...Okay, this is getting outright freaking impossible! I mean there are just so many high-quality entries coming in each week that it’s virtually impossible to order them! I’ve expanded my scoring process and it’s helped to some extent, however, it is still extremely difficult to differentiate among the extraordinary talent here at the Open-Mic venue.
In addition to tightening up my scorecards, I’ve also expanded my special shout-out section to included 20 specific artists that were within a razor’s edge of making my top 10. One would be quite accurate to assume that this minor tactical shift in my weekly shout-out mentions indeed translates to 25 honorable mentions vs. the 5 that I choose to list along with their respective video tributes.
Finally, my last category of shout-outs lists the numerous artists whose performances I truly enjoyed this week. With so many favorites to list, it’s likely that I may have missed a few; however, I do try and make a point to give a shout-out or comment to everyone who impressed me on some level.
Because I start judging entries from early on in the week, I am more often than not one of the first judges to come out with a top-5 selections list. I keep up in real-time with all of @luzcyphers “approved” entries, and sometimes, I even get a little ahead of him. Trust me; this is not an easy task to accomplish by any means.
My cut-off time for judging entries is the cut-off time stated in the rules, 12:00 pm UTC, however, every now and then a stellar late arrival shows up to upset the entire apple cart. Because of this, I do very much make certain that before making the final selections that I review @luzcyphers “official” "See Who Played" lists to make certain that all approved entries are present and accounted for insofar as my weekly picks are concerned.
At the current UTC time to which the “official” cut-off is aligned, I am now 6 hours or more past the cut-off, so I feel quite confident in submitting my picks for the week at this point in time.
So with all of that said, following some further insights as to how I judge, let’s get it on, shall we?
As one of the esteemed Open Mic judges, it is my job to come up with (or “curate” as it were) a short-list of my top 5 entrants each week. With all of the great talent here, that is by no means an easy task. Sure, tossing in another 5 honorable mentions helps, but not when my weekly list starts out with 100 or more of my favorite entries... You guy's rock - I'm tellin ya!
Yes, I am a Libra – so I have an inherent drive deep within me to be fair and balanced – good qualities for a “judge” if you ask me. That being said, I’m still human – filled with emotion and subjective feelings – just like you. So, in order to mitigate my subjective tendencies to the best extent possible, I’ve come up with a method by which to narrow down my selections in a more objective vs. arbitrary manner.
Here’s how I go about my personal judging process: I first start out with a list of 100 or more of my most favorite entries for the week, and score them (yes, subjectively) in six distinct categories via a spreadsheet. The categories I’ve selected for scoring are in general harmony with those explained by @luczypher in his post titled How We Pick The Top 3 Entries, referencing such.
To get a more in-depth perspective as to how I personally go about selecting my artists, please refer to What I go through as an Open-Mic Judge.
Even though it’s still a “subjective” process – diligently going through each scoring category to come up with a “total” score for each entrant helps to minimize any overzealous subjectivity that I may harbor with respect to any specific entrants.
Quite often, this exercise doesn’t give me the exact results I would personally prefer to see – but that only means that my system of judging is working as intended and designed. With all of that said, here are...
My Top-5 Picks in Order
In his post, Jose’ states, “Music Saves Lives,” and in a sense, that music is in fact, is the essence of life itself! I could not agree with him more!
I’ve taken notice of Jose’ from his very first Open-Mic entry months ago, however, his entry this week simply knocked my socks off!
Surrounded by an adept group of musicians and capable producers, his original rendition of “Me Va Mejor” came to life in such a way that I simply could not ignore. For all of his past efforts, and specifically for this one, Jose’ finds himself sitting at the very top of my selections for week 70.
Jose’, you and your esteemed band of incredible musicians and production artists really rocked this one, my brother!
