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I love this new podcast. i look forward to every episode and love that it comes out three times a week. It's completely different than anything else I listen to.

I've heard Jeff Ullrich say many times he is looking for criticism for the shows so I figured I would give some.

I would love there to be a winner each week as well as an eliminated podcast. There wouldn't need to be a prize like on other reality shows, but just knowing who the judges liked the most would help contrast their challenge submission to the losing one. It would also bring some more positiveness to the elimination show.

I'd also like a little more time given to the bottom three podcasts to defend themselves or to convince the judges they should stay. I know that I've only heard one elimination show but for me there was too much explanation about why they were in the bottom and not enough time given for the podcast to talk about why they should be saved.

Again, I love the show! I would love to read what other listeners think about my suggestions as well as their own.

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How about the winner of the week gets the reward of knowing right away? Breathing a sigh of relief should not be discounted.

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I would like it if Earwolf could drop some technical tips to the shows. Maybe you already had this planned in the later stages. It would be nice if we could hear the sound quality go up on some of the shows.

Fantastic show, by the way. Registered on the boards here because of it.

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I think one of the fun things about reality television is the alliances that people form to avoid elimination. I am not sure how it would work but if there is an opportunity for alliances I think it would be really fun.

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I am really starting to love this podcast each week. I am glad the time of the monday and tuesday episodes has gone down to around 30 minutes, the first couple of weeks felt incredibly long. It is really hard to evaluate this as a reality show and not just a podcast, at first I was kind of upset how little time it seemed that each podcast was getting on the air. It seemed like without having listened to episodes of the shows there would be no way of understanding what was going on. I then started thinking about it in the sense of a reality show and how as more people get eliminated each contestant gets more air time. It is going to be hard to get the kind of drama that comes out of contestants interacting on a reality show in a podcast like this since no one is really together. A sense of actual competition hasn't really developed but I am guessing that will probably change in the future.
Today's episode was the first one that made me really think of reality television and I think since Paul F. Tompkins has been doing so much reality tv reviews that he understood how to approach this better than previous guests. Keep up the good work, this show is really growing well.

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I think the coaching sessions become slightly redundant after the third or fourth podcast gets talked to. Especially because the contestants are just talking about what we are about to hear in the next episode. However, Matt offers some amazing insight and suggestions. One weird problem is that it sort of comes out piecemeal to each individual show. Also, it was more prevalent with this week’s challenge because only a couple recorded new stuff, but even with Matt offering great advice, there may be no way to apply what he says to the actual challenge. I think it would be a little more interesting to hear Matt and someone else discuss what makes a good theme song or what sort of content they personally enjoy and why (sort of a more in depth discussion of how the second episodes start). Let the contestants listen to that and try to use its advice. Obviously you can’t ask each week’s judges to come in twice, but Matt and pretty much any successful podcaster can have a discussion and I think it would be very interesting and informative. I also think this show is going to get better and better as the weeks go on. As less podcasts are around, the more specific and in depth everything will get, and more specificity / depthificity is pretty much always better.

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Something that always bugs me in reality competitions is that typically, the only people to receive helpful criticism are the people at the top and bottom (in this case, just the bottom 3). If there was a way for Matt to convey a little bit of the criticism from the previous week during the individual coaching sessions, that might be a quick fix.

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My suggestions would be:

Tighten up the show. Matt asks "What are we doing?" on the opening episode of this week's episodes. Can you imagine Heidi opening up an episode of Project Runway asking the judges what this week's challenge is? It seems odd that the host is unsure of the show as the listeners are, and gives the show a real "we are making it up as we go" feeling.

Change-up the Coaching Session so Matt speaks to the contestants once they have started working on the challenge. It is really hard to listen to Matt explain the week's challenge, then explain it another nine times to each contestant. What more, it's not interesting to hear the contestants answer "we don't know what we will do this week" when asked what they will do for the challenge. If I was watching Top Chef, it would be the equivalent of cutting the scene where we see the contestants cook food - while the food looks amazing at presentation, how did we get to that stage? By having the coaching session once the contestants have started working on the challenge, we get in the head of each contestant and find out what they are facing - do they understand the challenge? Are they having issues putting together an entry or finding things easy? Do they have questions for the coach that they didn't have before they started? It will add some genuine emotion/drama to the show, which it doesn't really have until the elimination stage.

A winner for the week's challenge. It seems odd to have a reality show where everyone is great except for three each week, and doesn't give the contestants anything to achieve to other then not being eliminated. Give the winner immunity for the next challenge should they get picked in the bottom three.

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There's really only one thing I find myself sometimes missing, and that's "bookmarks."

Essentially, tell me that from 0:00 it's about INTRO, at 10:50 you start talking about Ham Radio, at 22:30 it's time for F+, etc.

Because personally I'm not all that interested in hearing from, or about, EVERY single one of the shows. I've got a couple of favourites that attract my attention much more than the rest, and sometimes I just want to skip to them instead of listening through thirty minutes of shows that really don't interest me that much.

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Please forgive me if a reason was already given for this, but this would seem to be the perfect podcast for audience participation. It seems sort of odd to have two different judges come in every week, listen to two minute segments of shows that at best they're only vaguely familiar with (one judge has seemed to mention or hinted at this each week so far) and then get the final vote on who stays and who goes. I know the judges are experts as each one has a podcast, but this just screams for having the listeners vote in addition to, or instead of the judges, as the listeners are the ones who are most familiar with the shows. I'm not sure if this wasn't possible with the recent website (and overall) changes to Earwolf over the past few weeks, or if it just didn't come up, but if it's possible, it might be something to think about for the next season of the challenge.

