I do agree with you there, having that project at the same time as the others would be more than risky if not possibly redundant. I think in the meantime planning theoretically would be much more effective, at the very least planning the structure of the project in idea form. We'll see how it pans out.

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The main reason why Concrete Man worked was because of the HUGE Mega Man following here at OCR, especially within the competition sub-forums whose regulars contributed a fair chunk of the material. I'm not saying they'd give the same kind of treatment to Final Fantasy as well, but most likely due to the added complexity of the source material and that usually if anyone does an FF mix around here, it's usually for an over-covered source.

Also, I'm pretty sure the spot for Locke will be filled up. I don't think it'll be quite as overlooked as Concrete Man on MM9.

And let's not forget one more thing - the Mega Man fanbase in general tends to be a lot less rabid than FF, or so I think :razz:

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In other words... with the exception of Fictionalhead's tracks, all of them are in alphabetical order for arrangement title. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out. :<

ahh cuz I know SuperiorX wanted to know who made the remixes he liked based on the numbers he wrote down and I wasn't sure there was a list of track numbers with ReMixer name other than that zip file Zircon posted a few days ago

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I did review all of the votes myself and checked to see if any of the patterns were iffy, for example people voting 1-1-1-1-5-1-1-1 or similar. Everything was above board, though (perhaps because I told people in advance that I would be checking for such shenanigans).

Yea I know, but the numbers don't lie.

It looks like there were a lot of people spamming low votes which brought down the scores. If people were being "harsh" the voting would uniformly reflect low scores for everyone, but they do NOT. The lowest scores were only 1.7 average away from the top score. That is really absurd.

Looking at the third place vote: Sole Signal - "Throne Reborn" (313 pts).

With 91 voters that averages out to 3.4. For the third place track?? Kind of makes me feel better about my rediculous average score of 3.1. Whether it was a campagin of people trying to win or just a lot of composers spamming low votes for everyone else in the competition, it doesn't reflect too well on some people here.

I'd be interested to see if there was a bunch of people voting a small number of 5's and no 4's and mostly 3's and 2's because that's what it sure looks like.

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Whether it was a campagin of people trying to win or just a lot of composers spamming low votes for everyone else in the competition

That thought crossed my mind, but I'm pretty sure there was protection in there to prevent people from putting in "fake votes", or stuffing the ballot box... right?

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No, if anything my votes were anything OTHER than rash and random. I had set a clear criteria when I went on to cast my votes - arrangement values, production values, and homage to the source. For me, FF6 is the BEST entry in the entire series, so it had to do a lot to win over the homage part. Here's how I labelled my votes:

1 - Fitted none of the criteria

2 - Fitted some of the criteria, with some glaring flaws

3 - Fitted two or three of the criteria, again depending on the track's weakness - overall not bad

4 - Fitted all of the criteria and was an enjoyable listen

5 - Fitted all the criteria and COMPLETELY BLEW MY MIND :)

Of course, people would have different opinions on how they feel about everything, and I stated my opinions on your track earlier Brad, but you just have to accept the loss and use it as motivation to get better.

I was just like you once though - I was pissed at the Dwelling of Duels during 2005-2006 for similar reasons on me working hard with what I have but simply not scoring well enough, and feeling that I was simply being buried by more 'conservative arrangements' and weaker produced entries, hence for a long time I had no idea what I had to do to place well enough, and in the times I did they'd see me as 'not being true to myself'. I eventually took a break from competing in the following few years, and now I do compete every now and again, taking into account the general DoD following when participating.

A long-winded statement, but the point is, it's not a good idea to complain if it means changing your style into something you're not happy with - instead, use it as a foundation to improve on what you have, and take every piece of valid criticism you can.

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That thought crossed my mind, but I'm pretty sure there was protection in there to prevent people from putting in "fake votes", or stuffing the ballot box... right?

My point is that the best tracks in this competition definitely deserved better scores than they got, and is there really anyone here who would debate that point? 3.4 average score for 3rd place makes no sense at all any way you slice it.

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My point is that the best tracks in this competition definitely deserved better scores than they got, and is there really anyone here who would debate that point? 3.4 average score for 3rd place makes no sense at all any way you slice it.

Yeah, 3 out of 5 is an average score. :-(

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I know it seems like scoring 3ish is bad, but I think that's actually really good given the method of voting.