In his post, although he’s been absent for the last 2-weeks, Dominique share’s with us a recent acquisition – a new baby girl - in the form of a guitar that is, which he’s aptly named, Monique! It appears that the acquisition of this instrument has inspired him to write an “original song,” and for that, I am ever-so-grateful! Perched atop a table in what appears to be a restaurant of sorts, Dominique serenades us with a most spectacular and moving performance with his newly acquired, Monique. His vocal range and melodic musings got the better of me, and as such, our esteemed Sir Dominique has earned himself the number 2 spot in my line up this week.
Julio just nails everything that has meaning to me insofar as ranking entries. Passion, feeling, emotion, production quality, depth, musical dynamics, and meaning - are just a few of the things inherent in this incredible performance of “Agua”. For all of the aforementioned and nothing else more, Julio is my number 3 pick here in week 70.
A man of few words, Mr. Bloom states his case quite eloquently thru his original rendition of “Slowed by Notes.” His vocals are so on point, bringing his brilliantly crafted melodies to life in a rather compelling way. Needless to say, Darren, or “Mr. Bloom” as he’s otherwise known, could not be ignored, and as such, I’ve placed him here in my number 4-slot for week 70.
So, yeah – this Ben Lee guy… Well, I’ve never heard of him before quite honestly. However, it appears that he’s something of an extraordinary musical success according to his accomplishments and my fellow judge @krystle’s assessments thereof. @krystle has gone out of her “fan-girl” way to educate us all on the rather impressive accomplishments of this sage, and the quite articulate gentleman known as Mr. Ben Lee. Rather impressive indeed! Be that as it may, if I were not aware of such information, I would still be overwhelmingly compelled to include Ben in my top-5 selections for week 70. I mean the guy has got it all going on! Composition, lyrics, production quality, performance skills, and just a great overall message embedded in a rather engaging and catchy song. For those reasons and those reasons alone, Ben Lee has handily carved out a spot within my top-5 here in week 70. Great song, Ben! I truly loved it!
My Top-5 Honorable Mentions in Order:
First: @markaustin – “I’m Leaving Town” - (Original)
Second: @elisonr13 - "Perdóname Señor (Forgive Me Lord) " - (Original Song)
Third: @tomashofficial – “Heart Strings” - (Original Song)
Fourth: @byrongrant – “The Bike Song” - (Original Song)
Fifth: @art-mess – “16-Ton’s” - (Cover)
Thank you for reviewing my selections for this week’s Open-Mic contest. If you find this content I’ve curated entertaining and of value to you, then please consider up-voting and/or re-steeming it.
Peace, Love, and Justice for All
A Very Special Shout Out To:
The following 20 artists who were very much on my radar, each within a splitting hair of making it into my overall top-10, and whose performances I loved, cherish, and respect most assuredly. This special list is very much an extension of my most honorable mentions.
They are - in no particular order: @iqbalubit, @ale.tripoli, @vera.carla, @luisferchav, @steembirds, @chaifm, @pechichemena, @kayclarity, @wethepatsies, @melavie, @mightyjoenolan, @bennettitalia, @javierdunn, @nirtsfaty, @claratymusic, @drayfer, @evoman1, @mrprecious, @the3metrewrap, and @wilins.
Another Special Shout Out To:
The following artists whose performances I very much enjoyed this week. They are - in no particular order: @jaredkhamanah, @aellaa, @paulhallman, @basilmarples, @lucybanks, @kjablonski, @etemi, @oliverwaterman, @ilazramusic, @mcmusic, @quanahjayhicks, @rodolfoyanez, @asly, @kendramoriah, @gjones15, @trevorpetrie, @gabrielamenesesg, @roman.musica, @g10a, @drewley, @williansjmm, @steevc, @mrjl, @gaborockstar, @ljv, @melodeons, @carlosgu, @tfeldman, @ryoucha, @bige37, @coruscate, @sabatini, @premmlinbass, @joecha, @aayalac22, @adamzi, @lyon89, @operahoser, @tribedownsouth, @boschoscar, @rypo01, @gibber, @missweirdy, @kiloindigo, @danielsandoval, @vachemorte, @tarotbyfergus, and @aidarojaswriter.
Much love and thanks to each and every one of you who have touched a part of my heart and soul - not only this week but forever!