Also, maybe slightly less vague categories for the weekly challenges, though admittedly that one is kind of hard to judge/criticize at this point as it is only week three.

Keep up the good work Earwolf!

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This might be a bit difficult to do in these early rounds, but eventually I think Matt and the guest judges might benefit from listening to full episodes of the pocasts. This would mean they could judge the shows in a better context and inform their decisions better. Maybe that's not the point of the Earwolf Challenge and it should be up to the podcasts themselves to have good 'song choices' but it does seem like the format favours certain kinds of shows and not others. To me, the big difference between a podcast and a radio show is that a podcast doesn't demand that things be in tiny, easy-to-digest segments and has the time and space to flesh thing out and have lengthly conversations etc.

That said, I got turned on to the Earwolf Challenge via Little Dum Dum Club, who seem to be one of the favourites, and I'm hoping they win the whole thing.

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I might be showing some MaxFun bias here, but Jesse Thorn has been my favorite judge so far-- offering genuine insight not only to the contestants, but to all the would-be podcasters, like myself, who are listening. I'd love to see him make another appearance as judge, if only to get more delicious podcasting pro-tips.

Of course the show should be entertaining, but it's informative aspect will keep me coming back.

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I support this suggestion of more Jesse Thorn with all my heart but that same heart tells me he'll have quite a bit on his plate for the next little while with a brand new little baby to make goo goos at.

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When the first podcast has been told they're safe and it is down to the last two, could Matt please announce who is safe. but save his notes for them until after the losing podcast has been let go? I just feel so bad for the people like Brett who have to sit there knowing they are done while the safe people are getting talked to.

Also, please try to get Jesse Thorn to come back. I would also love to hear Jordan Morris as a judge. Those guys are podcasting gods.

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RE: Palooka- Personally, as someone who has been in a lot of judging scenarios and gets really emotional, I'd be glad to have the time to collect myself and calm down before I had to speak. Maybe I'm more emotional than most people (I definitely am) but to me the idea of being told you are eliminated and being immediately called upon to be articulate and grateful sounds awful.

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This wasn't my idea, but I want to leave it here for consideration: For a future challenge that involves working with a guest, how about letting each podcast work with the same guest (say, Paul "Podcast Gateway" F. Tompkins) so that the listener gets a better feel for how the podcasts differ. Then, the guest could consult with the judges (or judge the challenge themselves), giving inside information and feedback about how they thought it went.

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I agree with Daniel Hedger in that the two minute segments aren't necessarily a full enough representation of the podcasts to develop an informed opinion. Down the line the segment length may increase but maybe you should give the contestants a window of x-xx minutes and let the judges decide which are the strongest to include in the podcast? The majority need some instruction, and perhaps showing the hosts which segments killed it and which were less than effective by way of including/excluding them would provide better feedback.

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Repetition of the challenges could really improve the podcasts - For instance:

Group I: Reoccurring segments, Advertisements - 5 minutes
Group II: Intro Theme, Content and Concept - 6 minutes
Group III: Using the guest, Outro - 7 minutes
Group IV: Full Smash - Full length episodes: Combo of popular vote and guest judges

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First I just want to say that I'm really liking this show. I'm an ardent consumer of podcasts listening to 5-7 different shows everyday (i have a job that enables me to listen to my ipod while working, and also listen while I'm cooking, showering, working in my garden, etc) so I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what's out there. Just so you can get a feel for what I like, my favorites are Comedy Bang Bang, WTF, JJGO, My Brother My Brother and Me, Doug Loves Movies and the nerdist- but i subscribe to roundabout 50 different podcasts and truly love all of the Earwolf shows. That being said, I think that the suggestion of the host and guest judges listening to whole episodes of the competing shows makes a lot of sense. The challenges have been good, but I feel like the shows are being held to a level of quality that most podcasts don't really meet....and maybe shouldn't. Sound quality is definitely something to look at, but content is what matters. I've agreed with the decisions thus far, but some of the criticisms don't seem right to me. Comedy podcasts are at their best when the content is working, but they're also great when it definitely isn't. For example, I wake up every monday morning excited to hear the new Comedy Bang Bang- but not every segment is always golden- and hearing Scott or a guest get uncomfortable or confused (for real- not as a bit) just might be my favorite thing about the show. I just realized that I'm not exactly sure what I'm saying here, but I have a suspicion that many of the podcasts that I love would not fare well in this competition. ( ie: my brother my brother and me, the 40 year old boy, or even the dork forest). Maybe all I'm saying is that a reality check before judgement may be in order.
Sorry, I don't know if what I'm trying to say will come across, so here's a straight suggestion. Matt Besser may be one of the funniest people alive- he may also have of the best analytically comedic minds around. Maybe Matt or someone like him would fare well doing a straight podcast review show? I have yet to find a good one of these, and I think that if any network coild do it right- it would be Earwolf.
Thanks for providing such wonderful content. Your network has provided me with countless hours of free entertainment and for that I am truly grateful. Keep it up guys. I know you stress about the business and logistics of Earwolf, but you're doing the good work. Love it!!

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I'm a big fan of Matt's Socratic method with regard to the definition of the challenge, but I think it's problematic during the Coaching Session segment. Matt's definition/understanding of the challenge seems to evolve throughout the episode as he talks to contestants, and by the end of the episode contestants are getting much better and more nuanced advice than the contestants at the beginning, who often get "I don't know what to say to you. Good luck!"
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Maybe if there was a way to change the order of contestants from week to week, or if the audio of the entire coaching session was available to all contestants (or a transcript), it might seem more even-handed.

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