There's this t-shirt site out there that has a 1-5 voting system, with tooons of people voting on the designs. The best designs that get printed and people adore usually hover around 3, or a high 3. Everyone else gets 1, or a low 2 if they're especially lucky. I hate to say "it's just the nature of the voting system" but I can't think of another way to put it.

The only way you'd get a high mark is if you scored lots of 5s. 5, to me, is perfection. It's the best score. It's also one that NO ONE should be handing out like candy. While I didn't finish voting on all the tracks and didn't get a chance to listen to them all during the voting period, I didn't feel anything I had listened to was perfect, therefore I didn't give anything a 5. That includes the track that eventually won this competition. I believe I gave it a 4, and that was rare. I might have given out two 4s? Maybe a few 3s, a fair amount of 2s, but no 1s. 1 = poor and I didn't feel anyone's track was poor.

It's also hard to say what criteria people are using to judge these tracks. And music (anything creative, really) is a hard thing to judge, particularly using a 1-5 method. We could vote on these one way today, and then tomorrow we'd revote and not be entirely consistent. My favorite track of what I did hear, I actually gave a 3 to. It was a Blackjack theme, and sounded SO 80s, I loved it. XD However I felt it strayed far away from the source and was a bit too liberal, so I thought it'd be unfair to give it a 4 or 5.

TL;DR: The results don't look suspicious to me and match up with every other 1-5 voting system I've seen. We should be very careful about accusing anyone of doing anything shady, especially when zirc has been careful to make sure no shenanigans are going on.

I hope people can use it all as a growing experience and not be too upset if they didn't rank in the top 10 or whatever. The 1-5 voting system is harsh and a low average doesn't automatically make you terrible. So everyone should keep at it, nothing I heard was outright terrible and there's definitely a lot of promise going on.

And no Locke theme? Really guys? :P

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Yea I know, but the numbers don't lie.

It looks like there were a lot of people spamming low votes which brought down the scores. If people were being "harsh" the voting would uniformly reflect low scores for everyone, but they do NOT. The lowest scores were only 1.7 average away from the top score. That is really absurd.

Looking at the third place vote: Sole Signal - "Throne Reborn" (313 pts).

With 91 voters that averages out to 3.4. For the third place track?? Kind of makes me feel better about my rediculous average score of 3.1. Whether it was a campagin of people trying to win or just a lot of composers spamming low votes for everyone else in the competition, it doesn't reflect too well on some people here.

I'd be interested to see if there was a bunch of people voting a small number of 5's and no 4's and mostly 3's and 2's because that's what it sure looks like.

I don't know why absolute scores are relevant here. We've already established that people have different views on what a "1" is, what a "3" is, etc. Even if I went out of my way to try and tell people how to vote, they would ignore it and vote the way they want. However, because each individual applies the same bias to every vote they do, it all evens out when you look at 91 total responses. One person might have an average low score, another person an average high, but they will still have remixes that they rate lower and higher than their average.

In other words, it doesn't matter that the top mix had a 3.4 (or what have you). It wouldn't matter if it had a 2.0. As long as there is enough of a spread to differentiate the rankings (and there was), it's good enough to say with confidence what entries people liked the most.

There are many other systems we could have used. For example, we could have asked people to name their top 3, 5 or 7 remixes. However, in such a system, there would be an enormous disparity between the mixes considered to be 'better' and those considered to be 'worse'. It would be basically impossible for mixes in, say, the 25th percentile to beat those in the 5th percentile. It's not a good system. This one is definitely the most fair that I (or anyone else) could think of.

Finally, again, I didn't see any evidence of irregular voting patterns.

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However, because each individual applies the same bias to every vote they do, it all evens out when you look at 91 total responses. One person might have an average low score, another person an average high, but they will still have remixes that they rate lower and higher than their average.

^

Tried to get at that with my last post.

In other words, it doesn't matter that the top mix had a 3.4 (or what have you). It wouldn't matter if it had a 2.0. As long as there is enough of a spread to differentiate the rankings (and there was), it's good enough to say with confidence what entries people liked the most.

This. If anything, if you ask me you're looking at it the wrong way - treat what the top-ranked mix got as the ceiling for the spread (instead of a "perfect" 5), and all of a sudden that 3.4 looks a hell of a lot better.

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Even if I went out of my way to try and tell people how to vote, they would ignore it and vote the way they want.

Everyone will vote how ever they want, that's just going to happen. Yes, it would be better if everyone voted with certain criteria set in place, and the more sophisticated system the better, but that just isn't always going to be the case, and everyone's system will be different.

I have a lot to learn in terms of production (as evidenced in my 23rd and 25th place wa ha :oops:) and I'm not as familiar with the source tracks as others may be. There are so many factors that go into everyone's individual opinions, but I think that the voting system put into place was as fair as it could be.

Admittedly, I based my voting mostly on enjoyability reminiscent of the Netflix star system (hated, didn't like, like, really liked, loved). It wasn't the best voting system but it's still valid. Everyone won't universally like and dislike the same tracks. E.g. my favorite tracks came in 1st place, and 18th place. And the 1st place winner XPRTNovice stated that his favorite track was Track 1, which I believe came in 19th place.

I think my point got diluted.. Anyway, the voting was going to have varying opinions and I don't think the voting system was at fault for that at all.

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Lets not all forget, that voting from 1 - 5 through an ocremix.org contest, is a heck of alot better than what other websites would demand requiring quality (no disrespect to other websites e.g. newgrounds). If 5 means perfect, then 3 still would mean pretty darn good and a 1 would mean that it needs work. Needs work doesn't mean its crap. And lets not forget that one of the biggest functionalities that ocremix has besides providing quality remixes for videogame music lovers is pushing engineers,musicians, producers and whoever will send in their mixes to be better at what they do. I know I'm not the only one who has learned quite alot about my craft from just sending in remixes and reading and studying the judge panel comments.

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In other words... with the exception of Fictionalhead's tracks, all of them are in alphabetical order for arrangement title. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out. :<

There was an email problem getting mine submitted, so I think they got tacked on the end :) My only concern was that in being the dead last tracks not as many people would listen to them. I think the last time I checked (a week or so before the end of voting), the first song in the poll had like 250 listens, and my track (the last one) had like 100.

So at bare minimum it would seem at least 150 people started the poll, and then stopped before getting to my track, or *gulp* voted for mine without actually listening to it. Which I sincerely hope no one would do (to me or anyone). Though the fact that both of my tracks which were dead last in the list scored exactly the same is a little disheartening. But oh well, the vote's the vote.

With 91 voters that averages out to 3.4. For the third place track?? Kind of makes me feel better about my rediculous average score of 3.1. Whether it was a campagin of people trying to win or just a lot of composers spamming low votes for everyone else in the competition, it doesn't reflect too well on some people here.

I know for myself, I used the whole scale. Obviously all of the tracks had enough originality and production to push them into the 3-5 range. So that considered, if we followed your logic, you'd only have 2 points to fluctuate between 34 tracks. I know when I listened to them I had more opinion than that. There was definitely more than just 2 point differentiation between the ones I loved (#14 - Meccaneer was my fave, followed by #7 - Rexy, good job), and the ones I didn't care for.

So for that reason, I weighted my scoring. I gave 1's to the tracks I liked least, and 5's to those I liked most. Yeah, it's kind of against what the rules said to judge on, but again, if we were only taking into account the quality of the track distanced from our own personal taste, there would be no reason for public voting at all really.

However, because each individual applies the same bias to every vote they do, it all evens out when you look at 91 total responses.

And this too, is another reason it doesn't matter. If you inflate this effect to it's maximum impact, then the people like me who used the full scale (1 = least liked, 5 = most liked), we just influenced the scoring less than someone who used a scale like (3 = least liked, 5 = most liked), because over the course of our whole survey, we gave out fewer points towards the final total. The only way to avoid this would be to have a voting scale of 1-34, where you had to rank each song once, to make sure everyone doled out the same amount of points, and that's just ridiculous and unrealistic.

And on a side note, to all us guys who scored in the middle (woo, #18 pride!), think of it this way -- You probably didn't have people saying they absolutely 5'ed it, but you didn't have people absolutely 1'ing it either. We are the "yeah, this is pretty good" tracks that didn't eclipse the stand-outs, or fall into obscurity. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself :)

Kudos to everyone -- the full track zip file makes for a good playlist.

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I do apologize that I wasn't able to get total randomization, eg. each user would get tracks in a different order. I couldn't find any way to do it without spending hundreds of dollars.

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I don't see the problem here at all, no one seems to be saying that the winners didnt deserve to win, therefore the best tracks got the prizes, ultimately that's all that matters right?

The best track could have had an average of 1.7, it would still be the best track, and therefore still worthy of the prizes. So yeah, I don't see why so much fuss is being made about a suposedly low average score. The competition was as fair as it could possibly have been in my eyes

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